Things to Avoid When Ordering Promotional Items

Alyssa Mertes

Kyrsten Ledger

Promo Expert

Published: February 4th, 2019

Updated: April 4th, 2019

Promotional products are a cost-effective marketing tool that work for any business. The world of marketing, however, is far from perfect. By recognizing the mistakes and how to avoid them, your promotional giveaways will look nothing short of spectacular!

Here are some common mistakes with promotional products:

  • Choosing the wrong promotional product
  • Overlooking color and design
  • Picking budget over quality
  • Ignoring expected vs. guaranteed delivery dates
  • Misjudging imprint area

Sometimes an idea seems great until you follow through with it; kind of like your last holiday party when you thought recreating that dessert from Pinterest was a good idea until it looked nothing like the picture. In fact, some of our greatest inventions were made completely by accident! Take Play-Doh for instance. Back in the 1930's, Kutol Products, created a putty that was supposed to be used as a wallpaper cleaner. On the verge of bankruptcy, the company realized they had made a huge mistake and began to market their putty for arts and crafts projects. The problem with Play-Doh originally wasn’t in the product itself, but how it was promoted.

Mistakes happen, but your life should be a little easier when it comes to ordering promotional products for your brand. Learning why mistakes happen in the industry and how to avoid them will set you up for success in the future!

Choosing the Wrong Promotional Product

From the moment you wake up, you are prompted with choices. Should my outfit be formal or casual today? Maybe you want a donut for breakfast instead of oatmeal. Whatever decision you make you're choosing the one that's best for you. It's no different when it comes to your promotional products!

Just because a product is popular doesn't mean every company should buy into that product. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of something new or want to use an item because other companies have achieved great results.

Choosing the Wrong Promotional Product

Think about who is going to receive your products. A hospital wouldn't use koozies or bottle openers to sell their brand, but a bar and grill might. The hospital should instead choose hand sanitizer sprays, stress balls, or pens. Your target audience already appreciates what your business offers, and they will appreciate you even more by giving them mementos that speak to them! In fact, people hang onto these products and use them in their everyday lives.

Choosing the Wrong Promotional Product
Quote Icon

Building better and stronger relationships with your inner circle and your client base is more important today than ever before.

– Tommy Wyatt, Author of Appreciation Marketing:
How to Achieve Greatness through Gratitude

Overlooking Color and Design

Your life has been influenced by color since you were born. As a kid, you learned how to tell all the colors apart and used blue for the sky and green for trees in your coloring books. When you're at a stoplight you know what to do because of the color of the light. Even your food choices are based on color. Green usually means "healthy" and you know a banana is bad because it’s brown instead of yellow. Did you know that colors effect your emotions? It's no wonder color is also important for your promotional products!

The world is viewed through its color and design. You know to pull on the handle of a door or to push it based on the design. Similarly, your body reacts to the colors you see. Many people don't realize how much color effects our emotions and decision making. Have you ever noticed that most fast-food restaurants use the colors red and yellow? This is because red is said to increase your appetite and yellow boosts your mood. Don’t let color fool you though. Following color trends, such as rose gold or millennial pink, might not make sense for your brand.

Overlooking Color and Design

Be creative with the design but stay consistent with the color. Promotional stress balls are a hot ticketed item, but why not design them to fit your brand? Banks could use stress balls in the shape of a piggy bank whereas fitness centers might want to try weight shaped stress balls. When it comes to color there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different shades. In fact, at Quality Logo Products we offer over 180 shades of blue alone!

Picking Budget Over Quality

Money talks, but so does quality! If you're handing out giveaways to your consumers or future clients, you want to represent your brand positively. We understand that saving money is just as important as the quality of a product. However, you can have the best of both worlds!

Money makes the world go around, and in the business world, it keeps companies up and running. For a business, it's easy to put marketing on the back burner when it comes to saving money. Don’t fall into this trap! It’s possible to find great marketing materials for an affordable cost. That’s where promotional products come in!

Picking Budget Over Quality

You don't need the biggest and best product out there to make a difference. Whether your budget is big or small, investing in promotional products is the way to go! Other advertising markets such as TV commercials are on the decline as less and less people are watching television. This makes using promotional products money well spent. Knowing when to splurge and when to save will help your business in the long run.

Ignoring Expected vs. Guaranteed Delivery Dates

Have you ever ordered something online and it didn't arrive on time? We feel your pain. There is nothing worse than thinking you ordered something just for it to arrive late! That's why knowing the difference between expected and guaranteed delivery can save some headaches in the future.

Shipping and delivery dates have always been estimated when it comes to shopping online. By taking advantage of expected delivery dates, ecommerce companies are pushing their customers to check the box that says rush shipping. Rush shipping your order will make your products arrive faster, but also yield a heftier price tag. Yikes!

Ignoring Expected vs. Guaranteed Delivery Dates

Don't wait until the last minute. We know it's human nature to procrastinate, but imagine all the extra time and money you will save by being one step ahead! Requesting promotional products late in the game can cause unwanted stress and additional fees. Break the norm and shy away from expected delivery dates. If you need something by Wednesday and your delivery is scheduled to arrive anywhere from Tuesday-Friday you’re risking your order not being there on time. Most estimated shipping dates are 5-7 business days, sometimes more depending on the quantity or size of your order. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself two weeks if you can. If not, one week at least to make sure you get your order in the nick of time!

Misjudging Imprint Area

The imprint area of a product is the most important part of the design. This is the designated spot for your logo. It's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you don’t want too much information or too little, you want it to be just right! A billboard, for example, can fit much more information than a pen or a cup. However, if there is too much information on a billboard the only time someone will have a chance to read it is sitting in traffic. Plus, that form of advertising is way more expensive!

Have you ever noticed that when we engage in conversation, half the time we speak in run-on sentences? It's easy to get carried away, especially when you’re excited about your brand! Having a lot to say isn't a bad thing, but you can make a huge impact with just your logo. Don’t forget about font size. If you have to use size 6 font to get everything to fit, chances are nobody will be able to read what you put.

Misjudging Imprint Area

Know the imprint dimensions of the product you’re interested in. If your logo has your company’s slogan below it, use a product with a bigger imprint area or remove either the logo or the slogan. A pen or pencil might work better with the slogan whereas a cup or keychain might work best with your logo. You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it or clothes without trying them on, right? See what your logo looks like on the product of your choice before you commit to it. Luckily, you have options for previewing your product through free digital proofs and templates at Quality Logo Products®!

Quality Logo Products Has the Solution

When it comes to promotional products, there can be a lot to think about. At Quality Logo Products® our mission is to simplify the process and help prevent promotional failures. Take a look at all of the additional services we offer that can help you avoid these marketing mishaps.

PMS Color Matcher

PMS Color Matcher: The Pantone Matching System is a fancy way to describe numerical color codes designed to keep your brand colors consistent and accurate on a product. Every shade of a specific color comes with a code just like every individual has a specific set of fingerprints. Our PMS Color Matcher helps you find the exact color codes for your logo.

No Surprise Pricing®

No Surprise Pricing®: You don’t have to worry about annoying hidden fees when you shop with Quality Logo Products®. When you place an order online, you’ll see your full order total and guaranteed delivery date on the very first screen. The best part is your order total will self-adjust with any changes you make, whether it’s adding additional colors or increasing the quantity.

Free Digital Proofs

Free Digital Proofs: Every order will receive a free digital proof showing your logo mocked on your product of choice. If you don’t like what you see, your sales rep will readjust the proof over and over until it’s exactly what you want. In the end, you’ll never leave with a product that doesn’t meet your needs.

Stats for Success

91% have at least one promotional product in their kitchen.

55% have at least one promotional product in their bedroom.

84% of office workers can recall the brand name of a promotional product at their desk.

The Bottom Line

Think of promotional products as the new and improved business cards for your brand. Just remember, it's important to think about your colors and design thoroughly and choose quality items that fit your budget. You should also know the different delivery methods and keep your branding specific to your promos imprint area. Overall, avoiding these mistakes will improve your brand and get your logo broadcasted whether it's on a pen or a water bottle.

Kyrsten Ledger

Kyrsten Ledger

Kyrsten’s vast knowledge of promotional giveaways and marketing has led to several hit articles. She has also published work for PPB Magazine, a publication from the Promotional Products Association International.