Fostering customer loyalty is an incredibly important part of running a business, especially with the UK still in the grip of the economic downturn. One aspect of ensuring your clients stick with your firm involves making good use of promotional products.
Branded products featuring your business’s logo might seem only suitable for attracting new customers, but studies suggest that giveaways and incentives can be key to retaining existing customers.
Research published by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) in 2012 showed 46 per cent of senior marketers use promotional items because of their effectiveness in creating loyalty. The Promotional Products Association International also says it’s possible to achieve an incredible 85 per cent increase in positive perception of a brand’s image by using promotional merchandise.
Using promotional products
But exactly how can businesses use promotional merchandise to increase customer loyalty?
In meetings – If you have occasional meetings with your clients, it can be nice to take a gift or two along. This could be anything from printed stationery to a branded USB stick, mug or bag. Just ensure the present is appropriate to the sector in which both you and the customer operate.
Retail giveaways – Offering freebies with purchases over a certain value – whether they’re made in-store or online – can be a great incentive for shoppers to spend more and keep coming back to take advantage of further offers. Relevant giveaways could include printed shopping bags, clothing or gadgets.
Loyalty schemes – Similar to retail giveaways but with more commitment required, this method involves setting up a scheme where customers who make repeat purchases are rewarded with discounts and/or a promotional gift.
For example, you could give each participant a card that gets stamped every time they visit one of your outlets. Once they have a certain number of stamps, they could take advantage of, say, 20 per cent off their next purchase, and receive a branded box of chocolates to boot.
Increased customer loyalty isn’t the only potential outcome of buying and distributing promotional products. Other benefits include:
Capturing new business – As previously mentioned, promotional items are traditionally used to attract the attention of potential clients, mainly as giveaways at events (the BPMA’s study says 73 per cent of marketers do this). Even if the customer in question doesn’t buy or sign up for anything on the spot, the fact that they will own something emblazoned with your company’s logo means they are more likely to remember your brand in the future.
Aiding rebranding – Promotional merchandise can prove particularly useful if your firm is rebranding. Distributing promotional products printed with your new logo/business name means both new and existing customers will be aware of your new brand, helping reinforce the image of your firm you want to project.
Promoting new offerings – If your business is in the process of launching a new product or service, handing out promotional gifts related to this latest offering (e.g. a branded mug advertising a new drink available at a cafe) can be incredibly useful in spreading the news – especially if the recipients pass on their gift to someone else!
About the Author: The article is provided by Edel Flood on behalf of 4imprint.co.uk. If you’re interested in using promotional products to boost customer loyalty, click here for some ideas on what you could buy to distribute to your clients.