Even casual fans of The Simpsons will recognize it as Helen Lovejoy's catchphrase—one of many quotes from the show to work its way into the vernacular and launch a thousand Internet memes—but in the promotional industry, "Won't somebody please think of the children?" is more than just fun and games. It's smart business.
See, toys, games and other children's products are a great way for brands to build goodwill with their target audience—if you make kids happy, chances are you make parents happy too. And beyond that, it's never a bad thing for a brand to associate itself with fun. So before you rush to pitch a mug or a pen for your client's next promotion, why not try one of these four popular children's products instead?
Samples, both for potential buyers and your own employees, are key when selling stuffed animals, said Jim Socci, CAS, president of Artistic Toy Manufacturing, Allentown, Pa. "My advice for distributors who want to get started selling plush toys is to order up some samples with your logo and make them available to employees to share at appropriate times like birthdays, anniversaries and special events," he explained. "After you see the frenzy these stuffed toys create with people in your office and the stories that unfold from the toys' journey into people's lives, you will be hooked."
Where to sell
According to Socci, the health care and financial markets are two of the biggest buyers of stuffed animals, but almost any market can make use of the toys. "You will find the companies who use plush toys in their advertising integrate them into multiple levels of their marketing strategy," he said. "Salespeople can use them as attention-getting appointment-setters or meeting leave-behinds. Some brands resell them in their company store or offer them as gift with purchase. Other companies find them helpful at attracting guests at events or conferences."