Branded Merchandise: we all look for that 'holy grail' in business. A means of marketing our businesses cleverer, quicker and cheaper than our nearest rivals. No doubt most of you have tried advertising on the likes of major internet Search Engines, or advertising in magazines and newspapers and old school business and phone directories, but Branded Merchandise and Branded Gifts are a means to target 'would be' clients in a way which is actually favoured by the recipient (basically because they're being given a free gift!)
Once a branded gift has left your hands, it's started a journey to promote your business for days, weeks or possibly even years to come. I still have the same chewed up pen on my desk that I had last summer. The same mug I was given from a certain High Street supplier of TV's and stereo equipment still sits on the same promotional coaster that I was given as a freebie at a trade show goodness knows when.
And that's why branded merchandise offers such great value for money. Long after you've possibly even forgotten about the marketing campaign, the items are still working for you. And not necessarily just for/to the intended recipient either. A mug isn't just seen by me when I drink from it, and the promotional tee shirt I wear in the pub watching the football on a Saturday afternoon is seen by dozens of other like-minded people. In other words, your clients also become your sales force without even realising it.
So next time you consider whether to invest in more glossy magazine advertising, think about using branded gifts and branded merchandise instead. It'll last a lot longer than a turn of the page, and will instantly impress the recipient at the point of sale/receipt as well. And maybe, at last, I can replace that tatty old promotional mug!