Can I have something different?

When discussing a new promotional campaign, I am often asked for “something different”.

Our industry, like that of retail, provides for this in spades with the frequent release of new ranges, products and ideas. Coco Chanel said that “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”, and while that may be the case in fashion, I remind my clients when they ask me for “something different” that reinventing the wheel is not always necessary when it comes to branded marketing collateral.

The first thing I establish is WHY they want to be different with this product or program. Is it simply because they are bored of seeing the same items being presented to them? Certainly, it is fair to say that a lot of marketing managers may feel this way. Where that may be the case, I suggest they consider whether their clients are likely to have a similar opinion, given that they are unlikely to have seen the same array of products.

I then try to ascertain what the word “different” means to them. For some, it may be simply be a more striking coloured pen than their classic black stock range item, while for others, it could indicate a desire to produce an innovative branded product previously unseen by the market. While clever new gadgets are fitting for certain businesses, they don’t suit all and have the potential to date. For example, a USB with less than one gig on it was once hot property!

Something “different” can also refer to a customised piece. Again, these are well received and viable in certain instances, but one needs to remain mindful that their creation often requires more time and greater investment, due to increased cost per unit and the application of minimum order volumes.

Marketers spend over $1.34 billion dollars (AUS) and $144 million (NZ) according to the Australian Promotional Products Association, so investment in new products, fabrics, textures and decoration techniques occurs continually. Stock items do not stagnate on shelves as they may have in the past.

Listed below are a few simple strategies to enhance stock items and make them “different”.

  • Consider alternate logo positioning – for example, placing a logo along the bottom hemline or on the sleeve of a polo works surprising well.
  • Place vibrant lifestyle imagery, utilising a digital print and/or a rotary digital print, on your branded product to elevate it and make it unique.
  • Personalise your product, by including the recipient’s name (and logo), to heighten its likelihood of retention.
  • Mix up the standard colour palette and incorporate “in trend” colours into your packaging or product to give it a contemporary feel.
  • Buy Australian Made products (and label it as such) to show your business “supports local”

“Different” can sometimes be better, however nothing is as important as considered forethought in the product selection process.  A promotional product industry specialist will guide you and help you select the right product for your business.

What do YOU think about when you think of the concept of receiving “something different” in a promotional product?

“The SCOODA Quick Read” is a weekly educational series created on “all things promo”