Here are some things to consider when managing marketing giveaways:
- First and foremost, remember your big-picture brand. The same rules that apply in any other medium also apply here. Unless you're recruiting for a master's program in adult entertainment, you probably shouldn't be imprinting your logo onto shot glasses or garters. (Yes, I've seen both.) Consider the quality of the products as well: placing your logo onto something that's dollar-store quality might not reflect well on your institution either.
- As always, think about your audience. When possible, ask members of your target audience what they like. Prospective or admitted students will like different tchotchkes than alumni or employers. Make sure the giveaway has some practical value. Save the stuffed animals for alumni-baby gifts. Depending on the audience, there may be special ethical obligations to consider (i.e., reporters or judges).
- Decide on your objective. Are you looking to remind the recipient of your institution? To thank them for their service? To grab their attention, or someone else's? Make sure that whatever giveaways you order help accomplish that objective.
- Last but not least, carefully consider the imprint. Only once you've answered the above questions should you start the design work. Your imprinted message should be clear and brief. Never cut corners on your institution's brand standards, and don't try to pack too much information. If the imprint space available is insufficient for advancing your goals, pick something else. Be aware of the limitations of each medium: engraved, embroidered or silkscreened graphics will appear quite differently from how they look on your monitor or printout.