Promotional products can elicit feelings from consumers that affect brand image.
Brand image is a term experts and professionals use to describe the way the general public views a specific brand. The impression the public has ranges from negative to positive and is based on a variety of factors. Brand image is also affected by the promotional products a company uses, which can also produce both positive and negative results.
For example, let's say there's a doctor somewhere who hands out needle-shaped custom pens to patients. While some may view it as a cute novelty item, others may associate it with a real needle and the pain they feel from it. Though the doctor wanted to give his patients something to remember him by, some of his patients might have a negative reaction to the implications of that item.
Promotional products can also give brand image a positive spin. Pharmaceutical companies that use a stuffed animal as part of their promotional efforts are good examples of this. Usually, a small toy is holding a sign with a drug's name on it or it has the emblem of the company placed strategically on the item; this advertising method takes a brand that might have a negative connotation and gives it a positive spin by showing it in a humorous light. Some companies have taken this a step even further by creating a specific cartoon character that acts as the mascot for a less desirable product.
Brand image is also affected by the quality of the product. People remember long-lasting products and associate them positively with the brand name or image. When a product falls apart or breaks days or even weeks after they’ve received it, it makes people wonder about the company that put its name on the product. If a company uses cheap T-shirts and they shrink or fall apart after one washing, people tend to view the company as less than stellar. If a company uses customized shirts that last for several years, then the consumer will have a positive association with the company.
Another factor to consider in terms of promotional products and brand image is the usefulness of the product. There are many companies that focus on novelty items because they hope to capture the attention of the consumer right away. Those products work well to initially grab attention, but if they don’t have a practical use the consumer will quickly forget about them and the company.
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