Every so often in movies, you’ll come across brands prominently featured in a scene — either the main character’s hot on the heels of the protagonist and the camera dolly’s focused on the car’s brand or the camera’s angled on a laptop’s logo while the character types her thoughts sexily. For every brand, the possibility of exposure (especially in a top-grossing flick) can increase awareness, which hopefully leads to sales. Unfortunately, advertising opportunities like that work only for major brands because they are much too expensive. When a small business is looking to create awareness with its intended market, producing promotional products offer attractive cost per impression as well as generate sales.
Research conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) found that promotional items, no matter how modest a small company’s investment may have been towards having theirs produced, provides businesses the same sort of exposure usually enjoyed by bigger companies. ASI’s “Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study” also found that a majority (83 percent in fact) of those who received promotional items were able to identify the advertiser/company, essentially reinforcing the intended message of whatever promotional item was given.
Among the most popular promotional items in Australia are reportedly writing instruments, calendars, headwear or caps, shirts, desk or office accessories, mugs, and bags. Also included in the list of items companies usually branded are health and safety products, food items, and hoodies or sweatshirts. In the U.S. and the U.K., pens also top the list of preferred promotional items, with shirts and calendars coming in second and third place respectively.
A branded item—whether it’s a pen or a shirt—not only enables every small enterprise the opportunity to catch up with the big boys in business in terms of actively promoting to potential customers, but the traditional method of advertising also builds favorable perceptions. Consider the promotional shirts that most politicians hand out during critical campaign periods — while the mainstream media continually runs sometimes damaging stories on candidates inevitably creating negative impact on voters, a cap or a shirt with a politician’s name and positive message helps voters who don’t watch TV to identify the politician in a not-too terrible light.
In a corporate structure, while big budget companies wine and dine clients, small businesses, particularly startups, make do by giving clients and possible business partners useful and quality made promotional items to convey the importance of their business relationship. A research study done by Exhibit Study Inc. has concluded that businesses that have received promotional items from a company expressed more goodwill as opposed to businesses that didn’t get any promotional item. ASI’s report discovered more by revealing that 62 percent of those who were given items with a company’s logo eventually did business with the company.
Promotional products are excellent at promoting the companies brand identity because those who receive it actually use it on a regular basis. It may not end up in a scene from a blockbuster movie but it will still allow for definite message reinforcement for any brand or company that seek to reach its customers — and brand awareness eventually leads to sales.
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