6 Best Promotional Products For Startups

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So you want to build your audience and customer base for your startup quickly without having to shell out on expensive marketing campaigns.

This aversion to expenditure is a natural inclination. You’re lucky because plenty of promotional ideas could help your business multiply. 

One growth-hacking idea is to use promotional products that help spread brand awareness. However, those famous branded pens are a thing of the past. When was the last time you used a pen? So, what products work today for the modern consumer? 

An expert shares insights

Steven Cronin, the Managing Director of Easy Promo, shares expertise on this, “Startup businesses often don’t have a huge budget allocated to promotional products, and that’s ok.”

“Promotional items with a lower cost per unit can still gain broad reach and not cost you too much. Sometimes larger corporations even utilize a cheap and cheerful approach to allow their budget to go further.”

“Products such as plastic pens, magnets, keyrings, and stress balls are great cost-effective promotional merchandise ideas that still allow you to brand items with your logo and impress clients with a gift.”

1. Power banks

Digital, on-the-go devices help with a significant chunk of our daily grind. We use phones, iPads, and other mobile devices every day, and poor battery life can be the bane of our existence.

Therefore, power banks are a great, inexpensive item to give away as promotional products, particularly as they align with the image of any tech-oriented start-up. 

You provide something consumers will probably use daily as their business, offering a regular reminder of your brand. Since a power bank represents a solution to the common problem of low battery life, you build off this positive connotation for your brand.

2. Tote bags

Greenwashing is a widespread issue affecting modern businesses that claim to be ‘green’ without much substance. Yet, we can all get behind the practice of handing out tote bags at trade shows or as gifts with purchases.

Everybody must remember to take a reusable bag to the shops to save on plastic. Thanks to this trend, many elegant tote bags are becoming fashionable as hipsters use them to make a fashion statement while preventing plastic use. 

Canvas tote bags are environmentally-friendly, spacious, versatile, and can even be designer items. The point is that these bags are here to stay, and people use them in towns worldwide every day. 

This widespread use represents a fantastic, cheap opportunity to make branded tote bags that remind the carrier of your brand and other observers on the street or in the supermarket. Carriers become like a walking advertising board for your brand. 

3. Stickers

Stickers still have a great hold over many of us. There’s still something enchanting about customizing things with interchangeable stickers. And, stickers offer a cheap way of advertising your product or service by handing them out for free or sticking them yourself in prominent places where your target audience is present.

When he started, Reddit’s founder Alexis Ohanian spent only $500 on marketing — a batch of stickers featuring the Reddit logo. He gave them away to strangers on his travels while also plastering them on walls around towns. This marketing tactic helped Reddit grow steadily from a startup into its current behemoth. 

4. Cookies

As the world moves evermore digital, part of the charm of promotional products is that you offer something real and tangible to customers. For new companies with storefronts instead of only online spaces, many consumers are now craving that in-store experience to connect with a company.

It’s a great idea to augment this idea with in-store giveaways. Providing free, branded, delicious cookies to in-store customers can be a great tactic. 

You get people to associate your brand’s in-shop experience with something positive — a delicious cookie. This free giveaway should not set you back too much but may make a difference as a startup by turning one-time customers into lifetime loyalists. 

5. Bike bottles

Your startup’s industry can influence the type of promotional product you offer. For instance, it may clash with the brand message if you’re handing out free cookies in the activewear store.

For the many startups in industries related to sports and activities, bike bottles can be a fantastic promotional product. Much like tote bags, the notion of a bike bottle taps into a growing trend of encouraging people to use two wheels instead of four and get around by bike. It represents a lifestyle choice that many of your target audience may condone.

Drink bottles are a great product choice since they see regular use.  They can thus remind your customers of your brand with every use. Whether they’re going to the gym, riding a bike, or just taking a drinks bottle to work, your free promotional branded drink bottle is bound to get plenty of exposure. 

6. Flashlight key chain

So many startups nowadays need to frame themselves as customer-oriented solution providers to make a connection to their audience. Therefore, making your promotional product something your customers can use makes sense.

A flashlight key chain can attach to any key and provide a solution whenever the user needs to shine a light to get in their front door. This notion creates a positive association as the user relates your brand to the solution provided. 

Summing up

Startups face an ever-increasing challenge in raising brand awareness and building a relationship with the consumer. Promotional products often provide a cost-effective way to quickly build a connection with a customer, especially as a tangible item is always nice to receive in an evermore digital environment.

Some promotional products offer the chance to get your logo and brand seen by many people.

While other promotional products work to drive a positive association between the product and your brand. The industry your startup is a part of may determine the promotional product you offer, as you want something that aligns with your brand message. 

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