Who doesn’t love getting free swag bags? Promotional products are a compelling, practical, and FUN marketing tool for your business to attract and engage customers. Having been in the swag business for more than three decades, we at Ironmark have learned quite a few things about the power of promotional products. But before you go onto the next online promo products website with your credit card out, here are some of the top mistakes to avoid when ordering promotional products:

1. Selecting Products Your Audience May Not Like

While selecting promotional products, business owners often make the mistake of choosing what they like rather than tailoring items to appeal to their audience. Hence, the products do not have any use in the eyes of the audience. Consider your audience's viewpoint - their wants, needs, and interests - and use these considerations to choose appropriate items. If you fail to provide appealing products, your brand image will suffer, and people will not remember your brand. Your products have to have an impact on the customer. That’s key.

2. Late Orders

When more prominent companies plan large-scale campaigns, they opt for more unique and custom-made promotional products. These undoubtedly take longer to deliver because the manufacturing requires more time. Ordering too late is a mistake many businesses make. This leads to settling for mediocre items that are in stock or paying way more than needed for rush shipping. Imagine how poorly those possibilities will reflect on your brand's image. Make sure you plan ahead, so that your brand is not stuck with late orders or having to settle.

3. Insufficient (or Too Much) Information

Another mistake you could make is providing too much or too little information on your branded merchandise item. Can you picture your customers struggling to make out the paragraphs of text you tried to fit onto a single razor? Or how a big mousepad looks lousy with only a logo on it?

Businesses commonly neglect the importance of putting the right amount of information on promotional products. Remember that a promotional product's primary goal is to bring recognition to your brand and inspire prospective customers to adopt your brand. Nevertheless, you should also refrain from cramming too much information in. After all, audiences need your website URL, email address, and phone number, but other information might be irrelevant.

4. Disregarding a Promotional Product Strategy

Another mistake you could make is planning to give away promotional products without a sound strategy. It is very important to identify specific objectives when creating a strategy, as it will help to ensure that you gain your desired results. With some online promo vendors, you may not be able to speak directly with an expert who can guide you through developing solid objectives for your product purchase. These objectives may look like the following:

  • Website traffic increase
  • Service or product promotion
  • Sign-ups for mailing lists
  • Boosting brand awareness

5. Ordering Online (Without Speaking to an Expert First)

When you order online, without talking to a branded merchandise expert, you run the risk of getting it wrong or paying too much. Branded merchandise experts have relationships with vendors, know the top performing items, and know just how to select the perfect item for your event or brand. Ordering branded products online without speaking to a live person could mean you’re not sending all of the necessary details - which could lead to misprinted or otherwise inadequate final products. You leave your brand in the hands of an “upload” or ticket number. This is why it’s essential to speak with an expert before ordering promotional products. It just so happens that Ironmark has experts that are super passionate about branded merchandise and here to help guide you through the process of ordering promotional products.

6. Buying Branded Merchandise Based Solely on Price

Business owners with a limited budget make the mistake of buying the cheapest promotional products, thinking they will suffice. Can you imagine finding a plastic pen impressive if it snaps the first time you write with it? What would you think of the company that gave you a shirt that rips the first time you try to wear it?

The best strategy here is to prioritize quality, not quantity, and never compromise your brand's image. A cheaper version will do more harm than good, so it’s best to proceed patiently.

7. Settling for Generic Designs

Businesses often settle for generic designs, thinking they will win hearts solely because they're promotional products. The best way to make a lasting impression with your promotional item is to strike a resemblance between your brand and the product. You can do this through color scheme, design, and the message on the product. Generic designs fail to provoke a positive response.

8. Printing an Incorrect Logo

The logo is the face of your brand. When sending promotional products, your greatest mistake is not thoroughly checking the logo printed on the products. Imagine how disastrous that would be, and how quickly potential customers would notice your negligence!

Related: The Utility of Promotional Apparel

Final Thoughts

Branded merchandise is one of the best ways to promote your company or products to your audiences. These tangible items serve as a preview of the excellent products and services your business can offer, and show your audiences that you can provide robust solutions that fit their needs. Hence, it is crucial to be thorough in creating your promotional product strategy, prioritizing quality and selecting products that suit your audience's preferences. With the best promotional products and strategies, you can make your brand successful. Few companies offer a free consultancy service regarding your branded merchandise - but Ironmark does! Contact the experts at Ironmark to walk you through ordering the top quality promotional materials you need.

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Written by Connor Wilson

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