Overnight Prints provides businesses with business cards, postcards, brochures and other custom print products that are essential for everyday small business marketing strategies. However, there are other custom products that you may not have considered, that can be utilized by the intrepid small business entrepreneur who wants to experiment with new and interesting ways to product market themselves.
When it comes to putting your brand on products, most businesses aren’t very original! They tend to either go too “cheap and cheerful” with useless products like stress-balls and car antennas, or they attempt to woo clients with insanely expensive gift baskets and sports tickets!
As with all your company-marketing strategies, businesses should try to be more original with their marketing products. The following list represents my personal top-five small business marketing products and ideas that could prove to be far more effective for a small business marketing strategy:
1.) Sponsor the Uniform of a Local Sports Team
Instead of merely getting t-shirts printed with your business name on, go a step further and find out if a local sports club would like to have their uniforms sponsored by your business! In my experience, local sports teams and organizations struggle to pay for things like sports uniforms and often appreciate it when local businesses can front the cost and replacement/addition of new sports kits.
When I lived in San Diego, I sponsored the local girls soccer team that my daughter was playing for. It was great for business. I became the first company choice for all the parents and friends of the “San Diego Gazelles U 14’s”. Just as these parents were loyal to their team, they were also loyal to my business for supporting their team! I also got an incredibly valuable link from their “.org” website out of the deal!
The kits cost me $500 to initially buy and print and it cost me a further couple of hundred dollars within the next few years to pay for the up-keep of the team uniform. It was easily worth it to have a running, jumping, and scoring set of billboards with my businesses name on it! Also, it gave me the added bonus of doing something to benefit my local community!
2.) The Trusty Pen
Now. I know what you’re thinking; “Is he really telling us that a pen is an original marketing product?”
The answer to that is, no! However, I can tell you that I don’t think that businesses use pens very effectively as a marketing product! Most businesses simply give them out as freebies! This is not the best way to use a pen as a marketing tool.
The best way to utilize pens is to create custom pens with your company logo and website on them and distribute them at banks, restaurants, ATM check deposit machines, (i.e. Schools First and other credit union machines at your local supermarkets), and anywhere else where pens are frequently used (and swiped)
When I first started out in business, I used this technique often to try to generate business. It worked too! I got a few calls from people who had picked up my pen!
3) M&M Candy
If you go to the M&M website, you’ll notice that you can personalize your candy. I’ve enjoyed putting my business name and thank you messages on this candy and sending it to clients as a holiday greeting or just to say thanks for their support!
It’s such a novelty, and such a memorable gift that it can’t help but impress! I certainly haven’t received custom M&M’s from another company? Who doesn’t like M&M’s?
4) USB Drive
This has always been a highly practical and highly prized marketing product! However, it used to be really expensive to buy custom USB drives. Thanks to an ever-advancing digital world, it’s really not that expensive anymore! You can purchase a custom 64 MB drive with your logo on it for around $5, nowadays!
Now, I’m not suggesting that you get thousands of these printed, but if you can get 100 of these printed and be selective about giving them out, they will be really effective at putting you constantly in the mind of your client (you could even use a clever tagline on your memory cards; “We’re the best at what we do! Keep that in your memory”)
Because this product is going to be used regularly by your client, your client will also see your name and brand regularly! Also, by putting your logo on a USB drive, you’re presenting your business as a progressive and forward thinking business.
5) Bucket of Beer
While other companies send out really expensive baskets every year, during the holiday season, I prefer to send a bucket of beer. It usually works out at about $30.00 for each custom print bucket and shipping! So, it’s quite expensive! But it makes a really great impression on clients and makes a great alternative to the usual gift baskets that businesses send every year.
Of course, I save this gift for my very favorite customers, and I am always mindful that I’m not sending this to any customer who doesn’t appreciate a few brews!
This top 5 product list represents a few excellent products and strategies that I’ve used in the past to promote my business. I have found them very useful when trying to impress major clients and potential customers. The key is to try to be original and to NOT put your brand on anything that you don’t think will benefit your business.
[…] Top 5 Small Business Marketing Products […]
Great ideas! Keep them coming…..
I’ve found custom lip balms to be another great promotional tool. I had some handmade custom lip balms made via an artist on Etsy, and have included them in goodie bags at local events. People LOVE them, and continue to use them and mention to me that’s how they found out about my business.
This is fantastic information.
Thanks for the tips. I will surely use them.
Thanks for the great advice. I regularly give out pens, but your suggestion to leave them in banks, etc. makes more sense. I know that whenever I go to the ATM there is never a pen that seems to be working.
Read lots of tips and these were great and very useable for even my small shop. Thanks, going to line up a team right now!
Thank you for the ideas. Besides writing adult fiction, I have written a children’s series called Chester the Chesapeake (www.chesterthechesapeake.com).
The M&M’s would be a wonderful supplement for my book reading events but I don’t think I’d ever get “Chester the Chesapeake” on an M&M.
Just kidding – but sponsoring a sports team is a lot more community minded than spending useless advertising money on internet “click” ads! I may try it.
Also, the regular old (nicely done) business cards from Overnight Prints go a long way, especially when you find yourself in odd places, like meeting someone in a supermarket.
Thanks for the blog.
What fun and innovative ways to brand oneself. I am a photographer and for my real estate business, I photograph the family and give a large print so that they have it for always. My name is at the bottom of the print to remind them of me every time they look at it!!!
We sponsored a tattoo drive for a local charity resulting dozens of people indellibly inked with our logo. Every year, they have a reunion picnic/support group that we underwrite. After two years, there has only been one removal (they joined a cult).
Now those are good ideas! I especially like the leaving pens around town, the M&Ms and the bucket of beer — could even have rootbeer in it!
I always forget the wonderful M&M marketing option. They’re great; the idea is great. Thanks for the reminder!
Great tips! There are so many unique promo products on the market now, it’s pretty incredible. There are millions of products in the ASI catalog. I think the sports team uniform sponsorship is great for local advertisement – especially if you have a child on the team! I would recommend working with someone at the company you purchase your promo products from before ordering. They will likely introduce you to options that you never knew existed and can usually give you a discount if you ask.
Another unique idea is a lost and found recovery service promotional product. Recovery labels and tags are branded with the company logo and get stuck on customer’s cell phones, laptops, car keys, and anything else they would want to get back if lost. You can check it out at http://www.promotionalbrandingservices.com
Will check back for more promo product tips and ideas!
Great ideas! Another one that I have good success with is having gift basket drawings. Of course, the basket is full of my products and I call all of the people who do not win and offer them a 10% discount on their first order as a consolation prize.
Look forward to seeing more of your great ideas in future posts.
Thanks for all the great articles…We love them over at http://www.pelayodesigns.com. Keep them coming!
those are some great ideas, thanks!
Good ideas, sometimes can’t beat the old face to face networking or even better adding value to your services instead of discounting them.
What a fantastic post with great ideas!
I’m actually going to try the beer bucket idea, although I’m having a hard time locating a place with a low minimum requirement per order. I prefer to order a small amount initially so that I can verify the design turns out correctly along with making sure the quality lasts. Lowest min amount I could find was 36 buckets.
Any suggestions on where i can order a small amt initially? thx
I like it. very creative, original especially with something so common like a pen. thanks. I am going to use that idea. It’s easy too.
Hmmm, I do think I just shipped a tshirt in that has to do with this subject. That is so funny.
[…] of their business and to remind them that you still exist. Try to be original with your gifts see previous article for some great holiday […]
Ha! I really like the bucket of beer idea! But yes, you would certainly have to be careful and make sure you’re sending it to patrons who would appreciate it.
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Great post. I am going through a few of these
issues as well..