Do you have a coffee mug on your desk or in the waiting room of your office, bristling with ballpoint pens? Do both the pens and the mug have your bus
Do you have a coffee mug on your desk or in the waiting room of your office, bristling with ballpoint pens? Do both the pens and the mug have your business’ logo on it? It’s a familiar image. Low-key merchandise, especially free merchandise, is a great way to feel like you’re getting your brand out there. It’s a small, “set it and forget it” effort to claim some real estate in the minds of potential customers.
But if you’re going through all the trouble and expense of creating merchandise, shouldn’t you do a little bit more to play to the psychologies of your consumers through it?
There are a few little things you can do to put your merchandise to work for you. For one thing, you can add suggestions when you distribute it. If you’re offering pens, consider suggesting to your customers that they clip their pens to the visors of their cars for quick access if they need it when they’re out and about. If they take the advice, it means your brand is always in their line of sight.
Capitalizing on salience
You should also put thought into what kind of merchandise you invest in. It shouldn’t necessarily be the simplest, cheapest, or first-to-mind thing; take some time to think about what might actually be useful to your customers. There are certain limitations, of course; it’s probably not feasible for you to give out toaster ovens with your logo on it.
But there are certain things that work better than others. Pens are a standard because everyone uses them. Even if yours isn’t a consumer’s go-to utensil, it’ll probably always be floating around in their purse somewhere, and they’ll come across it periodically. But giving out more obscure items, like bobbleheads or stress balls, may seem unique at first, but will probably just end up in a Goodwill bin or cluttering up someone’s bottom desk drawer.
The best thing you can do is to offer people something that they can legitimately use across a wide variety of situations. Bonus points if some of those situations suggest or involve real estate contexts.
For example, you could give out branded mini calculators, something that many people keep on their desk and which is involved in budgeting and, therefore, investment. Or, since many people, especially in the younger generation, are more likely to use the calculators on their phones, you could give out branded phone accessories from headphones to credit card carrying cases, depending on your budget.
Giving thought to your brand
Merchandise can also prompt you to give a little more thought to what you’re putting out there when people see the name of your business or simply your logo. It’s likely that, locally, you’re a recognizable entity, even if most people have only seen your signs in yards or your office from the road as they drive by.
You should have a logo in this day and age. This is something that can be featured in all media – on your storefront, your business cards, your website or social media pages, and the signs you are hopefully posting in people’s yards.
Think of your logo, brand, and merchandise as an army of minions disseminating awareness of your business throughout your community. Let them go to work for you!