Outerwear: The Challenges and Rewards of the Branded Jacket. by Jessica Hodges
When we think of promotional products, outerwear is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Our immediate associations for promotional products probably include items like pens, bags, t- shirts and key chains right? So why even bother talking about branded outerwear? Well, because it’s more important that you might think.
Here are some convincing facts.
1) Branded promotional jackets are kept an average of 7.3 months, which makes it the 2nd highest product category with the strongest staying power.
2) So why do people keep their branded jacket? 60% of consumers said that they kept it because it was attractive. Attractiveness ranked number 1 in this category as most important to consumers.
3) After receiving a branded jacket, 75% of consumers felt positively and were the most willing to do business with the advertiser than any other category.
4) Happy Face Fact: Perhaps the most impressive finding was that branded jackets have a 95% advertiser recall! No other product category comes close to this kind of impact.
5) Sad Face Fact: Over half of the U.S. population owns promotional products, but only 9% of those consumers actually have a branded jacket.
Promotional jackets are probably one of the most impactful promotional products that exist, so why don’t more people have them? Outerwear has some inherent challenges. The first is price. Generally, outerwear is a more expensive option as a promotional giveaway. When it comes to large scale events such as trade shows, concerts, or festivals, having a promotional jacket as a giveaway can definitely break the bank. There is also the issue of sizing. For large event giveaways, it is extremely difficult to manage inventory and sizes. You can also risk upsetting customers when a particular size runs out of stock. No one wants to wear something that doesn’t fit properly and upsetting your customers is the last thing that you want to do. Most companies will just opt for a less tricky item.
But there is a silver lining. If you are participating in a large scale event and want to have branded jackets as a consideration, you can instead offer them as a merchandise item. These items are very popular at events such as concerts and festivals. Promotional jackets are also a perfect match for small to medium size events. They are great for outfitting staff for promotions, school teams, employee gifting and other events like these. Here are some things to consider when selecting a promotional jacket
Time of year is obvious right? Well, not always. Summer is the most ignored season for promotional jackets. We tend to take warm weather for granted, but one thing summer is infamous for is a sudden downpour. It’s always beneficial to have a lightweight jacket, especially in the event of rain. Let’s say you have an outdoor guerrilla marketing team on the field. It looks bad for companies who don’t properly outfit their staff for inclement weather. The same applies for winter season. A skimpy windbreaker is not nearly enough protection from freezing temperatures. Always remember, a happy brand ambassador equals a successful promotion.
Fit and Fashion
If you are outfitting staff, always make sure that all apparel fits properly, including outerwear. It’s a waste of money if you purchase a jacket that is too over sized or too tight for members of your team. It appears sloppy and unprofessional. Always consider how your event pictures will look when outfitting your staff. Now that we know that attractiveness is most important to consumers when deciding to keep promotional outerwear, you should consider this when choosing a style. Opt for a season appropriate, age, gender and fashion conscious style for your target. If your staff love the jacket, odds are your consumers will too.
If your budget it super tight, you can opt for fleece, wind or an unlined/ soft shell jacket to save some cash. These styles are great for cool to warmer weather months but do not offer much for cold weather protection. These styles still carry attractive fashion features without the added cost of workmanship.
If you have more dollars to spare, added weather features such down, leather or performance ski features can add significant value to your jacket. These styles are best for the winter months so your staff can comfortably weather the elements. Promotional jackets finish off the look of any campaign and if carefully chosen, your jacket (and your company logo) will be worn around town for a long time.