by Heather Rykowski

Investing in boat loads of cheap promotional products to giveaway at trade shows was considered effective marketing, back in the day, but no more!

Businesses are beginning to realize that giveaways directly reflect the quality of their brand regardless of who’s receiving it…a prospect, customer, or employee.  Spending more money on quality promotional products that leave a notable impression is a better investment than some arbitrary cheap tchotchke of insignificant functional value.  The reasoning behind this is that perception is reality.

Reality-Perception street signNo longer an afterthought, branded promotional items are being strategically used as an overall marketing tool whereby they fall into the category of advertising specialties.  Which makes sense since these products are successfully being used outside of trade shows in lead generation, recruitment strategies, incentive programs and sales cycles.

The “one item fits all” approach has been replaced by what’s commonly referred to as a tiered program strategy.  In a trade show scenario an example of this might be having pens available to anyone but for someone to receive a higher level ticket item, let’s say a branded tote, a prospect who is qualified would need to give you their contact information.  Lead generation is one of the primary objectives, right?  One can take this a step further and have items of varying value to giveaway based on a level of qualification.  The greater value a recipient is perceived to have the higher the value of the item you giveaway to them.

Get started creating a successful strategy; sit down with your management team to determine your objectives and qualification levels.  Next, engage the services of an advertising specialty professional to provide you the best giveaway options.  It will take them a fraction of the time it would take you to do this and as a promotional products distributor there’s no fee for their time and expertise.  All you pay for is product related costs when you place an order.

If you think that specialty advertising doesn’t work, regardless of strategy, you may be surprised to learn that 89% of consumers can recall the advertiser of a promotional product they’d received in the last 2 years.  That’s impressive!  So did it leave a quality impression of the business brand or not?

Remember, perception is reality!  On the surface, if your audience perceives your brand as cheap the odds of changing their perception are not in your favor.  Regardless of your budget invest wisely in product giveaways.  Invest in products that are useful, of high-quality and long-lasting.