When giving out something for free to your target audience, you are boosting your business. You are changing the narrative because instead of asking them to pay for the products and services, you are giving something without asking for anything in return.
The idea of using promotional merchandise is to make people think that your business cares about them and is not as money-hungry as other businesses out there. The problem is that the use of promotional merchandise could backfire and fail under these circumstances.
When giving out free stuff, you are getting something in return because the products include the name and logo of your company. The problem is, for example, when the tote bags contain no clear message or if it seems too overwhelming. As a result, you are not enticing anyone seeing the bag to patronise your business. What you can do is also include relevant images. For instance, if you decide to give out custom printed tote bags, you can include images that anyone seeing the bag will find interesting.
Some companies give out free merchandise provided that those who wish to get itjoin in games and competitions. Usually, they are available via social media. There is nothing wrong with having gimmicks to attract attention and encourage more people to take part. However, if the challenges are too severe, no one will want to join. You are also sending the message that you do not necessarily want to give the items out.
Just because you are handing out free items does not mean that you should settle for something of low-quality. You want people to use the items that you give for quite some time. If you decide to opt for cheap stuff made from poor-quality materials, it will eventually break. Imagine how the recipient will feel about the item received.
You have a target audience for the products and services that you offer. The people outside the target group will not buy your products at all. For instance, you cannot make millennials consider purchasing adult diapers. If you distribute promotional merchandise to young people when your primary audience is the seniors, you are only wasting the opportunity, and cannot expect young people to purchase anything at all.
The items are not relevant to the brand
You need to ensure that what you are giving is relevant to your brand and branding strategy or at least close to what you are offering; otherwise, you are damaging your reputation and making people feel that you are not sincere in your message. For instance, if you are into environment-friendly products, you cannot hand out free merchandise made from plastic. If you are selling healthy and organic products, you cannot give out a free beer container. It goes against what you stand for.
Do not feel complacent about the idea of giving free merchandise to your target audience. The effort might backfire if you make any of these mistakes.