Many things will go through your head as you decide to start a new business. One of those things, should be promotional products. Consider those businesses which have promotional events. The one which should come up to your mind as the first (or maybe second) should be sports. Sports teams and seasons have made a fantastic relationship to promotional items.
Every season there is a new line of collectable, rather rare items for everyone to collect. From glasses to clothing, toys to bumper stickers, their promotional prospects are through the roof every single season. Make no mistake, it is a marketing ploy for their associations—and what’s worse? It works. Why buy a $5 beer in a plastic cup when you can buy an $8 beer in a promotional, reusable, pint? If you are looking at ways to get a jump start on your business start-up, take a page from the masters of the craft—go with promotions.
But I’m Not a Sports Team
(Most likely) you’re right, you aren’t a sports team with a dedicated team of designers, bent on the creation of the next seasons items. If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely just you and a spouse, or a few friends. So, you’ll need to think outside of the box to get your business seen, known, and promoted. Even if you are a medium-sized business, you’ll want to consider promotional items, since they give a dramatic lift in traffic to those who participate in them.
What Exactly is a Promotional Item?
Promotional items are those unique and special items which can be created for your business for a variety of reasons. For sports, they use them as signifiers for the new season—but small businesses are obviously better served by using them as marketing tools. Product placement says a lot in commercials and movies, but it says even more when you have real people walking around with your brand out on display. Some of the best choices for small businesses are clothing options or smaller items which can be handed out to clients and passersby. Personalized pens and pencils are always sought after by collectors and the general public because we all are in constant need of writing utensils when we’re out in the world. And really, it’s about time we stop stealing pens from service persons.
How Do I Get My Promotional Items Out There?
These days there are some pretty great resources that anyone can use, there are even business-only resources. Small Business Saturday is an example of an event meant to help small business owners get great resources at great deals. These types of events are meant to help your small business specifically. Here are some good ways to handle your promotion and its exposure.
Have an Event
If you have a reasonable amount of people interested in your product, consider having a small event to showcase your future plans (and hand out those promotional items during it). You may even get a sponsor or two. You can also take this idea to a local news station and see what would need to be done in order for you to have a press conference. It may seem silly at first, asking for a press conference for your business—especially as a start-up. But really, if you are able to get press curious in your product, that is one of the best things that you can do for growth. (Just remember to give the interviewer and camera-person some promotional stuff and food.)
Utilize Universities and Community Colleges
College kids love branded stuff. They love that stuff even more when they are promotional (and free!). Many institutions hold business events with this in mind. Businesses are often given a space and a time in which they can set up and promote products to the students.
Do Not Hand Them Out In The Street
Have you ever walked past someone and had a pamphlet shoved into your hand? What did you do with it? Did you throw it on the ground, or did you throw it away in a trash can? No matter your answer, you didn’t keep it. That is the exact response you don’t want when giving your promotional stuff to people.
Adults do not like to be pressured into things, they like it even less when they are uninterested and still being forced to walk away holding something they don’t want. It sends the wrong message to them, but it also looks bad to others walking through. Pretty soon a bubble will form, people going out of their way to avoid the immediate area.