Business merchandise is no longer about cheap pens and low memory USB sticks. The world of business merchandising is a big business and can be a very valuable means of connecting with existing and potential new clients. So if you are looking for creative ways to boost sales, pull in more clients and increase your market share than you definitely should not ignore the importance of merchandising when it comes to promoting your business and your brand.
Have Clear Objectives
As with any marketing campaign the most important thing to establish from the outset are the objectives surrounding that campaign. This is no different to when you are planning out your business merchandise. Therefore start by setting clear objectives and then start thinking about the type of merchandise that would best meet those objectives. If you are looking for striking business card or business handouts for an approaching trade show, then look to a company like Alpha Card who specialize in creative business cards, coasters, bottle hangers, post cards and other options which are really cheap and easy giveaways at things like exhibitions, that can provide information about your business. If you have been in your industry for a long time and have really strong brand awareness maybe the objective for your merchandise is more about staying ‘front of mind’ with your customers, rather than using them as a sales tool. Therefore think about the sort of little items that you think your clients really enjoy or need and see what merchandise you can create to tie in with those needs and desires.
Cost & Production
Once you know what you want to create you will then need to figure out what you can afford. The two are often very different things. There are some fantastic companies that specialize in the creation and production of merchandise so you will want to be putting in the research and making sure you are negotiating for the best possible prices. Initial prices for a merchandise campaign can seem high at first so it is worth bearing in mind that your return on investment could be as large as on a online advertising campaign or a direct mailing campaign, both of which can also cost a substantial amount of money. As customers can feel very valued with a personal gift, the ROI on clever merchandise can be very high, when done right.
The higher the cost of your merchandise the more targeted your campaign should be. You should be really thinking about the core group of people that you want to target for your merchandise. You can also use your merchandise to hand out at face to face meetings, conferences, networking events and of course exhibitions. Using your merchandise in a social capacity will enable you to explore which contacts are worth the time to pursue as a genuine business prospect.