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During a slowdown, the first reaction to the situation staring in your face is to cut budgets across various functions. While some of these cuts are justified, others like those for advertising and promotions indicate a knee-jerk reaction.
Studies in the past have shown that advertising and promotional spends should increase or at least not reduced in a bad economy. This is to help increase the probability of business by reaching far, wide and penetrating deeper into the customer base. Companies that have increased their advertising and promotional spends have delivered better results than their competitors who have missed the trick. Out of sight is out of mind. You need to stay afloat and stay visible.
In a recession, a consumer gets more discerning, watchful and is always look out for more value for his money. It is here that companies who attract his attention through irresistible offers, deals, promotions and freebies are able to overcome the recession tide and stay afloat during tough times.
Promotional products and corporate gifts are cost effective tools in a downturn. They help in retaining brand loyalty, increasing market share and ensuring easy brand recall in a crowded marketplace where everyone is vying for the customer’s attention. Promotional products and corporate gifts are great tools for fostering goodwill. Some of the ways in which they can support are:
On-pack promotions: Brands that offer attractive freebies like t-shirts, watches, caps, backpacks, key rings, stickers and other stuff lure consumers into choosing that brand ahead of others simply because the customer sees a better value. When I ask my 11 year old to choose his chocolate beverage during our monthly grocery purchase, he chooses the one that has a freebie to go with it. That’s not all; he is very loyal to the Kinder Joy brand and for the same reason since the brand bundles an “assemble it yourself” with its product. Ditto with McDonald’s who offer a toy with their happy meal pack that keeps changing periodically for repeat business.
Brand & consumer activations: Promotional products are perfect allies during brand or consumer activations that help in stimulating the buying process. Since it shifts the focus from the sales process to the buying process, promotional products like t-shirts help in creating, and sustaining brand awareness, connecting and engaging the customer through various initiatives like contests, road shows and other promotional events.
Employee engagement: In hard times, when future is uncertain, morale is bleak and companies are unable to hike wages, it makes lot of sense to recognize, reward and retain your performers. In my personal opinion, budgets allocated to engage employees, recognize and reward them should never be cut down. Small gifts on their birthdays or anniversary’s, distributing company’s merchandise during special occasions like annual day or New Year are some of the ways promotional products help.
In our blogs to follow, we will discuss how companies can optimize their buying process to gain more value for money during an economic slowdown.
For more information about how promotional products and corporate gifts can help your company, visit us at www.spentacorp.com