Money In The Bank


They say you’ve got to spend money to make money, but how does spending money on promotional products ensure a financial services client will make money for itself and its customers?

“The No. 1 key [goal] is to get their name and brand in front of people,” says Kirk Graves, CEO of distributor Concord Marketing Solutions (UPIC: CONC8296) in Glendale Heights, Illinois. “Second, I would say [clients should] have their promotional items match specific ad campaigns via print or TV.”

Graves says his clients gravitate toward a wide range of products, including trade-show booth items such as inexpensive technology, or even food gifts, as well as gifts at a higher price point such as a branded polo shirt, bag or portfolio. “We are also doing a lot of custom packaging for these clients,” he adds.

As more companies offer asset management and investment services, the need for differentiation grows, particularly when the market appears soft or unpredictable, according to a study by marketing firm DeSantis Breindel. Financial firms that offer identical or similar services often brand themselves with identical or similar brand attributes in an effort to appeal to desirable clients.

The DeSantis study found financial firms identified with these six brand attributes:

  1. Client Focused (57 percent)
  2. Global (47 percent)
  3. Strong Risk Management (43 percent)
  4. Disciplined Approach (27 percent)
  5. Experience (27 percent)
  6. Trust/Transparency (23 percent)

Recognizing the homogenous nature of financial services, how can promotional consultants apply promotional products to a campaign in order to help a client build a differentiated brand? Begin with information.

Ask questions that extract marketable details from the attributes listed above. How do the decision makers and stakeholders in your client’s business define their company attributes? The answers you get can be used to develop a client’s core messaging, which anchors brand positioning and can be adapted to fit the needs of a client’s various end users.

Additionally, that core message can evolve to create multiple stages of communication, beginning with brand awareness and culminating in customer recognition.

Jenny Williams, a sales consultant for Lewiston, Maine-based distributor Geiger (UPIC: geiger), received a 2014 PPAI Pyramid Award for a marketing campaign she produced on behalf of a financial services firm in Dayton, Ohio.

“They wanted to deliver a message to their newest clients that they could ‘Sleep Well At Night’ knowing their financial future was sound. The age range of the end user was retirement age, 65-plus,” says Williams. “We put together a welcome kit of various items including custom embroidered blankets, sleep masks, logoed bookmarks, etched whiskey glasses with leather coasters, playing cards and pocket planners. The items could be stocked in bulk in their office and then ‘kitted’ and boxed for hand delivery or shipment.”

Supplier Beacon Promotions, Inc. (UPIC: BEACONP) in New Ulm, Minnesota, provided a distributor client with a ceramic paring knife for a credit union’s annual meeting. The gift was presented to attendees at the event. “The credit union likes to buy items they can tie into a catchy slogan,” says Gwen Brey, marketing coordinator for Beacon. “The ad on the knife read, ‘We are a cut above’ and it included their logo and website.”

Invest in products like these to help clients see a return on marketing efforts. Click through to view products.

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