How Top Companies Use Merchandise For Brand Acceptance

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

The use of branded merchandise is almost universal in customer-facing businesses. Every time you go to a hotel, you see branded pens and paper. Spas have branded towels. And restaurants serve their food in branded containers.

But why? Usually, when something is as universal as branded merchandise, there’s a reason for it. Although it might seem like an extra expense to the uninitiated, branded merchandise can make a big difference to brand acceptance, helping companies earn the trust of their patrons.

The crux of the desire to use this marketing method has to do with building trust through exposure. Although appearing professional is a part of the story, the real magic happens when customers get used to a brand. Exposure builds trust, and trust is what ultimately motivates customers to buy from you.

Here’s how top companies are using merchandise to drive their brand acceptance.

They Use It To Attract Marginal Customers

Merchandise outfits, like this company, are B2B enterprises in the market for selling customized trinkets that businesses then pass onto consumers. But why do they exist in the first place?

Simple branding is not a win-win transaction for customers. They’re exposed to a company’s marketing materials, but they don’t get anything in return. Merchandise solves this problem: the company gets to promote itself, as before, but the customer gets something in return that they can use, like a hat, keyring, pen, or USB stick.

Giving customers something that provides some kind of function allows companies to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily respond to their brand message. Thus, merchandising can be a way to get at those difficult-to-reach potential customers.

They Always Target Their Campaigns

A lot of merchandise is cheap to make and can be handed out to whomever your business comes into contact with. The cost-benefit situation warrants it. But in some cases, a scattergun approach isn’t useful.

Your marketing department, for instance, might come up with a strategy to attract a new class of customers using more expensive items than, say, ball-point pens. Because these items are costly, you want to be sure that they’re getting into the hands of people who are likely to buy from you. Top companies, therefore, target their use of merchandise at those whom they believe will part with their cash and provide a return on the initial investment.

They Look For Bargains

Merchandise isn’t always cheap. But it can be, especially if you get your timing right. Often, merchandising companies have unsold stock sitting in their warehouses that they need to shift. As such, they sometimes offer bargain prices for companies who can make use of their excess inventory. Ring up and ask if there are any deals to be had, especially if a big client has cancelled an order.

They Define Their Objectives

Being able to control your marketing spend is a critical skill in business. And, like many other forms of advertising, merchandise is costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to set your financial objectives ahead of time so that you know whether your campaign has succeeded or failed.

Big companies, like Red Bull, use these kinds of metrics to determine whether marketing with merchandise is worth the expense.

You also need to think carefully about your customers’ needs too. Not all merchandise will be appropriate for every group of customers, so to have the most significant impact, you need to be discerning about what you give them. Think about your target demographic and what they might find most useful or valuable. Remember, the aim is to get them to experience your brand as much as possible.

They Give Customers Choice

If you can, it’s usually a good idea to provide customers with a choice over what merchandise they get. Having a selection available can make a big difference. You can also canvas customers to ask what they found the most useful and use their feedback to inform what you buy for your next big promotion.

They Use It Like They Would A Business Card

Business cards are ubiquitous in the commercial sector, with everybody using them as their personal advertisement. But there’s a problem with the business card model: everybody’s doing it.

Think about the last networking event that you went to. How many people did you ever get back to after they handed you their business card? In all likelihood, few if any. Merchandise is a great business card substitute, especially if you run a larger company. Not only is it memorable, but it’s also functional and more likely to be picked up again in the future.

Giving Online Customers What They Want

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When first starting out in the world in business, it’s only natural that you’ll want to focus on building your dream business. However, it’s not long before you realize that keeping customers happy is the only thing that truly matters. Because when they are buying your products, the company makes money. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, you might want to look at another career.

So, now that we’ve established the need to give customers what they want, how can you do it? Let’s take a closer look.

Know Who You’re Trying To Reach

Every entrepreneur wants to reach the biggest possible audience. In reality, accepting the fact that you cannot please everyone is one of the most critical aspects of running a successful business.

With this in mind, going the extra mile to understand your niche and target demographic is the first step en route to giving clients what they want. Failure to do this will inevitably lead to overly broad ideas that fail to spark any real interest. Success with one group is better than none.

Quite frankly, it’ll be impossible to keep customers happy if you don’t have any in the first place.

Think Beyond Products

Sourcing or manufacturing the best products should always form the backbone of your operation. Nonetheless, you must consider the other elements that can influence the client responses too.

Building a better content experience results in improved client interactions. When you gain their enthusiasm in this manner, there’s a far better opportunity to make them give your products a try. Besides, smart promotions are the key to giving clients the info needed to make informed choices.

Many companies create great products. Without the support of a winning brand image, yours will miss out in the battle for custom.

Show Reliability

Clients also judge the business on its level of service. Gaining their trust is essential. So, you must grab hold of every opportunity to paint your firm in a good light. Thankfully, client opinions are easily influenced.

Customer reviews can put the fears of prospective clients to bed, so utilize testimonials at every chance. Meanwhile, creating a smooth and secure transaction process will also remove one of the biggest obstacles you’ll ever face. When supported by good client care, you won’t go far wrong.

Returns policies and quick communication will go a long way to helping. Ignore them at your peril.

Provide Value For Money

A good brand image supported by an excellent level of customer service is vital. However, those factors count for very little if you fail to provide the best value. After all, this is the client’s main priority.

While value shouldn’t be confused with cheap, competitive pricing is critical. Conducting regular market research will allow you to see what else is on the market. If you can reduce the costs of manufacturing with 3D printing or cutbacks that won’t impact quality, you should.

Loyalty schemes and promotional goods can further enhance those vibes. If it makes the client smile without ruining the profit margins, it’s probably a step worth taking.