Brand marketing is represented in everything a company does down to the Goddie Bags you deliver. 

It may seem a little over the top but here is some important advice. Always strategize how to use Goodie Bags to reflect your values to the target group receiving your gift.

Corporate Goodie Bags as a holiday gift, trade show hand-out or sample bag is so much more than a collection of random freebies

When most organizations sit down to come up with what to put in a Goodie Bag they often do a search or what’s cool or items people may want most. Unique mini electronics, earbuds, flash drives, and sports equipment are hot items, for sure. 

These cool gifts are all good. Be sure to ask this:

How does giving random items away as gifts enhance your brand story?

A corporate Goodie or Goody Bag distributed as a holiday gift, a trade show hand-out or a sample bag of products is so much more than a collection of random freebies.

When done right, the collection of items you deliver will both enhance your positioning and provide real value to the recipient.

Goddie Bags Share Core Values 

Values are the standards by which you do business. 

Every business should agree on and share values that will serve as guidelines for achieving team success

Every business should go through the exercise of identifying corporate values that will serve as the guidelines for achieving success. 

Sharing these guidelines lets every employee, vendor, and customer know where you stand, and the values they may share with you. 

For example, the Adobe software companies’ core values are:

Genuine, Exceptional, Innovative and Involved

Does your organization have very specific core values as this company does?  If you do it may make putting a goodie bag together easier because there is a roadmap to follow.

Although swag bags imprinted with your core values may work for different groups or events, the content should differ dramatically based on different strategies.

Gift bags delivered to employees may contain items designed to enhance their lives along with their productivity.

On the other hand, a group of stockholders may receive gifts that support your organization’s growth strategy. 

Subtle Yet Affective Goodie Bag Contents

Most brands are constantly beating people upside the head with why they are better than their competitors. People tend to stop listening to such direct approaches. 

When strategy planning remember that the motivators of loyalty are: Value, Experience, Connection, Contact, and Recognition.

Using a fun-filled bag of goodies is more subtle.

You have the opportunity to involve people with your brand through the senses of sight, touch, and even more (if sound, smell, or taste items align with your strategy). 

Inviting the receiver to participate in your shared values with the content of your goodie bag goes a long way towards creating loyalty. 

Consider that loyalty comes from the heart and mind of the customer. 

Is your brand part of a movement? Is there a cause your organization supports? Have you donated your product to improve the lives of others? 

How can you share a gift that bridges the divide between the recipient of your gift and a person, perhaps across the world, that you have impacted.? 

When planning your goodie bag strategy remember that the motivators of loyalty are: 

Value, Experience, Connection, Contact, and Recognition. 

When you consider the opportunity to give a stakeholder a:

  • tactical item  
  • focused on shared values 
  • creating a memorable experience 

Your goody bag becomes a subtle, yet important brand-building tool.

Brand Values Mean Good Business

Most people don’t consciously identify the values that govern their behavior. It’s usually something that comes from a lifetime of experiences. 

When we come to an impasse, where our values are tested, it is often a crucial moment where we decide what it is we stand for, as a person. 

Starbuck has an admirable set of core values they share with customers

Now imagine a group of people that need to decide on a direction. Do we accept the values of others or decide what is right for us?

As a group, an organization’s Core Values are the principles the team has chosen to guide their actions.

Core Values define beliefs, standards, and acceptable behaviors. They shape the organizational culture and the actions of everyone associated with the organization. 

 

Are you a Starbucks customer? Does the organization’s Core Values speak to who you are, a little?  Starbucks Core Values are written like a philosophy and they are:

  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
  • We are performance-driven, through the lens of humanity.

Chances are that if you are a loyal Starbucks customer you may appreciate that the brand has taken the time to create a set of values. You may even share some of these values on a ‘philosophical’ level.

Sticking To Your Values

Recently a Starbucks in Pennsylvania asked two businessmen of color to leave their store. This made national news and created outrage. This action was in direct violation of the organization’s specific Core Values. It also was against the core values many of us have as individuals. 

A true test of commitment to core values is how they are upheld in a crisis

This example shows how important establishing a set of core values is. More importantly, it demonstrates how everyone needs to adhere to shared values.

The true test of commitment to values is how these values are upheld in a crisis. Starbucks stepped back, apologized and closed their business for a day to train every employee on how customers are to be treated with dignity and respect.

This breach in values was a learning experience for everyone watching. How the situation was handled by the organization and how the team moved forward with humility was an opportunity to recommit to a strict set of values

This example illustrates the importance of implementing your values in everything you do. It defines who you are and provides direction to everyone that interacts with your brand. 

Even if you are a one-person company, how you define your brand and how you consistently communicate your values is important.

When people invest their hearts and minds into what you offer they are unconsciously monitoring the return on their emotional investment. One slip-up and they may move on.

A Word About Child Goodie Bags

While giveaway goodie bags for adults may take a lot of thought, many party givers for children, or businesses that give prize bags to children, often don’t apply strategic thinking in the process. 

After all, kids love cheap plastic toys and they probably will get bored and forget they ever received the gift bag, right? 

Whether you are throwing a birthday party for a six-year-old or handing out a gift with the purchase of a kids meal, the goodie bag is an opportunity to make a difference. 

A themed birthday party goodie bag with fun and educational items teaches the child something and gives parents an opportunity to interact with their children in a learning environment.

A toy or coloring book incorporating a brand’s values creates loyalty among parents and a long-term positive impression among children. 

Giving away random, low-valued items may actually create an unintended negative impression.

A little thoughtfulness goes a long way when you provide a fun item that stimulates the mind and the senses of an impressionable customer, albeit a child or an adult. 

Professional Practice Goddie Bag Strategy

Dentist are famous for providing goodie bags to children. Many have expanded this gifting practice to adults.

Recently I went through a series of dental appointments for the dreaded Deep Cleaning Service. Actually it wasn’t bad, just time-consuming. 

After each of the four sessions, the Dental Hygienist prepared a customized bag of product samples and brochures for me, Each week a different goodie bag was centered around different dental and health-related topics. 

I appreciated the free stuff, but I also was grateful to receive health-related information that helped me make decisions on moving forward. 

Skin In The Game Goddie Bag

I have also had a similar experience when I visited a Dermatologist practice for sun-damaged skin treatments. This Doctor’s practice was also very involved with cosmetic surgery and skin treatments that were not traditionally covered by insurance. 

With proper planning, a Goddy Bag strategy may be implemented to impact new customer segments

The goodie bags I received were samples of creams and other treatments, with brochures on the benefits of the sampled products and more. 

Ultimately, this Dermatologist became very successful in the cosmetic skincare field. They stopped seeing patients, like me, that were only seeking treatments covered by health insurance. 

While I was disappointed, I had to appreciate that this business focused on a strategy to serve a specific set of customers. The new target customer set yielded increased profits and reduced insurance administrative processes. 

In these two examples, goody bags created awareness, built loyalty and established a base of very profitable customers. 

While a goody bag may seem like a nicety, it can serve as an important marketing tool that subtly builds a Professional Practice brand.

Sharing Goodie Bags With Partners

I have been a part of many partner marketing campaigns. Many times I was asked to send a promotional product to represent the brand I worked with as part of a partner goodie bag.

Marketing partners often pool resources and come up with corporate value-based, cost-effective items that could be used across several events

Usually, the request was for anything we may have with a logo on it. Since I try to be cost-conscious, rarely did I have random promotional products laying around to meet this request. I viewed this as a good thing. As a marketer, I wanted the promotional product that I sent to make an impact on the specific target. 

I would ask:

  • Who is the goodie bag going to?
  • What is the product (Association affiliation, a VIP event, a corporate customer trade show, etc)?
  • What are the Values of the sponsoring organization?
  • What is the theme of the event?

Then I would determine what my organization’s Values were and overlay the data to source products.

With all this information in hand, I would meet with a promotional product professional and provide a creative brief. The items that were then presented to me were often very unique. 

At one organization I worked for, I was part of a team of Partner Marketing Managers. We would often pool our needs and resources to come up with cost-effective items that could be used across several events. The common thread was how our corporate values shined through as part of a partner goodie bag.

Stretching Your Goodie Bag Budget

The partner, vendor sponsor goodie bag is a great way to enhance your event and give others an ability to promote their relationship with your brand.

Many products and services are a compilation of the efforts of many partners.

For example:

  • A financial services company sells products managed by large financial institutions,
  • A product manufacturer relies on vendors to supply components,
  • A retailer sells high-end products in their store. 

If there is an opportunity to creatively work with partners to present your brand, consider it. 

Many products and services are a compilation of efforts. Use the partner mix to build a compelling story to fill your goodie bag and intrigue your customers

My Financial Advisor has been known to give goodie bags with themed gifts from different Annuity, College Fund, or other investment products to targeted groups of customers he invites to an event, 

The Chamber of Commerce of a small city I lived in gave members a goodie bag with creative gifts and brochures from the many different business districts and office parks.

Members received creative gifts while they were made aware of options to consider should they need to expand or move.

The Goody Bags handed out to attendees of the Academy Awards, the Oscars are famous for this approach. Here the strategy is to place exclusive brands into the hands of famous people that will hopefully endorse the products using their fame and influence. There is a whole different set of values working in this example. 

Create Customers Using JOY

According to Psychology Today, “ Different reasons may account for people’s bias towards free items, but it’s clear that emotions play a large role. A positive change is experienced when we are offered a free gift. The sensation of JOY is likely to impact heavily on our subsequent choices.”

Goody Bags are a subtle way to use marketing and influence behavior. Make sure you use the same amount of strategic thinking when planning your giveaways as you do when creating any other promotion

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More