Promotional Products as an Engagement Strategy: Part 2 of 3
Because promotional products are tangible, physical, multi-dimensional and customizable, they can be effective for engaging an audience through all five senses.
- Sight: Reinforce the colors, branding cues and appeal to the visual sense with
selections that have aesthetic appeal.
- Touch: products can be textured and shaped to reinforce attributes of the
communication message such as hard, soft, furry, warm, round or unique.
- Taste: Food is an extremely popular category and a strong sensory cue. From
custom-shaped and debossed chocolate treats to custom-labeled bottled water and even fruit, candies and gourmet treats, taste can deliver your communications in a way that creates positive associations with your brand.
- Sound: From the cracking of a chocolate bar, to a noisemaker at a sporting event, to a sound chip embedded into the item, promotional products can remind and replay message-reinforcing notes from a jingle to a president's speech.
- Smell: The one sense that we cannot turn off but one that evokes memories. Scent is a part of food items and is something that can be added to pens, ink and notepads. If a unique scent is a part of the communication delivery, promotional products may have the right way to extend that messaging.
- And finally the sixth sense: Ownership, gratitude and community. A sense of community occurs when different people share a common interest, cause or like-mindedness.
Promotional products are an effective communication tool because they do remain to be seen. Most recipients keep items for more than a year and many items are used daily and kept on or with the person. Great communication should have three factors to be a strong tool of engagement and promotional products excel in all three:
- Relevance: The message must relate to the lifestyle, needs, values or aspirations of the target audience. Promotional products are uniquely geared to relate with strong relevance. After all, these products are sold at retail where people spend their own money to buy them. Whether it's a beautiful writing instrument and journal book for taking notes at a conference, or a fishing lure with your message imprinted on it given to the avid anglers in your company, this communication medium is the most targeted of all. They are creatively limitless. Almost any product you can imagine may be imprinted and customized.
- Repetition: The audience must be exposed to the message multiple times for the recipient to retain it. Promotional products have a long life offering continuous repetition and exposure to the message. An effective means of acquisition, promotional products are often used in public. This exposure stimulates conversations and interaction and generates highly valuable reach, frequency and impressions. Providing even more repetition of the message and the meaning behind it.
- Reward: The message must promise to create pleasure or reduce pain, save money or increase income or in some way reward the recipient. By their nature, this communications tactic is an item of useful value that provides a sense of reward to the recipient and in turn creates positive emotions towards the person or the brand delivering it.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series that make up the chapter on promotional products in the new Enterprise Engagement curriculum. This text book teaches end-users and practitioners how to improve engagement throughout their organization. Read part 1 here.