When it comes to spending money on promotional items, your company no doubt wants to get the most out of their hard earned money. Although some of the quality promotional items that come to mind first may be t-shirts and caps, those ideas are not all that unique. More important, they may not be the best use of your marketing money. Have you thought of logoed bags and towels? The superiority of these promotional items can be seen in five major areas: their simplicity, usefulness, variety, longevity and cost effectiveness.
As a busy person, who doesn’t like to keep things simple? One of the headaches associated with promotional t-shirts, especially at events, is sizing. It’s really a guessing game of how many t-shirts you will need of each size and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. (pun intended of course) If the giveaways are for an event, at the end of the day inevitably there are not enough of one size and too many of another.
To get it right is quite an accomplishment. For example, we’ve provided t-shirts for the same annual event for the past ten years. This event is attended by mostly males and so that is factored into the amount ordered of each size. This last year we distributed the sizing of 125 t-shirts as follows: 5 – Small, 15 – Medium, 40 – Large, 35 – XLarge, 20 – XXLarge, 10 – XXXLarge. At the end of the event there were only 5 t-shirts left over – quite a cause for celebration! But it took ten events to get there.
You would think providing unsized caps would be simpler. And they are. But there is still a lot of variance in preferences of caps. Some people like fabric closures, whereas others like velcro or plastic snaps. Others like an unstructured cap and still others want a mid-profile cap. There’s no pleasing everybody.
Here is where towels and bags get very simple. No sizes. No fit variances. No problem. You can order dozens and dozens of the same item and not worry or stress at all.
I probably don’t need to convince you of the usefulness of towels and bags. Bags come in all shapes and sizes and can easily be both functional and stylish. It’s probably no surprise women use logoed bags a bit more than men. According to the 2014 ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) Impressions study of promotional items, 40% of women in the U.S. own a logoed bag. And bags are typically used in public places, which means more eyes on your logo. (I explore this in more detail below)
Towels are used everywhere from the gym, golf course, and beach to the garage, car, park, boat, and on and on. Even towels designed for a specific use, such as a golf towel with a grommet and hook on top, will find their way into a variety of uses outside of the golf course. There’s always a good reason to have a towel around.
Just because bags and towels are easy and functional, doesn’t mean they are boring. In the world of bags styles include totes, messengers, duffles, cinch bags, backpacks, briefcases and more. Fabrics such as canvas, denier polyester, denier nylon, microfiber, non-woven polypropylene, and mesh are all common. Some styles appeal to certain portions of the population. For example, backpacks and cinch sacks are popular with pre-teens and teens. Navigating this ocean of choices becomes less daunting when guided by an experienced promotional items consultant.
Towels also vary in colors, sizes and styles. For example one gym towel folds into it’s own pouch for easy storage and carrying. Towels are available in a range of fabrics and weights. The abundance of choices allows you to pick what matches your brand image best.
In order for a promotional item to provide any marketing value for your company, it must be around to be seen. In this area towels and bags excel. T-shirts will eventually wear out depending on their quality and degree of use. Quality bags do not wear out quickly, even with regular use. Their practicality itself often keeps us from disposing of them.
I’m not saying that towels will last forever, but think of this: when is the last time you threw away a towel? And if you can remember throwing one away, ask yourself how many YEARS you had it prior to that. It’s true that both towels and bags have incredible staying power.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly is the superior value of towels and bags when it comes to cost. Whereas these items may not be the cheapest initial investment, they will prove superior in their cost-per-impression. Each time your logo is seen by someone you’ve received an impression, and hopefully made an impression on them as well. Many forms of advertisement such as TV, Internet and print media are also measured this way.
In the ASI 2014 Impressions study mentioned earlier, it is explained that, “the number of impressions a product makes was derived from multiplying how long a recipient has the product to how many people they come in contact with each month while using it.” Based on that criteria they found an average shirt in the U.S. will make 2,450 impressions in its lifetime. Whereas a bag was found to make a whopping 5,700 impressions. This increase is no doubt a combination of the fact that bags have greater longevity and often are used in public places.
So how does this translate to cost? Let’s consider an example. Let’s say you buy shirts for $15 each. The average CPM – or cost per thousand impressions – per shirt will be $6.12. Well spent advertising money when you think it was seen 1,000 times for around $6.00. But, to keep our variables consistent, let’s also say you buy some bags for $15 each. The average CPM for this item is only $2.63. A thousand impressions for 57% less money. Even though the up front cost in our comparison was the same, you can see the marketing value and potential ROI for the money spent is much higher with the logoed bag.
Whereas I do not have specific data applying to the impressions of towels, because of their similar longevity and propensity for use in public places, they also are a wise investment item for your company promotion.
If bags and towels have not been at the forefront of your mind when you consider spending your advertising money, I encourage you to think again. With a little forethought you may find these items to be the perfect fit for your next event, trade show or employee recognition program. They are hassle-free to purchase, useful to the recipients, unique in their variety, have incredible staying power and are highly cost effective. What more could you ask for?