Buying promotional merchandise should be fun. It is a bit like retail therapy and to the newly initiated the world of promotional and corporate gifts can open a Pandora’s box. So you have to be careful and treat buying corporate gifts the way you would any other business investment. You see corporate gifts are a marketing investment, generally made to increase sales and ultimately the bottom line.
Let’s take exhibitions and trade shows as a common event that clients purchase corporate gifts for. What are the most important points to remember:
1. Promotional Budget: most organisations will set a marketing or promotional budget. Any spend will generally be part of a wider marketing communications program. What you need to do is optimise and maximise your promotional spend. There are many promotional gifts suppliers operating within the UK market place. Some are distributors and other suppliers. Take the time to find one with a reputation for customer service (like Redbows), check out their client charters, customer comments and accreditations. Above all make sure they have been operating for several years and have the scope and experience you need from a promotional gifts supplier.
Once you have selected a promotional gifts supplier, talk to them. Emails and enquiry forms are great but at Redbows we like to talk to clients as this often opens up areas for serendipity to take place. Use the knowledge of our promotional gifts consultants to help you maximise your marketing budget, generate maximum impact and get the most appropriate and best possible corporate gifts for your money. Look at their offers, price match and price busting policies – there are always promotional offers to be had – after all this is the promotions industry.
2. Promotional Merchandise Matching: choose a corporate gift that is appropriate for your campaign and organisation. A rule of marketing is to never laugh at yourself. Never choose a corporate gift based on just on your own opinion. Test market your ideas, get samples and evaluate them with clients and colleagues. Test your ideas for the marketing slogan – will it fit the imprint area, what colour and material combinations are needed to maximise its impact. Do you want a ‘classy’ look or one that smacks clients visually?
3. Market Segmentation: whilst most clients purchase corporate gifts in bulk, there are plenty of promotional gifts with low-entry minimum order quantities. Take advantage of these to select a range of corporate gifts that will appeal to the distinct segments within your client base. Would you send the same gift to a golf-mad Managing Director as you would to a young fashion conscious office secretary? Profile your clients, step back and get the best possible match between your target audience and chosen corporate gifts.
There are now too many corporate gifts to compile into a single catalogue. For this reason many corporate gifts companies provide a general selection within a printed catalogue and then offer a wider range on their website. Even this may not show an exhaustive list of corporate gifts and as the market continues to evolve, new corporate gifts are launched every day. For this reason alone remember to feel free to contact your Promotional Gifts Consultant. They are consultants, focused on customer service and with a wide knowledge on how to maximise your budget for corporate gifts.
Written by Dawn Koffler.