Pavlov’s Promos

Pavlov's Promos


Are you familiar with Classical Conditioning? The simple explanation of classical conditioning is learning a new behavior based upon a repetitive stimulus. Over time, as you experience that stimulus, you behave in a certain way subconsciously. You don’t even have to think about.

Perhaps the most famous example is an experiment that most of us learned about in school – Pavlov’s Dog. 

While Pavlov was researching digestion in dogs, he noticed that when food was given to the dog, he began to salivate. Through repeated feedings, he further noticed the dog began to salivate just seeing the food. Later, simply seeing the food bowl stimulated salivation. He further discovered, just the footsteps of the lab assistant who fed the dog began stimulating the dog’s salivary glands. This conditioning fascinated him, so he did an experiment in which he rang a bell, then immediately fed the dog. Over a short period of time, the dog began to salivate at only the sound of the bell. If you want to learn more about this experiment, here’s a great video that sums it up!

Pavlov and Promos

Over the years, I’ve noticed a parallel behavior with many new clients, which often reminds me of Pavlov’s research.

A repetitive stimulus such as a trade show arises, and without thinking, they decide they need koozies or promotional pens. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in business, so you have to separate yourself from the competition. These autopilot purchases of boring and overdone promos for the trade show become an innate response. No creativity or thought goes into the purchases. It’s mindless. Too often the “go to” promotional products are selected.

This conditioning causes your marketing to become stagnant. It’s too easy to become a comfort buyer. When you give out the same promotional products as your competitors you don’t stand apart from them. When your giveaways are always the same, year after year, your customers aren’t excited to receive those items. You are missing a huge opportunity to connect with your clients.

A New Type of Conditioning

However, classical conditioning is not always bad. My goal with new clients is to condition them to think bigger with their promotional items. The more acceptable term is “educating” my clients, but essentially, when you look at it on the most basic level, it is conditioning. There’s so much more to it than simply handing out giveaways at random. With a little thought and strategy, you can connect with your clients on an emotional level for a big return on your investment.

There’s actually a science behind promotional products. By connecting with additional senses, such as smell, taste, hearing, etc., your promos can be exponentially more effective. The more senses you involve, the better the chances your advertising will stick with that client or prospect.

If you buy promotional products for your company, I challenge you to recondition yourself. Think beyond a lone promotional product for your giveaways. Brainstorm with your colleagues to formulate a more memorable way to deliver your items. That may be through a game, a multi-part series of deliveries, a contest, creative custom packaging, or some other fun and creative way to distribute your promos.

Your New Behavior

With your new conditioning of creativity when using promotional products to promote your business, you’ll begin to see a much better return on your investments. You’ll soon begin to see your customers and prospects more excited about your giveaways, especially when you involve more of their senses in the campaigns.

Over time, this leads to one of the ultimate goals in business — more loyal customers and better revenue stability.

Because conditioning happens without conscious thought, we often don’t even realize when we become stuck in a stagnant pattern. However, now that you’ve been made aware of it, isn’t it time you analyze your buying habits for promotional products? You’re smarter than Pavlov’s dog, so you can recognize stagnant behavior and change it for the better!

As always, we are here to help. We know you work like a dog, and time can be limited. We can save you time and help you construct a creative campaign to maximize the impact of your promos. Contact us if you are ready to step up your promotional products game.

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