A lineup of promotional merchandise — gimmes ranging from calendars to coffee mugs — can be a great way to spread the word about your company's name and products. Promotional items can:
- Reward current customers. Perks are a perfect way to reward customer loyalty.
- Build name recognition. Promotional products can subtly ingrain your firm's name into the minds of existing and potential consumers.
- Supplement your media plan. Promotional giveaways make their way into customers' homes. Unlike a flyer or advertisement, a coffee mug might find a permanent home in your customer's work or home kitchen cabinet. People who would ignore a newspaper ad or a radio jingle might notice your logo on a golf ball that they use every weekend.
Choosing the right items to give away is important. You'll want to come up with something that isn't too expensive but will make an impact. The best choices are items that people really use. Start with these ideas:
- Calendars. Print your logo, address, and phone number at the bottom of every page. Consider highlighting important dates for your business (sales, etc.) on the calendar itself. Need help coming up with an effective company logo? Read Logo Design for some good ideas on how to start the process.
- Desk accessories. Emblazoning pens, pencils, and stationery with a company's name is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It works.
- Golf balls. Link your company's name to your customers' favorite pastime. Possible drawback: Your logo won't do much good buried in the woods or at the bottom of a pond.
- Hats, shirts, jackets. These get the word out to your customers, and anyone who sees them wearing your logo. In effect, you can turn your customers into walking billboards for your firm.
- Refrigerator magnets. Magnets are an extremely cheap way to get your firm's name posted in thousands of locations. Domino's Pizza gives out a magnet with every delivery that includes their logo and the phone number of the local branch.
- Key chains. A cheap way to attach your company's name to something people carry around with them every day.
- Watches. What time is it? Time to buy something from you.
And be sure to check out 14 Reasons Small Businesses Need Both a Logo and Marketing Materials to learn some of the benefits of having a professionally designed logo and identity system.