If you have your own business, you already know something about the value of brand awareness. It’s simple: If people don’t know about your product or service, they can’t buy it. If they don’t have positive associations with your brand, they’ll probably choose a competitor over you.
So how do you build that awareness? There are many ways to build brand equity and get the word out about what you offer. And one of the most effective is branded merchandise.
Things like shirts and pens with your company name and logo on them can act as moving ads, generating impressions and building goodwill towards your brand over time.
But if you’re interested in getting your name out there, consider looking past swag standbys like notebooks and hoodies, and think about things that are more useful to the customer and more visible for your brand.
To really make an impression, it can be a good idea to up the ante and think big. A bluetooth speaker with your logo on it is a gift or piece of swag that can last through years of regular use in the hands of a potential customer.
First Principles of Swag
Before we get into the many benefits of branded bluetooth speakers, let’s back up — why should your company consider branded, promotional products at all?
One of the most important things your marketing can accomplish is building awareness, breaking through the disinterest people have towards the vast majority of business messaging. You have to get your product or service in peoples’ minds.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, but at the end of the day, your first priority when getting the word out there is to create impressions: instances where potential customers are exposed to your brand.
This could be through billboards, emails, media coverage and word of mouth, but the first goal has to be to break through and get peoples’ attention. If that’s your goal, promotional products give you some of the best results money can buy.
Promotional Products: The Stats
To understand why promotional products are so effective, let’s look at some hard numbers around how people interact with and react to them. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, promotional merchandise is:
Widely used: The average household in the U.S. owns 30 promotional items.
Cost effective: The cost per impression of promotional products can be as low as 1/10 of one cent.
Popular: Consumers under 55 prefer promo products over all other mediums for advertising, including newspapers, radio, magazines, television, internet and mobile.
Additionally, a 2017 study by Promotional Products Association International found:
89% of consumers received a promotional product in the last six months
79% researched the brand
83% were more likely to do business with the brand
82% had a more favorable impression of the brand
Those are pretty impressive numbers. In an age where it’s harder and harder to get customers’ attention, and where people seem to like the advertising they see less and less, a piece that people notice, take into their homes and like can be a real coup for your marketing.
So how do you take full advantage of the opportunities custom products can offer your brand? We can see how powerful branded merchandise is as a marketing tool, but you can find ways to make it even more effective for your business by leaning into the advantages this kind of marketing already offers.
You can do this by thinking of branded products that people are very likely to keep for a while, use often and enjoy being around or interacting with. There are many good options out there, but, to return to the topic of this post, we think there’s one kind of promotional product that really ticks all the boxes.
Enter Bluetooth Speakers
If you want to really stand out and jumpstart your promotional marketing efforts, branded bluetooth speakers can get attention and build positive brand associations with your audience.
How? Keeping in mind the high-level advantages of branded merchandise we just looked at, we’ve put together a list of reasons why bluetooth speakers can really excel as your next promotional marketing piece.
1. They’re a little unusual.
One of the first rules of getting attention is to stand out, and that holds true with promotional merchandise. Promotional material like t-shirts or hats are common enough that the average person can see dozens or hundreds branded pieces just walking down a busy street.
Even something a little more substantial like a hoodie or tote bag can have a hard time standing out in the sea of branded messaging that surrounds us. The Advertising Specialty Institute’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study even found that the three most common promotional items owned by consumers are writing instruments, drink ware and t-shirts.
So unlike, say, a pen or coffee mug, there’s not much danger that a potential customer will go home and toss new bluetooth speakers in a pile with a bunch of other promotional speakers.
2. They’re useful.
On a similar note, you want to make sure you’re giving people promotional merchandise they’ll actually use. The dumpsters of many a convention and trade show have ended up overflowing with plastic sunglasses and business card holders.
A solid set of bluetooth speakers, on the other hand, can be useful to almost anyone. Even if a potential customer doesn’t need the speakers themselves, they’re likely to give the speakers to someone else.
In fact, the Advertising Specialty Institute’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study we’ve been looking at found that up to 55% of promotional items are re-gifted after customers are done using them themselves.
So even after a less useful piece of swag has wound up in the garbage or in the back of a closet, your promotional speakers will be going strong, building brand equity for your company.
3. They’re portable.
If you’re paying for a miniature mobile billboard, you’d better be sure it’s actually portable! There’s a reason branded merchandise tends to be small and easy to carry: The simpler it is to get around, the more people are likely to see it.
Small and compact portable speakers can be easily thrown in a bag or backpack, and their primary purpose is to play music in places where people don’t have access to other speakers. That means your speakers will be traveling around all the time, getting your brand in front of dozens or hundreds of eyes.
And because they’re so easy to move around, bluetooth speakers have a good chance of surviving cleaning or moving, when larger, less portable stuff — think desk items or bulky sweatshirts — might get tossed to clear up some space.
4. They’re used in group settings.
Since your goal is to build impressions, the more people are likely to see and remember your promotional products, the better. The good news is that bluetooth speakers are very likely to be used at places like parties and picnics where a lot of people can see your logo on the speakers.
The fact that your branded speakers will be playing the music that people are enjoying won’t hurt one bit, either. Whenever your branded speakers come out, people will have a good chance of noticing and building a positive association with your brand.
And the person most likely to be happy with your speakers is the one you gave them to. Every time they turn them on, they’ll get a little reminder that your company made the music they’re about to hear possible, another little jolt of goodwill that can build into real brand loyalty.
5. You can customize them depending on your needs.
If you do decide to buy and distribute some custom speakers, you have a great deal of freedom of flexibility when it comes to the actual specifications, letting you choose an option that works best for your budget and audience.
Most vendors offer a variety of sizes — CustomUSB has three — and you can consider variables like battery life, speaker power and where you can place your design.
As you’re thinking about your options, make sure to think about what your potential customers might be looking for in speakers, as well. Perhaps you know that your audience is made up of younger people who are likely to use the speakers on camping trips and at music festivals. In that case, you might prize battery life so that your customers can use the speakers without recharging too much.
On the other hand, if your audience is older and more likely to use the speakers at home, it might be worthwhile to do some research into sound quality to make sure they associate your brand with great sounding audio.
If you’re looking for an effective way to build brand awareness and start generating impressions, branded merchandise is an extremely effective tool in your marketing arsenal. As we’ve seen, people are accustomed to owning and using branded merchandise, they like owning and using it, and they can build positive brand feeling just by being around.
That’s a pretty good scorecard for any piece of marketing, and you should definitely be considering some kind of branded, promotional merchandise, regardless of what kind.
If you really want to stand out in a crowded market, however, bluetooth speakers are a great option to look at. They’re portable, useful and nice enough that your customers are unlikely to just toss them with less desirable swag.
Every speaker you give out to a potential customer is a mobile ad for your business that can last years and actively improve your customers’ lives — not bad for a piece of marketing.
Check out what kind of bluetooth speakers CustomUSB offers, or learn more the best ways to measure ROI for promotional products to start planning your next branded merchandise campaign today.