Guide To Value Added Promotions
Running a Value Add Promotional Campaign
Traditionally one of the most common ways in which promotional products have been utilised in marketing is to use them to "value add" an offer. There are still a range of good reasons that marketers should consider using this approach. First and foremost the right bundled promotional product adds apparent value to a deal. Add to that the likelihood that the value-adding branded item will encourage future positive emotional attachment to the brand making the offer and you have the first stages of a successful sales and brand building program.
"$19.99 worth of value for only $7.99". Sounds like an outlandish claim and in many cases you would be right to be suspicious when advertising puts an offer like that in front of you. However one of the real advantages which promotional merchandise offers to marketers is the genuine ability to make a strong financial proposition at point of sale.
It may be that people respond better to an actual price-off offer. For instance if the usual retail price of your product is $10, reducing the price by 30% is a strong incentive to regular clients and potentially to new customers who may switch from competitive brands. While there is an upside to the reduction in retail price in terms of visibility, enticement and incentive to purchase the downsides are of course reduced margin per sale, credibility as the market price falls and the even greater danger that consumers will see the discounted price as the "real" price and will avoid consuming and purchasing until the lower price is again on offer.
These potential downsides are the reason many successful marketing organisations offer incentives with sales to consumers. Let's go through the value-added advantages one by one and see why the offer of a branded promotional item stapled to a normal consumer good can make all the difference to the eventual bottom-line and the long term prospects for brand profitability.
1. Maintaining Brand Equity
Early in their carriers marketers learn the marketing equivalent of the hippocratic oath. Do no damage to a a brand in promoting it. While of course many marketing organisations have failed to observe this promotional fundamental over the decades most are aware that the brands are the ark which carries a company and therefore it is a bad thing to cause them damage. One of the most effective ways to damage a brand has always been to mess with its price. It may seem on the surface that reducing the cost of a product to consumers is a certain way to make it more popular. However, the human mind is not so simple a mechanism and a range of complex thoughts, impressions and relativities come into play every time somebody makes an assessment about the viability of a particular purchase decision.
2. Maintaining Brand Margin
The fact is that over a sustained period of time, a reduction in price will affected the perceived value of a brand negatively. And then, of course, there's the balance of discounting and increased sales to consider. If the increase in sales does not compensate for the reduced margin from discounting then you have a further problem to deal with. Once a product gets into a cycle of discounting and reduction of marketing spend it's likely that it will spiral downwards at an ever increasing rate. One of the best reasons for value-added marketing as opposed to straight discounting is the use of a branded item permits a higher level of apparent discount to be offered without the direct consequences of the offer damaging the potential to maintain prices.
3. Enhancing Brand Imagery
If you can find a branded item which works with the imagery and feel of your product the possibility exists to enhance the overall product image using a value-added approach. For instance a classic example is a beer company offering a baseball cap with every carton of beer sold. The baseball cap will be worn with pride into the future promoting the brand to third parties and enhancing the relation of the owner with the brand. What better endorsement is there than one of =your customers wearing the logo on their forehead?
4. Emotional Involvement
Touched on in point #3, the reason people return to brands is a jumble of different wants and needs, from the emotional trending through to the financial. The most powerful motivators are brands which command a great deal of emotional loyalty. Offering value added products which expand the reach of the brand into different areas of a consumer's life style. Just like the baseball cap offered by a beer company can provide a fashionable option for a drinker while not bending his elbow.
5. Expanded Brand Awareness
Of course when you put your brand on an advertising medium the idea is for it to be seen by as many people as possible. Not only when a consumer explains the great deal they have received to another associate, but when unassociated individuals spot the brand and come to associate positive values with it. One of the reasons upscale retailers offer their clients shopping bags with quality branding is that the moment they leave the premises they become advertising locations for the shop's brand. The same can come about with teh crafty use of branding on products which may be primarily intended as sales motivators.