When the Quality of Your Promotional Merchandise Affect Your Company’s Image
Does the quality of your promotional items affect your company’s image? Does the public’s perception of your company and goods or services change when you hand out promotional items that easily break or do not work? The simple answer to both questions is a resounding “yes.”
Imagine two companies that offer the same product. The quality of the products sold by both companies is roughly the same. Both companies decided to order promotional items to increase sales. One company bought somewhat pricey yet high-quality items for their customers. Happy with what they had received, many of the customers kept the promotional items and were able to use them years after they received the products.
The other company, however, went for cheaper promotional items. Yes, the items were cheap, but they easily broke apart after several uses. Some of the items were kept in a cabinet or attic somewhere, while the majority went straight to the rubbish bin. Apart from it being a terrible waste of money, the company’s goal of promoting its products was not accomplished. The company even lost customers as the poorly made promotional items became associated with its products.
Such decisions—whether good or bad—are made every day by business owners all over the world. After the backlash, some companies do not learn and repeat the pattern. Others do better and reap the benefits when they see their sales go up. But how exactly does the quality of your promotional products affect your company’s image?
Let’s say that your company sells apparel and shoes. Your boss decides to give away canvas tote bags with the company’s name printed on them as a promotion and to encourage shoppers to use eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. To your dismay, you discover that many of the bag straps were not stitched properly. But the bags had already been given out and there’s no way to recall them. You cross your fingers and hope that the straps will hold while your customers are out shopping. Distributing poorly made promotional items such as these has a way of backfiring on your company. Think of the promotional items as an extension of your products or service. Whenever you put out poorly made ones, they are also reflected in your product or service—and that is not a good thing for your company. Subpar promotional items can also hurt your reputation by making your company look untrustworthy. As mentioned before, your promotional giveaways reflect to your product or service. Giving away something subpar will sow the seeds of doubt on your customers’ minds and make them doubt your company’s integrity.
But they’re free—it’s not like the customers spent money on it, you reason. They should be grateful that at least we remembered to give them something (even though the pen you gave away had dried ink or many of the water bottles you handed out during the fundraiser had a cracked lid). But think of the sums of money you set aside for this promotion. Ordering promotional products is not cheap, and it can take a large chunk of your budget. Poorly made products not only increase cost but also makes you waste a lot of money in the process. Not only did you fail to promote your company when you bought those products of poor quality, but you also spent a lot of money damaging it instead.
Lastly, promotional items with better quality will last a long time. Your investment in the promotional product pays off every time a customer carries a canvas tote bag with your company name embroidered or printed on it or each time a high-flying client inks a new deal using a pen you gave away three years ago. Long-lasting products mean that you get more quality for your money.