Promos can be a fun way to build interest in your company, but the wrong ones might read as boring. What’s one creative idea you’d suggest for a company-branded giveaway or promotional product?

Christmas giveaway
photo credit: fotografierende / Pexels

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Align Your Message With Your Brand Identity

Promos and giveaways can actually be harmful to your brand and take away from your value proposition. Before jumping into a promo, you need to make sure the message aligns with your brand identity. If you’re competing on price, then it’s a lot easier. However, if you are competing based on value, then be sure the story you tell with your promo creatives and messaging does not dilute that value.

Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.

2. Give Away Practical Items

Be creative with giveaway products. Specifically, I have started to give away practical gifts, such as handy box cutters. Such practical gifts are unique and surprisingly helpful, which has generated traffic to our site and has increased our reputation for offering helpful products.

Shu Saito, All Filters

3. Partner With A Non-Competing Company

Partnering with non-competing companies or participating in giveaways with non-competing brands is a great way to reach new markets and get new customers without spending a lot of money on advertising or hiring a digital marketing expert.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

4. Make Sure They’re High-Quality and Reusable

Our customers love our promotional products. We have two rules: 1) no disposable products (something people can use over and over) and 2) invest in super high quality. For example, we purchase super soft $25 T-shirts that our clients love and wear all the time. By them doing so, we get way more free advertising than on a cheap throwaway. The more you invest, the higher the return!

Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation

Free accessories giveaway

5. Allow Customers to Pick Their Prize

Take a “Pick Your Prize” approach. Put together three or four promotional products and let the entrant or participant choose. Vary them in nature as well. That’s one way to take the boredom out of the idea because the customer can choose something most relevant to them.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

6. Add Value With the Product You Choose

Be useful. Create value. Think about the end user, not yourself. Brands exist to meet unmet needs, so how can you be the brand that’s constantly helping them solve a need? The world doesn’t need another coffee cup with a name on it. But if you’re sponsoring an event in the middle of winter, some hand warmers or gloves might be nice. Add value; don’t just give away.

Britt Fero, PB&

7. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is an influential tool for inbound marketing techniques like promos and giveaways. This needs very little effort on your part as it’s shared with other prospects without your intervention. All you have to do is start encouraging your followers to share your promotion by giving them proper tools. You’ve likely heard of the “Share a Coke” campaign — that’s a great way of using UGC.

Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

8. Include an Interactive Element

We run contests for our brands and our main goal is interaction. Of course, we want people to participate for a chance to win. But the way that they enter varies from campaign to campaign. Including a poll or survey, for instance, could be the engagement platform consumers need to participate in your giveaway.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. Add Value With a Multi-Leveled Message

It has to add value to your perfect customer. At LFA we sell machines, so we give away branded tools that are used to do special tasks on those machines. They are not used often, but when they are, it reminds the customer that we are there to be helpful and get the job done. It sends a multi-leveled message.

Alastair Sanderson, LFA Machines DFW LLC

Mini Sopwith Camel LEGO promotional item
photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr

10. Put a New Spin on Common Giveaway Items

One company I worked with wanted to give away gift cards, but soon thought of it as boring and unappealing. They then wanted to do something a bit more unusual and just give away money directly. They ended up making very cute and beautifully designed shiba inu-themed fake currency, which people could use at their stores like real money. It was a huge success.

Joey Bertschler, Content Marketer

11. Hire the Right Host

Get a fun and lively host. Whether for a collaboration online, live giveaways or shows, choose someone who is actually the consumer of the product and knows how to engage well with your customers or you’ll end up failing.

Daisy Jing, Banish

12. Focus on the Tone and Voice of Your Copy

I think that the communication voice used by brands like Dollar Shave Club and Old Spice are appealing and fun. I suggest creating promotional copy that’s inspired by the voice that these brands use, but with your own twist, of course. Your marketing copy can go a long way toward making your promotions interesting. So, create a casual and fun conversational tone for your promos.

Blair Williams, MemberPress

13. Target the Right Audience

Sell to people who want something. Thousands if not millions of marketing campaigns fail across the world, and one of the major causes of their undoing is selling to the wrong crowd. Marketing and sales aren’t creative arts, although they can be employed when running campaigns. Sales is about satisfying a need strong enough to warrant people exchanging money for what it is you sell.

Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS