12 Proven Branding Rules To Elevate Your Promotional Items

For any business to stand out from the rest, it has to have a strong brand. Working on your brand will improve customer loyalty. It will also help your bottom line. So, if you want to have a successful business, you have to build a strong brand.

Promotional items are a significant element of building your brand. Examples include corporate gifts and brand workwear.

Promotional items act as a physical representation of your business’s brand. They make sure people know about your business.

They are more than low-price items with your business logo. They are an essential part of branding. You can use them to incentivize staff, thank clients, and more. Branded promotional merchandise effectively conveys information about your business.

Leveling up the branding of your promotional items will excite the recipients. It will also boost revenue and improve the perception of your business. Read on to understand proven branding rules to help elevate your promotional items.


Pegboard branded promotional items

Importance of Promotional Items for a Business

Promotional merchandise has been in use in brand marketing for years. Here’s why:

A More Effective Form of a Business Card

Clients usually receive a lot of business cards, and yours may get lost in a pile. Promotional items replace the easily forgotten business card. They let you reap the benefits of a business card and more but in a unique way.

Take, for example, a custom coffee mug with your business name, logo, and contact. A client will likely use it. Each time they do, they will remember your business.

Business Exposure

When you give out useful promotional items, the recipients will likely use them. Doing so will remind them and others around them about your organization. So, promotional items give your company exposure.

Promotional items don’t need a huge investment. You can give out promotional products and reap huge sales for a small amount. A lot of sales equate to business success.

Branding Rules To Level Up Your Promotional Items

Branded promotional merchandise can create a lasting impression on recipients. Some fundamental branding rules to elevate promotional items are:

Know the Recipients of Your Branded Promotional Merchandise

Before you place an order for branded merchandise, you must know who the recipients are. Recipients could be current or potential clients. They could also be staff or people who attended an event.

Take some time to consider the demographics of the recipients. Also, think about their interests. Some questions that can guide you are:

  • How old are the recipients?
  • What is important to the intended recipients?
  • What items do they need or like?

Understanding your recipients will help you give out items that they will enjoy. If they like or love the item, the recipients will put it to use. You may get little or no return on your investment if the recipients add the promotional item to a junk drawer. So, take your time to understand what your audience wants.

Do Your Research on the Competition

Branding your promotional items takes more than creativity. It would help if you had a baseline before you started working on the branding design. Start with researching your top competitors.

You can likely list them down off the top of your head. But, if you can’t, do a quick internet search. Then, take a look at what they do in regards to branding. Knowing what the existing market offers in terms of branding will help you create a unique style.

Make sure you don’t copy an existing item. Instead, gather information about what seems to work and what doesn’t. Then, use that information to create your own style. Researching the competition will help you provide a blueprint for the brand management company you work with. 

Focus on Brand Identity

Your brand identity refers to the features that set your brand apart in the mind of consumers. Make sure your branded promotional merchandise honors your brand identity. That is because promotional products tell a story about your business. 

Figure out how you want people to see your business. You may want them to perceive your business as professional, fun, edgy, creative, or a combination of attributes. Whatever your choice is, make sure your promotional items communicate that.

Use a Striking Design

Studies show that people’s attention spans have reduced because of internet use. It has declined from 12 to 5 minutes. Today’s shorter attention spans call for the use of a striking design in branding. An arresting design will hold people’s focus, making your brand memorable.

Maintain Consistency

To be successful in brand marketing, keep the design of your brand consistent. If you keep changing it, people will not recognize your business. Maintaining consistency does not mean that you use only one design or that you use the same promotional products forever.

Doing so may give recipients the wrong impression. They may think you have an outdated brand leading to a drop in sales. For example, pens have been a promotional item for a long time. Thus, they no longer strongly affect the recipient, leading to a minimal return on investment.

To avoid the same outcome, keep up with promotional product trends. Also, use promotional products that yield the intended results. For example, getting brand workwear helps your target audience know about your businesses. It also puts your clients at ease.

Ensure Your Design Works on Different Mediums

The digital age led to the need for branding in more mediums than before. Designs have to work for websites, ads, and more. Make sure your branded promotional merchandise fits the multi-medium requirements.

Think of it like designing an adaptable brand. To build an adaptable brand, consider every place and product that will use the design. Then come up with a variety of design layouts. As you create layouts, consider the limitations of different media.

For example, some platforms have a text-size limitation. Once your brand fits the media you plan to work with, use it on your promotional items. It will keep your brand consistent and memorable.

Make Your Brand Cohesive

Make sure your brand is cohesive across all areas. Doing so allows all branding to work together to tell one story. That includes branding on promotional items. Having a cohesive brand makes it memorable, which is good for your business. 

Maintaining cohesiveness does not mean all your branding should be similar. Just ensure that it fits well together like pieces of a puzzle. Your custom-printed merchandise should form a cohesive collection. The question here is how to create a cohesive collection.

One thing you can do is make sure you have primary and secondary color palettes. That way, when you work with a brand management company, they will stick to what you want. At the same time, the variety of colors will provide opportunities for creativity.

Another way to ensure cohesiveness is by having specific fonts for the business. Specify if you want different fonts for online and print materials.

Use the same style for illustrations on branded promotional merchandise and all other brandings. Also, do a brand shoot and let it be the baseline for all future brand photography sessions. Brand cohesiveness will help your business become familiar to clients.

Keep It Simple

The design of your promotional items should not be busy. A design with too much going on will lose its appeal. A complicated design may look good during development. But when it gets printed, it will likely look terrible.

To avoid that, create a blend between the designs you want, what is feasible, and what will be appealing. Simplicity goes a long way in brand design. Look at almost all the famous brands. Their designs share one thing, and it is simplicity. 

So, use clean branding on your branded promotional merchandise. It will look great regardless of the item. Plus, if a promotional item has simple branding, there is a higher chance that the recipient will use it. Remember that simplicity does not mean keeping it boring.

You can use fun colors and fonts. The point is to use fewer elements, thus improving the odds of a successful promotion.

Be Authentic

Branded promotional merchandise has the potential to be quite impactful. So, use it to communicate your business’s message. That could mean the actual text on the item. The product choice can also convey your message.

For example, your business may advocate for environmental consciousness. If so, you can use environmentally friendly promotional items. Maybe you want to convey that your business is innovative. To do that, you can use tech-focused promotional items.

Create Branding Guidelines

Keep your branding cohesive by coming up with structured guidelines for future branding. These rules will have information on what to do and what to avoid. The brand guidelines may include the business’s core values and mission.

It may also include fonts and color palettes to use. You can also add styling methods. Lastly, list acceptable and unacceptable design manipulations.

Establishing your brand takes a lot of time and resources. Branding guidelines safeguard all your hard work. They ensure that everyone working on your brand will stick to what you want it to represent.

Final Thoughts

People enjoy well-designed branded promotional merchandise. By following the branding rules provided here, you will be on your way to providing effective promotional items. You can interpret the rules in a way that fits your business, thus improving its performance.

Table of Contents

Schedule a Consultation
I Need Help With: