5 That Do and 2 That Don’t

NW_US_NewProdPromotional products work because they are more than just products. A Promotional product is your credit union/bank on something that you represents your brand and are proud to give to your existing and new members.

Generally credit unions/banks purchase promotional items as a thank you for existing loyal members, employees for years of service or commendable service, or to have existing members try another service. The giveaway could be to promote opening a new checking account, apply for a home loan, car loan, insurance, etc.. These promotions works pretty good because you already have the members business and they have seen the value that you bring to them.

Example 1: Promote a free piggy bank for kids savings account to parents when they come into the branch, or through a mailing or eblast.

Example 2: Give members a auto coaster promoting auto loans as the come through the drive through and tellers for transactions.

What promotional products work best to obtain new members? 

The product itself is only part of the equation. When and how the promotional product is given are important element on the success of the products campaign. There are 3 key elements to a promotional product campaign – Product Selection – Timing – Effort

Example 3: Product: Sunglasses / Location: Fair / Target: Checking-Auto-Home Customers
Sunglasses are great if the sun is out. If it is a hot sunny day, don’t just wait for people to walk by your booth, send someone out looking for “squinty” eyes, hand them a pair and say something like “we always take care of our customers, would you like to see what we can do beyond sunglasses!” They are more than likely to say yes because you came to them and provided a product that resolved a inconvenience, which is what you are saying about your credit union/bank. Just get their name and number and call them when it is convenient for them. If it is raining, then a umbrella would be best versus sunglasses. Be prepared for both situations.

Example 4: Product: Water Bottles / Location: Park / Target: Checking-Auto-Home Customer
The parks are packed with parents watching their kids during the summer time. Pick a Saturday, throw on your credit union/bank tee shirts and hand out water bottles with cold water to the kids and the parents. The parents are going to be very appreciative but will be focused on their kids playing. With that in mind, you would want to put something specific to the campaign on the imprint…like “keeping your kids hydrated, by credit union/bank. Sign up for free checking in June and get free checks.

Example 5: Product: Smartphone Vibration Speaker / Location: Everywhere / Target: Business Accounts
There are so many other products that could be listed other than a Smartphone Vibration Speaker, as this is just one of thousands of WOW items that a business owner will use. These items tend to be more of a higher end product, but it is important that you are branding your credit union/bank at all times with a business that you are trying to win over, and in order to do that the promotional product needs to be something with perceived value and useful.

Two Reasons promotional products don’t work

Reason 1: Cheap quality
There are over 1,500 manufactures of promotional products, some offer high end products which are more expensive, some low end quality that are cheap, and some with good quality for a fair price. It is important to make sure whoever you are purchasing your promotional products from, knows what type of manufacture they are working with. There are several conventions each year throughout the United States that allows manufactures to display their products for distributors to go and see and feel the products, as well as get to know the manufactures and how they operate. Make sure your supplier is staying one step ahead in making sure the products you hand our are of the quality you want for your members.

Reason 2: Irrelevant to the person receiving
You wouldn’t be to excited if you won a tent if you disliked camping outdoors, and that is no different than getting a mug if you don’t drink coffee. If you are targeting a specific audience, make sure the product is relevant to them. It is better to spend more on a item that grabs their attention than to save money on a product that will end up in a drawer or trash can. Sometimes it is impossible to know every detail about your target audience, such as fairs and expo’s. Instead of purchasing 1,000 or something for $1.00ea, purchase 200 or five items for the same price so you have a spread to attract different people based on their likings. Whoever you purchase your promotional products from should help with ideas and assist you with this task.

There are hundreds of other situations and ideas that can be implemented into promotoinal product campaigns. Factoring in Time, Product Selection, and Effort will help your credit union/bank see greater returns with your promotional products by creating solutions and experiences for your new and existing members.

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Matt Ruedlinger