The more consumers are aware of your brand, the more likely they are to buy from your brand. Some marketers estimate it only takes 7 impressions or interactions for a consumer to decide to buy from a brand. Branded merchandise, or promotional merchandise, is one of the most effective advertising mediums for increasing brand recall and achieving brand loyalty and resonance.
Build Brand Loyalty with Increased Brand Awareness and Positive Brand Image
Brand awareness, the ability of a consumer to recall or recognize a specific brand based on characteristics such as logo, packaging, or brand name, plays an important role in the purchasing decisions that consumers make each day.
Brand recognition and recall are two key aspects of brand awareness that influence consumer attitudes and emotion. According to a well-known study on the effects of brand awareness, published in 1990 by Hoyer and Brown, brand awareness is a rudimentary level of brand knowledge that can range from simple recognition of a brand name to “a highly developed cognitive structure based on detailed information.”
Increased brand awareness from advertising and publicity can lead to higher sales and larger market share – especially when combined with positive brand image, another dimension of brand knowledge. Brand image (or brand perception) refers to the consumer’s perception of a brand’s quality, based on all the associations they have formed about that brand based on every single interaction they’ve had with that brand – both good and bad, from slow website speed to discounts and freebies – such as samples or promotional t-shirts and hats – to a negative customer service experience.
If your industry is very competitive, brand awareness is especially crucial for increasing market share. Decades of research has demonstrated that consumers participating in blind taste tests are usually unable to detect their preferred brands. So why do they continue to be loyal to a brand? Brand equity strength. Both brand awareness (or familiarity) and positive brand image (or associations) significantly influence brand equity, “the extent to which brand awareness and brand image contribute to purchase propensity.”
In other words, strong brand equity can lead to repeat purchases and brand loyalty. Repeat customers are more valuable to a business – they spend more money and provide referrals and word-of-mouth advertising (one of the most effective forms of advertising). The most loyal repeat customers might even act as de facto brand ambassadors.
Branded Merchandise Creates Positive Brand Associations to Build Brand Awareness
For B2C businesses, especially retail companies, omnichannel marketing, customer referral and loyalty programs, exceptional customer service, brand identity consistency, and maintaining a uniform brand voice across all marketing channels are key strategies for building strong brand equity and loyalty over time.
In addition, to build brand equity strength and brand loyalty in the long term, your business needs to focus on increasing brand awareness and brand image right now via effective marketing and advertising campaigns, good PR tactics, and encouraging customer engagement. Branded merchandise, also known as promotional products or swag, can help your business increase brand awareness and build a positive brand image at the same time. Easily incorporated into existing marketing strategies, including event marketing and social media marketing, branded merchandise is a cost-effective advertising tool which can be used to increase consumer brand awareness, recall, and affinity; strengthen brand loyalty among existing customers; generate free publicity; and make event marketing, direct mail marketing, and experiential marketing campaigns more successful.
Key benefits to using branded merchandise for brand marketing and advertising campaigns include:
- Branded merchandise provides low cost-per-impression and great ROI. Branded merchandise allows recipients – and others – to see your brand name and logo at home and in the workplace which improves brand recall and awareness. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s Global Ad Impressions Study, 85% of promotional product recipients remember the advertiser. Recall is highest for apparel items like shirts or hats. This research also indicates that branded merchandise has great longevity – 40 percent of consumers have kept some branded promotional items for 10+ years!
- The latest Global Ad Impressions Study from the Advertising Specialty Institute also found that branded promotional items are the most highly regarded form of advertising in North America – naturally, people love free stuff; using gift giving to create positive emotional connections with consumers is a cost-effective way to boost your brand image.
- Co-branded merchandise can also help boost your brand image; it’s one of the best growth strategies available for emerging brands. Branded merchandise lets your company utilize the power of co-branding in your brand marketing campaigns. Adding your company name and logo to a premium apparel or accessory item made by a highly regarded brand like The North Face, Cuisinart, Titleist, or CamelBak helps consumers associate their positive attributes – like quality and luxury – with your own brand. Name brand products have a higher perceived value that will benefit your brand image.
- An online company store full of high quality, limited edition branded merchandise can help your brand generate a buzz, achieve strong customer engagement and brand resonance, and accelerate brand loyalty and growth. It can also help transform your brand from a hospitality or food company into a luxury or lifestyle brand.
Branded merchandise can increase brand recall and awareness in a country where the average consumer is exposed to thousands of ads per day.
In addition, branded gifts elicit an emotional response from consumers much more effectively than many other types of advertising. Branded merchandise can help your business make meaningful connections with potential customers and improve your brand image; strengthen brand equity; and accelerate brand loyalty among existing customers.
Earn Long-Term Brand Loyalty
Let Metron Branding help you build brand awareness that leads to long-term brand loyalty. To get started with incorporating branded merchandise into your brand’s marketing and advertising strategy in 2022, contact our Customer Service team or fill out the form below today.