Emerging Branded Merchandise Best Practices

by Woody Kaye on December 18, 2017

Having a concerted strategy and well-honed process for selecting branded merchandise is important for any Best Practices 150x150 Emerging Branded Merchandise Best Practices organization that wants to maximize results from their promotional efforts. Rather than guessing what logo products and related marketing mechanisms might prove effective, discern in advance what has been successful for other companies in the same, or comparable, industries.  With this effort you’re sure to uncover some best practices worth emulating…and be sure to document and continue improving upon best practices of your own. 

Using QR Codes to Connect with Customers

In the age of smartphones and mobile apps, a unique way to connect with customers and empower them with information is through the use of QR Codes. By putting these on your branded merchandise, your customers can easily scan the codes and be quickly transported to web sites, blogs, or social networking pages linked to each code. This offers a way to:

  • Reinforce branding messages;
  • Provide value added online resources;
  • Offer special savings and incentives; and
  • Invite recipients to interact and tell the company what is on their minds – invaluable field research

Better yet, QR codes can be used as a tracking device to measure the performance of related marketing efforts. In partnership with Google analytics, it is easy to follow how and when customers use the QR codes. This helps to determine the best branded merchandise to utilize QR codes on and even illustrate what products are not of interest to consumers.

 

Branded Merchandise Paradigm Shift

The technology age and social media has also enabled more targeted approaches that offer suitable promotional products individually rather than a carte blanche, one-size-fits-all approach often requiring large quantity purchases. Indeed, tech-driven services have leveled the playing field for smaller organizations that tend to order less frequently and less volume but recognize the advantages of using unique logo merchandise. For example, the Boundless Network underscores that “zero inventory” online ordering solutions blend service with technology, allowing products to be decorated on demand and shipped direct from manufacturer to buyer in 72 hours.  Having a zero inventory approach also helps business operate in a more environmentally sensitive and socially responsible manner with respect to their marketing initiatives.

New technologies are making it possible to control spending and improve targeting:

  • On-demand production: This offers a way to get promotional products on an as-needed basis, better assuring item effectiveness and eliminating inventory-related expenses.
  • Mini ship: Even specialized promotional goods and apparel with logos or other unique messages and art can be created in quantities as small as one item and shipped within 3-10 business days.
  • Group buy: The Groupon concept is catching on with more applications, including the ability to participate in cluster purchases of promotional merchandise. This allows small businesses to order as little as one box of goods while enjoying the bulk price.

In Summary

In summarizing some of the exciting best practices available for today’s promotional products, key considerations include:

  • Technology is providing new ways for small and big businesses alike to create more targeted promotional programs that also more effectively manage costs and enhance social responsibility objectives.
  • Promotional product methodologies that integrate social media and social networking can be leveraged to help strengthen the connection between companies and their customers.
  • Volume purchases are no longer necessary thanks to on-demand technological solutions that lead to zero inventory requirements.

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