Though keychains and mugs haven’t gone anywhere, long gone are the days when your choices for promotional items were so limited. From flash drives to selfie sticks to bamboo cutting boards, thousands of useful, whimsical, creative, or strategic items can be customized to help get your business get known, and help it to grow.

But how does that work? First, we’ll walk through why promo items are still strong marketing tools. Then we’ll show you how Range, a Deluxe company, can help you use them.

How Promo Items help Build Your Business

They’re an inexpensive marketing tool.

Promo items can be relatively to very low cost, and they are simple. Compared to other marketing systems, promo items are affordable in terms of materials, staff hours (virtually none), and operations. Compared to more complex marketing strategies, there is relatively little work involved in ordering, receiving, storing, and distributing promotional items.

They make a direct connection with prospects.

Promo items go directly into the hands of your customers. Memory is strongly linked to sensory experience, and unlike an email or a tweet, promotional items don’t just disappear with a click. By the time a prospect or client takes a promo item, as long as he or she is not pressured to do so, this item has already made a positive impression, and now is making a direct inroad into their consumer “line of sight” as they consider your product or service.

They speak for you.

As people take and use your items, they remind people you exist. Not only do branded promo items put your name out there and help people remember, but positive experiences with your product build a positive association with your business.

But beware! If someone takes an item thinking “Oh great, another mug,” or “What a piece of junk,” you have built a negative association with your company in this person’s mind. It seems as if you are out of touch with the industry, or with your audience. Or perhaps it looks as if you are out of touch with environmental concerns: people are less and less interested in taking things that they know they are just going to throw away.

They’re easy to customize to target audiences.

This is where your target audiences come in. Think of the audiences you target with marketing campaigns. What will those target audiences actually use? What will catch their eye, engage their senses? And what speaks clearly about your company and its values? (See more on this below.)

These are the kinds of questions you’d ask about other marketing materials. But when you design a pamphlet or strategize social media, you are still looking for a unity that is able to capture all of your target audiences in one sweep. However, because promo items are a direct and simple solution, they’re incredibly flexible and quick to turn around. You can customize a number of different promo items and use them to sell your brand in different ways.

How to make promo items work

At Range, a Deluxe company, we’ve become experts on matching the right promotional items with a company’s needs. We know you’re dealing with clients and prospects who expect the best from you. So first:

Know what you’re trying to do.

The first thing we’ll help you do is select promo items that reflect your company goals and fit with your marketing strategy. What do you want to accomplish? Here are some examples:

  • Gain new clients by attracting attention to a new brand
  • Build relational connections in your community
  • Show you’re tuned in to a certain constituency
  • Reward loyal clients and customers
  • Get the attention of prospective employees
  • Have items at a trade show or conference

Know who you’re trying to attract.

Your audiences are different. Some audiences will delight in items that are fun or handy, while others might look for a more high-brow giveaway to catch their attention. You also need to think about what different audiences will find useful.

For example, an audience likely to be employed in offices may appreciate a nice notepad with a high-quality paper. A socially-conscious audience will appreciate items that show an extra level of awareness, such as BPA-free plastics or recyclable or biodegradable materials. Pickier consumers, like Millennials, might appreciate objects made of surprising or alternate materials, like a flash drive with an outer casing of cork or wood. Some audiences prefer understated; some might need a pop of whimsy or bright color. Know your audience.

Brand subtly but consistently.

Whatever your goals, your promotional items will need to be branded in a way that doesn’t hijack the attractiveness or usefulness of the product, but subtly keeps your business top-of-mind. Your customization and branding will also stay congruent with other branding. This congruence could include a logo, a color scheme, or something about the product itself that indicates the personality of your brand.

Know what you want next.

What is the CTA inherent in this promo product?

CTAs might include:

  • Visiting you at a social media handle
  • Watching a promotional video preloaded onto a flash drive
  • Calling a number to make an appointment (using promo items like a business card)
  • Participating in a company-sponsored event, like a 5K
  • Sharing promotional items with others

However, be careful putting contact info on some products that people will wear, or products they use to eat or drink—especially if the products are more high-end. In these cases, typically, just a logo will do.

Promo items are simple and direct, and they can be powerful. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your promotional products, connect with Range, a Deluxe company. Our consultants would love to help you make just the right selection to make an impression, make connections, and build your business’s reputation.