Since someone asked the very good question about how others do marketing/advertising, this is one that has also been on my mind.
Do you buy branded giveaway items (you know, pens, flash drives, hats, canvas bags, other stuff that you might give away at a tradeshow or event or for some other reason)?
I have never done this but sometimes think about it, especially if I see a cool giveaway elsewhere.
I have also considered getting some denim shirts with my logo -- mostly because I love to wear those denim shirts. I imagine I'd give them to family members (because who else would feel obligated to wear them)? Might be marginally useful to wear as advertising in some select situations.
If you do, I'd like to know what you get, and if you have an online vendor that you would recommend. And of course where you typically have the opportunity to give stuff away.
I don't like branded material "in the wild", I even track and recover branded material from employees we have parted ways with. I don't think my brand is best represented by a pen that doesn't work or a tattered t-shirt as someone is painting a fence or something. I don't count that people will represent my branded items like I would want them to so we keep our branded items strictly to staff.
What we have found clients respect and represent to their brand standard is their own branded items. I kind of inherited a garment printer so we can quickly produce shirts, aprons... for clients who would like something like that. We also do a cute set of notched matchbook business cards (hard to explain) for those who attend our monthly meetings. We don't directly put our name on any products (we do have a discreet logo on the business card pack with something like "time to order more business cards"), primarily we count on the recipient to relay our information or think of us when they need products.
It is important to note that we can do this because we can cheaply produce one off products. Items we have done are metal laser etched business card holders, nameplates, water bottles, mini business cards, apparel and basically any blank item we can buy in bulk and customize. I can't imagine someone squeezing a stress ball and thinking of my company.
...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.
roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head