Using branded items to promote your company can be a highly effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. On the one hand, you can create some goodwill with a stranger or augment that with an existing customer right off the bat, by gifting them something for free that will add practical or aesthetic value to their life. On the other hand, if they use it on a regular basis – and particularly if it’s a wearable item which will be displayed in plain view – the brand exposure you’ll receive can become all but priceless.
It’s no surprise, then, that wearables command the largest percentage of the promotional product industry today, with 35.8% of the market. 28% involve clothing, and while lower cost items like t shirts and hats might be a more consistently popular choice as a corporate giveaway, the possibilities offered by branded hoodies for marketing should not be underestimated. Indeed, as an outer garment that won’t be covered up by other layers, a hoody can potentially be far more effective at getting your brand name out there than a t-shirt, while hats are not always a popular fashion choice among everyone.
However, it’s not simply a case of slapping a company logo on a hoodie and packing it off to your next trade fair in the hope of winning over countless new clients and umpteen unpaid advertising agents in the process. In order to ensure your branded hoodies have the best chance of success in boosting your brand, it’s important to consider several ideas prior to going to print. Here are a few pointers on how to ensure you coordinate your campaign effectively to achieve the best possible results.
Quality is paramount
Would you want to wear a product made from shoddy materials and uncomfortable textiles? Regardless of whether it’s being given as a freebie, a promotional item should always adhere to basic levels of quality control to ensure that the recipient actually wants to wear it. A comfortable piece of clothing that’s soft to the touch will encourage usage and enhance the recipient’s impression of your company, while a substandard one will only tarnish your reputation in their eyes.
While hoodies are sizable enough garments that there is theoretically enough ad space to insert your entire company bio on the back, you’ll often find in marketing that less is more. Resist the temptation to indulge in overly advertorial messages and opt instead for a cleaner, classier approach. Sometimes, just the company name and logo are all that’s needed to command the requisite attention.
Having said that, it might be a good idea to stimulate interest and generate a buzz around your brand through the inclusion of something to get people talking. Perhaps a pithy one-liner, inspirational quote or even an open-ended riddle could be effective in drawing attention to the item, which can act as the springboard needed to get people asking the hoody-wearer about your brand. Depending on the industry in which you operate, humour, creativity or mystery can be great ways to light a match under your hoody’s appeal.
Don’t forget fashion
Hoodies are a highly en vogue piece of wardrobe, making them an ideal choice as a promotional product, but that status brings with it a certain level of responsibility: in order to be embraced and admired by those who frequently sport hoodies, you’ll need to ensure that your product meets their fashion thresholds. Consider hiring a professional designer or talking to our in-house team about your options prior to committing to a particular design to ensure you achieve an aesthetic fit for purpose.
Use as competition prizes
Dangling the carrot of something for free is always an attractive enough reason for people to part with their names and email addresses, as well as adding an extra element of prestige to the item in question due to the competitive nature of the prize draw. This allows you to bulk out your mailing list, give hoodies to homes that will likely use them and take advantage of the attendant advertising in the process. Perhaps a higher value item would work better as the jackpot prize, but hoodies are more than adequate as a reward for 10 lucky runners up.
Circulate among the workforce
All too often, people view branded merchandise as something reserved exclusively for customers and prospective clients, but the needs and wants of those working for you shouldn’t be neglected. By giving your employees a corporate hoody for free, you’ll immediately enhance their opinion of how the company treats its staff, as well as encouraging them to speak highly of your organisation to their peers – especially when wearing the hoodie in public. It’s a win-win situation.