A dozen reasons to use business gifts to make your business memorable

Do you want your Lancashire business to be noticed, remembered and stand out from the rest? Local distributors BusinessGiftUK.com know how to get your company seen and remembered. Here are a dozen reasons why you should be using locally made promotional business gifts to enhance your marketing.

1 – Build Your Brand

Your brand and its market position need to be regularly reviewed and promoted in a straight forward and consistent manner. This does not need to involve costly marketing campaigns. Good customer service and the long term use of promotional gifts can create effective brand recognition.

Regular contact with your clients and giving customised, useful products builds brand recognition, respect and trust. They have a constant reminder of your logo. Using locally manufactured, eco-friendly gifts gives relevance and respect, ethically. The product then supplies repeat exposure of who you are and what you can offer. What’s more, your contact details are extremely easy to find.

There is more chance of a spontaneous call, if they don’t have to search Google or go digging in that drawer full of old business cards. Imagine one of the World's best-selling mouse mats, made in Blackpool, sat next to your customers' computers, with product image, logo and contact details at their fingertips.

2 – Incentives To Buy

Promotional gifts can simply be used to entice people to buy. This is particularly effective in retail point of sale activity, as on pack branded gifts. They are also used in less “sexy” areas, such as insurance and banking, where customers are often offered quality pens as they fill in forms.

Historically, it has been proven that the offer of a good free pen can significantly increase the number of quote requests. Imagine selling water coolers into offices. Incentivise both the appointment and the sale. Offer a UK made, H20 Eco bottle, made from 100% recycled Prevented Ocean Plastic, 100% recyclable, made in Lancashire in a nil-to-landfill factory to everyone who sees you.

Even if you do not get the order you have made a great impression and left a relevant, lasting reminder. To help secure an order, you can offer a bottle for each member of staff when they sign up. Ethical, eco-friendly, effective promotion.

3 – Get Customers’ Attention

Let’s be honest – we all love to get value for money, but it is even better to get something for free. Most people will be interested in a freebie. It is also good for the soul to be a giver. Using promotional gifts creates an all-round feeling of bonhomie.

This should not be underestimated in forging new business relationships. When interacting with total strangers, maybe at Expos and Trade Shows, the goodwill of offering promotional gifts is a great ice breaker. It starts a conversation and makes a memorable first impression. Have you seen staff at exhibitions, stood on stands, watching delegates pass by?

A low cost, easy to handle gift could be handed out in the isles, by your team, who then have a moment to start a conversation with anyone passing. They can also be offered at networking events in return for a more in depth one-to-one meeting later.

4 – Good Staff Incentives

Within the workplace promotional gifts can be used to incentivise and motivate staff. This can be done in different ways. Firstly, gifts can be used for targeted incentives or rewards for effort.

Secondly, they can be used to create team spirit. They create a sense of belonging to the group and pride in using quality branded clothing, desk items and corporate stationery. Get the whole team on message by putting the message on their desks. Recognition leads to a sense of fulfilment, inspires company loyalty and creates a workforce that feels appreciated.

You can instil pride, loyalty and respect in your employees by being seen to buy local, ethically manufactured gifts and incentives.

5 – Targeted Marketing

When you have a stock of promotional merchandise you choose who to give or send it to. When your marketing is highly targeted like this it can become much more cost effective. It’s a highly efficient way of making a good first impression with exactly the right type of prospect that you have carefully targeted.

It is this thought and relevance which makes an emotional connection with your prospect. Emotions like desire and gratitude plant memories in the brain. If you are marketing to local people, show your own local credentials by offering locally made gifts.

You are investing in a snipers approach to pick off easy targets rather than firing a blunderbuss into the air and hoping for a hit. There is minimal waste.

6 – Long Life Advertising

UK manufactured, quality promotional gifts have a much longer life span than other media and marketing formats. Your investment in a targeted, relevant, useful product for your client can see your message positioned on their desk, or in their pocket, for many years.

I loved seeing a LinkedIn post recently, from Rachel Gill of Cheetham Jackson Mortgages, Preston. Rachel was still using a Lancashire made ruler that I had given her 10 years ago. Gifts appreciated like that have a great chance of being to hand when a buying need arises. Don't forget the power of repeat exposure too.

Seeing your brand repeatedly over many months and years gives you a much greater chance of a click or a contact when a buying need arises.

7 – Repeat Business

It is not only new clients that appreciate a good promotional gift. As a high percentage of business comes from existing customers. Giving them a thank you gift is a wise investment. In many industries purchases can be infrequent.

It is not every day you need asset finance, replacement machinery or a new heating system. Giving a gift keeps you in touch with infrequent buyers and gives you a great chance for a catch up.

If your product or service uses keys, then adding a UK made, Ad Loop keyring to every bunch of keys you handle will get subsequent service work, repairs and call outs. Put your contact details in your customers’ pockets.

8 – Referrals

At a one-to-one or Zoom networking meeting, you are asking for referrals.  Buy busy people are quickly on to the next meeting or contact. Leaving them with a hand full of your gifts, to pass on to other people, both expands your circle of influence and helps them to remember more about you.

Remember to also give a gift to say thank you when you receive a referral, then they are more likely to do it again. Try giving a handful of locally made Brite-Mat coasters, rather than business cards. Be different, be professional and become memorable.

9 – Recommendations

A promotional gift can act as a wonderful prompt for a happy client to recommend you to their friends and associates. Your contact details are readily available to be passed on. Make sure they are printed on the gift. After a sale, check a client is completely satisfied. Give them a relevant thank you gift and ask them to keep it. 

It is a reminder to pass on your details to other people that you could help. Imagine someone talking over the garden fence about a new shed you have supplied. If the shed key is on your keyring then your details are at hand to pass on straight away. A little effort and your next contact could be primed to buy from you by an existing happy customer. The perfect way to do business.

10 – Reviews

In this digital age, good reviews are becoming increasingly significant in generating online enquiries and conversions.

As well as asking for recommendations and referrals, business gifts can also help you ask for those all-important online reviews. Check that your client is happy, hand over a gift and ask if they would be kind enough to leave a review. You can brand a gift with a simple message: “If you like what we do, leave us a review” and pop a URL link to your Trustpilot or Google My Business listing.

11 – Buy Time

Whenever a gift is given and received there is an opportunity to talk and network. Everyone pauses to receive a gift, and in most cases simple politeness stops people from walking away. This is your chance to ask what they do and then listen carefully to what they say, triggering your radar for needs and buying signals.

Conversation is made much easier when offering a relevant promotional gift. This method works with all types of encounters, not just formal networking events. “Has anyone got a pen….?” Have a branded ballpen ready to hand over and start a conversation.

12 – A Catalyst for all of your Marketing

Using customised gifts to promote your business is a fantastic way of maximising your marketing mix. Gifts are the catalyst to all other activity. Well targeted, relevant, advertising promotional gifts enhance and support the message you want to convey through all other marketing channels. They are the attention getters. They are the emotive connection. They are there for the long haul.

Business gifts are also an effective way of bypassing the competition on Google by keeping it simple and direct. Whatever the theme of your next campaign, there is a promotional product that will add relevance, fun and desire.

When LoopKeyrings.co.uk wanted to announce a free UK delivery service in 2012, they mailed truck shaped rulers to every client. The tangible message saw an immediate increase in repeat orders. Some of those rulers are still on clients desks today and they still offer free delivery.

Talk to an experienced local distributer like my own company, BusinessGiftUK.com of Leyland.  We can give you advice about effective use of promotional business gifts. We have worked with businesses of all sizes, locally, nationally and internationally since we were established in 1985.

Author: Stephen Ward is Managing Director of Ad-Options Ltd t/as BusinessGiftUK.com.

Former Chair of the Central Lancashire Business Club

Accredited Member of the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA).

Tel: 01772 429111

Email: steve@businessgiftuk.com