By Lee Matsumoto—ETMG Project Manager & Giveaway Expert
Whether it’s a tradeshow giveaway, a brand awareness item, or a thank you gift, your giveaway item is a way to communicate your brand. So it should be perceived as having value. Here are five things to consider when evaluating giveaway items:
1. Usefulness: The whole point of a giveaway is just as the name implies: to give it away. But if your attempts to hand out your giveaway item are greeted with a “No, thanks” or an unenthusiastic “Oh, umm..thanks,” then you probably don’t have a good giveaway.
A useful item can be useful for any length of time. A nice laptop bag can be used until the person reaches retirement. Tradeshow bags can be very useful during a show, only to be thrown away when the show ends. But both of these can be considered good giveaway items.
2. Value: Remember: your brand and company should stand for quality, so attach it to a quality item. Unfortunately, quality items usually cost more money. The trick is to find a quality item that matches your budget. You don’t have to reach everyone, but make sure you deliver a quality message to the people that you do reach. It’s better to tell 500 people “Here’s a nice gift for you” than to tell 1000 people “We’re cheap.”
3. Branding: In most cases, you want your company’s logo to be easily visible on your giveaway, but you don’t want it to be too garish. The use of your company brand should not diminish the item’s perceived value. Ask yourself “Does the use of our logo cause people to not want to use this?” If the answer’s yes, then move on.
4. Longevity: Although there are exceptions, like the disposable tradeshow bag or a logo-emblazoned chocolate bar, ideally you want your giveaway item to have “legs”, meaning you want the user to keep it around for a while. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with an item’s usefulness. People tend to keep an item around if it’s useful to them, and throw it away if it’s not. When they throw out your tchotchke, their awareness of your company gets thrown out with it.
5. The “Wow” Factor: This is a rare item that doesn’t come along very often. It’s the thing that makes people say “Isn’t that clever?” or “I’ve never seen anything like this!” And most importantly “I want one of these!” If you’re lucky enough to have a “Wow” item, you’ll be the star of the tradeshow.
Keep this list in mind and you’ll have a better chance of succeeding than if you just pick something at random. Remember they’re called giveaways, not I-can’t-give-these-aways!
Read part 1 of this 3-part series: The Giveaway Maze