Promo Goes Retail: All the brands for YOUR brand

Nike, Patagonia, Yeti.

Retail brands you know and love.

Retail brands you WANT. Because they deliver a promise.

A promise of quality, performance and style.

Interacting with your favorite retail brand is an experience, an event, an entire vibe. And corporate marketing teams want in on it. They want to deliver the same experience to their customers and align their corporate brand with a retail brand that reflects their values.

While it seems like anyone with a pulse is carrying around retail branded merch, this wasn’t always the case. Fifteen years ago, the promo product landscape looked pretty generic. Some brands were available, like Bulova, who’s been selling watches in the promo space for 80 years! Or Weber, for 40 years. Despite these great brands, it was a time when promo was seen a tchotchke…. cheap, boring and disposable. Because much of it was, well… cheap, boring and disposable.

Cut to now. Retail brands are widely available. Want your logo on Ray-Ban sunglasses? On Apple Airpods? A Callaway Golf bag? Yes, yes and no problem!

David Rosenstock, from IncentiveSource Inc., is a multiline rep for premium retail brands and reports that years ago you had to search for name brands at the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) annual conference. Today, the conference boasts “The Brand Section” with 50-100 retail lines on display. Rosenstock attributes the rise of large-scale corporate employee incentive programs to much of the demand for higher quality promo. Companies like Home Depot and Union Pacific want to offer their thousands of valued employees quality name brand merch as incentives for a job well done.

How does a company go about finding a particular retail brand or a range of brands? Rosenstock says that as a multiline rep, promotional product distributors like Grapevine Designs reach out to him for premium brands. Rosenstock says approaching large retail brands is difficult, but he has utilized trade shows like the Consumer Electronic show to approach new brands about navigating the promo industry to grow their revenues in corporate markets. All this to say, retail brands and promo are swiping right on each other. And it’s a mutually beneficial relationship that not only increases revenue on both sides but provides unique benefits to both the retail brand and corporate promo. Here are a few of the benefits:

For retail brands:

  • Another way to market themselves to grow revenues.
  • Promo has an 88% recall rate with consumers; retail brands want to be associated with this as items are not thrown away but assimilated into the recipients’ lives.

For corporate promo:

  • The feeling/experience recipients get when receiving a name brand vs. generic item. Quality name brand merch supports the message you are sending rather than undermining it.
  • Elevation of a brand’s promo products associating with higher end brands.
  • Clients want the look and feel of retail brands and will hang on to a quality branded item longer.

However, demand for retail brands in promo has become so great that it has spawned an entire industry of dupes. Dupes are product imitations that are similar in quality without the retail brand or retail brand price. This might be a great option for companies that want the name brand quality, but don’t have a budget for it. In addition, dupes often lend themselves to more advantageous branding space for decoration. Many name brand products are particular in their branding or don’t allow branding at all.

Retail brands and promotional merchandise is a mutually beneficial relationship that just makes sense. But finding the right retail brand that works for your marketing message and budget can be difficult. Grapevine Designs can help you navigate the process. Align your corporate brand with premium quality retail brands and send the message to your clients and employees that they’re simply the best.