With the enormous amount of junk that is sent out to companies every day, it can be an uphill battle for a small business to separate its promotional products or samples from the crowd. Any successful product should be able to "pop" out from its competitors, and several easy strategies can be enacted to establish a reputable brand name quickly.
One great way to get thrust into the spotlight immediately is to get a celebrity endorsement. A celebrity does not have to officially endorse a product for a business to see benefits. Any product used in a public setting can be a form of effective advertising. Obviously, it would be incredibly difficult to get an endorsement from an A-list star like Brad Pitt, but a local fashion model or minor league baseball player will provide adequate visibility for a small business owner. They will be attending premiers and events with lots of cameras around, and anyone photographed with a product provides a low-cost way to get positive press into newspapers, magazines, television and the internet.
One way to reach celebrities is to send promotional products to the staff who surrounds them. Product placement should also be relevant whenever possible. If a company sells hair gel, they might want to send it to the stylist that is responsible for the celebrity's image. The goal is to avoid the direct bombardment that celebrities experience and immediately dismiss, and instead take a more subtle approach.
Another strategy is so extraordinarily simply and cost-effective, its a wonder businesses don't do it more often. Too many times are promotional gifts and products designed in the same bland shades of gray, black and white. For business cards, focus on an eye-catching, creative design. If giving away promotional products at a trade show or seminar, create a unique color scheme that potential clients will come to associate with the brand. When mailing business gifts, one can even wrap the package in bright colors so that it stands out from the rest of the mail.Designs, colors and graphics should be industry relevant, but don't be afraid to make designs creative.
With proper endorsements and a good design, entrepreneurs can reach great niche markets in situations where their products might have otherwise been thrown out.