Hats are a commonly used promotional item. If you’re like most people, you can probably remember being given several over the years, but how many did you actually wear? Hats and headwear can be great for brand exposure, essentially turning recipients into walking billboards, but only if you get it right.

So here are our dos and don’ts for choosing promotional headwear.

Do

Choose a quality product – You can get promotional hats for as little as a few dollars per unit, but you can be sure the quality will match the price. The hat will most likely look cheap and fall apart quickly, ensuring almost no one will wear it and reflecting poorly on your brand. Choose a quality starting product that will look good and last for some time.

Consider styles and tastes – when choosing any item, it’s important to think about the tastes of your demographic, but it’s absolutely critical when it comes to wearable items. The headwear market is huge – even in baseball caps alone there are a range of shapes and styles. You need to make sure the one you choose is in line with what your demographic are likely to wear.

Think outside the hat – Headwear isn’t limited to just hats, there are a host of options we are seeing companies go for, from bandannas to neck warmers and beanies. In fact, we recently worked with a fitness brand located in a cold climate to develop a beanie that had integrated Bluetooth headphones.

Don’t

Put your logo front and centre – This might seem counter intuitive for a promotional item, but big, bold branding on wearable items typically doesn’t work. Many people, particularly in younger demographics, don’t want to be seen to be wearing a free item, emblazoned with your company logo. Talk to your supplier about discreet branding options that could make your headwear a desirable item and maximise your brand exposure.

Get too niche – while it’s important that your item is stylish, you can push it too far. Choosing items that are highly fashionable right at this moment might seem like a good idea, but many trends are short-lived. Additionally, you need to appeal to as broad a market as possible, so it’s good to avoid products that are niche, as they can be polarising to your market.

At the end of the day, like any promotional product, your headwear is designed to increase your brand exposure, so it needs to be something a large share of your market will want. That’s where a good promotional products partner comes in – they should have the knowledge and expertise to advise on the products and designs that are best suited to your market.