Best promotional products for different geographical areas in Canada and USA
I n the previous article "Why Brands Should Give Giveaways", we discussed the types of giveaways and the benefits of promotional products for businesses. It is a cost-effective strategy to boost sales, increase website traffic, boost brand awareness and increase customer satisfaction. Once a company has its giveaway goal and entry method, picking the right giveaway product for its target audience is the next task on the list. Geographic segmentation is a type of marketing strategy grouping customers based on their geographic locations, such as climate, population density, culture, and urban vs rural area. It is an effective approach that is commonly used by both organizations and companies that work on a large scale. Since different customers in different regions have different needs and cultural characteristics, this provides a clear direction for marketing activities towards those areas that will benefit the most. Furthermore, this segmentation could also be suitable for small companies. By focusing on the defined areas and targeting specific customers, companies can avoid spending unnecessary marketing budgets on approaches that do not fit their customers based.
There are many ways to help a company to layout a geographic segmentation strategy:
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Giveaways and Promotional Products for different geographical areas in Canada and USA
Essentially, the type of giveaways can vary by geographic location. In the United States, what people often encounter is sweepstakes. It is important to note that some laws and regulations come with hosting a giveaway to determine if your promotion is legal. Lotteries in the U.S are controlled by a combination of state and federal law and are strictly regulated. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure your business giveaways meet all legal requirements according to your state or province. On the other hand, contests and sweepstakes are commonly seen in Canada and are governed by the federal Competition Act and Criminal Code. Companies need to ensure contests must meet at least the minimum disclosure requirements set out in the Competition Act. Likewise, South America, Europe, and Asia may have different laws and regulations governing the types of giveaways. After you have targeted the desired customers and followed all the legal rules and laws of giveaways in your country, choosing the appropriate and right promotional items can help your brand to stand out amongst its competitors and bring instant brand recognition. According to the Global Advertising Specialities Impressions Study 2016, promotional products can be defined as items that include pens, T-shirts, mugs, calendars, or any items that are branded with a logo or message from an advertiser on them. They are usually given away for free through events to consumers in hopes of keeping the customers engaged and loyal.
That study provides a detailed explanation of the types of promotional products commonly found in different countries, their impact and impression of them, and consumer behavior towards these products. In the U.S, T-shirts and outerwear are the best promotional products, followed by bags, writing instruments, drinkware, and USB drives. Interestingly, writing instruments are the best promotional items in Canada, followed by shirts, bags, calendars, and headwear. Statistics tell us that different geographical regions and urban densities do matter for the preference of promotional products:
- Urban areas: writing instruments, USB drives, outerwear
- Suburban areas: USB drives, outerwear, drinkware
- Rural areas: Performance wear, drinkware, power banks
The power of promotional products also fosters a connection with your customers and they "do not fade away". The average number of months that customers retain promotional products is 8 months, and some products are passed along when recipients are finished with them. The study has revealed that around 63% of customers in the U.S and 64% of customers in Canada are more likely to give away a product. In addition, useful promotional products can leave a lasting impression. Consumers in the U.S and Canada want products that are practical and able to use daily rather than attractive. For example, bags, calendars, umbrellas, writing instruments, USD drives, etc. In sum, companies should understand their customers' values and habits for them to giveaway products that meet their needs.
The Psychology Behind Promotional Products
One factor that we always discussed is the principle of reciprocity. When potential customers receive promotional products from the company, they will purchase some of its products or services from the company in return for their kindness. Another factor is the sense of accomplishment. There has been a lot of focus on well- being over the years. It is not only fundamental to our mental and physical health, but it also enables people to function at their highest level. According to Seligman's PERMA well-being model, he outlined 5 key elements that promote one's well-being:
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- Positive emotion
- Accomplishment (Kern, Waters, Adler, & White, 2015)
The first 4 factors refer to the ability to view the past, present, and future in a positive light, the ability to find activities in which we can fully engage, the ability to develop social relationships and the ability to find meaning in one’s life. Accomplishment refers to achievement and success (Kern, Waters, Adler, & White, 2015). Setting explicit goals and achieving them helps strengthen self-esteem and self-belief. This further motivates us to set further goals and a sense of fulfillment in life. Giveaways are a way to give your customers a chance to win valuable prizes. Offering free prizes can be seen as a reward to your customers for their unconditional support, which in turn makes them feel fulfilled because they have accomplished something worthy of a free product. This applies to employees of the company as well. Occasionally giving away promotional products during company events can celebrate their success and acknowledge their achievements. Employees will feel appreciated and accomplished because their hard work is recognized by the company.
Market fit is critical for companies to sell or give away their products. Therefore, geographic segmentation is the perfect marketing tool to target consumers as accurately as possible based on where they reside. For businesses that operate in a specific targeted region, geographic segmentation ensures that potential audiences received potential personalized marketing content and allows you to utilize your resources more effectively. A successful promotional giveaway can not only increase brand recognition and customer loyalty but also serves as a representative of your company. The ability to appeal targeted audience and offer products that cater for customers can set your business apart from your competitors.
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