Marketing is a complex, but worthwhile craft, especially when your marketing strategy works well and produces a huge return on your marketing investment! There are countless ideas and avenues to market your company, product or service. While there are numerous digital opportunities, consider adding one proven strategy to your marketing mix: branded merchandise. Branded promotional merchandise like badges, custom metal keyrings and small gifts have many marketing benefits, and a long history of use in effective promotional campaigns. These items can help you build brand awareness, engage customers, drive revenue, establish loyalty and even motivate your employees. In this post, we share five reasons why branded merchandise should be part of your marketing mix this year. Use these ideas to start (or continue) your 2018 marketing activities off with a bang!

Find New Customers through Promotion and Awareness

Badges and branded merchandise are great tools for building brand awareness. One idea is to use bespoke badges to turn customers into brand ambassadors. For example, in the growing beer business, breweries are tapping into this trend by giving away or selling customised “beer badges” to build awareness of their products and turn beer drinkers into brand ambassadors. And, with more wearable, visible merchandise like badges, your marketing items become walking, talking ways to build awareness of your brand to a larger demographic.

Engage Existing Customers

Engage your existing customers with low-cost, high return merchandise like badges or other special small items. For example, bespoke badges could be given away to past customers and clients to inspire repeat business at various points throughout the year. Or, they could be part of a contest or campaign for referrals to new customers. One idea is to create a marketing campaign that rewards every person who Likes and comments on your Facebook page with a special badge. Many marketing items are small and lightweight, making them easy and affordable to send in the mail.

Drive Revenue in Smaller Doses

Marketers can also sell badges and branded merchandise to drive revenue. Unique, high-quality items, like precious metal badges, branded laptop bags or backpacks or even customised belt buckles can be sold online or at point-of-purchase locations to drive revenue and leverage your brand.

If you market expensive, high-ticket products or services, offering these smaller items is a clever way to get more customers into your fold. The Coach brand, for example, sells luxury items that often retail for thousands of pounds. But it also has an extensive line of branded bag charms and key rings that retail for far less! Tap into your brand and customer loyalty with these smaller and more approachable branded products; not only do they appeal to your loyal customers, but they provide an easy entry point to engage new customers!

Establish Loyalty and Show Appreciation

Branded merchandise is a great way to build loyalty and show appreciation to your customers.
For example, many football clubs in the UK send their members special club-branded gift boxes that might include a pen, water bottle and sports badge. Another idea is to create a marketing campaign around a highly functional item, like giving away a customised trolley key ring to special customers. This is a great way for your brand to be seen on a daily basis by a wide range of commuters and shoppers.

Refresh Your Internal Marketing Strategy

As a marketer, you might also have a role in internal marketing activities to motivate staff. If that’s the case, branded badges and gifts can be an effective tool for you too. Consider for instance, creating special badges to present to top sales staff or a trophy to recognise above-and-beyond customer service performance. To motivate long-standing employees, say thank you with a service award badge. One creative and effective idea is to use colour to convey your message and select a different colour for each band of service. For example, one of our clients created a lovely series of custom made pin badges designed to award employees for 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of service, with each year of service highlighted by a different colour! This type of internal recognition is great for staff morale (your employees will be touched!) and is also a good way to convey to more junior staff members that their work will be appreciated in many ways if they stick with your company in the years to come.

It’s always worthwhile to make use of fresh opportunities and ideas to add new tools to your marketing mix. In 2018, try incorporating branded merchandise to help meet your marketing goals and reinvigorate your strategy. Get in touch with us today to talk about your upcoming campaigns and see how we can help you kick off the new year right!