Other products that are awareness event favorites? T-shirts, pedometers, stuffed animals, hats, stress reducers, key chains, mugs, stickers and decals, to name a few, are all blue chip products. "We see strong interest in decals placed inside or outside a window," said Stoeck. "These products are often used as fundraising 'thank yous' given after a donation. They serve a second benefit—once they are placed on the back of a vehicle they become miniature billboards which further promote a cause or group." Keeping the message alive long after the event has taken place seems to be the biggest goal in the awareness promotional product. As Fox put it, "Create lasting awareness."
Sales opportunities within the awareness arena are strong and there are many potential clients to serve, from giant national accounts to the smaller local fundraising groups. The key for distributors is to show a wide variety of products with proven results. Stoeck advised, particularly in this economic climate, that distributors be prepared to answer these questions:
• Will the promotion stand out in the mail?
• If handed out at an event, will there be high perceived value associated the promotion?
• Is it cost-effective?
"Remember that these groups may indeed have a nonprofit status but they are very much business-oriented," Stoeck said. "The same ROI questions and presentations employed to make a promotional product sale at a for-profit enterprise apply."