Being that we are in the business of promoting branded merchandise, you would think it common sense that we would be the first people to recognize the value of using promotional products to build our own brands. Interestingly enough, however, rather than using promotional products to promote what we do, the majority of us resort to promoting our businesses through the use of email blasts, social media, and dare I even say it, cold calling. In a world where we proclaim that promotional products work and that these logo’d items are the number one way to build brand exposure and be remembered, the number of professionals using promo to sell promo is actually quite low. Though it might sound harsh, it is my opinion that if we, as self-proclaimed industry professionals can’t do a phenomenal job of differentiating ourselves from our own competition, then we have no leg to stand on when it comes to advertising that we can help our clients differentiate themselves from theirs. It then stands to reason that if we truly believe promotional products work, we should set out to become our own best case study. By creating a killer self promotion campaign, you will collect solid evidence to validate the idea that branded merchandise is the most powerful tool in any company’s marketing tool box, and be able to market your products and services with undeniable confidence.
So what does a killer self promo campaign look like?
Being that this blog is coming to you from Peerless, I’d love for you to work with us to develop a campaign that involves umbrellas, bags, or one of the other retail quality products that we produce. However, more than I desire for you to pick a Peerless product for your self promo, I want you to pick the right self promo for your brand. To do this, you need to be sure that the product you choose delivers the right message to the right recipient, and gives you the desired outcome you wish to achieve. Every brand is different. There is no one size fits all self promo.
The first step in picking the right self promo is to take a good look at the values and culture of your brand. What makes you different than the guy down the street who sells the exact same products you sell? Low price is not a sustainable competitive advantage, and quality products paired with excellent customer service should be a given. You have to look deeper than that. Are you family owned? Are you involved in the community, or passionate about helping a certain demographic? Is there something special about what you do and how you do it? What is your area of expertise? If you were the client you are trying to reach, why would you do business with you?
Next, determine who you will market to, what message you want these people to receive, and what action you want them to take. The benefit of picking the right self promo is that you don’t have to market to everyone under the sun and hope they bite. With a targeted message and specific call to action delivered to the right group of people, you can accomplish a lot more and most likely spend a little less. This frees up capital to invest in thank you gifts and loyalty programs for existing clients, which is also a very important self promotion spend!
Once you know what you want to accomplish, look for products and unique ways of printing on these products that help you tell your brand story. However, don’t stop there! The packaging, delivery method, and follow-up are just as important as the product. You’ll also want to be sure that you have a way to measure success. Your call to action might include a coupon, promo code, or token to redeem for a free gift with purchase which allows you a means to gauge your campaigns effectiveness when they are redeemed.
At the end of the day, the best part about creating a self promotion campaign is that once you have the first one under your belt, you’ll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. This will allow you to adapt what you do in your own campaigns, but also in your client campaigns. How cool is that? Using promotional products to build your own brand, not only grows your business, but it helps you help your client more effectively so they can grow theirs too. Now that is what we call a win-win!