When it comes to the branding and marketing of your commercial enterprise, one of the oldest strategies in the book is to offer your customers and clients some very creative promotional items with your company logo clearly displayed. When done correctly, this method of advertising can prove very effective. But we need to be careful. Flooding the market with promotional items of extremely poor quality or taste can also have a negative effect on our business.
Offer Quality Items!
It is not enough to simply purchase a few boxes of ballpoint pens with your company name emblazoned on the side. Cheap, poorly made products will send a signal to your clients that your company lacks professionalism and attention to detail. Imagine the negative branding image associated with a cheaply made ballpoint pen exploding in someone’s shirt pocket! When it comes to advertising through promotional products, quality is always a critical factor.
Dare to be different. Be creative and choose products that your clients can actually use on a daily basis. Thanks to the advancements of digital graphics technology in recent years, a company logo can be artistically displayed on nearly any type of promotional item. From calendars to post-its, t-shirts to ball caps, and even portable USB hard drives to umbrellas, utilizing promotional items for your marketing strategies has never been easier or less expensive than it is today! Think outside the box. You’ll send a positive message about the originality and creativity of your company brand in the process. We here at Benchmark Displays have decided to try it, so we will keep you posted on how our marketing efforts through promotional products turn out!
An interesting video describing the Universal Principles of Persuasion based on the research of Dr. Robert Cialdini, Professor of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University. He describes six distinct principles in the science of persuasion.
· Reciprocity (which we’ve talked about before)
· Scarcity (the idea that people place a higher value on something they get less of)
· Authority (what makes you credible?)
· Consistency (getting people to commit)
· Liking (finding commonalities, similar interests)
· Consensus (Benefits of doing something your way)
I thought this was an interesting take on customer service so decided to share!
“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.”
An incentive is by definition something that motivates or encourages one to do something. In today’s extremely competitive marketplace, making sales can be a challenge. People are inundated with new products and services, and it is increasingly difficult to stand out. So what is one way to distinguish yourself from the competition and lead sales? Incentives!
Did you know that knowledgeable and courteous employees account for approximately 80% of the reasons that consumers feel satisfied and will come back for more?
Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential, nearly half surveyed have said that they do only what is directly asked of them, and up to 75% admit that they could be more effective in their jobs.
70% of customers that have had a bad experience with a vendor will abandon them and move on to someone else.
A 5% increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75%. Remember, we’ve talked about this before, it’s about building relationships.
So how can you use incentives successfully in your business?
· Use them to attract new visitors to your store or web site
· Use them to encourage repeat business
· Use them to improve Direct Mail Response
· Use them to Promote Closeout Inventories
· Use them for thank you gifts
· Use them to Upgrade Sales and Purchases
For Employee Incentives
· Use them to acknowledge Milestones and Achievements
· Use them as a reward to exceed sales goals
· Use them to increase employee loyalty
· Use them to reward employees
Remember, everyone likes to feel appreciated, so why not set the precedent and use incentives to inspire others to greatness!
Let’s face it, we are all brand experts these days. We have been groomed to recognize and associate with different brands. One marketing guru uses the word pre-eminence when speaking about brand identity, meaning it moves people to action, and their lives are better because you are in it. If you’ve done your job, then people can relate to and identify with you, and your product. There is an emotional connection tied to it. It’s about being able to articulate, or put into words what you stand for and why it’s better than say, your competition.
Your Brand, Your Reputation
Back in the 1990’s, Harley Davidson began considering ways to expand it’s empire, so the company decided to get into merchandising. They started selling patches, mugs, jackets, and other biker related paraphernalia. It proved to be a good move for the company. So much so, that an over enthusiastic marketing manager decided they should try and expand their market even further, into perfume sales. That decision backfired in a big way. They alienated their core audience, bike enthusiasts, (I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many bikers that wear perfume?), even worse, they failed to capture the consumers who like perfume, but don’t ride bikes. What does this tell us? Don’t get greedy! Be loyal to your core audience and stick to the brand values that made you successful in the first place.
In a world where people have so many options, and often times the services that we offer aren’t necessarily needs, but wants, we have to set ourselves apart, by clearly identifying what we are all about. As an example, we here at Benchmark Displays design custom displays for POP retail, as well as merchandisers, awards and promotional pieces. We are also aware that there are many companies that offer similar services to our own. Therefore, our emphasis is on being customer centric and building relationships. A first time client may call because they have a pending project and they need a quote. They probably have specs for the project, a desired quantity, and most often than not, a deadline to meet. Beyond that, they rely on us, to not only design an engaging, attractive display, but do so in a way that keeps costs minimal, and is delivered on time. If we consistently provide a quality, unique product, as expected, then we, as a company, and as a brand will thrive.
When all is said and done, your brand, your identity, takes time to build. It needs to say something about who you are as a company, connect with your target market, motivate people in some way, and always create a sense of loyalty.
Chambers represent the interests of businesses, and advocate on behalf of the business community. How many recognized members do you have in your chamber? As a small business owner, having begun our journey 30 years ago, we share your passion for promoting the creation and development of local businesses.