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10 Terrible Ways to Purchase Promotional Products

Posted on 04/15/14 in Crazy Cud
Close Up of CowThere's a science to everything. For some people, the good news is that even a broken clock is right twice a day. If you'd like to fail miserably every time out of the gate, we're here to help. This is a winning formula for losing every time when it comes to buying products to promote your fine organization.

1. Miss the Mark - One of the easiest ways to buy a terrible promo is to misread, or simply not read, the needs of your target audience. You could purchase branded car accessories, like sun visor clips, when your business is in Manhattan, where a sizeable population either doesn't own a car or rarely uses it. Distribute a cute container of jelly beans at the American Dental Association convention. Send mini calculators to actuaries - what are the odds that they already have a good one? Ask an actuary this question and you'll actually get a statistical response.

2. Lack Emotion - Being dispassionate is a great way to do anything (please say you're picking up on the sarcasm here). Best of all, choose a promotional product just because you think you need one and check this off your "to do" list. Who really cares anyway?

3. Bore Everyone - If you do a good enough job at being dispassionate, you can select a promotional product that even bores yourself. It's hard to bore everyone, but it is possible. Perhaps a mouse pad that features a design of an extinct horticultural species, represented in grey scale with stick figures? At least you'll be ready for a good nap.

4. Poor Design - Take your green logo and slap in on a green coffee mug. At least you'll know it's there and the truth is, anyone can see it if they look close enough.

5. Be Impractical - Purchase paperweights for your next trade show. Not only will the shipping costs cripple your budget, but moving the cartons may also cripple your staff. The best part is that anyone who receives your branded paperweight will likely toss it out as soon as they realize that's the reason their bag is so darn heavy.

6. Overspend - A classic. Buy a really nice promotional product that everyone loves, but you can only afford to give it to a small fraction of your target audience. At least those who receive it will be thrilled; hopefully enough to offset the offended many who receive zilch, nada, nothing.

7. Under-spend - There are many ways to do this. The best is to start with a woefully unrealistic small budget. Then, find the cheapest item available and don't worry about the quality, or lack thereof. What makes this really terrible is that everyone who receives this lacking promo will now think less of that brand attached to it.

8. Lack foresight - In 1979, when everyone was starting to buy cassettes, I kept buying 8-track albums, because who could imagine a more convenient way to listen to music anyway. I'm sure someone has a supply of 8-track head cleaner solution that they'd be willing to affix your brand to.

9. Make a hasty decision - Look, you're a busy person with important things to do. Buying a cool promotional product that separates your brand from the competition is not the sort of thing that you should concern yourself with. Just pick anything and call it a day. What's more important is figuring out why your numbers keep going down. Besides, it takes forever to find a good promotional item.

10. Get a lot for your Money - Remember, the only way to be sure that you don't run out is to buy a giant quantity, and because the budget is finite, you'll need to buy cheap. The important thing is that you'll never run out of the branded ice scrapers made from thin plastic - the ones that break all the time. Good thing you've got plenty!

There you have it. The perfect list for purchasing promotional products terribly! If this is helpful to you, please contact one of our competitors for assistance.


Posted by: Robert Stillman
Our CEO


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