It’s not just a house that needs spring cleaning – offices and brand kits can also benefit from a deep dive and audit every once in a while. This spring, looking at your existing merchandise, evaluating its usefulness and impact on your brand identity, and making some quick plans for the future can really help improve your marketing strategy.
When it comes to preparing for the summer events season or simply as a revamp of your employee gift inventory, we’ve got a 3-step approach for spring cleaning your branded merchandise. Read on to spruce yours up!
1. Review and assess your past year’s performance
Firstly, it’s useful to review how you’ve used your branded merchandise in the past year and where it’s been the most effective. This can take two aspects: internal (employee engagement) and external (brand engagement, consumer / partner loyalty, revenue). We’ll review each below.
Internally, how have your branded items landed with your team? Have you had any feedback on that new lot of recycled paper notebooks or on the new company backpacks? Is your brand perceived to be clear and appealing enough on the items that your team carry around for meetings and external events?
It could be useful to send a questionnaire around the office and enter everyone into a prize draw to get them to participate. Yes, the prize will be some branded merchandise – so think of something that will be tempting enough, like an engraved phone case or a desk lamp!
Externally, consider the following:
· Have you been using your branded merchandise as giveaways at events? Is it successful and, if so, which items do people gravitate towards? Notebooks and pens are usually a hit with any business event, but research shows that conference participants tend to really appreciate power banks and battery packs. Does this resonate with your case?
o These questions should suggest which items you should restock with, and which may not be a good investment for the upcoming events season.
· Are you tracking how consumers use your branded merchandise? For example, do you have any way of knowing how many people picking up free branded pens are using them or contacting you as a result?
o One option can be to use QR codes and calls to action on your items. For example, ask anyone using a branded power bank to share a photo from an event on your Instagram – or let them scan a QR code to get a discount code for your products. This will give you measurable metrics to see how your branded merchandise is creating sales leads.
2. Consider new seasonal or bigger trends
We’ve recently analyzed the importance of incorporating eco-friendly merchandise in your marketing strategy. This is not a short-term trend, but an important shift in consumer expectations. It is, therefore, important to look at these types of changes in the market and allow them to shape your strategy when it comes to spring cleaning your branded merchandise.
Here are some useful questions to ask of your marketing department:
· What trends are they noticing that align with your brand identity and values?
· How can these be incorporated into your branded merchandise:
o New products, e.g. starting to use branded tote bags made from recycled cotton, can be a good idea to add to your brand kit;
o Replacing existing products, e.g. changing from branded plastic pens to those made from bamboo or recycled paper
· What should you eliminate from your current line-up, either because it’s no longer relevant or doesn’t align with your marketing strategy?
3. Reuse your existing branded merchandise
To avoid wasting products that you’ve already invested in, we’re big fans of coming up with clever ways to reuse them! Although you may have committed to a new brand look for your upcoming marketing push, or you may be switching from plastic to bamboo in the products you want to send customers or partners, this doesn’t mean you cannot use a lot of your old stock internally.
Organize internal giveaways and prizes to boost morale and reward your team members. You can offer a lot of your existing branded merchandise as prizes. Additionally, speak to your suppliers to see if they can take back stock that could be recycled or reused in a different way. You may be able to trade old branded merchandise for new designs or recycled ones, which you can then communicate to your customer base as well (boosting your green credentials!).
Happy spring cleaning!
When you reorganize and relaunch your marketing for the year ahead, get more inspiration from our Instagram feed or follow us on LinkedIn to get some savvy marketing advice on a regular basis.