So we’re nearly two weeks into April and have already had our fair share of those pesky April Showers! As much as we’re desperate for some Spring weather, the rain has made us think about some branded merchandise that was recently given away at one of our events.
In true British style, the delegates were given branded umbrellas. Our audience were international and were not expecting to see any sunshine here in the UK, so the gifts went down a treat – however, we then had an unseasonably hot week without a rain cloud in sight! We never can plan for the weather in this country! Each delegate took their umbrella home anyway, with the company branding safely stamped on the fabric.
Getting your brand out there
Branded merchandise is a great way to get your brand or message out there. By printing your logo and/or contact details on the items of your choice, you will be helping people to remember you long after your event finishes. This brand awareness could be the source of your next contact or even sale!
There are literally thousands of websites you can buy merchandise from with endless choices; from magnets to pens and mugs to t-shirts. It can seem a bit of a minefield, but you can quickly whittle your choices down to a manageable short list by taking a few key points into account.
Benefits of branded merchandise
- First let’s look at the benefits of spending some of your precious marketing budget on merchandise:
- Increased brand awareness
- Better understanding of your company values (for instance, by choosing eco-friendly items)
- Improved company-client relationships
- An alternative to traditional advertising
- The potential to reach a new audience for no additional cost if the item is passed on
What to consider when choosing your merchandise
While giant foam hands and old-school egg timers may look amusing, and probably will get people’s attention for a few seconds, they won’t last long in the hands of your delegates.
Here’s how to make sure your merchandise is taken away from the event by your delegates, just like our umbrellas.
Be original – Most companies will give out some form of merchandise at an event, so stand out from the crowd and choose some original items that will get your delegates excited and potentially whip up a storm on social media! If your merchandise is good enough for delegates to take a quick snap and upload to Instagram then you’re not only advertising to the room, but to the world! Choose something smart and Instagrammable and you’ll be away.
Make it useful – If an item doesn’t have a use, then it’s likely to be left behind once the novelty wears off. To make your merchandise really work hard for months to come, choose something that your delegates need. So, this means no to bookmarks (not needed for an ebook, right?) and no desk calendars (who doesn’t look at their phone or laptop screen?)
Instead, why not consider things that solve real problems in 2019 such as a Tile (or similar) bluetooth key finder, or a power bank for charging phones? If the power banks are charged and ready to go on the day, even better!
Be relevant to your event – Think about your audience and ask yourself what they would like. For instance, lots of people are into their health and well being, so you could give away a branded gym bag, or something smaller such as a lip balm.
Be an eco warrior – The war on plastic is real and we’re a huge fan of eco products here at FoxWylie. Our Christmas presents to clients last year were reusable travel coffee mugs, which went down a treat and even got us some exposure on Twitter, thanks to one client sharing a picture of hers!
So avoid anything cheap and plastic and keep everyone happy. Tote bags have long been a merchandise staple and help to save those 5p’s at the supermarket. But there are lots of other great ideas, such as pencils made out of newspaper and containing seeds, which can be planted once they’ve worn down!
Think consumables – These days people just don’t have the space for ‘stuff’. The increase in home offices and hot-desking means that ornamental merchandise is likely to be destined for the bin. So think about consumables, such as sweets and confectionery. You could consider branding a nice container if you think people would reuse it for storage.
How to brand up your merchandise
Once you’ve chosen your items, think carefully about how you will personalise them. Will you have your website, your logo, or perhaps just a simple hashtag? Whatever you choose, your branding company will be able to help with artwork and colour choices to ensure your merchandise makes a real statement.