Managing the reputation of any business is a full-time job. Whether it’s through paid advertisements, web or social media presence, unpaid media, or other avenues, it’s important that any business is perceived well by the public. That people think well of a business and its principals is critical to the success of both. Two avenues that many businesses use, but not always for maximum effect, are the use of promotional products and branding in business.
Both of these efforts, if properly implemented, can greatly boost the reputation of a business and go a long way to engender a positive public perception of the company. These are the first steps toward boosted sales, higher profits, and greater long-term viability of the business. Below are a few ways to use these efforts to help your reputation:
Tie your brand to a cause using well-placed promotional products
Let’s start first with one of the highest-impact efforts that you can undertake, if you do it correctly. This is to use promotional products strategically as handouts or prizes at charity or civic events. By providing attendees at a memorable, well-meaning event with a keepsake or item practical to their daily lives, you can tie your company indelibly in their minds to a cause they thought worthy of support. Every time they remember the event or pick up your item, they should recall together your company, the event and the cause. What a great way to boost your business’s reputation – to borrow on positive feelings toward a worthy cause!
Connect your business to other great brands
Just as people can remember your business in connection with a philanthropy, they can also subconsciously link your company to other well-liked or well-established companies. For example, by co-sponsoring an event with larger, more-established firms, you might supply promotional products as giveaways that are co-branded with your business and the larger firm as co-sponsors of the event. In this way, you’re able to use the public’s positive feelings for the other firm to boost your own reputation and credibility. Obviously, there is some risk in this approach, as no one knows what missteps might be made by other companies in the future – after you’ve tied your brand to theirs – so use this avenue with caution.
Give people something they’ll find useful in daily life
When thinking about putting your brand on promotional products, it’s important to be strategic. It’s not as simple as putting your logo on a flag. Think about who will be getting products, and in what context. Try to come up with something that will mean something to recipients. Whether it’s a coffee mug, an etched wine glass, a branded USB thumb-drive, or a multi-tool with your logo on it, make sure it’s something that they’ll use and remember you by. Try to avoid giving someone something they’re just going to throw away on their way out the door. It’s a waste of your money and will create more negative feelings than positive.
Generate and implement coordinated branding that’s consistent
Every company should avoid having different logos, taglines or color schemes floating around. This level of consistency should flow all the way down to font sizes and text orientation. Building a strong, positive brand requires consistency. People need to see the same company name and logo many times and in the right places to begin developing positive feelings about a business. To make the most of your efforts, make sure that your company’s branding is professionally done and used consistently throughout all efforts related to marketing – and that includes using promotional products. Everything needs to fit together. Inconsistency will make your business look unprofessional or unestablished.
Appropriate, effective branding is critical to the marketing efforts of any business. At the same time, promotional products are under-utilized tools that can go a long way toward boosting recognition of your company and its offerings, when used properly. If you can deploy both of these tools in concert, and be strategic in your execution, they can work wonders to advance the reputation and credibility of your company, fostering a positive perception of you and your business in your community, building market share and boosting profits for your business.
Stan is a marketing manager at Selby’s, an Australian flag and banner printing company.
Their clients include McDonald, Lexus, City of Sydney and more. His passion is to help businesses and organizations understand how offline marketing displays can boost their brand awareness and sales.