There’s no denying that promotional products are effective marketing and branding tools, but it’s essential to choose the right products for your target market. What else is essential? Making the right decision regarding selling versus giving away those promotional products.
When I was finally able to choose my electricity supplier instead of being forced to buy from ComEd, I immediately switched to a company that saves me a few bucks every month. Now the company sends me e-mail every once in a while, usually to inform me exactly how much money I have saved by using their company rather than ComEd. Cool. Anybody who knows me knows I love saving money. I’m a coupon clipper. I won’t pay finance charges. I shop electricity supplier rates.
Yesterday I got an e-mail from this electricity supplier inviting me to peruse their online store where they are selling promotional t-shirts. Naturally I had to click on over. I never pass up the opportunity to see what other companies are doing with promotional products.
Was I surprised to see an electricity supply company selling their own promotional t-shirts for $20 a pop? Uh…yes.
Maybe they’re paying too much for their custom t-shirts? Maybe I’m saving so much on my electric supply bill that they have to turn to overpriced t-shirts to turn a profit? I’m not sure. All I can tell you is that there is no way, no how I’d pay $20 for a promotional t-shirt advertising an electricity supply company. Am I wrong? Is anyone out there clamoring to pay $20 for one of their t-shirts? Employees? Perhaps. Close relatives? Maybe. Customers? I’m guessing probably not.
Of course there are plenty of companies and organizations that can successfully sell their own promotional products. There are retailers who sell their own promotional t-shirts to teens who feel compelled to advertise the fact that they paid $45 for their $3 t-shirt. There are team t-shirts that devoted fans must wear to show their loyalty. There are certain organizations we all feel inspired to support via logo apparel. I have paid over $20 for for t-shirts supporting the Avon Foundation, for example.
I bought a promotional t-shirt at Sea World for my daughter. It was nearly $20. I remember because I always grumble about how much it actually costs to produce one of these shirts at Show Your Logo versus how much these places charge you.
I’ve made similar purchases for my kids at zoos, theme parks, and national parks. I suppose they enjoy advertising where they’ve been. Those kinds of places can successfully sell their own promotional products.
What I’m suggesting is that unless you own something like a theme park or a zoo…or unless your brand is awash in undeniable cool-ness, it may be advisable to give away your promotional products. That electricity supplier has the custom t-shirts in hand just waiting to become walking billboards with a personal endorsement by the person wearing the t-shirt. That’s some pretty amazing advertising. Promotional products have a proven record of making the most impressions on people for the money. Fact!
What the electricity supplier should do is a t-shirt giveaway. Think of it. I’m out mowing the lawn wearing my free t-shirt showing off their company name and logo. (Fact: Give me a free, promotional t-shirt and I will wear it. Even if I hate it. I’ll wear it to mow the lawn. Or paint the house.) My neighbor stops by, sees my t-shirt, and asks about it. She may just be inspired to go save a few bucks by switching over, too. That’s not a bad deal for a t-shirt that can easily cost that electricity supplier less than $5. Imagine the implications of my decision to wear that promotional t-shirt to the grocery store or the pool this summer.
But I will not pay $20 for a t-shirt advertising an electricity supply company. I’m a customer who loves the savings provided by the company. Their t-shirts are even kind of funny…you know…for a company advertising cheaper electricity. But this money-saving mom is not going to pay $20 or even $5 to market their business. Fact: Their target market shops for cheap electricity. Did they miss the mark trying to market their overpriced t-shirts to someone like me?
Need a better deal on your next order of custom t-shirts? Need some expert advice on delivering the best promotional products out there for your target market? Contact the Show Your Logo sales team. They’ll help you out.