Stagnant audience growth, slumping sales, and poor engagement are all signs that you need better brand awareness. Good buzz is a gift that keeps on giving, and as customers get energized about your brand, they’ll be a key part of driving that engagement. Essentially, promotional items are important to a balanced marketing strategy. Here’s how to tell if you need to refresh your swag options and how to start turning heads.
Your Clients Never Talk About You
Personal recommendations are one of the most effective ways to drive referrals. However, if your clients don’t remember who you are, you won’t have access to that incredibly rich pool of leads. While good customer service, great products, and excellent service will get you far, a clever and effective promotional item will keep your name and logo top of mind.
People Forget Talking to You After a Trade Show
After a trade show, only the best promotional products survive. Brands that are able to showcase value and tell their story through their swag items get noticed. If you show up to an event with a few pens plus business cards, it’s likely that the people you talk to won’t remember your interaction when you call them later to follow up. But, a spot-on promo item at a trade show will instantly recall your brand and even your conversation.
Leave the Gift Cards Behind
While gift cards can be a simple way to give something, they don’t always send the right message. In fact, $1 billion in gift cards went unspent last year. And while many businesses use gift cards to express appreciation, corporate gifts can and should be more personal and exciting than receiving a gift card in the mail.
You Don’t Know Your Employees Well
Gratitude in the workplace is the number-one indicator of job satisfaction, and gifts are part of a recognition and retention strategy for employees. However, cheap or mundane gifts won’t be used even by your most loyal employees. If you don’t see your employees using or wearing the items you’ve given them around the office, it might be time to upgrade.
Giving Better Corporate Gifts
Nurturing a relationship with a client doesn’t stop after you’ve closed a deal. Corporate gifts, coupled with great service and a fantastic product, are what will ultimately set you apart from the competition. Don’t skimp on gifts to your clients, and remember them at key milestones, anniversaries, and holidays. For instance, giving a gift on a client’s birthday shows that you’ve taken the extra step to know who they are.
Employee gifts can be given for above-and-beyond performance, work milestones, and during employee appreciation weeks and holidays. Good corporate gifts strengthen the relationship between employers and employees and show gratitude for the work employees give all year. Just like a star client, you have star employees who want to receive recognition for their work, and a useful, cool gift is one way to show them you value them.
Higher Quality, Personal Gifts
Quality and personalization take corporate gift giving to an unforgettable level. Your promotional items should always say something positive about your brand, but they should also reflect your clients’ values and priorities.
Spend a little more time and effort to pick items that show you’re thinking about and appreciate them. The first step is taking inventory of your brand, your clients, and your audience. What do they want? Practical, creative items will get a lot of mileage. Not only will clients be more likely to use them, but they’ll also talk about the item and your brand with family and friends. Here are a few ideas:
- Custom engraved cutting or serving boards for new clients after closing a deal
- Embroidered or printed tote bags for the beach, shopping, or the gym
- Reusable water bottles or tumblers—glass, steel, insulated, or plastic with a spout
When it comes to branding or personalizing items, keep your goal in mind. For high-cost, big-ticket items for clients, it’s better to personalize something with their name and leave your branding off to avoid looking tacky. At trade shows, or early in a business relationship, a quality, useful item branded with your logo builds awareness.
Corporate gifts strengthen relationships between your brand and your clients and employees. When done well, they are a cost-effective way to keep your clients talking about you and referring you to others, recognize the important work your employees do, and build brand goodwill. Choosing thoughtful, useful, and personalized gifts will give you the best brand boost for your buck.