Home / Blog / Marketing & branding / How Can Merchandising Promote Brand Loyalty?
25th September 2022 in Marketing & branding
Attracting a loyal customer support base is the aim of any brand. But you may be wondering where to start. In today’s marketing world, where so many names, logos and messages are thrown at us, it’s more important than ever to make your brand memorable. Deeper connections between you and your customers are forged by creating a great customer experience. In turn, they will be more likely to buy from your business and continue the conversation about their experience with those around them. The key to cutting through the surrounding marketing noise and kickstarting this customer relationship is by utilizing branded merchandise. We’re here to guide you through how merchandise promotes brand loyalty and what you can do as a business.
Focusing on handing out products that are useful is absolutely essential. Though we all love a free gift from time to time, that gift is rather pointless if we aren’t going to make the most of it and use it often. Items such as pens, notepads, bags and mugs that will likely be used every day are great options.
Usefulness also helps to increase the longevity of the product which maintains brand exposure over long periods. According to research conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), people continue to use a promotional product for around 12 months on average, much longer than they would keep a business card, for example. More specifically, drinkware like mugs and water bottles are kept for roughly 11 months, whilst umbrellas and t-shirts come up top, remaining in the recipient’s possession for around 14 months. There is no doubt that this is down to a products utility. Offering something which directly contributes to improving someone’s life in one way or another will motivate people to become regular customers after experiencing the type of unmatched by other brands.
The life of promotional products often extends beyond the original recipient. For example, the humble bag is one of the most effective items in merchandising because more often than not, it is shared around amongst others. As many as 61% of promotional bags are given to someone else, which increases exposure for your brand, as its new owner begins their experience with it. Indirect loyalty may thus also be fostered as a result of opting for useful items.
Great branded products also help promote loyalty by boosting your company reputation. Around a quarter of people who received a promotional item perceived the business in a more positive way than they did previously. People enjoy the personal appeal of branded products. Whether you hand out something at a trades fair that people said they liked or send out a gift to new customers as a reward, you will be helping forge those deeper emotional associations which contribute towards long-lasting positive perceptions of your brand and its message.
Using promotional merchandise is one of the best ways to ensure your brand remains memorable. The endless stream of internet ads, social media posts and pop ups means that many brands often get lost, even if they have a lot to offer. Coupled with that, alternative advertising mediums such as television or magazine adverts tend to cost more per impression than branded merchandise. Offering advertising which is tangible – in other words, that which can be touched or felt, adds real value when it comes to fostering loyalty amongst consumers. Approximately 85% of people remember the brand from whom they received merchandise. It’s not surprising that promotional products have such an impressive recall rate – merchandise injects personality into your brand and is sure to make a lasting impression.
Satisfaction with a product that meets customer needs, as is extremely likely with a promotional product, leads to further conversations. Whether that be with friends, family or a work colleague, people are likely to spread the word about your brand following a positive experience. Given the trusted and reliable nature of word of mouth, you’re sure to gain valuable trust and loyalty as a result.
You can also encourage word of mouth recommendations by rewarding customer feedback. If customers offer you good feedback on the product or services they chose, you can reward them with branded merchandise. In this way, you are keeping the conversation going between your brand and the customer. They are sure to feel valued and will in turn be inclined to recommend their positive experience, thus attracting a larger customer support base.
Of course, branded merchandise does all of the above, but by increasing brand loyalty, your customers are more likely to spend more. A study conducted by top consulting firm, Bain & Company found that as customers become loyal to a brand, their spending increases. Spending almost doubled from the initial 6 months of buying from a company through to the 2-and-a-half-year mark. The statistics really do speak for themselves!
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