If you have ever been to any American office, you’d probably know that post-it notes are all over the place. People use post-it notes for their to-do list. They use this handy, small communication tools to remind each other of upcoming events or to request information from each other. The great thing about post it notes is the fact that they are easy to write on, post up and remove. That’s why a lot of people use these items. They are very convenient.
Just because people are using an item in a corporate setting doesn’t automatically mean you should give away post it notes as part of your corporate branding campaign. It would be nice if it were that easy but it isn’t. Just like anything else you do involving marketing, you have to make sure you do things in a strategic and results-oriented way. Always focus on the end game. You need to always focus on the results that you would get at the end of the process. Otherwise, it’s too easy to spend tons of money, time and effort only to walk away with little to no results. This is definitely the case with post-it notes. As the old saying goes, not everything that glitters is gold. While post it notes might seem like a great vehicle for your corporate brand, in the wrong context, it might just turn out to be a colossal waste of money. Pay attention to the following factors.
It depends on your target audience
Pay attention to your target audience. Do they look like the type of people who use post-it notes? Keep in mind that we’re not just talking about using post-it notes here and there. We’re talking about using them all the time. You’d be surprised at the answers you’ll get when you ask these questions because it may turn out as seemingly as professional and mobile as your target audience may be, they do not use post-it notes because these are made of paper and physical in nature. You might actually be dealing with an audience base that prefers digital reminder tools like mobile apps, software or even internet based services.
It depends on the branding message
How exactly do you plan to make your brand [indiscernible] on post-it notes? Does it make sense considering the size of post-it notes as well as the expected usage patterns of the people you’re going to give these items away to? This is no small consideration. If you are going to give away these items to people who end up using them but fail to see your brand, you might just be wasting money. The distribution network is there, the demand is definitely there but the delivery mechanism as far as branding results go is simply missing.
The general rule of thumb regarding corporate gifts is the bigger the gift, the more impractical it becomes. If you are giving away post it notes that are very big, you can bet that very few people would use the notes in a way you expect. They would still use it but they’ll probably use it as throw away notebooks or scratch pads. This might not be the most optimal type of end user usage behavior as far as your branding objectives go. If people are using your materials to just [indiscernible] throw away notes and they barely look at the pad itself, you might be losing a tremendous opportunity. You’ll probably better off using another type of corporate gift.
How thick should the pads be? The bulkier, the more inconvenient the size of the corporate gift is, the less likely it will be used. The whole point of branding corporate giveaways is that you want people to use your materials a lot. The more they interact with your give away, the higher the chance they would see your brand and possibly take action on it. This is going to be quite difficult if the giveaway is too bulky to facilitate frequent use. Either they’re going to break it up or not use it at all.
If you are going to buy branded post it notes from 3M Corporation, expect to pay through the nose. Even if they cut you a special bulk package, your cost would be much more expensive had you gone another route. Make sure these costs are justified. Just because you’ll be spending a lot of money on post-it notes giveaway doesn’t necessarily mean you should not conduct such a giveaway. If the return on investment is there, then it’s worth doing. If it isn’t there, then you should find something else to give away. It really is that basic.
By paying close attention to the size and bulk considerations above, portability is pretty much taken care of. Still, this factor requires its own section because it’s too easy for corporate branding specialists and consultants to overlook this factor. The whole point of branding success is to get as many different eyeballs on your branding message as possible. These eyeballs must be operating within your target industry or be part of your target audience. As long as these conditions are met, you increase the chance your branding campaign would pay for itself regardless of the cost of the corporate gift materials. Portability is a key factor because it ensures your recipients end up branding other people because they carry around or use the gift in many different settings.
How viral could it be?
Did you know that post it notes can get viral? If people see that a co-worker is using post-it notes, they might ask for half the stack and write their own stuff. Other people can see it and they could split stacks as well. The more eyeballs your brand interacts with, the higher the likelihood at least some of these people would reach out to your brand.
The bottom line
The bottom line here is simple. Stay focused on return on investment. Just because a particular gift item looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the item you should give away. Even if you hear all sorts of positive stories among your competitors that use the same campaign, this might not be enough to justify you embarking on a similar campaign. Pay attention to your own particular set of circumstances. Make sure everything makes sense as far as dollar and cents are concerned. Otherwise, you’d be better off doing something else.