Excessive Promotional Items - How You May Be Giving Away Your Customers
With the holidays approaching, the time has come for every business to put together their holiday promotions. While marketing to another business, especially during the busy holiday seasons, it’s easy for your promotional efforts to get lost in the crowd. To stand out, some companies choose to send higher value items such as iPods, retail gift cards, and even vacations to their top clients which can get them noticed, but not in the way they may have hoped for. Gifter beware, these types of high value promotions can quickly backfire.
TOO MUCH FREE STUFF? Imagine your employer asking you to research and purchase new equipment which could help you and your coworkers be more efficient. During your research, one vendor stood out from the others by offering a free iPod with purchase. Nifty incentive gift, right? Wrong.
GIFT OR BRIBE? If you purchase your equipment from the vendor that sends you the free iPod, you risk losing credibility with your employer. Whether or not you purchased the items based on the merits of the product, your employer will likely put your motives into question once they discover your free iPod. Also, who’s iPod is it? You shopped the items, but your employer paid the bill and likely paid you to do the shopping. Isn’t it your employer’s iPod? Once motives are brought into question, the vendor, the product, and you have all lost credibility. Your employer will inevitably wonder; did the company really get the best product from the right vendor? When does incentive become bribery?
GIVE A LITTLE, A LOT: The solution for the vendor is simple. To stand out from the crowd anytime of year, be unique and consistent with your gifts, incentives, and promotional products. Don’t spend a lot on one promotion per year. Spread your promotions over time to remain in front of your customers year-round. You want to be in front of them when they’re looking for your services, not just during the holidays. Let your customers know that you’re thinking of them year-round and they should think of you year-round, too.
SPREAD THE FUN: If your customers know your business as fun-loving, give out fun promotional products like snacks, toys, and other fun products with your logo on them. Consistently distribute promotional products which fit your brand. Send enough little items that they can be spread around to many employees within the company and those items will keep turning up on desks for years. Eventually, your customer will be in a buying mood and having your logo pen or sticky notes in front of them will be all it takes to be in the right place at the right time. Giving away an iPod and expecting a lifetime of customer loyalty isn’t going to create or maintain your brand over time, even if your company is Apple Computer.
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