Marketing February 6, 2015

Promotional products are everywhere: A branded history

Promotional products are not a new phenomena, marketing gurus’ and entrepreneurs have recognised the value of incentives since the beginning of trade. This month we look back at one of the most famous and significant examples of how incentives can transform a businesses commercial success!

Learning from the past

We’ve all heard of Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, it’s a brand that’s become a household name. But before it was a chewing gum business, in the 1980’s its founder William Wrigley Jr used his entrepreneurial spirit and gift for seeing thing’s from a customer’s perspective, to provide promotional free gifts for his customers – which eventually led to him diversifying his product from Soap to Chewing Gum!

Originally selling his dad’s scouring soap, Wrigley started giving extra incentives and free gifts – such as cans of baking powder – to encourage customers (which were merchants) to stock the soap on their shelves. But a strange thing happened, the free gifts ended up being more popular than the soap! Spotting a gap in the market he then switched to selling baking powder – using free gifts to promote the sale. This time the freebie was the now much-loved chewing gum; which again turned out to be more popular than the baking powder! So in 1893 Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum, a product that we now know and love, was born – and with it a notable early success story for retail incentives.

So what can we take from this?

This is a great example of tapping into what customers want, creating demand and truly listening to what they want. In Wrigley’s case, people were buying his products just to get the free gift! It shows that by offering something extra, you can add value to your customer’s buying experience with you, and demonstrates that you value and appreciate their custom.

Recent research by the BPMA reflected that 94% of people are more aware of a brand after receiving a promotional item, 59% feel more loyal to a brand after receiving a promotional gift, and 60% said it makes them feel more positive about the brand.

If your promotional gift is something that your customers will enjoy and find useful, then it can be enough of an incentive to encourage a purchase – and repeated purchases too for that matter. You see, thats the power of promotional products – they create brand and product awareness, excitement, demand, and brand loyalty.

Like this blog? Read our previous post on the power of promotional products in line with BPMA research: Tips on using promotional merchandise

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

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