I love gift giving. That’s probably one of the reasons why I founded Blezoo; since promotional products and branded apparel are essentially gifts that companies distribute!
I’ve always pondered though, why some promo items are held onto for years and others get tossed the next day.
Well, I’ve got a theory about that, and I’ve created the ‘Promo Love Matrix’ in an attempt to help visualize that theory. Are you ready to geek out with me? Let me walk you through it.
First, before we get to the full matrix, I think it’s important for me to explain what the X (horizontal) & Y (vertical) axes represent.
X-Axis: BRAND AFFINITY
The horizontal X-axis represents your affinity, or natural liking, for the brand(s) represented on the product. The further to the left signifies a low affinity, and to the right is a high affinity.
Here are examples of high-affinity branded products:
- Your alma mater
- Super hip company (like Blezoo) you do business with
- A place you’ve visited that you like to represent
- A memorable concert you went to
Here are examples on the low-affinity side:
- Rival to your favorite sports team
- A company with a bad reputation
- An irrelevant place you have no connection to
- Your ex’s company
Y-Axis: PRODUCT QUALITY
The vertical Y-axis represents your perception of the product’s quality. The further to the bottom signifies low quality, and to the further up represents high perceived quality.
Here are examples of perceived high-quality branded products:
- Soft triblend t-shirt
- Nike polo
- Weighted pen
- 10,000mah power bank
Here are examples of perceived low-quality branded products:
- Unisex boxy t-shirt
- Generic off-trend hat
- Cheap plastic pen
- Plastic sports bottle
Now that we understand what we’re looking at in both axes let’s break it up into 4 quadrants so I can explain what each zone represents. Look, I told you we’re going to geek out! ‘kay?
LOWER LEFT QUAD 1 : TRASH
Low product quality, Low brand affinity
This is the worst of the worst. It’s not good quality and it’s not related to a brand you like. Complete waste of money that could have been put towards something more meaningful. Unfortunately, this is where a promo gift can end up when it is not thoughtful in the least.
LOWER RIGHT QUAD 2 : STORE
Low product quality, High brand affinity
Have you ever received something from an organization/company/person that you loved but it was just low quality? Or have you gone and seen your favorite band and got a t-shirt but it was cheap? Yeah, these are the things that you want to love but they are low quality and you’re torn. They end up getting stored, forever! This is your bin of items that you can’t get yourself to throw away, and you keep seeing it every time you move. A lost opportunity here.
UPPER LEFT QUAD 3 : RE-GIFT
High product quality, Low brand affinity
This is the prime re-gifting zone. The product is high quality but you really could care less about the brand, so you begin your mission to re-home this premium item to someone who can appreciate it more than you. I actually have a bin for this type of thing so that I can re-gift quality items every year! Too nice to throw away but your lack of enthusiasm for the brand feels palpable.
UPPER LEFT QUAD 4 : KEEP & USE OFTEN
High product quality, High brand affinity
This is the sweet spot of the Promo Love Matrix. If you receive a high-quality item that you also have a high affinity for the brand it is attached to? You will use it like crazy. I think about the t-shirt that I’ve been wearing 3 times a month for a long time, or my favorite water bottle that I ride out as long as humanly possible. If you can give promo items, and gifts in general, in this zone then you are absolutely nailing it.
WHAT’S THE TAKEAWAY?
Know your audience & invest in high-quality gifts. Less is sometimes way more.
You may never ever hear a promotional professional say this out loud, but, sometimes it’s better not buy promotional products for an event. There, I said it. If you’re about to give out something at a trade show that you’re embarrassed to give? Roll that budget up into another budget and do something more impactful! It’s not always necessary to buy something if it’s stretching you too thin. Oh, and about your audience? This has to do with how you position your brand and if you’re targeting the right people.
As with gift giving, promotional products are a great way to show your love. Hopefully this matrix will help guide your gifts into the upper right quadrant! ↗️