Events are sticky marketing but too often the opportunity to elevate brand association with the event is missed. The mistake is to think that “branding an event” means simply putting up your corporate banner, having print collateral set at the table/emailed to guests, and some corporate branded pens.
There are so many injection points where thoughtfully composed messages that capture your brand values, persona, and value proposition have an enhanced ability to “Stick”. Being intentful in the design and delivery of this messaging through marketing collateral, event design, and event tangibles needs a professional touch. We asked branding pro Allyson Jerace from BHD Promotions to share tips and insights you need to deliver an elevated branded event.
Here are some highlights from our conversation with Allyson:
Q: First question, why should organizations care about going the extra mile when branding their event?
A: Having a professional to help you decide on the best trending, innovative and unique products help you to stay top of mind. According to a study by PPAI, 94% of people remember where they received a promotional product gift. The study reveals that 83% of consumers like to get promotional products that has an advertising message. Those who receive the products, 85% of them do business with the advertiser. Furthermore, 58% of the surveyed consumers said they keep the gift items from one year to four years.
Other important stats revealed by the study is that 89% of the consumers said they could recall the advertiser’s name or company name for 24 months after getting the items. Furthermore, promotional products draw whopping 500% more referrals from customers who are satisfied with the gift items. These crucial stats lay emphasis on the significance of promotional products for marketing and brand recognition.
Ok, so stats don’t lie and clearly this matters.
Q: We know that people who are passionate about what they do and committed to excellence deliver that “something special” that is so hard to otherwise replicate. You have been a branding professional for over a decade and it is so evident that you LOVE what you do. What led to you choosing this as your career?
A: What led me into a career of Promotional Products was the diversity and the creativeness of the industry. Our position is often thought of as a Sales Position, which is correct, but we also consult people and businesses on their promotional marketing strategies, we build partnerships. It is just not about slapping a logo on a product, it is about using that product as the branding vehicle to drive the message home. This position is mainly about the relationships and partnerships we build between our clients and their people and bringing the creativeness out.
The people I deal with on a regular basis and my clients are what feed my passion. I love what I do and I love my clients. My favorite projects are those we get to be the most creative with. Helping a client design a custom product from the paper stage and then seeing it transition into a physical product is always rewarding.
Q: With tighter budgets and COVID restrictions, many organizations have opted to postpone, go virtual, or even cancel events. Many of these cuts also include “branding tangibles” since this is seen as a frill expense. What are your thoughts about cutting the branding now?
VIDEO CLIP (YOUTUBE): https://youtu.be/lt7PfkLnsyM
A: As I mentioned previously, the trends we are beginning to see are a lot are more work from home kits for employees. More employees are working from home, more meetings are conducted online, and more candidates are interviewing via webcam. When you’re in a virtual meeting with a colleague, hiring manager, or client through a conferencing platform like Skype, Zoom, Teams, or Slack, that virtual environment becomes part of your personal & professional brand. Why not dress up your area with a tumbler or a water bottle, earbuds or headphones, a mousepad, a polo or dress shirt to help identify your brand for the online host as well as the attendees? Some of our suppliers have programs out now that you can ship an individual their swag package at a minimal fee or even no fee at all. It adds a nice touch of class.
Q: Ok so an organization wants to send some amazing branded swag and maximize their budget. What are some trends and good advice you would like to share?
A: A rule of thumb most marketers follow for promotional product campaigns is to give away the items of daily use. These gifts may be pens, calendars, mouse pads, umbrellas, water bottles, lip balms and so on. However, experienced marketers work out a creative strategy. They pick the items that are not only useful but unique and of high quality for a broader impact.
These products are used as a branding vehicle for not only staff appreciation but also including virtual meetings, trade shows and events now that they have moved to online platforms. It is important to have that visual of the company logo, whether it be on a mug or a shirt down to the pens, notebooks and mousepads. We also need to depend on social media to stay top of mind. I have noticed since the beginning of Covid19, we are doing a lot of waiting in lines or in our cars and what do we do while we wait? We pick up our mobile devices and scroll through Facebook or Instagram or whatever our favorite social media platform is. Companies can use these platforms to help draw attention and have engagements with their audiences. Offer out some swag using the platforms for your marketing strategy to keep your brand image top of mind. Everyone loves swag! We have used our social media platforms to help showcase the unique and innovative projects we have worked on, to help spark ideas with our audiences.
Q: Great thoughts. So why should organizations work with a branding professional rather than picking out things online on their own?
A: Having a promotional products branding professional in your corner is important. They can help with brand consistency and image. They will ensure your brand standards are represented well. Promotional products are an incredibly powerful marketing tool since they allow a brand to connect with consumers by engaging their senses. As one of the only forms of advertising that allows consumers to interact with a brand on a physical level, promotional products often create a more memorable brand experience.
Thanks for sharing your expertise and insights with us Allyson! You can connect with Allyson and branding professionals at BHD Promotions to get a personalized consultation to elevate your next branded event!!
Remember to also check out ueventpro.com for FREE access to event resources, blueprints, and vetted pros to help you deliver amazing events … easy.