Promotional items are a powerful tool to deliver your brand message for one simple reason – they are tactile.
Research has shown that our comprehension, retention and recall improves when we are able to touch an item. That’s the reason the retail packaging industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.
But if you want your conference attendees to build a strong business connection with your brand, you need to make sure your promotional items resonate with your brand message.
To help you achieve this, here are some great examples …
Put Utility First
Remember, a conference attendee gets dozens of items from various promoters during the course of the event. And depending on the size of his backpack, he has limited space to store all these items. This means his first priority of culling through these items will be based on how useful they are and depending on the utility, are they worth carrying around all day.
With this in mind, have a long think about whether anything in your bag can be made to stand out due to its utilitarian value. For example, Mundo do Condominio, a Brazilian cleaning company, may possibly have one of the most useful business cards ever.
Demonstrate Your Product
The most limited resource we all have is time. And at a conference where every attendee’s attention is being pulled in multiple directions at once, you literally have just a few seconds to explain your product. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And as you can see in this example for Ford flat bed trucks, even an inconspicuous item like a matchbox can become a powerful demo for the vehicle.
Think Beyond The Product
Sometimes in the bid to try and incorporate your product into the promotional item, you may end up force-fitting the brand. Instead take the liberty to think laterally and derive a promo item, which draws on the strength of your product capability. For instance, this promo for IAMS dog food uses the outcome of good dog food – healthy and strong dogs as the driver to come up with a relevant promotional item (throwing discs shaped like barbells).
Don’t Be Afraid To Go Direct If Needed
Sometimes if you have a really strong product, don’t shy away from making it the central focus of your promotional item. For instance, bouquets of hemp were sent out to promote the premier of the TV show “Weeds” in Sweden. The copy on the card: “Weeds. Seriously Good Shit.”
Get People Thinking
Your promotional product can do a lot more than just remind people about your brand. It can also be a vehicle to drive people to take action. For example, to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, erasers were hollowed out and fitted with USB memory sticks. On the reverse side, the logo of Alzheimer’s NZ logo and the website was printed along with a simple message “Your memories. Save them.” The powerful visual and tactile metaphor of an eraser was strong enough to drive people to visit the website (which is a great action, even for your brand).
Take The Time To Reinvent
While certain promo items have been used to the point of obscurity, some of them can still be revived if you take the time to think about revitalising them for your brand specifically. If you can do this successfully, you can create a ‘reality distortion field’ around the promo item, where people no longer notice it just for what it is but for the newfound inventiveness of it. For example, here’s an idea from Jeep, which uses the much-overused carabineer to achieve stunning brand recall and relevance.
Product DNA = DNA Of Your Brand + Your Audience + Your Event
As we’ve seen in the above examples, there’s always scope to improve on a promotional giveaway. But it takes patience and thoughtfulness to ensure memorability and brand recall not just during but also after your event.
Have you come across any promotional items that felt in sync with the brand and told a compelling story? Let us know in the comments below!