What is Branded Merchandise? Why are Promotional Products Important?

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Branded promotional coffee cup

What is Branded Merchandise?

Branded merchandise refers to any product that bears a company’s logo or name. It can include anything from clothing and accessories to office supplies and tech gadgets. 

Branded promotional products are now used by businesses of all sizes, from global corporations like Disney to local cafes. 

These items are used to spread the word about your business and remind customers of your brand.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Types of promotional products
  • Why branded merchandise is important
  • Benefits of merchandise
  • Tips for designing promotional merchandise
  • Future trends
  • Corporate case studies

So, let’s dive in.

Types of Promotional Products

Branded merchandise, also known as promotional products, are items that are imprinted with a brand’s logo or tagline and are used to promote the brand. 

These products are typically given away for free as a marketing tool to increase brand awareness and loyalty.

There are many types of promotional merchandise available, ranging from traditional items such as pens and keychains to more unique items like tech gadgets and clothing. 

Some of the most popular types of branded merchandise include:

  • Apparel: T-shirts, hats, jackets, and other clothing items.
  • Stationary: Pens, pencils, and markers.
  • Drinkware: Mugs, water bottles, and tumblers.
  • Tech gadgets: USB drives, phone cases, and power banks.
A drawstring bag for branded merchandise

Why is Branded Merchandise Important?

Brand Recognition

Branded merchandise helps to increase brand recognition by making a company’s logo or brand name more visible to the public. 

When people see a recognisable name or logo, it helps to reinforce the brand in their minds. 

This can be especially important for new or small businesses that are trying to establish themselves in a competitive market.

Customer Loyalty

By giving customers tangible items that they can use and wear, companies can create a lasting impression and increase the chances of repeat business.

Studies indicate that 89% of people who received promotional items in the past two years can recall the company’s name, highlighting the effectiveness of these products in cultivating customer loyalty. 

Furthermore, 85% of consumers are inclined to engage in transactions with a company after receiving such items, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business.

Marketing Strategy

Promotional merchandise is also an important part of a company’s marketing strategy. It can be used in a variety of ways, such as giveaways at trade shows or as part of a customer loyalty program. 

Branded products can also be used as a way to introduce new products or services to customers.

Image Box Design - Branded Merchandise & Corporate Products

Benefits of Promotional Merchandise

Cost-Effectiveness

Promotional merchandise is an affordable way to promote a brand, especially for small businesses. 

Compared to other forms of advertising, such as billboards or TV commercials, branded merchandise offers a cost-effective solution that can reach a wider audience. 

By investing in branded gifts, companies can increase brand awareness and generate more leads without breaking their budget.

Versatility

Branded merchandise comes in various forms, from pens and notebooks to clothing and accessories. 

This versatility allows companies to choose the products that best suit their target audience and marketing goals. 

For example, a tech company might give away branded USB drives at a trade show, while a fitness brand might offer branded water bottles at a marathon. 

The possibilities are endless, and companies can use promotional merchandise to reach their audience in creative and innovative ways.

Tangible Brand Experience

Promotional merchandise offers a tangible brand experience that other forms of advertising cannot match. 

When customers receive a branded product, they have something physical that they can touch, use, and keep. This creates a stronger connection between the customer and the brand, leading to increased brand loyalty and repeat business. 

Branded items also serve as a reminder of the brand, keeping it top-of-mind for customers when they need the product or service that the brand offers.

Designing Effective Branded Merchandise

Creating effective branded products is crucial to building brand awareness and loyalty. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when designing branded merchandise.

Target Audience Considerations

When designing merchandise, it’s important to consider the target audience. What are their interests and preferences? What are their needs and wants? 

By understanding your target audience, you can design products that resonate with them and create a stronger connection to your brand.

Brand Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to branded gifts. Your merchandise should reflect your brand’s values, personality, and identity. 

Make sure to use consistent colours, fonts, and logos across all merchandise to ensure brand recognition and build trust with your audience.

Promotional merchandise coffee cup

Quality and Sustainability

Quality and sustainability are important factors to consider when designing branded merchandise. Low-quality merchandise can damage your brand’s reputation and lead to negative customer experiences. 

On the other hand, high-quality and sustainable branded merchandise can create a positive image for your brand and increase customer loyalty.

Future Trends in Promotional Merchandise

As technology continues to advance, the future of promotional merchandise is likely to be influenced by the following trends:

1. Personalisation

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in the world of branded merchandise. Consumers are more likely to engage with products that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

 In the future, we can expect to see more companies offering personalised products, such as customised phone cases, clothing, and accessories.

2. Sustainability

Sustainability is another trend that is likely to shape the future of branded products. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they are looking for products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. 

In response, companies are developing more sustainable products, such as reusable water bottles, tote bags, and bamboo cutlery.

3. Integration with Technology

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more branded items that integrate with technology. 

For example, companies may offer branded smartwatches or fitness trackers that track the wearer’s activity and provide personalised health recommendations. 

Similarly, we may see more branded virtual reality headsets or augmented reality apps that allow consumers to experience products in a more immersive way.

Case Studies on Branded Products

Branded merchandise has become an essential marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Here are a few case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of promotional items in promoting a brand and driving sales:

Case Study 1: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognisable brands in the world, and its marketing strategy includes the use of branded merchandise. 

The company has a wide range of branded products, including clothing, accessories, and collectables. By using branded merchandise, Coca-Cola has built a strong emotional connection with their customers, who are often passionate about the brand. 

This emotional connection leads to increased brand loyalty, which translates into increased sales.

Case Study 2: Red Bull

Red Bull is another brand that has successfully used branded merchandise to promote their brand. The company has a wide range of branded products, including clothing, hats, and energy drink coolers. 

Red Bull uses branded items to create a sense of community among their customers, who are often extreme sports enthusiasts. By creating a community around the brand, Red Bull has increased brand loyalty and driven sales.

Case Study 3: Nike

Nike is one of the world’s largest sportswear companies, and they have a wide range of branded merchandise, including clothing, shoes, and accessories. 

Nike uses branded merchandise to promote their brand and create a sense of exclusivity among their customers. By creating limited edition products, Nike can generate excitement and demand for their products, which leads to increased sales.

Branded Merchandise by Image Box Design

At Image Box Design, we’re a creative UK design agency who have helped hundreds of businesses with their branding and marketing materials. Get in touch to find out how we can help with your promotional products, or take a look at our virtual catalogue.

Branded Promotional Merchandise Virtual Catalogue

If you’d like a quote, call us on 0118 969 4000 or complete our online form and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.

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