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Are Branded Product Giveaways Effective?

Free Giveaways Are Effective

As a Realtor®, you probably have heard that giving away branded freebies is a way to extend your reach and build your brand. However, you might be skeptical. Just because someone has an item lying around their house with your name on it doesn’t mean they will call you…

Does it?

Actually, there’s a reason that U.S. companies spend billions of dollars a year on branded giveaways. When you choose the right ones, they work exceptionally well.

Here’s why they work, and how you can pick out the right freebie for your company.

The Power of Free Stuff

Have you ever received a charity letter with a dollar bill in it? Or seen Hare Krishna members give paper flowers to people in airports? Or seen a variety of “free giveaway” days at stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more?

If you have, you may have scratched your head wondering why. It seems like giving things away for free would be a sure loser.

But it’s not.

Companies sell millions of products as a result of giving things away. Free Slurpee Day at 7-11 leads to millions of dollars in sales. People try the free Slurpee and then buy a larger size. They buy candy and snacks to go with the drink. They get gas at a 7-11 instead of a competitor.

More than that, when people receive something they feel obligated to give back. The Hare Krishnas get far more donations if they give away paper flowers. Charities get a dramatic increase in response rates just by including address labels.

There’s also the impact of word-of-mouth. People talk about times they received something for free. They tell their friends and family how it made them feel, and who provided it. This doesn’t just lead to a hunt for more free stuff – it actually translates into an overall better brand image.

Finally, there’s the fact that many freebies are actually useful. A free Slurpee is quickly finished and tossed, but a free pen can be carried for weeks or months. A paperweight or letter opener can be kept in an office for years. Each time the owner sees or uses it, they are reminded – even subconsciously – of your brand.

How to Choose the Right Branded Giveaway

Many companies don’t know where to start when choosing a freebie. There are dozens and dozens of options, and on the surface they all seem the same.

Here are some ways to choose the right branded giveaway:

  • Make it useful. The best freebies are items customers will use for a long time. It’s even better if they use it in the environment where they make decisions about who to hire for your services. Avoid throwaway item like plastic water bottles, and choose highly useful freebies that your customers will be happy to receive.
  • Set yourself apart. If you can use your free giveaway item to showcase something unique about your company, you’ll make an extra impact. You can choose a whimsical (but still useful) item if your organization is about fun. You can do a superhero theme if you are “coming to the rescue” of your clients. Do something unique and you’ll stand out much more than “one more magnet on the fridge.”
  • Make sure your information is readable. One often-overlooked aspect of choosing a freebie is that you need to have enough space for your company information. I recently saw an option for branded fidget spinners, for instance, but skipped it because that center circle doesn’t have enough room for contact information.

As a Realtor®, you’re trying to appeal to homeowners who are trying to make a decision about hiring a real estate agent. Think about doing a few giveaways a year and make them relevant to the season. A branded grilling tool or fan in the summer, for instance, or a branded knit hat in winter.

When you do, you’ll find the incredible power of free giveaways working for you!

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4 Ways to Destroy Your Personal Brand

Personal Branding

You don’t control seasonal trends, market shifts, or interest rates. But you do control how you present yourself during all of these other changes. In real estate, the one thing you have absolute control over is your brand.

But because you have so much control, it’s easy to ruin your brand without even knowing it.

Here are 4 ways you can accidentally sabotage your personal brand in real estate.

Not Making Your Personal Brand… Well… Personal

Authenticity is at the core of a strong brand. This mistake actually has 4 things you can stumble over. Too many Realtors®:

  • Say what everyone else is saying (No unique selling positioning)
  • Do what they assume is expected of a Realtor®
  • Steal scattered parts of other people’s brands to make their own
  • Do whatever their branding agency says

These are all bad because they take the person (you) out of personal branding. If a brand is a facade, it will never reach its full potential, because you’re part of that brand. So, when people meet you for the first time, there’s a disconnect between the brand they’ve seen and the person they meet. They may wonder which one is a lie.

Keep your personality front and center. If you’re funny, make the brand funny. If you’re very environmentally conscious, make sure that’s a big part of your brand.

Handing Your Personal Brand Over to Other People

Police your own brand and how it’s used! Be a tyrant!

This means big things like staying true to your values and not letting anyone cause you to compromise. It also means small things, like reviewing any work you outsource, including social media and blogging.  You want to make sure that you’re authentic to your real self, so that your personal brand always matches the you that your prospects and customers encounter. Don’t let anyone push you off of that.

Like we said above, this is the one thing you can have absolute control over, so don’t give it away.

Not Measuring Your Personal Brand Success

Your brand may not work. That’s a marketing reality. Not all brands reach the mark.

So be sure to measure your brand success, while giving it enough time to succeed. There are dozens of ways to measure it. You can examine your brand reach, brand awareness, influence, or market share. But the important thing is that you do audit it to make sure it’s serving you well, and that you’re doing what you need to keep it strong.

Assuming it Will Grow By Itself

The brand may not automatically grow along with your success. Sure, your brand awareness may grow as you succeed and become a bigger name in the market. But that doesn’t mean you just leave your brand alone while you’re growing and thriving.

Maybe your success came as a result of tapping into a new target market, like recent divorcees. Your new brand should target that market and speak directly to their wants, needs and pain-points.

Use your newfound income to invest in the brand to help it grow.

Remember, you’re the one in control. So always remember to ensure your brand is reflective of your personality, and stay in control of how it’s treated. At the same time, measure it’s reach and success, and make any needed changes, based on those findings.

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