There are so many promotional products in the marketplace today, you can get a logo on almost anything you can imagine. The right branded merchandise can be a great, cost-effective marketing tool, increasing your brand recognition and driving interest in your product or service, but with so many options available, how do you get it right?

Over our extensive time in the industry, we’ve developed a tried and tested three-step approach for choosing and executing promotional products that can help you get it right every time.

1. Match your brand and your customer

When looking at promotional items, matching them to your brand, your company standards, reputation, and values must be the focus. Your merchandise must be able to convey the same core marketing message that the rest of your activities do.

This may seem obvious, but many companies get caught up in looking at cost alone and forget that this item is representing their brand, so the cheapest option isn’t always the right one. In saying that, nor is the most expensive; premium brands need to look at high-end items, volume brands simply don’t need too.

You should always get samples from your supplier so you can see and touch the product before you buy it. When you receive samples, think about what message it conveys about your brand. If it’s not the right one, it’s not the right product.

2. Go for widespread appeal

Striking the right balance between something unique and with widespread appeal is crucially important. Often simplicity and practicality can provide a much better outcome, and you can still involve a unique take or feature;customising an item to suit your specific needs should always be on the table.

Sticking to unisex and everyday use products are good general rules to increase appeal. A good promotional partner should be able to advise you on what’s trending and help you make the right decision for your brand.

3. Plan the execution

It takes time to choose, design, produce, and deliver a promotional item. You should factor in time to receive and trial sample products too. These days, many promotional items are produced overseas, and you will need to allow time for international shipping and customs delays. While often there are international express shipping options available, these tend to be very expensive, so it’s worth planning ahead, so you don’t blow your budget on delivery.

For a fully customised item, we recommend you allow a minimum of 10 -12 weeks , as these can sometimes take 3-4 weeks in production alone. For standard branded items, a minimum of 8 weeks is recommended, to allow time to view samples, finalise design, produce and receive your items.