While multi-tasking last night (defined as flipping between television channels while simultaneously surfing the internet to get a Love, Ludlow update from Sundance) I came across an episode of Desperate Housewives that touched on the effective use of promotional products.
No, it has nothing to do with strategically placed temporary tattoos that feature your logo or boxers imprinted with your message.
I didn’t catch the entire episode – I joined in the middle and went right back to surfing after it was clear there would be no further references to promotional products (says something about me, and I’m not completely convinced it’s good) – so I may not have the details exactly right.
The character played by Felicity Huffman put together a dinner party for her husband so he could present a new advertising idea to his clients. I don’t recall the product, but I think it was some sort of product geared toward women.
After her husband’s suggestion of advertising on shopping carts was met with lukewarm response, she jumped in to suggest imprinting the company/product information on the outside of dry cleaning bags. She assured them that nothing could be more effective than “putting your message between a woman and her cashmere sweaters”.
Imprinting those dry cleaning bags makes sense. First, it puts the message in front of the right person. Further, I’m assuming that the product being pitched made sense in the context of having it in front of someone who is thinking about how nice it is to have their favorite, unbelievably soft-to-the-touch sweaters cleaned and ready. Catching someone in just the right state of mind adds impact to any promotion.Â Think in terms of aÂ magnetÂ with the telephone number of a pizza restaurantÂ on the fridge door of someone who is really hungry and really tired from a long day at the office.
What if your car dealer gave you a nice metal travel mug imprinted with the dealer logo, phone number and hours for the service department (with a coupon to try the oil change service tucked inside)? If you’re in the carpet cleaning, painting or wallpapering business you could imprint your details on a nice key fob (with a discount offer for new customers) and work a deal with a real estate agent so your fob is attached to the keys to the new house at closing. These are pretty simple examples, but simple and effective often go hand in hand.
Tonight while you’re multi-tasking, make a list of all the touch points your organization has with customers or potential customers. Think about how you can make each of them better – more memorable. Then make another list with things your customers have in common – things they do, interests they share, places they go. Are there opportunities for you to weave your message into any of the items on this list?
These lists willÂ generate ideas to help you build your business with and without promotional products (although we’re particularly fond of those that do).
And that’s more exciting than any episode of Housewives!
P.S. Check out what Roger Ebert had to say about Love, Ludlow, exciting stuff!
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