Can Your Promotion Start a Conversation?
When it comes to promotional products, clients want impressions. Ideally, not just from the end-users wearing the promotional shirt, but from everyone that end-user interacts with. They want their brands' names on the forefronts of people’s minds.
But let’s take it a step further. Let’s give those names a better chance of sticking.
Instead of simply prompting someone to think about the client, can we use the product, the design or the imprint to get people talking about it? Can we aim to create products that start conversations?
I think so.
Last week, I wore a necklace—a simple silver chain with a small pendant in the shape of Oklahoma with a heart cutout in the middle of it—to a conference. For me, the necklace is a way to show my love for the great state and for my favorite band, which hails from it. It’s not a statement necklace, and it’s not especially shiny anymore.
It’s not something you’d think would grab attention. But, to my surprise, almost every person I spoke with throughout the conference didn’t just notice it—they used it as a way to connect (or a pop quiz on U.S. geography).
Many conversations began with some derivative of this conversation:
“Are you from Oklahoma?”
“No, I just love the state.”
“I grew up loving it because my favorite band is from there.”
“Who is your favorite band?”
From here, conversations took off into many directions: favorite states, favorite bands, what they’re passionate about, “Oklahoma!” serenades. The small necklace fostered a connection and some great conversations. It was an icebreaker that led to memorable discussions.
Yes, sure, this anecdote is about a necklace, but there is power in the understated, the unique and the unexpected in whatever format it appears on—including promotional apparel.
That’s not to say a bold design can’t start a conversation either.
One of my favorite Hanson shirts is a basic blue tee, which reads “I <3 Hanson” in big letters. Without fail, every time I wear it, people comment on it, launch into conversations about what the band is doing now and start singing “MMMBop.”
What sets your client’s design apart? The key is to find out what can make your client’s product, design, service, purpose, etc., the most interesting—and use it. It doesn’t have to be over the top, it just has to be a way in. From there, conversation can flourish—to the benefit of your client’s brand by means of more engagement.
Think about it from your own perspective: What would prompt you to stop and comment on it or talk about it? It's a good goal to shoot for.