I thought I would write my Andy Rooney observation of promotional products that are often used by small business owners to help others remember their products and services. I personally believe promo items are a great way to stand out from the rest of the crowd if carefully chosen. I have attended tons of networking events where these items are often on display. Since small business owners are cutting back on advertising costs and promo items can be costly, it pays to choose the right ones.
I am thinking back to the items I’ve used and those I have tossed. Obviously a tossed item will not bring much business.
Items I Like to Keep:
I have this big honking envelope opener that I cannot live without. Every time the mail comes I whip it out. I have received many envelope openers, but this one is big. It can even open a box. The name of the business I got it from is prominently displayed on the opener.
Even though I am cutting back on eating wheat, there are times when all I have time to fix is a frozen pizza. Hence, out comes the pizza cutter promo item. It’s great and cuts through any pizza, even a big thick one that is clearly not good for me.
In my opinion, if you want to sell a product, a product sample is one of the best ways. At one time I was actively selling skin care and cosmetics. It was always easy to hand out a lipstick or eye shadow sample. However, you can hand out tons of samples and never get anything back in return if you do not:
- Include your contact info on each sample
- Follow up with whomever you gave a sample too.
I once generously filled up 200 gift bags with hand creams to be given out to a ladies networking function that I didn’t attend. The result from spending all that time and money in the effort? ZERO.
A small pocket book with helpful information is an awesome promo item, if the content is truly useful. If it is merely filled with ads that say buy me, then it isn’t going to pay off. I have received recipes, first aid information, marketing tips, and more that were keepers in my opinion.
Personalized Greeting Cards: Always follow up with people you have met with both an email or a personal greeting card if possible. (if you click on the link you will help support this blogger)
Items That Don’t Necessarily Pay Off
Whenever you go to a networking event you see pens everywhere that are being given away with a business name etched on them. Everyone can use a pen, right? The problem is, in my case, they end up in a big bucket mixed with tons of other pens. Unless the pen is a killer item, (meaning it looks incredible or is one of those black gel deals) it gets lost in the shuffle.
If you are into collecting crazy mugs that’s okay, but personally, I like to have a matching set of tastefully decorative mugs without a business name or goofy logo on it. Promo mugs usually go to the back of my cabinet, never to be seen until the next garage sale.
Brochures are sort of a pain. I know people spend lots of time and money on them, but when I bring them home they end up in the trash. They always pile up and create clutter. I’m not big into clutter. My boyfriend, on the other hand has stacks of papers piled to the ceiling in his office. However, who wants their brochure on the bottom of one of those piles. Save some trees and give out something more practical.
Hand sanitizer. – Now that’s a winner! At networking meetings you are constantly shaking people’s hands. What could be better than that? A guy I know who works on computers hands it out to get rid of virus’s. Now that’s original!
What type of promo item is your favorite and who is your favorite vendor? Feel free to comment and tweet and share this post. Want to really put those promo items to use? Check out CEO Space 5 times per year business forums and trade show