A guilty pleasure is defined as something you like that you can’t justify liking. Guilty pleasures are those things you do that you love, but feel a little ashamed to tell people about. It’s changing into your favorite hoodie as soon as you get home or lying in bed all afternoon. It’s spending an entire day watching vampire movies and then looking back to wonder if you should have been doing something more productive.
My point is: even though we may feel guilt for enjoying that something, we still indulge ourselves in it from time to time.
As a business owner, guilty pleasures are your opportunity to get into the daily lives of your customers. If you give them an item that naturally appeals to them, they will not only love it, they will use it. Cha-ching! That’s how promotional products can work their magic for your company. Don’t forget about your employees, either. You can use your staff’s guilty pleasures when choosing incentives, which will solidify your relationship with them. There is a huge “guilty pleasure market” out there if you’re willing to be a bit more creative.
Do you know a lot of foodies, coffee fanatics, or people with culinary talents? You can dive right into these potential customers’ hearts by giving them ceramic soup mugs, a Cutter and Buck stainless steel coffee mug, or a recipe calendar. These would immediately be appreciated, used, and loved.
If your audience indulges in regular pampering at salons or spas, then you may want to appeal to their delicate side. (Or maybe you give facials in a day spa, or work out of your house, making beautiful homemade soap). You could offer customers a Star Massager or a spa gift set to help them relax.
Or, maybe your clients are television or music nuts. Try giving away things that these potential customers would most likely pick up in a store anyway, like a fleece TV blanket or the Festival Music Cooler. These items will both promote your company and help them feed their pop culture and media interests.
Let’s face it—Americans love their guilty pleasures! Almost everyone has at least a couple, whether they will admit them or not. They’re part of what make us unique. They help to give each of us a personality, and without them, our lives just wouldn’t be as fun (or guilty!)
Who doesn’t love to indulge in things that make them feel good? Things like dining out at a Chinese buffet (count me in!), getting a pedicure, having your daily (or hourly) coffee, and buying pies from the local bakery are all activities that we love to indulge in now and then.
Appealing to guilty pleasures doesn’t necessarily have to be about giveaway items, either. You could provide gift cards or certificates to their favorite places or stores and achieve the same effect. Maybe your audience can’t resist playing The Sims for hours on end, rocking out to trashy music by Ke$ha, or re-watching movies like Titanic and Clueless. Or, maybe they enjoy TV marathons of Law and Order: SVU, competition shows like The Bachelor, and stand up comedy by Jerry Seinfeld. Just dig a bit deeper and you can find out what they like!
No matter how people enjoy spending their time, this is your chance to take the guilty pleasures we all have and make them work for your company! Help people love your business and give them something to remember you by.
What other guilty pleasure promotional ideas did you come up with while reading this? Would you be more inclined to give your business to a company that helped feed your guilty pleasure? And of course, what other guilty pleasures could businesses use to their advantage?