The Economy of Gastronomy
3. Go Local
Flynn also suggested targeting "local communities and smaller local business districts," as many municipalities have increased their marketing budgets in a push to drive local business and small-scale tourism. "Communities are doing more to market themselves as a premier locale to visit, shop or live and many smaller business districts are starting to see the value in promotional products as well," he explained.
Sumner described a promotion where one newly opened local business wanted to connect with residents in the community. In conjunction with several other likeminded local businesses, the company held an ice cream social and distributed branded ice cream scoops to the crowd. "The scoops were used and handed out to all guests," Sumner said. "Some businesses chose to provide a cash donation, and others volunteered time scooping ice cream. It was a great way for neighborhood businesses to give back to community and express thanks."
4. Suggest a Set
Items like cheese graters, pie servers and can openers all work well for kitchen promotions, but end-users won't often need more than one in their kitchens. Consider pitching items that offer more opportunity for reorders. "A product category that is very high on repeat business is our adhesive note pads and cubes," Flynn noted. "The kitchen is where many people keep their lists, and these note pads are always useful." Norris pointed to knife sets, individual utensils or other items that form complementary sets. "These allow for repeat orders, as clients want to collect the full set of products," he said.
5. Get in the Holiday Spirit
Bundling items together to form a gift basket is another way to boost sales, especially around the holidays. Norris described a promotion where one client gave away a red oven mitt as a makeshift Christmas stocking, stuffing it with various barbecue-themed kitchen items. "The clients loved the gift and how every part of it was useable—[there was] no wrapping paper or tissue to throw out," he explained.
6. Be Creative
Sometimes, the best items for kitchen promotions aren't kitchen items at all. No, we're not suggesting you pitch golf balls or exercise mats to your next restaurant client (though either would probably work, under the right circumstances), but a little outside-the-box thinking can go a long way toward a successful promotion.
Flynn gave the example of a home-appliance dealer that included screen-cleaning lens cloths, originally designed for cleaning glasses and touchscreen electronics, as part of a promotion. "Their logo was sublimated in full color along with a list of the do's and don'ts of kitchen safety," he said. "They gave them away with each microwave and touchscreen appliance purchase. They were a big hit with their customers and the distributor has already placed a repeat order."