In the age of digital marketing, some offline promotion ideas still work. Even if more and more brand-customer interactions take place online, the way you represent your brand through traditional marketing still matters. And patches, those small pieces of embroidered fabric you sew on to clothing, play a more prominent role than you think.
In mainstream culture, patches have only recently made a comeback after being one of the biggest fashion trends of the 90s, but brands have been using them consistently as part of their branding strategy. Whether you incorporate them into employee uniforms or hand them away for free to your customers, patches can have a sizable contribution to your marketing efforts.
The surprising branding benefits of custom patches
Patches sure look good, especially if you work with a professional to make patches based on your brand colors and logo. But, apart from aesthetics, patches also have several key branding benefits that can help you in the long run.
Although they don’t promote your services directly, patches can increase exposure. Simply by seeing your logo and other company visuals, customers will get more accustomed to your brand, and, as every marketer knows, familiarity breeds trust.
Over the years, multiple studies have shown that simply being exposed to a company’s logo (or marketing messages in general) makes people more likely to shop from that brand in the future. Even if a person doesn’t need your services now, they’ll be more likely to choose a brand they’re familiar with when they need it several weeks or months from now.
Passive promotion through brand ambassadors
Brand ambassadors can help your business in many ways, from providing positive word of mouth to increasing traffic to your website. They can do that by talking about you directly on social media and sharing their experiences with your brand, but by wearing a T-shirt with a branded patch, they can also do that indirectly.
Even if a brand ambassador doesn’t praise you directly, the simple fact that they’re wearing a logo patch speaks volumes. Especially today, in the era of influencer marketing, a popular figure displaying a branded patch can drive more traffic to your website and generally boost awareness.
Support a cause
Patches don’t always have to represent your company logo. When you make matches, you can play with many designs and even create new ones to support a specific cause. Do you want to support the fight against climate change, poverty, world hunger, or animal abuse?
Design a patch and incorporate it on staff uniforms. It’s a great way of promoting your company values and bringing awareness to a good cause. You can even consider selling these custom patches to donate the proceeds to charity.
The way your employees present themselves to customers matters as much as their expertise and professionalism. Often, the outfits they wear play a key role in making a good first impression and dictating how the interaction will go. For example, if a company representative approaches a potential client on the street wearing regular, non-branded clothes, the client can be skeptical and even turn hostile for fear of being scammed.
However, if your employee has a patch with the company logo, they will automatically inspire more trust, and people will be more likely to listen to what they have to say.
Four ways businesses can use patches
Because they’re small and can be sown on just about any fabric, patches can be used in many ways. Here are some ideas you can try:
Having a company uniform creates an attractive business image, prevents dress code issues, and fosters team spirit. However, printing your logo on T-shirts, hats, and jackets can be expensive and limit your creative options. Incorporating a subtle patch, meanwhile, is an affordable option that works just as well.
It can actually be more convenient because the patch doesn’t lose its color or quality, while printed logos can wear off and look unprofessional. Besides, you can also make patches with a Velcro backing, so that you can easily switch between different designs, depending on the occasion.
Are you getting ready to attend an annual trade show or exhibition? Apart from printing company materials, don’t forget to customize the outfits worn by company representatives. It may not be the biggest effort, but it will attract attention and show that you care about details. If you’re willing to make a bigger investment, you can even ask your designer to create a special patch just for that specific event.
Are you getting ready for a new product launch? Why not advertise it by creating a set of custom patches? It’s a great way to generate buzz and raise awareness. You can even tease the launch and build suspense by doing a social media campaign showing off branded clothing and asking followers to guess what the launch will be about. Another fun idea is to throw a giveaway and include custom patches as the prize.
When it comes to building customer loyalty and showing appreciation, you really can’t go wrong with free gifts. And if you’re looking for a more creative alternative to branded merchandise such as bags, pens, and notebooks, you’ll love patches – especially because the current fashion context favors them.
The idea of someone sewing a branded patch onto their clothes may have sounded out of the ordinary a few years ago, but, as we mentioned in the beginning, patches are making a comeback. As long as you have a creative design, your clients will want to wear them on their jackets and keep them as collectibles (yes, patches are some of the most popular collectible items!).
However, don’t forget that all of these benefits only apply if you pay attention to details. As is the case with all branded messages, your patches need to look professional, so make sure you work with a company that uses high-quality embroidery techniques.
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