Whatever you are looking to use it for; be it an exhibition giveaway, as a client gift, sales incentive or even a staff reward or training scheme...ensuring you not only choose the correct product, but the best design and delivery solutions to suit your campaign will all add up to how effective your promotional merchandise is.
As I always mention to people, the key to an effective promotional item is to firstly make it both relevant (or useful may be a better word) and personal to the recipient.
For example, mouse mats may be seen as a slightly older, less fashionable choice of promotional item compared to newer products these days, but this doesn't really reflect the value that these items can still provide to the office or home worker.
Sure, most people will have a mouse mat already, but by enhancing the features of your branded mat you will make it more personal and useful to the recipient and give them a greater longevity when compared to a 'bog standard' mat.
So how do you do this? Well, there are a number of ways...
Firstly, choosing a good quality mouse mat will mean its more durable and will last longer, as well as giving a better impression of your business. If you work it out, the average decent mouse mat costs less than 1p per day over the course of a year, so that's not a bad price for having your brand right infront of your client whenever they are at their computer.
Incorporating a calendar design within the artwork will also give the mat more appeal and usefulness. You can also opt for variations on the traditional mat designs and feature extras such as business card slots or calculators.
With new printing technologies you can now choose to individually personalise each mouse mat within a larger quantity order.
For instance, how about featuring your clients name, logo or image on their own mat, or perhaps a personal message or contact details of their direct account manager.
When it comes to packaging it might be worth considering providing an item like a mouse mat in a personalised envelope or outer package, or simply mail them with a personal letter or gift tag to the recipient.
Naturally, these ideas don't have to be restricted to mouse mats...one of the best promotional campaigns I've seen involved a business sending out a personalised mug to their key clients, with the ingredients to each clients favorite drink inside the mug.
These touches may be small 'tweaks' to the original concept, but they are sure to add much more value to a promotional item and will ultimately increase those all important factors of brand awareness, relationship and loyalty.