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Is there still value in a freebie?

Date: Wednesday, 23rd August 2017 | Category: , , , ,

Whether it is a pen or a holiday we all love getting free stuff. But how much value is there in a freebie?

Out-dated and cheesy or appreciated and valuable?

What is a promotional freebie?

These are essentially just products given out to people for free to promote your business. Whether it’s a pen at a bank or a carrier bag at an exhibition, most us have bagged ourselves a freebie, intentionally or not.

Benefits of freebies

Freebies, a bit like marmite, tend to be either loved or hated, but there is no denying that for some businesses they certainly have their benefits…

  • Increased brand recognition

The most common reason for using a freebie is to increase recognition and awareness of brands, with a hope that they remember you in the future when your product or service is required.

  • Mass reach at a reduced cost

It does not cost as much as you might think to distribute freebies. They can act as a way to reach a mass amount of people at a relatively low cost. You can also use a freebie as a supporting aid to help with your marketing campaigns, to reinforce messages and act as a reminder.

  • An alternative business card

 Business cards will always have their place in the world but promotional freebies can offer something a little quirky and unique. They offer a different solution for how you can display your contact information to prospective clients. If you can tailor this to something that is specific to your business, then it can be incredibly beneficial. So for example a clothing company offering coat hangers or garment bags, or an accountancy firm offering a calculator.

We asked our network whether they think there is still value in a promotional freebie. Here’s their thoughts and tips…

  • Use them sparingly and most importantly make sure they reflect your positioning
  • It’s okay to use cheap stuff for exhibitions but use really nice high quality stuff for specific targeted campaigns – this allows you to compensate for the people who are very likely to come up to your stand to just ‘borrow’ a pen
  • An alternative is to have tailored “gifts” for use at smaller events that offer more value and that makes them think of you more highly
  • Branded merchandise is still one of the most important components of the marketing mix – it is a billion-pound industry in the UK alone. You have to make sure the product appeals to the intended recipient, if they are not going to keep hold of the item and keep using it, then it’s not doing its job.

There are of course those who do not agree in the use of them, with some of our replies branding them “tacky” and “worthless”; this is where picking the right product, the right time and the right audience comes in.

Promotional items can work, it’s knowing how to make them.

If you are looking to start a new campaign (with or without a freebie), then get in touch and see how we can work with you.