5 Valuable Lessons to Learn from Ben & Jerry’s Promotional Campaign

Promotional items can be used for many marketing goals, including boosting awareness, building loyalty, and driving sales. While many businesses simply order and distribute promotional merchandise, others carefully plan and develop full-blown campaigns. The brands that belong to the latter category can create unique experiences for their customers and make competitors wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

One such brand is Ben & Jerry’s, the popular ice cream brand known for their wacky (and delicious) flavor names like Karamel Sutra, The Tonight Dough, and Chubby Hubby, among others. Ben & Jerry’s has some of the most impressive promotional products we’ve seen. Their apparel section includes tie-dye t-shirts and baby onesies with catchy slogans like “Body by Ben & Jerry’s” and “I Like to Spoon”.

Their other promotional apparel connects ice creams to social causes. One of their designs features a melting earth-patterned ice cream scoop with the phrase, “If it’s melted, it’s ruined!”

Another social theme shows cows in rainbow colors with the phrase, “Love comes in all flavors”.

Their promotional merchandise isn’t just limited to apparel but also to their ice-cream pints. For $8.99, ice cream lovers can get a snug knit sleeve and a wooden spoon to prevent fingers from freezing while eating their favorite sweet snack.

If you think that’s genius, then wait till you hear this. An extra dollar can get you a “state-of-the-art security system” for your ice cream – the “Pint Lock”! This is a special lid that comes with a combination lock to prevent others from eating your ice cream when you’re not around. To top it off, the rim features a playful note saying, “I’m terribly sorry, but there’s no ‘U’ in my pint.”

 

What You Can Learn

Ben & Jerry’s promotional product strategy has a lesson for every brand who wants to use promotional items for their marketing campaigns. Here are a few worth noting:

Make Your Campaign “Shareable”

One of the biggest reasons why Ben & Jerry’s campaign was successful is because of social media. Once people received their promotional items, they shared the pictures online. If your promotional campaign is something that will catch the customer’s eye, you are likely to get free online publicity. This, in turn, will bring more people to your place of business, boosting your sales.

Use the Right Promotional Product

Picking a promotional product can depend on many factors including but not limited to:

  • What your company sells
  • Your target audience
  • Theme of your campaign
  • Occasion or special event
  • Place of distribution

Choosing the right giveaway can make it easier to get your brand noticed. For example, if you’re distributing free swag at a beach event, giving away a promotional beach kit or a beach ball will make your customers remember you.

Choose Your Imprint & Message Carefully

Anyone can place an order for promotional apparel and imprint their logo on it. But, the difference between the apparel people would love to wear and the ones that sit at the back of the closet is a catchy image and/or text. An attractive message with your promotional apparel not only increases chances of frequent exposure but also gives your brand a personality your customers would want to associate with.

Offer Value to Your Audience

Ben & Jerry’s promotional ice cream pint accessories offer two things that every promotional item should – value and novelty. People appreciate a giveaway that can be used in their day-to-day life. But, at the same time, the product needs to be differentiated enough to offer a unique experience. This sets you apart from the competition and encourages your customers to use your product more often.

Support a Cause

Ben & Jerry’s use their promotional merchandise to support global warming and the LGBTQ movement. One of the best ways to increase your exposure while giving back to the community is supporting a cause.

This helps you instantly gain the favor of those who believe in the cause you support and increase your popularity. It can also give your brand media exposure as well as social media shares.

I hope this article helps you plan your next promotional campaign better. If you need an innovative promotional product for your next campaign, feel free to contact us and we’ll find one to help you stand out! I don’t know about you, but I’m heading to get my pint of deliciousness – and the merch that comes with it.

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Jayden Samuelson
Jayden Samuelson is an online marketing manager at Promo Direct. He is responsible for strategizing and executing all SEO and digital marketing plans for the company’s website. He is also a regular contributor to Promo Direct blog and several other sites. You can follow Jayden on Google+, Twitter and Facebook