A friend of mine recently told me about a conference he attended and how he was looking forward to meeting with a very well-respected company in his field. He saw the company lined up in the huge sea of vendors and made a point of carving out time during his first day to meet with them. After having a great discussion and making a connection with two different company representatives and leaving them with his contact information, they handed him their giveaway and he went on his way.
At first look he loved their little yo-yo gift. It stood out from all the other pads of paper and pens he’d been handed already and reminded him of playing with yo-yos as a kid. His disappointment came when he tried it and was surprised to find it barely worked.
Luckily he already had a positive opinion of the company based on previous knowledge and personal interactions, so one failed promotional product would likely not have changed the way he felt about the company as a whole. However, this story could have easily gone differently. His interaction with the reps could have been minimal or poor and receiving a mediocre giveaway wouldn’t have helped a thing—and could have just made his opinion of them less favorable. This story that is unfortunately too common, does cause one to pause and wonder why anyone gives away something that offers no value to the recipient.
If you ever find yourself wondering what to give as a branded giveaway, be sure to ask this question first:
If your giveaway didn’t have a logo, would it still be a great product?
If you giveaway adds nothing of value to your brand or even detracts from it (or barely works at all), you may want to reconsider distributing that item altogether and come up with a different idea.