Posted by: brandextenders | March 28, 2011

Is More Always Better?

More is better, right? Perhaps that’s true when it comes to money or knowledge or ice cream, but not necessarily when it pertains to certain forms of advertising. I sell promotional marketing, much of which is promotional products, items with a brand and/or message printed on them.

Easy to digest billboard

Years ago I sold billboards back in the day when artists actually painted those behemoth signs perched high in the sky. The lesson I learned in billboard advertising was less is better. Some of the most creative and memorable billboards are those with a picture and very few words to get the point across. A great example is the Chick fil-A “Eat Mor Chikin” billboards using cows to inspire people to eat more chicken. Billboards are viewed for an average of five seconds so the message needs to be simple and succinct if it’s to be quickly taken in.

I look at promotional products in much the same way; less copy is more, the K.I.S.S. method of advertising; keep it simple silly. Here are five things to consider when deciding what to imprint on a particular product:

  1. What’s the purpose for the product you’re purchasing? Are you giving it to reinforce your brand, to drive traffic to your website, as a source of contact information? Maybe your logo and website URL are all you need for one product, but on another you need to add a tagline and phone number.
  2. The imprint area on a particular product will affect what you can imprint. If you only have a ½” square, that’s not a lot of ad space so determine what is most important. Obviously the bigger the product the more ad space you have however that doesn’t mean you need to fill it up. Imagine yourself using the product you’ve chosen and think about how much advertising would be too much for you to use it.
  3. Who is your audience? What are the demographics of who you’re giving it to? If it’s senior citizens then you might need more information or perhaps a phone number instead of a website. For this age-group size matters and imprints typically need to be larger to ensure readability. For younger people it might be a logo and website or maybe a QR code to drive traffic to a specific link. No need to put the www on websites anymore since that is a given and leaving it off it saves space.
  4. Consistency with your other marketing efforts could affect what you decide to imprint on a particular item. If everything you print has just a logo and tagline, then that is probably the best choice for your promotional products as well. Always ask for a virtual or online proof prior to production to make sure what will be printed is what you envisioned. Don’t be afraid to make changes if you’re not pleased with the way it looks, but understand that can sometimes incur additional costs.
  5. I’m a firm believer that with certain products the best imprint is no imprint. This is particularly true of higher end gifts where recipients may not use a product if it has a logo or other imprint. I use the term “memory value” to refer to the fact if a gift is something that is high quality or will be used on a regular basis; people tend to remember where that gift came from just as you would a wedding or birthday gift. Sometimes no imprint is the best way to advertise your company.

Having the largest most obnoxious imprint might be the way to go especially if it’s something that will be seen by many such as a bag at a trade show. Do what you need to do to get your branding message across and always ask yourself, is this a product I would use and does the imprint get across the point I’m trying to make.

How about you? Do you agree less is better when it comes to imprinting promotional products or do you prefer lots of information no matter the size of the imprint area?

 I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor my clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: