Think back to when you first started working at your current company. Remember the extensive process that followed after you finally got hired? You were probably inundated with dozens of on-boarding processes like filling out paperwork, meeting your coworkers, and touring the office.
Another one of the first things you learn about your new workplace is its company core values. Remember those? The core values from the following major companies are truly inspiring:
- One value from HubSpot's Culture Code: "Solve for the customer - not just their happiness, but also their success."
- Twitter's Mission Statement: "To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers."
- One of Zappos.com's 10 Core Values: "Embrace and Drive Change"
One of the great things about company core values is that they are well-known by employees and, often times, readily available for customers to find on their website. The only problem is that prospects and customers don’t necessarily seek out core values before they make a purchase or a decision to do business with your company.
A great way to start getting your prospects and clients familiar with your company’s core values is by demonstrating values with promotional products. Make sure your core values aren’t just meaningless catch-phrases to your prospects; here’s how to get started promoting your company core values with promos!
1. Know that promotional products are a direct reflection of your company
We’re at a stage in the promotional product marketing industry where cheap just doesn’t cut it for a couple of reasons: first, cheap promos don’t last very long. You don’t want to give out an item that will break when your customers go to use it! This is one way that promotional products are a direct reflection of your company – your customers won’t view your company very highly if you don’t care enough to give out a product that will last.
Second: recipients simply aren’t satisfied with boring or cheap promos. You need a product that will resonate with them to make a meaningful connection; positive customer attitudes towards your brand won’t come from a boring giveaway.
2. Focus on the "why" behind the product
Picking promotional products for a specific cause isn’t as easy as flipping open a catalog and choosing any random item, especially if you want to promote core company values. You have to make sure to pick an item that in some way relates to your company’s values or culture code, also known as the “why.” Why does this product relate to your company values? Why are you giving it to prospects? Let me give you an example:
- Example company value: "Our company is devoted to protecting our planet and has a commitment to utilizing sustainable practices."
Now more than ever, it is important for companies to take part in eco-friendly practices. Not only because our environment needs it, but because companies that practice sustainability are highly valued by consumers. According to a study by Nielsen, two thirds of customers that value environmentally conscious practices will choose products from sustainable sources over other conventional products.
A great way for companies to promote their core value of being environmentally conscious is by using sustainable promotional products. One of my favorite eco-friendly products is the Trash Talking Recycled Lunch Cooler. Not only is this product made with 100% certified recycled PET material, but it’s a high quality, useful item that is sure to impress prospects - especially the consumer group that values sustainability.
3. Be creative
Promoting core values with promo products doesn’t have to be as literal of a connection as the sustainable example mentioned above. After all, how do you relate catchy values, like Twitter’s mission statement, to a promotional product that completely explains the value? You’re not always going to find a product that directly relates, but there are thousands of promotional items available to match your company’s industry and the message behind the value.
For example, one of our clients was hosting an annual employee event that had the theme of "connectivity." We knew that the perfect promo for this event was the PowerKit, a kit that contains four useful charging elements: wall charger, power bank, car charger, and a multi-link cord manager. All of the items in the gift box that is ideal for employee appreciation giveaways demonstrated connectivity through the use of mobile devices.
So, what about Twitter's mission statement? A promotional product that’s a perfect accompaniment to Twitter’s core value would be a power bank. The company aims to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas.” A power bank allows users to do just that by charging up their mobile device to use Twitter. Not only is this promotion thoughtful and useful, it has a direct correlation to the company’s most important core value.
4. Leverage imprinting methods to communicate values
Displaying your logo on a product doesn’t have to be the only way to indicate that the promotion is from your company. A simple way to promote company values with promos is to put the value on the product itself! We implemented this strategy for one of our clients by designing a travel tumbler that listed all of their core values.
The tumblers were given to employees; the idea was to inspire employees to keep their company's core values fresh in their minds daily. Of course, there are a couple of considerations to this method. You don’t want to put a company value that’s three sentences long on a promotional product – it probably won’t fit, and the design could get messy. However, in the case of companies like our client's that has short phrases as values, imprinting the value on the product is completely doable.
Promotional products are more than just a giveaway – they can be used as part of your marketing strategy to resonate your company’s core values with your clients. By making sure your promotional products relate to your company’s values, products, and services, you are making a meaningful connection with your prospects.