Over 500,000 brand new small businesses try their hand at the American dream every month in the United States alone according Business Insider. These businesses, only including those with 500 or less employees, have a slim chance of survival. With more businesses closing than of those that remain open, how does a small business keep its doors open?
Over the years, marketing firms and advertising agencies have crept their way to the top by gobbling up small businesses, one dollar at a time. They charge hundreds to thousands of dollars to formulate ideas, press releases, feature stories, create ads, write copy, design marketing tools etc. While helpful, it just is not a smart idea to spend that much money when you have yet to develop a loyal customer base. While these types of companies have much success, it should not be the first route you go when you are still considered a start-up.
Marketing in 2014, as a new business, should begin with becoming active among your target audience, community and/or stakeholders. Especially in this decade, social media and social interaction, along with a great product or service is what will make the difference.
Custom flash drives are a great way to start marketing your business (cost) effectively. Hand them out at trade shows, conferences, and at your place of business. They are an affordable yet high quality replacement for flyers, pens, cups, pencils, buttons, and stickers. These traditional items, while still effective, are the first things to be lost by consumers however, USBs can be used over and over by the consumer, while still brandishing your logo. Traditional marketing tools, as mentioned above, are still used. The truth of the matter is that while tools like those flyers, pens, cups etc. are affordable and appear to be great for brand awareness, they are not. More than 80% of these products are throw away immediately after an event. They are merely a financial trap; with little to no return on investment traditional tools hurt before they help you. Now, not all promotional products are bad. USB drives, while a little more expensive, provide a sense of marketing longevity.
Custom flash drives prove to be a great opportunity in the promotional world because of the long-term value. For as many as ten years, the custom drive continuously provides face-to-face marketing for your brand. The longer the consumer uses the drive the higher the association of a reliable product with a reliable brand. Even if the consumer has never tried your product or service, chances are he or she will grow curious, and they will try you out at least once. Hopefully, you actually have something worth selling and the unknowing consumer will transform into a loyal customer.
Custom Flash Drives come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and variations only limited by your imagination. These days you can completely customize your USB drives by first picking the material it is made from including:
Wood (birch, walnut, beech wood, cherry wood, recycled)
Metal (Steel, aluminum, half and half)
ABS Plastic and was used to store digital media.
Next, you brand it with one of the following processes:
Full photographic CMYK color printing (bright, clean, quick)
Screen printing (more durable, scratch resistant)
Pad printing (screen printed and baked, extra endurance, vibrant colors)
Laser engrave (etch text or high contrast pictures for a unique and luxurious look)
While all the branding processes have been refined over the years, be cautious in choosing your promotional USB provider; as with any industry there are companies who will try to dupe you with poor quality products. Always request samples in order to compare the products and know what quality USB youll receive.
Also, make sure to ask for USB speed tests or a sample of USB memory to test read-write speeds. In the USB industry, there are companies that try to charge more for cheaply made memory. It is considered tier 2 or tier 3 memories. This memory runs slow, malfunctions quickly and is more prone to giving viruses. A good USB company should proudly offer you tier 1 memory in order to prevent any of the other issues. It doesnt hurt for the promotional USB Company to guarantee you satisfaction with some type of warranty on your custom drives either. This way you and your business are protected.
Protect your new business by protecting your funds and investing in the right marketing for you. Be wary of overpriced advertising companies and traditional marketing tools. Good luck!
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