new customersEveryone loves a gift. Your customers are no exception. Giving away promotional products is an excellent way to build your brand’s identity and to keep your products top-of-mind with your customers.

Promotional products are especially effective with new customers. Every business strives to turn new customers into repeat customers and raving fans who generate word-of-mouth buzz. That kind of transformation doesn’t usually happen after the first purchase. Customers generally require several positive interactions before they become attached to a brand or feel good enough about a business to refer friends.

Branded promotional products won’t automatically turn new customers into repeat customers. However, they will expedite the process. A quality promotional product makes a customer feel better about their purchase and reminds them of their positive experience.

Not just any promotional product will do. Branded items like pens, hats, and notepads have become a standard part of nearly every business. The key is to give away items that the customer will remember.

These three tips will help you get the most out of your promotional product program:

1) Give away products the customer will actually use. This should go without saying, but all too often companies give away promotional products that end up in the bottom of a purse or lost under the car seat. Pens and stress balls are inexpensive and certainly meet a need, but they may not make a big impact in terms of brand awareness.

To really make a mark, give away items that the customer will find useful. Thinking seasonally helps. In the summer, things like beach towels, visors, and even branded containers of sunblock can be effective. In the winter, customers may find knit hats, ice scrapers, or tubes of chapstick to be useful.

You may also want to consider the interests of your customers or their geographic area. If they’re in a big football town, try giving away tailgating items like folding chairs or grill utensils. If they enjoy the outdoors, you could give away branded flashlights or camouflage apparel.

2) Don’t skimp on quality. It is possible to purchase promotional products at rock-bottom prices. However, giving away low-quality products may do more harm than good. This is especially true if your products are perceived to be top-dollar or high-quality.

If your new promotional t-shirts fade, shrink or rip after only one wear, your customer won’t remember that you gave them t-shirts. Rather, they’ll remember that you gave them low-quality t-shirts. You want them to feel that you gave them something of value.

3) Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. A gift is most valued when the recipient feels that the motivation for the gift is sincere and authentic. A promotional product does no good if it’s accompanied by indifferent or rude behavior from your customer service employees. The gift should be given with sincere gratitude for their business. If the product isn’t given in person, ask your employees to include a handwritten note with the product.

Promotional products can be a highly effective tool for winning customer business and building brand awareness. However, you need a plan to use them effectively. As is the case with most things in business, knowing your customers and putting their interests first will boost your chances for success.

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