To Brand Name, Or Not To Brand Name

Nike   Adidas  Roots   Griffin

Anybody not recognize the names mentioned above?

I guess it is possible to not know about Griffin’s awesome line of tech support and protection products if you aren’t really geek-centric.  But how about that ever-present “swoosh” in the left corner?  Even the most unathletic couch potato has some knowledge of Nike …. I mean, after all…..”Bo knows.”  (Those of you who can identify with that statement now have a much better guess at how old I am by my choosing to quote that particular Nike ad campaign lingo…)

Today, there are definite reactions associated with BRAND names and their products.  Granted not everyone may like certain brands…but most people will not deny that they consider them “set apart” from equivalent non-brand name items.

So when you are thinking about promotional products and wearables; how should you approach the use of a recognized BRAND?

Like most things, there are plus and minus thoughts on both sides of this discussion.  Let me lay some out for your consideraton.

On the PLUS Side:

  • perceived value of item immediately increased
  • higher “noticeability”
  • carries an inherent message of quality and professionalism
  • higher usage/display (pride of ownership is a great motivator!)
  • elevated retention desire

On the NEGATIVE Side:

  • higher purchase price tag
  • possible negative “corporate” connotations  (remember the Bangledesh garment factory collapse)
  • inevitable supply chain issues  (major brands ruthlessly control/limit the amount of product they let out for sale to non-retail operators)
  • often not subtle (seen a tennis player, Nascar or Formula 1 driver recently?  Can you say: “walking billboard” …)
  • increased level of disappointment if the item is below par in manufacture or quality

See what I mean?

So what “nugget” of wisdom am I trying to share with you in little ramble? Simple.  I want to once again encourage you to ASSESS your needs before you start the process to select an item. Here are 2 very real-world examples of this assessment process:

  • If you are considering a significant gift or reward item, the impact is monumentally increased with the use of a BRAND item.  To paraphrase:  “The best care enough to give the very best!”
  • Looking at polo shirts for the front line staff?  Consider their environment, who they will be interacting with and the overall message you want to convey with the group’s attire.  There are quite a few truly solid companies who make comfortable, wearable and highly stylish shirts with names that you would not recognize—but that would look great with YOUR brand on them!  And no one has to extend the company line of credit to afford the purchase!

Get samples.  Show your people.  Let them touch and/or try on!  Don’t just blindly choose based on a logo or a price tag amount. Reflect with some of the PLUS and MINUS thoughts above.

Choose wisely, Grasshopper!  (whoops, another age giveaway quote!)