Thursday, 14 April 2016

Promotional Products: Do They Still Work?

We all love a bargain, and freebies can be even more appealing! But do people actually use promotional products, or do they just end up throwing them out? The answer lies in the quality and choice of the marketing product and its value to the customer or client's life.

When choosing a promotional product to use as an advertising gimmick, the savvy business owner needs to weigh up the pros and cons of the item of choice and decide whether it will add or detract from the business image as well as deciding whether that product is actually relevant to the business. Promotional items that look cheap and are of limited use to customers will soon end up in the bin, resulting in a negative business image and a wasted marketing budget.

Great Ideas for Practical Products

While pens, pencils, calendars and key rings may immediately spring to mind when choosing marketing gifts, these are items that tend to be chosen by businesses time and time again. And to be frank, if a calendar is not relevant to a recipient or a key ring looks cheap or uninteresting, these will soon be tossed aside or thrown out with the rubbish!

Choosing promotional gifts means selecting products that will stand out from the crowd and be used time and time again. This will ensure that a business name or logo will be foremost in the user's mind every time he or she uses that item. Choose products that are current, useful and desirable, such as protective mobile socks or mobile wrist straps, ideal in a world where mobile phone usage increases daily.

Ask the Customer

Finding out what customers may appreciate as promotional gifts would have been time-consuming a few years ago, but now, as social media usage has become a popular means of communication, businesses will find that they have a quick and simple way of finding out what customers want. For example, opening a business-related Facebook page is simple and allows direct contact with those who are interested in what the business has to offer.

Utilise the popularity of 'Facebook giveaways' by asking customers what they consider a useful promotional gift, and use the responses to make choices. A popular way to encourage social media interaction is to invite page followers to 'like and share' a promotional giveaway, spreading the page's reach towards a wider audience. And, of course, remember to reward those who have participated by giving them a gift as a thank you from the business.

Avoid Gimmicks

Every business owner, whether large or small, must focus on attracting customers to use their services or buy their products. Using gimmicks to attract business can backfire, leaving customers feeling tricked and annoyed and generating a negative feeling toward the business concerned, which may cause irreparable damage to a small business trying to survive.

Choose promotional products with a value to those receiving the gifts. Gimmicky products may convey a cheap business image and, while they may be inexpensive to purchase as part of a marketing strategy, will not be received with enthusiasm!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Multi-Functional Printed Lanyards

Lanyards are one of the UK's most popular promotional items, and not just because they are handy to use when combined with company ID cards.

While many of us imagine lanyards as mainly being a popular accessory for conference staff to wear, these nifty neck straps have a multitude of uses that may make you wonder how you ever lived without one!

Next time you decide to offer promotional gifts to new or existing customers, be sure to extol the virtues of printed lanyards; soon you could find your business name being worn around the necks of many grateful customers. For a marketing product that works tirelessly for any size of business, printed lanyards provide a simple yet effective way to promote a business name.

Some of the many ways that printed lanyards can be used by grateful recipients include the following ideas:

Use lanyards as a promotional tool in schools and colleges. After all, the youth of today could be customers of the future and what better way to ensure loyalty than handing out free and useful gifts? The use of printed lanyards in educational establishments will make sure that student ID cards are easily accessible, especially when going on field trips, science fairs and the many extracurricular activities that are available to students.

Using lanyards and simple ID cards is becoming popular at large weddings and other celebratory events where people may not know many of the attendees. This provides an excellent way to break the ice and get guests socialising and chatting. Handing out custom printed lanyards with the bride and groom's names and wedding date makes a wonderful wedding favour too!

Lanyards are fitted with useful clips, making them ideal for carrying items to allow the wearer to perform activities with both hands. This opens up all sorts of opportunities to promote a business by targeting specific groups of people who will find a lanyard useful. Examples include sports people who require the use of water bottle lanyards when training or competing and outdoor workers in remote areas who need to rehydrate frequently. Horse riders will also find lanyards become an essential piece of equipment to hold printed cards with emergency details should they be involved in an accident when riding far from home.

Lanyards are also ideal for using in the workplace, for carrying ID cards in an environment where it is important to be easily identified, and also for carrying objects that are essential for use in the work environment. For example, waiting staff will keep track of order books and pens if they are hanging from a lanyard; professional handymen can hang small tools and torches from them, leaving both hands free to perform essential jobs; and farmers have somewhere safe to hang tractor keys, wire cutters, hoof knives and the myriad of small items that are essential in the agricultural world.

Skiers and snowboarders also find that lanyards are invaluable for holding ski lift passes, proving more comfortable to wear than metal accessories that may rust over time.

Lanyards are suitable for everyday use and not just for sporting or work-related activities. Many people find lanyards invaluable for holding house or car keys, pens and pencils, and other items that are regularly required but often mysteriously vanish just when they are needed.

Printed lanyards also provide the perfect solution for regular mobile phone users, holding the phone in an easily accessible place. How many times have you missed an important phone call because your phone has been buried in a pocket or bag and by the time you found it, the caller had hung up? Never miss a phone call again by hanging your mobile phone from your lanyard.

Travelling groups of people such as sports teams and school bands will find that the group leader’s job is made so much easier when group members are wearing ID cards and also easily identified printed lanyards. Using a bold coloured lanyard will ensure that members can be spotted in a crowd and will avoid situations where someone gets lost.

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Many Benefits of Company ID Cards

In a world where it is important to be able to identify people for a variety of reasons, company ID cards have to be the most useful identification tools found in any workplace. These simple and innocuous little cards provide details such as name, job title and the department where an employee works and often feature a photograph for instant identification. While some are clipped to a badge, others are worn around the neck from a lanyard or simply kept in a wallet or purse to be produced whenever necessary.

Although some people may resent having to wear any form of identification, it is important to realise the many benefits – both for yourself and your place of employment. Not convinced? Read on for some valid reasons why wearing a company ID card is beneficial.

1. We live in a world where threats to security are, sadly, very real,so company ID cards can protect us as well as our colleagues and employers. ID cards offer a good way to implement access restrictions to the workplace, other related buildings, and equipment, ensuring that only those who should be in a particular area are actually there. Further threats to security are reduced by employers insisting on background checks, including police disclosure checks.

2. Many workplaces contain expensive computers, costly work tools and other items of value, and the use of ID cards ensures that nobody may enter the workplace without permission. This lessens the likelihood of theft from the workplace, and should any equipment be stolen it will be easier to trace the culprit by knowing who has been in or out of the building during the time of the theft.

3. There is nothing worse than starting a new job or moving to a new department and having to learn new names! This is when company ID cards can really benefit us on a personal level, making it easier to identify people, making working relationships easier to develop. Visible ID cards can really improve workplace relationships, creating a relaxed working atmosphere and boosting staff morale.

4. ID cards are also invaluable for improving employee-customer relationships. It is always good to know who we are talking to when we speak to a member of staff, and putting a name to a face can instantly put the customer at ease, creating positive customer relations within a business.

5. Company ID cards can provide a range of additional benefits when companies negotiate special deals and discounts with other local businesses. These benefits may cover special membership deals at gyms, discounted meals at local restaurants, and savings when shopping at stores involved in company discount schemes. A company ID card provides an easy way for employees to take advantage of any available offers and allows participating businesses to easily identify legitimate employees. Schemes such as these offer a good way to give employees a boost and a thank you for their work, and if the ID cards are worn on a branded lanyard, they also serve as an excellent marketing tool.

6. Additional benefits of company ID cards can be created by the use of magnetic stripe encoding, restricting access to buildings or rooms to just certain employees. ID cards can also function as time cards, making it easier for both staff and employers to keep tabs on working hours; they can also be integrated with a cashless payment system and used for eating in the company cafeteria, negating the need to bring money and bank cards to work.