Choosing the Right Branded Merchandise for Your Small Business

Branded merchandise is used by businesses to get their company’s name in front of potential and previous customers. Items such as pens, USBs, mugs and mouse mats, which are relevant to your brand, useful to your customer base and branded with your message, can boost a company’s profile and increase customer loyalty. However, choosing the right branded merchandise for your business is extremely important and it is always advisable to choose items that will have ongoing use for customers. But remember: don’t think cheap, think relevant.

What kind of merchandise is available?

There is a range of promotional merchandise available for small business owners to use in the promotion of their company at trade shows, on the street or at other events. However, relevancy is a critical element in how fruitful a giveaway will prove to be, as is finding a way of analysing return on investment. Personalised items available include:

  • USBs, mugs and pens: These keep costs low and provide a tried and tested method of promoting your business.
  • Bags: From laptop sleeves and carrier bags, to promotional gym bags and rucksacks, the bags must be relevant to your brand.
  • Clothing and apparel: Personalised clothing and apparel can work well for advertising a business, with items available including printed t-shirts, branded hats and embroidered fleeces.
  • Eco friendly merchandise: This can be a great way of showing your small business in a positive light, including bags, pencils and key rings made from recycled or natural materials.

Benefits of promotional merchandise

  • Visibility: Giveaways at the right location and of the right merchandise can get customers interested and talking about your brand.
  • Reinforce advertising: Getting the right gift to a carefully selected group of potential customers can get an advertising campaign noticed.
  • Beat the competition: This is a way of distinguishing your business from the competition and creating a link between you and your customers.
  • Customer retention: Not only can branded merchandise help a business to gain new customers, it can also make sure your brand stays in front of previous customers and builds a trusting relationship.
  • Boost sales: When relevant and useful the giving away of promotional merchandise can result in increased sales and customer engagement.

The importance of relevancy

The success of branded merchandise will be based on the relevancy of the items you give away. If you don’t want your business’ merchandise to be thrown in the bin, it must speak to your audience and be a valuable asset. For example, USB sticks would be a good item to choose for an IT company and mugs can be an ongoing method of publicity for workers in an office, while seasonable promotional merchandise such as hats and umbrellas in winter or beach towels and swimwear in the summer are often big hits. Prioritising relevancy in your choice of branded merchandise is the most important aspect of a marketing strategy.

Food for thought

In the end you need to make sure that the merchandise you choose will complement the goods or services you provide, and not hinder the need for customers to actually buy your goods or service. Remember to be relevant, not to base your choices on cheapness, to find a way of quantifying return on investment, to use the option of branded merchandise only where it is appropriate, and to be practical about your business’ needs.

Merchandise Mania is a UK based manufacturer of personalised business products, including USB sticks, pens, mugs and much more.

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