There’s a saying in marketing: give the people what they want.
It’s easier said than done, of course, which is why many companies spend a TON of money on market research. While I’m no market research guru, I do know one thing that people want: cool, free stuff. I mean, imagine waking up, pouring yourself a nice steaming cup of organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee in one of these bad boys!
Pretty awesome, right? You’d definitely be the envy of anyone in your family who’s awake at that point.
If I told you that we’d gladly give you one of these mugs for free, you’d ask, “what’s the catch?” (we don’t actually have any on hand at the moment, but keep checking back in! 🙂 For businesses, though, there is no catch, this is just marketing. For us, it’s a small cost to keep our brand in front of you every morning. You get to feel good knowing that you’re going green with your reusable mug, see our cool logo every morning, and look forward to waking up every day (too much? I know…it’s a mug. I’m overstating it for a reason).
All kidding aside, promotional goods for business is a real and powerful marketing tool. We’ve covered branded eco-friendly mugs here on Ecopreneurist before, though I’d have to challenge the thought that a corn based mug is eco-friendly. Like all corn-based biodegradable foodware, it’s about 99.99% likely it’s GMO. There are obviously a thousand arguments against GMOs, not least of which, as a business owner, the one that should concern you the most–people are really against GMOs, and when you hand them a mug made out of GMOs, you may get a few raised eyebrows. But the other mugs in that article are cool and eco-friendly.
There’s also bamboo. You can make flash drives or pens or shirts or toothbrushes out of it, and it’s an uber sustainable material. Same idea. Every time someone uses it they see your name, and think of you. Brand recognition.
The bottom line on promotional goods, whether they’re pens, bottles, mugs, shirts or other promotional clothing, is that you’re marrying them to your brand, so be careful. I think we’ve all received these kinds of gifts before and when something breaks in a week, it not only makes the recipient feel guilty for the waste, but also it might give them the idea that your business is like the little broken gift: flimsy! So choose carefully.
About the author: Seth Litinsky is a Six Sigma Green Belt with a keen interest in sustainability marketing. This post was generously supported by GoPromotional