Should your brand be featuring promotional items for sale?
- Do you want to make more money?
- Do you want people to talk about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it?
- Do you want to invest in a sure-fire way to almost guarantee ROI?
We know we sound a little bit like a too-good-to-be-true infomercial, but if you said yes to any or all of those questions (and we hope for the sake of your business that you did), then you’ll want to keep reading.
That’s because we’re going to outline how you can flip-the-script on a common stereotype of promotional products and actually turn those things that some might consider giveaways into money-making brand-building weapons that will aid you in your fight for a better bottom line.
Ready to suit up, soldier? Here we go:
Start by Changing Your Thinking
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that promotional items don’t have very much value – especially because where we typically encounter them.
A free giveaway at a trade show; a bonus for buying a ticket to a sporting event on a typically slow weeknight – these sometimes less-than-glamorous venues do little to help fight the notion that promo products are low on value.
But we’re here to tell you: ditch that discounted mindset and, instead, think about how you might be able to create value by offering promotional items for sale at your business, instead of a giveaway at a third-party location.
Then, Define Your Audience
Now that you’re open to the idea of using promotional items for sale, instead of just as a giveaway or incentive, you have to start to think about what items you should consider purchasing to sell to your customer base.
If you’re stumped on where to begin, here are three great suggestions we offer to our clients when they’re trying to decide what to buy
Profile Your Average Customer
As a business owner or marketer, you probably have a good idea of who your average customer is. Maybe they come from a certain area, or belong to a particular socio-economic class. Whatever you know about your typical customer, use that info to help you select which promotional items might work well for you. For instance, if much of your customer base consists or long-haul truck drivers, featuring an item for sale that they can use in their cab might be a smart way to go.
Find Out What Your Customers are Talking About on Social Media
If customers interact with your brand on a regular basis, chances are they’re posting about it on social media. We suggest taking some time and following the trends of what people might be posting about. If you’re a restaurant, maybe you have a particular dish that gets a lot of love. If you’re an indie game manufacturer, maybe one particular character is really attracting a lot of attention. You can use this data to help drive which promotional items you want to sell, by giving people something you know they want.
When All Else Fails: Ask!
If you have regular customers who you see time and time again, why not go right to the source? You know you can trust them because they’re your loyal customers, and if they offer up a suggestion that you actually take, they’ll feel a certain ownership over the product – which means they’ll help to promote it for you. If you’re really curious what your customers might want, asking them outright is often a great way to cut to the chase.
Now the Fun Part: Pick Your Products
Here’s the fun part: picking your promotional items that you’re going to sell. Though there are many hundreds of thousands of items you could offer, here are a few of our general favorites (that we call the “Three Ts”) to get you started.
T-Shirts for Sale
We’ve written before about how much we love t-shirts, but when it comes to selecting which promotional items you’ll want to feature for sale to your customers, these tried-and-true promo items are definitely a no-brainer.
Inexpensive to order and purchase in various quantities, and just about as versatile as can be (there’s virtually no size or color that can’t be purchased), t-shirts offer great real estate for you to display your logo, marketing message, and any other information essential to promoting your business. When your happy customer wears them out and about, they turn themselves into no-cost billboards and brand ambassadors – and you simply cannot buy that kind of social proof and exposure.
Perhaps the greatest reason that t-shirts make for a great saleable promotional item, is the versatility in their pricing. We’ve seen customers successfully price shirts anywhere from the low teens to the high twenties – and find success at both price points. This means you can not only get people on board promoting your brand, but you can also cover your costs and even make some money back when you offer them for sale.
Tote Bags for Sale
For many of the same reasons we love t-shirts, we also love tote bags. Mainly, wide range of use, lots of promo real estate, and they last for quite a long time. Plus, they send a message that you’re going green by offering your customers a reusable option – something very popular right now.
Want a stellar item that customers will keep for four years or more? Tote bags just might be it!
To-Go Cups for Sale
It seems like everyone is on the go these days, which makes any kind of to-go cup an ideal choice as a promotional product to sell. Whether it is an inexpensive tumbler or a stainless thermos or coffee container, these multi-use vessels are one of the most popular promotional items on the planet for a reason: everyone uses them!
Consider things in your area like climate, customer base, and commute time to find out which kind of to-go cup might be the best fit for you.
The Final Word: Try It
There’s no exact science when it comes to finding promotional products that work, but if you pay attention to your customers as well as your pocketbook, chances are you’re going to find a winner. Try using promotional items for sale as a weapon in your marketing arsenal, and add your story of success to our long line of happy customers.