Monday, May 16, 2005

Picking a Great Promotional Item

An age old question; What can I buy, stick my logo on, give away, and have any hope the item will not get tossed or lost?

To find the answer look around your office and home and count the number of promotional items you’ve kept. If you’ve hung on to anything at all I would venture to guess it’s not any of the cheap stuff.

I believe that professional services firms should only put their name on items that reflect the quality of their firm. A pen that costs $1.99 when you purchase 100 would not be a good example. So what is a “keeper”?

I once gave away a t-shirt with the name of a law firm on it. The twist was that it’d been imprinted to look like a surfer/Hawaiian shirt with flower pattern running horizontally across the front and back. The firm’s name was subtly worked into the design. That shirt went out over five years ago. I was at a business barbeque a few months back and a banker I’ve known for a while showed up wearing the t-shirt. She said that it’s one of the few giveaway shirts she’s hung onto simply because it “looked cool”. It cost just a little bit more to have the screening done, but I think it paid off beautifully.

On another occasion I commissioned an artist to design an original “modern art” print that was then printed poster size with an invitation to an open house tastefully added on the bottom. The invites were rolled into tubes and sent out. Several weeks later the attorneys reported that the posters were showing up in client offices, framed and hanging on walls.

If I was going to give a pen away I would want it to be an expensive pen (Montblanc maybe), I would be very selective about who I gave it to, and I wouldn’t print a logo on it. When it comes to fine gifts, like an expensive pen, people remember where it came from. Wouldn’t you?

I’ve had commemorative coins minted that people report they still have. I’ve personally hung on to a rocket tin-toy that was sent to me (It looks totally retro and cool). Another item that’s worked well for me is silk camp shirts with an embroidered logo on one of the sleeves in a color that matches the shirt (very classy).

Let’s review. If you would like people to hang on to the promotional item you give away then buy them something you would keep yourself. Have fun, be creative, be remembered. By the way, the firm that always comes though when I need promotional magic is Promotions by Design.