This is a guest post by Sarah. You can read the guidelines to guest posting here at our write for us page.
Short answer: absolutely. Many people may consider branded items something that an internet business can skip. But there are a number of ways that any company, even those that are exclusively web-based can make use of promotional items to increase customer loyalty and attract new customers.
It may not be as simple as handing out calendars to people who walk through your doors like it is with many brick and mortar businesses, but if you get creative, there are plenty of productive uses for promo items.
Here are only a few ways that an online company can effectively utilize logo products.
Any online businesses that deal in shipping products can benefit immensely from the use of logo items. Including a branded item in the package with whatever was ordered provides the customer with a free gift, which everybody loves, but more importantly it becomes an active reminder of your website. It doesn’t have to be anything major, either.
Free gifts don’t necessarily have to represent a significant cost. Simple things like pens, magnets or stress balls can be just as effective as more expensive items. The beauty of these little trinkets is that they are cost effective, but also useful. Magnets tend to make their way to refrigerators, and writing utensils have a habit of being passed around and staying out in the open.
When you give away a logo product that gets used regularly, it keeps your business name present in the mind of the user. You can send flyers, you can send emails, but more often than not they will find themselves in a recycling bin either real of virtual. But when you send a product, it’s much less likely that it will be thrown away. And in the best case scenario, your subtle advertisement not only won’t be ignored, it will become integrated into your customers’ routines.
Most web based businesses can benefit from attending conferences and trade shows, whether they are SEO training, affiliate summits or industry specific gatherings. And having logo products for these evens can be a great way to spread your brand name. When it comes to giving out swag at trade shows, the smaller things which work well as free gifts may not be your best choice. Yeah it costs a little extra, but when you’re surrounded by booths handing out free stuff, in order to attract attention to YOUR free stuff it needs to be a little more interesting than the guy next to you.
In those situations, creativity and art can play a much bigger role. Bright colors, unusual shapes or gifts with personality can be the attention getters you need. An expo hall can be loud and crowded and whether you have a booth or not, having something to give contacts that you make can help make you more memorable. And in a sea of people, faces and businesses, being memorable can be the difference between the company that gets a follow-up call, and the company that gets forgotten.
Business cards are pretty standard for anyone that works anywhere that doesn’t serve French fries. We all try to make ours a little bit interesting, perhaps even the most creative among us strive for exceptional. But no picture, no design no glossy sheen can beat really thinking outside the box. At the last conference I went to, one person was handing out paper 3D Glasses with all of the requisite business card information on them. Name, business, contact info etc. He worked for a marketing company and the tag line was “Take your business to a new dimension”. It was a clever way to give people a unique business card, which was inventive in its approach while supporting the company’s mission.
The idea is to find a way to be able to do the traditional handshake and business card exchange while making yourself stand out. Most of the time business cards get filed a way in some box or rolodex. But something eye catching, that shows your creativity not only helps you distinguish yourself, it entices the customer to wonder how your innovative ideas could help them.
An online business may easily write off logo products as an unnecessary expense, but if you think about the way in which you can use them to push your company ahead of your competition there are tons of creative ways that branded items can help customer loyalty. When you send customers logo products as gifts, show up at trade shows with the coolest swag or use them to elevate your business cards, promotional products could be just the competitive advantage you need to drive your brand to the next level.