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Trivial Trinkets or Powerful Branding: How Silly Promotions Can Bring In Business


They seem like trivial stunts to some but “silly” promotions attract business partners and customers.

There’s nothing silly about making more money. Of course, any marketing implementation demands strategy; it makes the difference between a trivial trinket and a powerful branding tool.

Pick the Right Time

One’s marketing and ad budget is spent continuously but has a limit. It’s okay to pay for an expensive billboard or a ton of cheap flyers depending on the timing.

Promotional items work well to impact masses of people in a personal way. Sure, billions of people may pass by a billboard but a promotional item is a personal possession. When’s the right time to put a personal possession in the hands of the larger public?

Get More Bang for the Buck

Promotional gifts can cost a lot less than other forms of marketing. If reaching as many people as possible is your goal, the more items you buy, the less each one cost.

Two people taking interest in a thousand gifts may seem like a failure, yet if all the gifts cost a fraction of one customer purchase, you profit!

Enjoy a Longer Shelf Life

Promotional items have a longer ‘shelf life’ compared to other forms of marketing. For example, you may pay for a 30-second commercial to run throughout the month. After that, potential customers need more exposure to your brand.

A promotional item, such as a coffee mug, gets years of use. Theoretically, each time a mug is used, the drinker and all observers get exposed to your brand.

Make an Impression

When was the last time someone gave you something for free for no reason? Such a gesture makes an impression and can be the difference between a ‘one-time’ or a ‘repeat’ customer. There’s no accounting for the ‘why’ of customers.

Why does one customer choose one brand over another?

The reasons vary, so it’s important to provide people with more reasons to choose you.

Get Clever

A business card is a good way to make a first impression yet some promotional items are more functional and work better, and are not just calls to action.

The repeated exposure of a functional pen, a pad of paper, a pizza cutter, or glass ensures the brand stays on a customer’s mind.

Stay Versatile

A major supplier could have different target segments within a market. For example, Nike has built advocacy with teen boys and middle-aged mothers alike. They may advertise to those populations differently, however, and the versatility of promotional items makes it easier to do.

Keep customers guessing about your marketing approach as you continue to provide quality service and products.

Make Them More Personal

There is no limitation to personalization. For example, a human resources firm could send out items to all clients for Christmas.

Alternatively, they could send personalized mugs to each client throughout the year. Ultra personalization may boost expenses but can be more effective in making an impression.

Be Different from Competitors

Sometimes it’s better to do things differently from competitors. For example, a competitor who is successful on social media may be difficult to outshine on Facebook or Twitter.

It doesn’t mean your brand can’t own another form of marketing, such as being known as the one that provides awesome promotional gifts.

They Serve a Purpose

Some points are better made if you can show versus tell. Promotional items serve some sort of function.

Even if a customer is not interested in what you’re selling, they benefit from having contact with your brand is having a mug to drink from, a pad to write on, a pen to write with, etc.

An unsuccessful commercial, for example, does not sell products or services and takes up seconds of radio or television time, serving no one any good.

Silly is Refreshing

How many business meetings have you gone to that sounded scripted?

Those who are silly don’t have to sacrifice business acumen or insinuate the poor efficiency of products and services. Inserting some personality and being silly can be refreshing to customers and business partners who are used to marketing endeavors that seem too stuffy.

They’re Proven

Fads come and go but proven methods of advertising survive the years. Promotional items have been impressing customers for years and garnering sales for savvy brands.

Why tinker with unproven methods of marketing when you can invest in a proven promotional tool?

Don’t question the effectiveness of using promotional items. Consider how you will implement them in order to be successful.