Brand is everything and brand is everywhere but the word 'brand' doesn't necessarily just mean 'logo'. A logo, of course, is a major part of a brand, but branding goes much further still. Right down to how employees answer the phone for example. If you go into a national coffee chain, and order a latte, the way and manner in which you are served that coffee should be the same in that store, as it is in every other of that coffee chains stores across the country, if not the world. That, is branding.
However, for the layman, the entry point for branding ones coming is a lot simpler. Assuming, for the sake or argument that your company already has a 'visual identity' by way of logo, and probably colour palette, the next stage is where a company like Total Merchandise comes in...partly.
We would suggest that every blank space is an opportunity to brand, or to stamp your brand, for the world to see. Run a building company? Have your employees wear branded, embroided Polo shirts to work. Have their vans sign written with your company details, not forgetting social media icons (not everybody will access you digitally via a website any more).
A tip here though. If you have invested in a logo, signage, stationery etc, don't spoil it by using a 'free' email address in your contact details or a mobile phone number as a sole means of having clients call you. Even if you are only contactable via a mobile number, consider investing in a VOIP landline number than can be redirected to your mobile phone. It helps make the brand look...more professional, and serious.
Assuming you've met the basics of a professional logo, branded clothing and vehicles...the next stage is your Promotional Merchandise. A quick visit to our website will show you that you have a LOT of choice, but our suggestion is always to create a 'campaign' when distributing 'freebies'. Professional marketeers would look to measure what is known as a Return on Investment, or ROI on every campaign.
This means for every pound that is spent, a return should be expected that would ideally cover that cost. Obviously, and ideally, whilst buying Promotional Merchandise to hand out free of charge to your clients, and prospected clients, should generate a return greater than the initial outlay, one also has to consider what is termed as an intangible ROI...that is where you can't quite quantify the real value in terms of pounds, shillings and pence, but that there is a return of some form or other.
This could be 'brand awareness', whereby lots more eyeballs see your colourful logo, or it could be an action that is yet to happen as a result of your investment today. For example, if an estate agent were to undertake a brand awareness of promotional marketing exercise, clients would need to be ready to buy or sell today so show a instant ROI. Chances are, most recipients of a Promotional item won't be in that position. But people have long memories, and if you could leave them with something that they will keep, fridge magnets or a calendar are 2 obvious examples, they'll remember you, and possibly your generosity in months to come, when they may, by then, be in a different mindset.
Promotional Marketing. It can be a slow burn and we'll bring you part 2 of this series on Thursday this week.