In times of fiscal restraint and tight budgets, should giving away items for free be part of a marketing plan? Is there any point to giving away items that have nothing to do with what the promoting company does or what their services are? Is it better to use higher quality functional items such as customized clothing, towels or water bottles? Do promotional products like pens, novelty items or socks really mean anything to the recipient? If used in a well-planned marketing strategy, personalized promotional items are very effective in getting the company name noticed and remembered in a positive way.
Everyone loves to get things for free. Of course, there is the monetary benefit side to getting something without having to pay for it. There is often a humorous or cute aspect to items that are used as giveaways. They make us smile at how silly they are. These types of gifts are often used to create a sense of belonging that we are: part of a special group such as a company; participants in an activity; or united passionate supporters of a sports team. The important aspect of all of this is that emotions are coming into play.
Being at the receiving end of a gift evokes in us the basic feelings we had as children at birthday times or at holidays like Christmas. These are usually family times and often the best part of the gathering and some of the most memorable. They are something that is looked forward to for much of the year. Getting presents on these occasions makes us feel special and loved. It gives us feelings that we are distinct and deserving of special treatment. These emotions are subconsciously attached to your products when they are received by the recipients.
If the item being given away is useful, the quality frequently isn’t an issue with the recipient. A cheap t-shirt or hat with a logo, or even a pair of socks when worn will remind the wearer of your company.
Likewise, every time a sip is taken from a custom labeled water bottle or a personalized pen is used to write with. And an item may be useful in an indirect way if it makes people smile, laugh or reminisce. Something that lets people behave in a childlike way such as a novelty toy, costume parts like funny glasses or a nose will also engage the wearer.
Strategically used in a marketing campaign that targets your market audience, promotional products create a feel good attitude about your company since you are making the person feel good. Who the recipients will be has to be carefully considered in the decision about what items to use, at which price and how and where the gifts will be given. People of all ages respond in a universal way to gifts and when well planned, the use of customized or personalized items is a very effective marketing tool.