Some promotional products only allow you to put a logo in a single position, and this limits your marketing efforts. For some products this might be essential due to their size. For instance, we have both golf balls and tennis balls that we can brand, but it's physical dimensions mean we can only do so much. Whilst this does not make them any less of an effective promotional product, it is a frustration.
So, when we look at some of the larger promotional gifts, we want to include as much as possible. A few companies might still only allow one position printing - this may be down to the complexity of setting up the equipment. For us though and some of our larger products, like the footballs, rugby balls, basketballs, American footballs and more, we hate to put limitations on our products, giving you something we call complete bespoke design.
What we mean here is that there are no limits on your design. The rugby balls have four panels, and our footballs can have up to 32. For both of these you can customise all four and 32 panels respectively. As you can see from the above picture, you can have the ball coloured all blue like Gibson Honey chose to, you can have both your logo and your sponsor's logo on it if you would like. You can choose where to place the logos on the ball, or you can have whatever you want to write on the ball. Bleach of Lavant had the catchy tag line "The Winning Team" on their footballs during their World Cup promotion.
There are very few limitations when it comes to the stuff we do, but now let's discuss this:
What should I include in my design?
We've shown a few examples of some of our clients' work, but you want to know what sort of things to include, and things not to include. Here is a marketer's guide of what to have and what you might want to avoid.
Company/Brand Name and Logo
This really is an essential. You want people to pick up the product and immediately see your name plastered over it. The receiever of the gift needs to immediately see who to associate the product with.
This is a good idea if you have one, and one I would personally consider just as important as the logo. The goal to achieve with promotional products is to inspire the people you hand them out to to come back to you for work. If we handed out a pen with our logo and name on it, we doubt very much if anyone who picked one up would remember who we are and what we do. Therefore, we would have "The promotional sports merchandise people" or something similar written on it, just to remind the receiver of what we do. This tag line question can be dodged though if you pick a product that speaks to your brand. For instance, at the B2B marketing expo earlier this year, we handed out little football key rings, which immediately communicates what we do as a company.
This is a great thing to add, as it is the closest thing to a CTA (call-to-action) you can have on a promotional product. They might just search online for your company name, but how much more useful would it be if you gave them the actual address to look at? They are much more likely to look at a website if they see it written out for them.
Phone Numbers and Email Addresses
This might be something you want to include, but it is not a necessity. They are going to find it on the website as long as it's clear enough. However, if you are a company that operates mostly through phone calls, then it would be a good idea. You might not want both website and contact details on there, but see how much space you have on your product.
Social Media Links
There are some marketers that would think that putting thess on a product is a bad idea, but I think in a growing digital age, it's key. There is no immediate sale or profit - that cannot be argued with. However, seeing you over Facebook and Twitter consistently and over time means that they are much more likely to lead to a sale. Most customers nowadays shop around a lot for the best deal possible, and displaying your work over time directly to them over social media is a great way to convince them.
However, there are a few rules. You might not want to share your instagram or LinkedIn pages, depending on the nature of your work. You also need to be the company that keeps up to date a lot on its digital marketing. If you do not post for months at a time, it might be a bad idea to send potential customers to what is essentially an inactive page. The number of social media links is also a question you need to ask yourself. I would not suggest putting any more than three, and again this depends entirely on the size of the product. Just make sure it's not too crowded.
Personalised Messages/Specific Events
There is nothing wrong with writing personal messages or even tying your products to a certain event; we created some footballs that were related to both the World Cup and World of Coffee, where Mercanta handed out mini branded footballs. There is nothing wrong with this, but you need to make sure that you hand out all of the products at the time. There would be nothing worse than to have a product branded with Merchandise World on it, only for then to have five hundred unwanted USB sticks that you can no longer use, or a gift to say "the agency trusted by Coca Cola" only to then lose out on the contract renewal and have two hundred unusable vintage rugby balls.
If you are a sports team and are low on your budget, it might be an idea to offer the opportunity up to a sponsor and, certainly with our products, you could have both your logo on it and the sponsor's, providing them with the exposure they need, but on the balls you want.
This also works if you want to team up with another company. If you are on good terms with the company next door, you can both chip into the products and share them.
A final word on design
Try not to cram every single detail you can on the product. Sometimes less really is more. Because you can customise all 32 panels on a football does not mean that you should. Make sure what you create does not look messy, make it clear and concise. When we work with people, we will listen to you and do as you say, but we are more than happy to share our advice and provide helpful information to get you the products that you want.
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