Business

Building Stronger Customer Relationships: The Power of Promotional Products for Construction Firms

For a company to break into a new market, it needs to stand out, and this tried-and-true marketing method does just that—and more.
By Andrew Titus
May 17, 2023
Topics
Business

Many of the most successful companies—big and small; niche and national—catch the attention of their customers several times a day not with expensive billboards or television ads, but with simple messaging. Branded promotional products, which help companies stand out from the competition, build goodwill and showcase company pride, are the perfect tool to spread that message.

Promotional branding is a $23.2-billion industry, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), an industry education and research group. Promotional products encompass a wide variety of merchandise for a wide variety of companies, their employees and customers. Apparel, office supplies, kitchen accessories, sporting equipment, plush toys and more can all be customized with company logos, slogans, images and information, making them perfect items for trade show promotions, employee recognition initiatives, company parties, jobsites, welcoming new hires, uniting remote workers with onsite staff.... The list of products and their uses is limited only by the imagination.

Acquiring certain promotional products can come at a pleasantly-surprising low cost: as little as one-tenth of a cent for each customer view, according to ASI, which also reports that consumers are twice as likely to have a favorable opinion of a promotional product than of online advertising.

This promotional strategy exemplifies a front-of-sight, front-of-mind effect; raising a company’s visibility, credibility and brand awareness ultimately leads to increased sales, employee recruitment and retention and customer approval rating, especially important for companies in competitive markets like the construction industry.

BENEFITS OF BRANDING FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

  • Visibility: Success for any business starts with getting in front of customers, and promotional products are front and center and in person, unlike other marketing strategies. They help the consumer consistently see a company and think not only about if the consumer needs that service but also when the consumer needs it. Companies can raise visibility by giving branded gifts to customers or by outfitting teams in official company apparel or gear. When passing a jobsite, motorists and pedestrians alike are guaranteed to gander making that jobsite the perfect placement for promotional gear and apparel, and when staff is dressed uniformly, it adds to a sense of company camaraderie and, ultimately, customer approval. Giving away branded items to those approving customers creates brand ambassadors off the jobsite, too.
  • Credibility and Brand Awareness: There's a significant emotional benefit to providing promotional products. People like to deal with businesses they know, trust and like. Providing curated promotional products proves that a company not only appreciates its consumers, but also understands their needs and interests, adding an aura of personability that will elevate a company above the competition—this customized competitive edge is especially important for construction companies when vying for project bids. Like large established brands, a brand new small business should ensure employees are wearing branded apparel. A branded shirt or jacket sparks curiosity in the new customer and establishes immediate credibility for the company. Once on the jobsite, various workwear and safety gear are other opportunities for promotional branding. And don’t underestimate the impact this will have on vendors as well. A vendor wants to be associated with a credible, established brand.

GIFT GIVING: WHO, WHAT, WHY

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from receiving branded products. A current trend is the use of promotional products to help recruit and retain employees, especially in the disjointed era of remote work. Sending a thoughtful branded package—an all-things-office-supplies or top-team-items basket with pens, stationary, mugs, totes or other items—helps employees feel more connected to each other and the company as a whole whether working remote, in the office or on the jobsite.

Gifts that are currently trending amongst clients and employees alike include comfort items like specialized jackets—quarter zips and vests are popular these days—or sustainable and reusable drinkware, unique items like charcuterie boards or wine and beer coolers and even accessories like belts. Products like these can be utilized by any construction executive, employee or client, in the office, at home or on the jobsite.

Many companies also like to thank employees and clients during the typical holiday season of giving. But branded items are perfect for business-themed holidays as well, such as National Customer and Employee Appreciation Day or National Boss’s Day. When a gift is less expected, it will make a company stand out more.

National holidays, celebrations and recognitions are also opportunities for businesses to spur promotion in a sector different their own. Breast Cancer Awareness month in October is a great example of many different corporations beyond healthcare showing their support for the same cause. A construction company could not only donate to support a cause that affects people across all industries, but also associate its branding with a good cause, garnering more support for that cause and attention to its brand year after year; a win-win.

TIPS FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

  • Invest in quality products. Investing in quality brands indicates a company is a leader in its market, instilling trust within its clientele. Trustworthy, quality labels such as TravisMathew or Vineyard Vines will speak to quality customers familiar with those brands, attracting them to businesses with the same virtues.
  • Know your audience. Stand out with products that are unique yet appropriate for your customer base. For example, business is often done on the golf course. Attract more business with customizable accessories for the course, like golf balls, divot fixers and towels. Everything can be a networking opportunity.
  • Think outside the box. Similar to utilizing national holiday hype to reach new industries, companies should consider putting logos on products used in markets outside their own. If a construction company wants a bid for a new school, school supplies are a great place for logos—and teachers and classrooms need and deserve free, quality supplies. Even if a company is not a hardware company, everyone can always use a better, brighter, more compact flashlight.

BEST TO AVOID

  • Stay away from low-price, low-quality items, especially those intended for use on a jobsite or in a harsh environment. Use a product specialist with expertise to find items within budget to fit every promotional and corporate need.
  • Limit the logo. Follow the lead of high-end electronics brands, which tend to be subtle in how they display their name on their products. Avoid egregious branding or messaging. Good graphic designers and techniques such as sublimation and embroidery help refine and curate company style.

Branded promotional products can take a construction company’s marketing efforts to the next level, building and promoting brand along with sales. They’ve proven one of the most effective ways of getting a company name out and bringing customers in.

by Andrew Titus

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