Branded Water Bottles - Why they should be part of your promotional merchandise

Why Water Bottles Should Be Part of Your Promotional Merchandise

In our modern world, it’s hard to escape branding. From radio jingles to iconic logos, branded marketing items are a simple fact of everyday life. But when exactly did this start? To answer that, we have to go back a ways.

While branding has no doubt been a thing in some capacity since time immemorial, it started emerging in the form we know it today in the 1950s, when large companies began noticing a threatening uptick in success from competing brands.

To make a very long story short, major companies’ emphasis on advertising with an emotional impact galvanized and forever changed the idea of branding. The world we live in today is a direct result of that.

As such, any business owner large or small should never underestimate the serious power of well-branded promotional products. A promotional product gives your customers an opportunity to interact with your brand in a unique and fun way and can go far in cementing your company’s image with your target audience.

One timeless promotional product is branded water bottles. Seeing as the average person uses about 80-100 gallons of water a day for various tasks, branding around that life-giving resource is a safe bet.

But before you can be convinced branded water bottles are the best bet for your business, you need to be sold on the idea of promotional products themselves. Let’s first examine how and why promotional items work.

What They Do For Your Business

Here are a few concrete, demonstrable ways promotional products can help your business.

Free Advertising

Well, not exactly free. Some overhead is involved initially when acquiring promotional products. But that extra expenditure will be dwarfed by the returns.

Branding can go on almost anything, even things you probably wouldn’t think of. When you utilize common, everyday items for promotional purposes, wearers or users will advertise your business through the sheer power of visibility. A tote bag with your business’s name on it, for example, will catch the eye of passers-by without the need for any continued effort on your part.

When it comes to advertising, it’s hard to beat a one time expense that self-perpetuates endlessly.

Brand Recognition

The best thing you can do for your business apart from providing a great product or service is to increase the public’s familiarity with you. Promotional products help increase your brand’s visibility in both subtle and overt ways.

The more branded products you have, the better. Whether it’s a tote bag, a lighter, or a water bottle, company swag does wonders when it comes to creating much-needed brand recognition.

It’s simple psychology. People gravitate towards what they recognize. Promotional goods are a great, low-effort, and low-cost way to emblazon your brand into your customers’ mind’s eye.

Attractive To Consumers

Everyone likes free stuff. That’s just a fact of life. Providing your customers with free promotional swag not only puts your brand in their brain, but it also endears you to them.

With no risk on the part of the consumer, free gear is a safe bet when it comes to increasing the public’s engagement with you. Whether it’s at an event or just something to grab on their way out of your office, free merchandise is never a bad call.

Word of Mouth Promotion

One of the best ways to build trust and recognition is organically through conversation. When people recommend your service to others, they’re far more likely to take heed. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at the overwhelming importance of online reviews.

By providing free promotional products, you’re encouraging your customers to advertise for you for free. But more importantly, that advertising displays a fundamental trust in you. When people see their peers promoting your product or service, it lets them know that your business is to be trusted.

It also encourages conversation. If someone feels inclined to ask a friend or coworker about your company, it increases your brand recognition, provides free advertising, and makes you more attractive to consumers–three things you’ve already seen the importance of.

How To Use It

Now you know why branded swag can help your business, but that won’t be of much use to you if you don’t know what to do with it. Here are a few ways to maximize the returns on your investments.

Set A Budget

Budget should be your first consideration. Not all businesses are billion-dollar ventures. Most aren’t. As such, you need to figure out what you can safely spend to promote your business.

This shouldn’t be an afterthought. There are options for any budget. From something as small and inexpensive to a lighter to full on apparel, figure out what’s right for you before you commit to anything.

Know Your Audience

Understanding what your customer likes and wants is the key to creating promotional products they’ll actually want to interact with. If you’re a bakery, give out oven mitts instead of sweatbands. If you’re an athletic store, give out branded water bottles instead of pocket calculators.

Know your customers and use common sense. Tailoring your products to your target audience is a crucial aspect of making branded merchandise work.

Make It Event-Related

Big events are a great place to give out free swag. Not only are you getting access to a massive amount of people, but you’re also able to interact with an incredibly diverse cross-section of the population. That diversity allows you to put your name in the heads of people who might have never been exposed to it otherwise.

But if you’re giving out promo products at events, it’s incredibly important to match your products to the event. If you’re doing a summer festival, for example, try giving out things like sunscreen or towels instead of hoodies.

This is another way of knowing your audience comes into play. If you understand the demographic at any given event, you can more easily understand how to market to them. A large event can be an advertising goldmine if you know what you’re doing.

So, Why Branded Water Bottles?

Ok, so you’ve learned why promotional swag is good and you’ve learned how to use it, but now back to the real question: Why do you need branded water bottles? Simply put, water bottles are one of the most timeless promotional items, and they remain one of the most popular today.

For most people, drinking water is part of their daily regime. A water bottle is a product they’ll look at repeatedly and that they’ll take with them wherever they go, making it highly visible in social settings.

But with hundreds of options, it might seem easy to get overwhelmed with potential choices. Let’s look at a few basic types of water bottles for your business and how they can best serve you.

Plastic Sport Bottles

Touching back on the budget for a moment, if you’re looking for a low-cost option, plastic water bottles are your best bet. If you’re going to be giving out a large number of water bottles at a festival, picnic, or company outing, these could be your most ideal choice.

Besides the low cost, plastic bottles are easy to use, lightweight, and easily portable. This makes them great for the above-mentioned events.

On the other hand, plastic bottles are also the least durable and permanent option you have. As far as staying power is concerned, these are going to present you with the shortest shelf-life. They’re also less versatile and can warp under harsh heat, so people might be less inclined to hold on to them for the long-term.

So if you want a long-term product, these might not be your best bet, but for high-volume special events, plastic water bottles are a great option.

Polycarbonate Bottles

These are technically plastic as well, but unlike your typical plastic water bottle, these are inflexible and far more durable. If you’re looking for something that is still more low cost than some other options but more resilient than cheaper plastic bottles, this is your best option. For the ultimate high-quality options, be sure to check out Tritan water bottles.

Polycarbonate bottles are fantastic for things such as sporting events since they can be in the action and not get dented or damaged. You’d have to put one of these through quite a bit of punishment to make it unusable.

Still, they’re ultimately impermanent and can’t be used for hot liquids, so they’re not ideal if you’re looking for something that will last long term. But for athletic events, these are a fantastic option.

Acrylic Tumblers

While an acrylic tumbler is still limited in that it can’t hold hot liquids, it’s ideal for just about everything else. With their increased insulation, these will keep water colder for longer. They also manage to avoid condensation, making them much more enjoyable and easy to use.

Many acrylic tumblers also sport straws, making them convenient and hard to spill from. This makes them ideal for travel purposes. Having something rugged that can be taken on the road is an awesome opportunity for promotion. Not only will it last indefinitely, but it will also boast an increased level of visibility.

As far as budget is concerned, these are a bit more expensive than the plastic options. So, while not ideal for things like festivals or sporting events, these are great higher-quality options for giveaways or employee gifts.

Metal Bottles

The metal water bottle is the holy grail of branded water bottles. You can choose from lower-priced aluminum water bottles to the highly sought after stainless steel vacuum insulated water bottles. While obviously too cost-prohibitive to give out in massive numbers, their high quality makes them ideal for other purposes. Whether it’s job promotions, holiday gifts, raffle items, or more, these high-quality items are a great investment.

Whereas plastic bottles are wonderful for event-specific promotions, metal bottles are much better for your brand as a whole. These are something that someone could conceivably use every day for years to come. Over a longer timeline, this will provide numerous opportunities to increase your company’s brand visibility.

Additionally, sticking with higher quality bottles reflects positively on your company by conveying a higher sense of quality for your brand, whereas cheap water bottles can convey a “cheap” brand. It’s a similar phenomenon in comparing a well-known dollar store brand to a well-known department store brand. Everyone knows the items in the department store will be higher quality, thus more expensive.

Also, for the environmentally-minded person, metal water bottles are the soundest ecological choice. A reusable bottle will save the average person over 1,000 plastic bottles a year. That’s nothing to sneeze at! If reducing waste is a goal. then promote that goal in your design to encourage your customers to continue to use the bottle to reduce plastic waste.

Are Branded Water Bottles Right For You?

You can clearly see how promotional items benefit your company. Aside from simply putting your name into the world, it builds trust and recognition in your brand. When it comes to advertising with long-term returns and relatively low overhead, it’s hard to beat a good promotional product.

While only you can decide if branded water bottles will best serve your business’s needs, it’s hard to deny their appeal. From sporting events to festivals, to picnics, promotions, or parties, water bottles have virtually limitless applications as promotional items.

On the short term, they can get your name in front of everyone at the basketball game. On the long term, they can find their way onto your customers’ shelves and work desks for years to come.

With any luck, this has motivated you to think critically about how you can make branded water bottles and other company swag work for you. If you’re ready to stop thinking about it and start seeing the results in action, don’t put it off any longer.

Why wait? Let your products do the work for you. Explore your options and decide on the right custom branded water bottle for your needs today!

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Patrick Black
patrick@perfectimprints.com

Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.