Are you scratching your head trying to figure out what will expand your customer base? A level of customer loyalty that makes them feel guilty if they even think about buying another brand – is that what you’re looking for?
Well, as you’ve already found out, easier said than done! Capturing a sizable share of the market and then holding on to it is the stuff dreams are made of, but to make them come true is a ball game that needs strategy and swag.
So how do you capture and retain customers torn between brand loyalty and changing trends in the “consumer experience”?
Fortunately, there is a way, and it’s called “Creating Brand Ambassadors.”
Do you think I’m talking of expensive celebrities endorsing your products? No, of course not! By “Brand Ambassadors,” I mean your clients – and if you’re serious about selling your brand presence, I’d include your employees and dealers, too; they all have stakes in your business and can be your most loyal advocates.
Surveys and research done by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) have established a direct link between Corporate Gifts and an increase in sales due to improved brand recognition.
It also acknowledges Promotional Gifting as having a better return on investment than other forms of advertising.
I’m talking about creating long-term influencers, endorsers, and champions of your brand by investing in corporate gifts. How does it work?
It is an effective way to build mutual trust, respect, and goodwill, which triggers a buy-in that no now-you-see-it- now-you-don’t advertisement can achieve.
Since I’ve got your attention, here are eight convincing reasons corporate gifts are one of the most effective strategies to create brand ambassadors.
1. Include An Offline Strategy To Clinch It
Retaining your market share is like staying afloat – you can succeed by moving your limbs for a while, but eventually, you’ll need help to stay that way. Similarly, you’ll keep going under unless you’ve got a good combo of various strategies for successful brand promotion.
Specifically, an effective promotional campaign includes both online and offline strategies. So you’ve got all the media angles covered, but what have you been doing about offline promotion? That’s where corporate gifts come into the picture! It’s what they call the “personal touch.”
Studies say that far more consumers remember a company’s brand names from whom they received a promotional gift than those who have only seen an ad in print, on TV, or online.
Also, have you thought of the possibility of your client taking a selfie with your “handy” gift and posting it on social media? It can’t get any better than that, can it?
2. Create Emotional Engagement
Creating lasting relationships is more satisfying than anything I’ve ever known. And gifts have always been a part of strong relationships. So who will be most likely to talk about and push your product?
Someone who has connected with you and your company, who has respect and mutual admiration for both. There’s no better way to cement a relationship than giving someone a useful gift with your name.
It triggers emotional engagement with your brand, something that is worth a thousand ad campaigns. The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) survey shows that companies who gift have twice as much a chance of converting customers than those who don’t.
3. Boost Brand Name Longevity
What would you do with a beautiful leather-bound journal that you got as a gift or a customized laptop stand? Please keep it on your desk and use it. And what happens every time someone looks at it appreciatively? You tell them where you got it from, of course.
Corporate gifts give your brand name longevity. For example, 87% of people surveyed by the BPMA said they kept a corporate gift for more than a year.
94% of them stated that they never forgot the company’s name who had gifted them. A useful, appropriate gift will be welcomed and used regularly, serving to jog the receiver’s memory and everybody else who sees it.
4. Validate Their Worth
There’s no better way to tell your employees, clients, dealers, and sometimes even your suppliers that they’re important. It’s exactly how you tell your family and friends what they mean to you. So why not your professional associates?
This is the simplest way to validate how vital your stakeholders are. A “thank you” gift with your name tells them that they matter to you and that you appreciate their association.
Studies show that corporate promotional gifts help to change buyer behavior and habits. Now that’s something a lot of promotional strategies can’t boast of. The bonus is that you’re grabbing their attention and making them tell others about you.
5. Internal Advocates Can Turn The Tables
Leaders know that people who love their workplace will work better. If your core team and dealers haven’t bought into your company, you should forget real growth.
Internal advocates are your staunchest champions, you take care of them, and they take care of you. Brand loyalty starts from within, and if your team is rooting for you, there’s little that can go wrong.
To quote Richard Branson, “if you take care of your employees, they’ll care for your clients.” But, of course, a brilliant way to show them you care is to reward them with a gift for their sincerity and commitment.
Nothing drives men and women like appreciation and if you gift something that can be used at home, think of the additional allegiance you get from the employees’ families.
6. Customers Trust Customers
“Word of mouth (WOM) or viva voice is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication” – that’s what Wikipedia says. But unfortunately, what it can do for your business is something it doesn’t tell you about.
Well, then I will. A recommendation from your customer will always be taken more seriously than one from you. Research findings show a 65% likelihood of a consumer choosing your brand on the recommendation of another customer or employee rather than an ad or other promotional tactics.
WOM is the affirmation of the value of your product from a customer to a prospect. So how do you get it? By securing a rapport with the customer through corporate gifts. Imagine what happens every time your client takes out their logoed wallet, USB card, or cardholder.
If it’s pretty to look at, someone’s sure to ask them about it, and you’ve got your one minute of fame. You’re set up for the long haul when your customer is pushing for your product.
7. Promote Display Of Brand Loyalty
An elegant planter sitting on your client’s windowsill, coffee served in a swank set of mugs with your name on it, or a backpack going on holiday with your employee – all of them are billboards for your company.
A corporate gift displayed at a cocky angle in an employee’s home, on a client’s table, or in a dealer’s office is a public display of brand loyalty that easily turns into a topic for discussion. But do I have to say more?!
8. Humanize Your Product – Create Goodwill
We’re all human beings, after all. Showing the human side of your business connects as nothing else does. Unfortunately, in this robotic world of dog-eat-dog and cutthroat competition, promotional campaigns are many-a-times eyed by customers with distaste, if not worse.
Brands and businesses have become faceless machinery churning out products claiming to be better than the other. However, a carefully considered souvenir speaks volumes about the company and its philosophy. It makes people look at the company differently and give you positive reviews.
The Bottom Line
Research says that 85% of consumers do business with a company after receiving a corporate gift. Life is a give and take. A well-thought-out gift speaks of mutual admiration, respect, and goodwill. If that’s what you’re giving them, that’s exactly what you’ll get back.
In the end, what you do makes a difference; choose well. I’ll be back with more news and info.