Have you ever wondered how successful, profitable companies stay that way? Do big, successful brands have such momentum that all they need to do is stay visible? Unsurprisingly, the real answer is multi-layered. It deserves unpicking a little more.
Everything starts with a great product that does what it’s supposed to do, really well. The product has to be something people, or other businesses, want. Then it has to be priced right. After that comes fighting off the competition, making sure the product, price, target market, and all the rest, remain secure. Staying in business can be a full-on business.
Marketing and advertising matter
It pays to keep marketing, to keep understanding what customers need and to keep brands and products highly visible. Factors like client/customer relations, cost, convenience and communication of USPs all play their part. Advertising not only draws in customers (B2B as well as B2C) but helps maintain visibility. Invisible products don’t sell.
Creating brand strength and customer loyalty
The combined result of marketing and advertising should be strong brand awareness and growing numbers of loyal customers. But reaching this point is hard and it’s hard to maintain the trend. One route is through top-quality promotional gifts. If you choose them well, they fit neatly into the overlap between marketing and advertising.
A good promotional gift will be attractive, useful and good quality (so it doesn’t go straight in the bin) and long lasting. Favourites are things like pens and mugs, but their impact can be limited because often they are visible to the user and maybe only a few other people nearby.
Why compressed T-shirts are great promotional gifts
Promotional gifts often have a low cost and a high perceived value to the recipient. The best promotional gifts will become personal favourites. The near perfect example is clothing. Branded T-shirts and socks are ideal because they are highly visible and good discussion points. Even when you’re just walking around, they advertise and re-enforce the brand the whole time. If they are good quality, the recipient loves to wear them. Add in a memorable feature, such as the T-shirt compressed into the shape of your product, and you’re onto a winner.
How much do successful businesses spend?
It can be difficult to justify marketing and promotional spend. It can be tricky (not impossible) to measure impact precisely. But one thing is clear. Successful businesses do spend serious money on marketing. Very often, part of that spend is strategically earmarked for promotional gifts.
The CMO Survey
has surveyed Chief Marketing Officers for ten years since 2009. Overall, they record marketing spends since 2010 as between 9% and 12% of firms’ budgets. Increases in marketing spend have varied, ranging from 4% to 10% pa. The greatest single increases were in 2009-2011 after the last economic recession. Emergence from the Covid-19 lockdowns may have the same effect.
Spend varies by sector, and according to the similar Gartner CMO Survey, consumer goods and services lead with nearly 19%, followed by education at 12% and software & biotech at 9.7%
Choosing the right strategy, and the right gift
Research in 2018-2019 from the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) shows that promotional gifts make recipients feel appreciated, create high levels of brand loyalty and are more likely than other media to drive a response to a call to action. Comparisons were made with print, online, direct mail and TV. In each case, good quality promotional gifts were shown to have more impact than these other forms.
The research also showed that many recipients already had some predictable gift types. 66% had branded pens, 43% branded notebooks, 20% had promotional mugs and 17% had branded coasters or mouse mats. Many complained of overload. Lots of mugs, for example, makes it confusing to remember which ones you have – brand identity is quickly lost.
Use the right gift and you’ll make real impact. Other findings by BPMA included that 83% of recipients of promotional gifts remember the brand 12 months later, and 79% said they were likely to do business with the company in the future.
Choosing the right gift is crucial, but quite easy. It has to grab people’s attention. It should be a little different, appealing and very useable. It needs to remains visible and memorable. Like any other good product, it needs to be what people want.
We have worked with numerous successful businesses to produce high-impact branded promotional gifts for our clients. These include socks and compressed T-shirts. Here are some useful case studies.