This is a guest post by John Brook from OfficeKitten.co.uk
If you’re a business there’re many ways you can market your products or services to create a highly effective and original brand. You can use such freebie promotables as mouse pads, key chains, pens, mugs, calendars, bumper stickers and even refrigerator magnets. Some work better than others, but the most important issue to be concerned about is the exact printed material that’s written on your freebies. It’s the information that your customers will see every day when they eventually grow tired of the actual item.
So here are 6 useful tips for most effectively branding your business freebies.
1. Contact Information
The most important bit of information you want on each and every freebie is your contact information. If a prospective customer cannot ever contact you, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll ever visit your shop or store again. First imprint your business’ name in a very legible font. Next include your phone number. Then your street address, and if you have one, your website. Every business should develop a website so that it can be used on every promotional product you give away to customers.
2. Include a Mascot and/or Company Branding
In addition to contact information, a good touch to make your business memorable is to have an icon or picture that somehow relates and identifies your business. If you’re a shoemaker, you should have a picture of a shoe. If you own a garden shop, you can have a logo of either a flower or a spade. If you’re a service oriented business such as a dog trainer, you should imprint a picture of ol’ Fido right on your mug, pen, mousepad or on every one of your calendar pages. The logo doesn’t have to be very large but do make it big enough so it’s easily visible and doesn’t cause unnecessary eyestrain. Imprinting such a logo in colour is even better. You can make it apple-red, egg yolk-yellow, or fire-orange.
3. Use a Memorable Tagline
To promote your business even one step better, don’t forget to add a catchy phrase or saying. If you’re a dentist, write on the freebie: “Brush Every Day.” If you own a bookstore, you could ask the question, “Read A Good Book Lately?” Get the idea? You want it to definitely match up to your business model and overall concept. Don’t ever brag, but if you’re good and competent at your business, don’t hesitate to inform your customer base of this. If you have a new appliance store you can probably confidently state, “The Best Warranties In The Industry.” If it’s true, you’re not bragging, so it’s okay to mention it. It will be remembered by all who see it every time they see it, and it will enhance your overall business image and make a fabulous impression. But be cautioned that you shouldn’t try to be too cute or over the top because that can backfire. Stay within healthy bounds here and be as discreet as possible.
4. Consider a Special Offer on your Promotional Freebies
Make sure it’s one that’s timeless, that is, an offer or a special that occurs during every business day. McDonald’s, for example, has their $1.00 menu. Everyday. You can go into any McDonald’s practically anywhere in the world and on any given day you can glance up at the menu board and go through a wide selection of multiple items you can buy for only $1.00. Customers adore these low price values. But you have to remind them of it constantly. And a simple, most effective way to do so is by penning it down on every single freebie: “$1.00 Menu Everyday!” It will draw customers into your place of business over and over again like a revolving door.
5. Offer a Special Incentive for Repeat Business
If you’re a coffee shop, you can hand out small cards with circular dots on them and advertise that with every seventh cup of coffee purchased, simply bring the card in to be punched by the manager and receive one cup of coffee free. You can do the same if you’re a cookie shop too. Make sure you imprint this incentive or something similar, “Every 7th Cup Free!” on your pens, mugs, and mouse pads.
6. Advertise that your Place of Business is Special
You can do this by doing something not many competitors do. If most businesses in your industry open only five days a week, you can market your business much more effectively simply by extending business hours. Promote yourself on your freebies by saying: “Open Weekdays,” or, “Open Sundays For Your Convenience.” You can even make sure people know you’re open around the clock by saying: “Open 24 Hours,” or a simple, “24/7″ notation will do the trick just as effectively. Doing this is easy and inexpensive and makes your business unique and most appealing. You’ll be able to target the widest swath of prospective customers this way.
About the author
This post was contributed by John Brook, a blogger and product analyst who writes reviews stationery online for Office Kitten.