Why "What's Hot" Could Be a "What's Not" for Promotional Products

  • Dec 12, 2023

The question I'm asked most often at trade shows and in conversation, especially by new clients and prospects is, "What's hot?" You easily can substitute trendy, cool, popular, or another similar adjective for "hot" in that query.

The fact is that "hot" doesn't necessarily translate into a promotional product that will be a successful marketing tool for your particular needs for a variety of reasons:

  • Just because it's the hot, new item on the market doesn't make it the right item for your particular target market. In fact, your target market may see it as gimmicky, not useful to them, too "young," too "old," or just not a good fit for their needs. If they won't use it, it's not a good choice.

  • Trendy items are often just just fads. They're here today and in the back of a drawer or in the garbage tomorrow.

  • Popular items have a problem that's inherent in the adjective itself, at least when it comes to marketing clout. If it's "popular," then it will be one of the most prevalent item being given out at a trade show or as a marketing gift. That means you now need to compete to make sure your choice in that item category really stands out and is the one that people want to keep.

  • New items aren't always the best possible choice, especially when it comes to tech items. Remember when those power banks used to catch fire? Well, they still pose a potential hazard, but the manufacturing process has come a long way with safety in mind since they were first introduced. Sometimes an item with great potential needs to go through some growing pains before you should put your brand on it.

  • Even if it's an item everyone covets, does it make sense as a marketing tool for you? If people will take it and use it and have no connection in their mind to the company they got it from (other than the name printed on the item) it's an expense, not a marketing investment.

Ultimately, a promotional product's job is to create what we call strategic memorability™ - an item that will create a memory of the heart or mind to what you do or a conversation you had with the recipient that will entice them to do business with you.

It's time to start asking, "What would an effective promotional product be for us?" And that question should lead to questions about your goals, target market and more!

 


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