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Do Your Promotional Products Demote Your Brand?

Promotional products are designed to support your brand, but all too often they are too cheap and do the exact opposite. It's an interesting conundrum and this is one area where "saving money" is counter-productive and can dramatically reduce your ROI. If the products you plan to give out don't represent the image that you are trying to create, you are probably better off avoiding the expense altogether and giving out nothing. 

I was at a seminar recently given by a top local professional firm. The content and the setting were first class, but the items that they gave out to attendees were substandard and really didn't support the image that they were trying to create. Did that matter? In the grand scheme of things probably not, but the promotional products they gave out didn't promote them at all, and the money they spent was almost certainly wasted. It certainly generated a lower ROI than a more expensive giveaway would have done.

When I had my computer service company, I gave away calendars every year. It was important to me that the calendars that I gave out were something that my clients would want to put on their wall, and I would have simply captured Greenland if I sent them calendars that they either gave away or threw away. High quality was essential, and I picked out expensive calendars and spent a good deal on this aspect of my brand promotion.

It really paid off for me as I saw the calendars hanging on walls wherever I went, promoting my company on a product that supported my brand. If I had gone with a lower cost alternative then I would simply not have accomplished what I was setting out to accomplish, and I would have wasted the money that I "saved" by buying a cheaper product.

Consider for a moment the cheap giveaways that you have received in the past. Have you ever been given a pen that doesn't work for any length of time? When it leaks ink on the paper or simply stops working, what do you think about the firm whose name is prominently displayed on the failed instrument? Do you associate the cheap quality with them? If that business is trying to promote a premium brand, would they have been better off either spending more money on a pen that worked more reliably and for longer or picking out another product altogether?

What about when you are given things that have no relevance to the business giving them out? What if they are of no use to you? How do you feel about the business that is trying to brand itself this way? Does the product work and is it of any value to you? If it doesn't, then it is simply a waste of money.

Whatever you give away to promote your brand needs to be something that is useful and relevant. It should support your marketing campaign and be of the right quality to support and promote your brand. This is something that requires a lot of thought, care and attention and if you end up with the wrong product for your brand then you have wasted money and opportunity.

Worse still, instead of promoting your brand you are demoting it.