Six Steps To Make Your Brand Marketing Soar Above The Competition

Your business needs customers.  How do you get them though?  The answer is, of course, marketing.  You can go looking for all sorts of advice on how to market to them.  You will find all sorts of answers, some of them better than others.  There is one answer, that if used properly, can propel your business to the next level. Here is why you should consider branded products to market your business:

Everyone loves freebies and swag.  However, these, by themselves, are not enough to truly push your business to the top.  Everyone is doing branded products. Our drawers are filled with them, from pens to refrigerator magnets. We barely consider the brands on them. How do you make your branded products stand out?  In this article, we will explore six different ways to help make your brand marketing exceptional. 

Define Your Brand

Your brand is not just your logo. It is not just the products you place your business name and other marketing material on.  It is your company’s very identity. It is what your company is and what values it holds for your customers.  Your logo and other marketing materials should help your customers identify with your business.  This is the essential connection that allows your customers to identify with the products and services that your brand represents.

Before you can market your brand, make sure your brand is what you want and need.  If you are selling business suits to surfers, make sure your brand reflects the culture of the target market.  Your brand has to tell your customers that you respect who they are and what they are about.  Your customers have to believe you have their best interests in mind. For example, the Allstate logo and associated slogan of “You’re in safe hands” conveys a sense of care and trustworthiness to customers.

It is a common mistake to believe that handing out generic branded items at generic events is all you need to do. How many branded pens and keychains do we look at once and then put into a drawer?  How many of these items truly promote sales? If you want to market to a group then your branded products should reflect the social identity of this group.  It should draw their attention.  It should be recognized as belonging to them.

Have A Branding Strategy

It is essential that you understand who you are selling to and why your customers should buy from you. This requires some market research. Who wants this product and why? How do I find the people who are interested in what I am selling?  It is essential that these questions be answered.  Brand marketing is not just handing out trinkets at the local fair.  It’s about associating what your business does with what your customers want. 

Think Different About Your Branded Products

Your brand marketing has to keep up with the times.  Everyone is doing pens and keychains.  Maybe we don’t need any more koozies and coasters.  Your branded products should fit into the world of your customers.  Showing that you understand their world goes a long way to building confidence and trust in your brand. Building trust in your brand is building trust in your business. 

To sell your business suits to surfers you should learn about that world. Then create a series of branded products that fit into that world.  For example, build credibility by handing out branded surf wax or branded t-shirts.  This will go a long way towards creating authenticity within the surf community. This enables sales for your main product.

The Forest is the Customer Relationship. The Trees Are the Details.

One of the worst mistakes to be made in brand marketing is to obsess over details of the logo or presentation.  It is certainly important for your logo and other materials to have a clean professional look.

However, what makes potential customers really look at your business is how your business fits into their world.  Understanding where and when to present yourself is key to making your branded marketing materials not just another expense.  Are you handing out your branded goods at surf competitions or at agricultural fairs? 

Target Your Customers

Sometimes called the spray-and-pray approach, business owners will try to present their materials to anyone with a pulse.  This approach usually generates much wasted effort and disappointment for the business owner.  Get your promotional products into the hands of people who are most ready to buy your main product. 

Again, market research is indispensable. You don’t sell business suits for surfers using the same tactics for insurance salesmen.  Although both may enjoy suits, the marketing strategies may be completely different.  You want a strategy that matches your business identity.  There is usually no one-size-fits-all brand or strategy that will bring everyone.  Choose your markets carefully.  

Fit In And Stand Out

While the presentation is not necessarily the most important thing, it does bear mentioning. The whole presentation, logo, business name, and everything else should reflect your company’s brand identity.  It’s all a package. 

It should both fit in with and distinguish itself within the community to which it is being marketed.  While this seems contradictory, it is not.  A brand should reflect the values of the community while making a distinction within that community.

Brand marketing material for the business suits surfers’ company, for example, should reflect a brighter, looser look.  It should emphasize what makes people want to be part of the surfer lifestyle and why your product fits into and does not change that lifestyle. While doing this, it should look different from everything else within that space. 


If you want effective promotional brand marketing, you have to understand who your customers are and what they want.  You also have to understand what your business is, what it does and what its values are.  This is usually the most difficult part for many businesses. Understandably, they want to build sales as soon as possible. But market research cannot be left out.  You must know how to build credibility with your target market and how to be effectively seen by them.  Only then can you make your promotional marketing effective.

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading content marketing agency that makes the world's ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present, joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present and became an SMB Advisor for Lexmark in 2023. He is the lead organizer for The Innovate Summit scheduled for May 2024.

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