Did you know that small businesses account for 1.5 million jobs annually and drive nearly half of economic activity in the United States? Additionally, more than 543,000 new small businesses open every month, with about 30.7 million existing in every industry – so you could say small business is booming!
These powerful statistics show aspiring entrepreneurs just how possible it is to start and run your own business; but it also puts into perspective exactly how much competition is out there. How is your small business supposed to stand out from the crowd?
Well, whether you’re just starting out or are an established entrepreneur, purchasing promotional products for small businesses is a sure way to differentiate yourself from the competition. All it takes is your logo on a lanyard, pen, or another exciting item to catch the attention of prospective customers and spread the word about your business. Plus, the odds of building brand awareness are even higher when you give away these products for free.
Effectiveness of Small Business Swag
Now you may be thinking, “Wouldn’t purchasing promotional items just to give them away for free be a waste of money?”. This is a common thought, especially if you’re on a small business budget. However, the swag statistics speak for themselves:
- 99% of people will go out of their way to get a promotional product
- Over 60% of people who receive promotional products look the brand up online later
- 85% of product recipients did business with the brand that gave away the item
Pretty impressive, right? Additionally, pricing for promotional products can start as low as 10 cents per item, leading to low marketing spend and a high ROI. If that sounds like a marketing strategy you’re interested in, here are some strategies for hosting giveaways and picking the right products.
Giveaway Ideas for Small Businesses
Before you pick a promotional product, it’s important to think about how you’ll execute the giveaway. Make sure you have a strategy in place for where and how you pass out freebies, and that it’s relevant to your target customer. For example, you might not want to give away branded items in-store if most of your customers shop online. To get the creative juices flowing, here are a few of our favorite giveaway ideas.
Events and Trade Shows
From your local farmer’s market to large corporate trade shows, there are a variety of events where small businesses can pass out free promotional products. At many of these events, people are already walking around and wanting to learn about new brands, and giving away free swag provides them with a memorable first impression of your business. Additionally, they’ll leave the event with a reminder of your brand, continuing to spread awareness at home and wherever else they bring your branded item.
Free Gift with Purchase
If you already have a customer base, including branded products as a free gift with purchase can establish client appreciation while creating additional brand awareness. Maybe the item they bought from you doesn’t have your logo on it, but the free promotional item you included with their order does. The free gift with purchase strategy also works for both product and service-based small businesses: A coffee shop could include a custom reusable straw with every latte ordered, while a dentist could give patients branded breath mints at the end of their appointment.
Promotional Products for Small Businesses
There’s plenty of promotional products out there for every type of small business, but choosing the right one ultimately comes down to your target audience and budget. You also want to ensure you purchase custom products from an established company, as 72% of consumers say the quality of a promotional item impacts the brand’s reputation. Staples Promo offers a catalog of high-quality custom products for you to choose from, including:
Pens and Pencils
Everyone needs a pen at some point in their day – so when your client reaches for one to write with, make sure your logo is front and center for them to see. Promotional writing supplies are affordable and easy to have on hand to give away at checkout counters, office desks and events.
From summer celebrations to sporting events, giving away branded water bottles keeps your customers healthy and hydrated. They’re used at a variety of public places, which means more visibility for your brand, and also help save the environment from single-use plastic bottles.
Tote Bags and Backpacks
What better way to keep your small business top of mind through branded tote bags and backpacks? People use them everywhere for everything: As a personal item on planes, as reusable grocery bags at stores or even as commuter bags to and from the office. This is why so many brand impressions are made by custom bags with logo.
Gear Up For Your Next Small Business Giveaway
Start setting yourself apart from the competition and spreading the word about your small business with unique custom giveaway products tailored to your brand and target audience.