Promotional Products in the Era of Fake News

These days there seem to be more versions of the “truth” than ever. While politicians and the media fight for credibility a side effect is that people find it difficult to know what to believe. This doubt spills over into the business world as in the new, disconnected digital environment consumers are also finding it hard to work out who to believe. With everyone pointing the finger and accusing each other of “fake news” it’s hard to make sense of anything anymore.

In this era of uncertainty and fake news how can small business cut through the doubt and cynicism?

Investing some of your marketing budget in promotional products is a proven way to sidestep this confusion. When a customer or business contact holds something real in their hands they inevitably reach a subjective opinion of its practical value and arrive at a related emotional judgment. These impressions, both good and bad merge with any other intellectualized perceptions to form an overarching attitude towards the logo with which the product is branded.

Branded merchandise, unlike other forms of business communication, does not rely on emotive impact to manipulate and control perceptions. Instead the right promotional product creates a direct connection with consumers and allows you to avoid the negatives which come with the rising cynicism amongst consumers in these days of “fake news”.

Successfully managing consumer opinions of your brand and products is therein purpose of promotional marketing. Billions are spent across the world every day on advertising messages, but the final results can never be trusted to work out as planned. Research has proven that using cheap promotional products compared against more traditional forms of brand promotion can reinforce positive perceptions.

This is particularly the case in this day of digital communication. Because few people with whom we do business are met face-to-face doubts easily creep in to cloud perceptions. Branding something as simple to a custom printed pen and handing them out to customers and business prospects is a way to escape the negative filters which affect so much on-line discussion.

Think about it. How can an attractive, good quality product with a genuine practical value create a negative impression?

When it comes to eco-friendly claims consumer cynicism is growing. Many companies now turn to physical products to reinforce their “green” claims. So many companies have unjustly claimed a clean, green reputation that there is considerable doubt about such claims in the marketplace. By simply offering business contacts and consumers a promotional product which reflects brand values and is, for instance, made from recycled materials is proven to be more convincing that any number of bold claims made in general advertising. The reality of a product you hold cannot be denied. Unfortunately many people see a marketing world where bluster and misinformation is the norm so the simple act of placing a branded item in the hands of consumers creates an impression that no amount of online advertising can replicate.

It seems every year we spend less time engaging with each other and more time engaging with a screen. In this environment the simple expedient of offering your clients and business prospects a useful branded product is a more powerful way to build and maintain relationships than it’s ever been. The temptation exists for all marketers to spend their budgets online. It’s easy to manage, analyse, and assess; and can be scaled up or down in minutes. But keeping a foot in the “real” world, using promo merchandise to connect with consumers is a proven way to leverage greater sales from your general advertising message.