1. Know your audience
Who is this stuff for? Students, a team of German automotive engineers, British Veterinary nurses or seasoned Italian IT sales executives? Recognising your audience for promotional merchandise is crucial. What do they need? What do they already have? Are they going to make the connection between the item you’ve chosen and the message you wish to convey? Keep it simple and relevant.
2. Product quality matters
Does your company make a virtue of selling a poor quality product or service? – exactly! So how crazy is it to attach all the value and goodwill inherent in your proposition, to a pen that doesn’t work or a T-shirt that shrinks! Most people are too polite to tell you that your promotional merchandise was no good; the damage is done out of sight. Give yourself enough time to view samples before you make a final decision.
3. Promotional merchandise – price isn’t everything
Google allows you to quickly compare prices. We all naturally think ‘why should I pay more for the same product?’. Well, the unit price is only part of the story. Choosing a supplier simply because they are the cheapest will often prove to be a false economy.
If you don’t have an existing supplier, get a full quotation from 3 reputable sources, then make sure you compare those quotes fairly. Go with the people you feel most comfortable with. In the long run, you and the business you work for will benefit from having a good relationship with a reliable firm who is making a profit from the orders you place with them. Companies who don’t make money aren’t much use to anyone.
So with a little forethought, it is possible to create some innovative, desirable merchandise which really helps you achieve your marketing goal.