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Transactional Marketing: How Promotional Products Improve Your Brand Image

Building your brand image can be difficult in 2021. Most traditional forms of marketing, while still somewhat effective, are seen as outdated and tiresome; customers sigh at the sight of commercials, pulling out phones until your creative minute-long message passes, and they take every chance they can to avoid or skip targeted ads elsewhere. Even digital marketing doesn’t always accomplish what it’s meant to do, as customers do everything they can to remove cookies, scroll past corporate social media messages, and minimize what they see as corporate intrusions on their digital spaces. 

Transactional Marketing

The good news is, there’s a reliable, low-cost way to build up your brand’s engagement without resorting to complex, expensive ad campaigns in either of these spaces. Promotional product marketing is the distribution of branded goods for free to raise awareness of your brand, and with affordable options for every product and industry (ranging from coffee mugs to customizable towels), it’s one of the most versatile complements to any marketing strategy out there. 

Here are some things you need to know about how promotional product marketing can bring your brand’s image to the next level. 

1. Your Products, Your Story

When you give a would-be customer a promotional product for free, that product will naturally send a message about who you are and how you view your target audience, whether you intend for it to or not. Therefore, it’s vital to distribute quality products that your audience will see as useful: if you’re handing out cheaply made knick-knacks like notepads, pens, or dollar-store quality sunglasses, chances are your product will end up in the garbage as once the novelty wears off, it’ll be useless to consumers. However, if these same products are made of high quality, potential customers will remember that brand and the quality of those promotional products. 

As such, it’s crucial to choose a product that accurately represents your brand, something that isn’t cheaply made and might prove useful to your audience. You want them using your product as often as possible, as the more eyes get on your product, the more your brand name spreads far and wide. Not to mention, customers who get a high-quality gift, useful gift from brands are likely to see them in a more favorable light. 

2. Exponential Exposure

The benefit of giving customers promotional products that they are likely to use is that as they use them, as mentioned above, more and more eyes will naturally fall on your brand. Promotional products turn your customers into low-cost, continuous advertising, walking endorsements for your company (as few will assume that if someone is wearing a shirt with your logo on it that they despise your company). On average, customers tend to keep and use promotional products for around a year, which means a year of exposure for less than a dollar per unit (depending on the website you order from). This can help build up your brand image exponentially, as these people spread the positive impression they’ve received of your company throughout their personal, social, and workplace networks. 

3. Unique and Useful

The more unique and useful your product is, the more likely it is that customers will connect these qualities to your company overall. On average, people who receive quality products from businesses that they use in everyday life are more likely than those who don’t to prefer that business over their competitors. The low cost per unit of customizing and distributing something as simple as a branded bottle opener could earn you repeat shoppers for life. 

Tapping into the Promotional Product Market

While outright ads are avoided by most consumers in everyday life, the idea of receiving a promotional product tends to be treated differently. Customers feel the exchange is transactional, receiving tangible benefits for the low price of wearing your logo or using a branded tool. The benefits to how customers perceive your brand, the exposure provided by these consumers as they go out into the world with your swag, and the possible long-term benefit of securing lifelong customers make promotional product marketing one of the finest marketing strategies around. 

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