Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Starbucks Example: Forget Freebies, Increase Your Promotional Revenue

By Cailyn Vogel

The idea behind paid exposure is simple- sell imprinted items to promote your company or brand. While most people equate promotional with freebies, gifts and giveaways aren’t your only promotional marketing options. Paid merchandise has some serious perks: not only does it subsidize your marketing costs, but also gives you the opportunity to make over your corporate image. Starbucks and other big name coffee franchises have essentially mastered this concept; consumers are willing to dish out cash in exchange for branded tumblers, t-shirts, and mugs.

Now is the perfect time to craft your own merchandise-based campaign: we’ve outlined three essential tips (with visual examples from an industry giant) to help you get started.

1. Ditch your company’s slogan 

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the instance of text, less is more- slogans and taglines tend to clutter design. If you’re able to make a visual impact with your logo, we promise you won’t need the extra text to get your message across.










                                                                                        2.Add accent images and supplementary designs 

Here’s where you get to be creative. By adding supplementary design, such as the florals in the tumbler below, you’re able to reorient your logo (and your brand). Remember to choose design elements that appeal to your target demographic.












3. Invest in retail-look products 

If your customers are paying for merchandise, your product needs retail finishes. As mentioned in our previous post, an item’s perceived value is extremely important to its marketability. The brushed stainless steel exterior of this mug exudes luxury, equating your brand with an upscale product and seamless user experience.

Chrome Finish




The Big 6: Characteristics of a Successful Promotional Campaign

By Cailyn Vogel


We’re thinking: hats, umbrellas, & totes

When choosing items for your next promotional campaign, it’s helpful to think of products as moving advertisements. What are some imprinted items you see on the streets? In subway cars? At the grocery store? Cold weather items, such as hats and outerwear, can act as the perfect canvas for your company’s logo because they appear on a mobile target. The next time you choose an item, ask yourself, “how many people will see this product?”


Everyday essentials: bottle openers, tech accessories, reusable bags, & pens 

In a recent survey conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute, recipients of promotional products reported usefulness as the most important factor in their decision to keep a product. Be mindful of functionality: ask questions like, “would I use this” and “how often would I use this?” If the answer is “infrequently,” reconsider and opt for everyday essentials.


Steer clear of disposable items, bottled water, toiletries, and food 

Everybody likes food, especially cookies. But, the next time you order edible promos, consider the longevity of the imprint. If your logo is imprinted or affixed to cellophane, saran, or paper, there is a good chance it’s going to be disposed of. This concept also applies to toiletries; when packaged in small amounts, your clients are likely to quickly use the product and discard its wrapping. When purchasing these items, stick to more permanent packaging, such as tins, zippered pouches, and jars.


Keep your target demographic in mind 

Promotional products should always be in line with your company’s mission. Period. While the average customer at your salon might love pizza (who doesn’t?) it doesn’t make sense to imprint your logo on a combination pizza cutter/bottle opener. The product should remind your clients of your services- a compact mirror or hairbrush would be a more suitable item choice.



Don’t gravitate towards products that scream “giveaway” or “freebie”

Retail-inspired accents and luxury finishes can go a long way in increasing a product’s perceived value. Some imprint methods, such as debossing, laser engraving, and embroidery boast a more luxurious look and feel. Additionally, recipients of promotional swag are more likely to use a branded item, or an item with a recognizable label.


Subtlety isn’t the name of the game 

Make your statement, loud and proud. Choose a product with a large imprint area to maximize advertising exposure. Never substitute your logo for plain text, and use bright colors where possible. Think of your imprint like a billboard- make design choices that are eye-catching and visually impacting.