This month I’m thinking about all the events we business owners attend…and the many promotional items that are given away. Most are very safe, “true-and-tried” choices. So when some new clever, innovative products show up, they stand out.
Here’s a few that have stuck with me:
Years ago I attended a health and wellness show where a realtor had set up a booth. That was Sylvie DesHaies, and she was giving away samples of this “bag to earth.” That was just as the Green Bin and composting program was getting started in Ottawa years ago. I still remember Sylvie, and I’ve continued to use Bags to Earth. (photo on the left, below)
Virtual Works always gives away office supplies. And since their job is to manage the backend admin work for businesses and organizations, that makes perfect sense. Here’s a pack of PostIts which I use so often-and love! (middle photo above)
Years ago, Concierge Home Services gave away sturdy shopping bags, long before grocery stores began to phase out plastic bags. I used mine until it gave out and had to be recycled.
Glebe and Byward Chiropractic (now Curavita) gave away this fabulous cold pack last year (photo on the right, above). Considering that many people go the clinics with sprains, injuries and sore body parts, this is the absolute perfect giveaway. I love mine.
Inspired Getaways is a business where you rent space to host creative retreats such as quilting weekends. The owner came up with bags to hold quilting/sewing supplies as well as aprons to give away. She bought enough extras that people can buy them online as needed.
That’s just a few of the truly memorable promo items that stick in my mind. And then there’s others that are so boring and clichéd that I wonder why people bother at all.
My opinion is that if I’m giving away something that has absolutely no value or use to the end user, then there’s no point in doing it at all. It just makes a bad impression! That’s why instead of doing a last-minute order of pens and notepads, consider spending a couple of hours trying to come up with a promo giveaway that will be
- actually create value
You don’t have to have a huge budget. But you do have to put some thought into it. Choose something that works for your business, something people will use, and don’t be afraid to get creative and try something innovative. And if you really aren’t sure what to choose or it’s your first time with promo items, talk to a professional. Here in Ottawa there’s 2 companies I would recommend:
- Bright Future Developments – Melanie Moore, 613-727-1990www.bfdinc.com
- Brymark – Annette Cassselman, 613-737-4556 (x133) www.brymark.com
Keep in mind that promotional items aren’t just trinkets that carry your business logo or website; they should be part of a thought-out marketing strategy that makes a great impression and offers something useful to the recipient.