Buying and selling promotional products is almost an art in and of itself. And if done right, it can help your brand soar to new heights and attain a lot of new clients while retaining the old ones. All you have to do is figure out how to best approach the topic since no two promotional products are alike. However, you also need to keep in mind another important detail — no two product buyers are alike either.
Try to step back from your position as a CEO or a marketing manager and observe some people close to you — for example, your friends, family, and neighbors. How exactly do they go about shopping? Do they immediately grab a product as long as it’s on a discount or the last in stock? Do they perhaps take a while and make a list of every single thing they need while shopping, or do they just buy something on a store shelf simply because they liked it at that moment?
There are many different types of shoppers, even when it comes to promotional products according to brand merchandise experts GoPromotional. In this article, you will learn about the seven most common types that you can run across. Keep in mind, that you won’t be able to satisfy all of them. But targeting specific types might boost your business and help you evolve.
A-List of Buyer Types
Let’s face it, hundreds of millions of people around the world will buy a product simply because it’s topical. For instance, you can buy a nice, sturdy lunchbox or a set of table coasters with nothing on them. But you will more likely buy those products if they had a Marvel superhero plastered all over them. Or a popular anime character.
Fads are a powerful generator of money, especially if you manage to pinpoint one early enough to use it to your advantage. That’s why companies from across the globe were handing out fidget spinners and fidget cubes the second they hit the height of popularity. However, fads have a dangerous habit of being temporary, fleeting, and quick. Once again, we point to the fidget spinners and how they waned in popularity the same year they became the biggest thing ever.
So, how can you use trends to your advantage? Simple enough — you merely have to make sure that both the product and the fad have a long-lasting shelf life.
If we look back to the earlier example, few people today are buying fidget spinners. However, plenty of them has logo-branded Bluetooth wireless headsets, water bottles that can be used at the office or gym, digital credit card carriers, etc. Do a bit of market research, see which product fits your business model the most, and start sending away.
Impulse buyers are both the best and the worst kind of customers you might run into. Naturally, the thought process behind their purchases is easy enough to understand. However, targeting them as buyers as a part of a long-term strategy is immensely difficult.
As their name suggests, impulse buyers tend to buy a product simply because they felt like it. They see something interesting pop up on their social media feed and immediately they click on the basket icon. And yes, more often than not they don’t even care if what they’re buying is functional or of high quality. It’s hedonism in its purest form.
Now, having customers like these is great if you need a quick influx of revenue. However, you can’t really plan a marketing campaign with impulse buyers in mind as returning customers. You can only have flashy, novelty items for so long until they start to bore your regulars. Furthermore, it’s impossible to predict the next item an impulse buyer will want to get, making them a bit of a wild card.
Once again, you have a set of buyers that are incredibly difficult to plan a strategy around. And unfortunately, there are a lot of bargain buyers out there. In fact, at some point in your life, you must have been a bit of a bargain buyer yourself.
A typical bargain buyer will focus on getting the lowest price for an item. They will go as low as humanly possible and seek out alternative venues wherein they can get what they need for a fraction of the price. But it doesn’t stop there. These buyers will then try to get a deal during the holidays or special events, just so they can get that extra bit of discount goodness.
And even that isn’t enough! Right now, there are millions of different websites with coupons and discount cards for all sorts of products. A bargain buyer will surely have quite a few of those bookmarked. All of that just to squeeze every extra bit out of the original price.
Sadly, these buyers, much like impulse buyers, don’t really judge a product on its quality or specifications. They simply want what’s cheap, and once they get it, they complain about its ineffectiveness. And no matter how many times a cheap item lets them down, they will keep buying them.
As a brand promoter, you should know that the best products, the ones that stick with your core user base, will cost a bit more. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard, as it will drive away even the most loyal buyers. But your promotional items do need to be a class above the competition, which will require them to cost a bit extra.
The old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ In other words, for some buyers, the same product (or the same type of product) will appear in the shopping bag. Now, this doesn’t necessarily happen because the product is good, functional, or even useful at that moment. It’s merely a kind of shopping reflex, where the buyers get comfortable buying one thing and refuse to change.
That kind of customer sounds like a dream come true for a brand owner, but it’s a nightmare if you want to innovate. After all, dabbling in different items will get you new customers, and the variety will set you apart from all other brands.
Strategic buyers are the ones you will want to focus on the most. Unlike the previous four types, these customers tend to do in-depth research on the promotional products they need. Oftentimes they will research months in advance until they have the right choice in mind. That right choice will end up in their basket and the whole shopping process will go over incredibly smoothly.
Think of analytical buyers as strategic buyers, but amped up to 11. These folks have some of the best traits from both strategic and bargain buyers, though with unique negative quirks of their own.
Let’s look at an example. A typical strategic buyer can spend up to a few months researching a product from the most trusted or popular sources and place an order once they’re ready. And since they have a general idea of what they want, the purchasing process itself goes quickly.
On the other hand, an analytical buyer will spend multiple hours each day, for months, if not years in advance, literally turning every stone. They will crossmatch the best possible product with the lowest possible price, from nearly every available source, until they have what they require. For that reason, they aren’t the safest target demographic. They can easily abandon a brand they were loyal to if there’s supposedly a better and more cost-effective option out there.
Lastly, you have indecisive buyers, possibly the most insecure target demographic you can think of. A typical indecisive buyer will spend as much time looking for an item as an analytical buyer, but with one key difference. These people will rarely buy anything. And even if they decide on an item, there’s no guarantee that they won’t change their mind later, even mid-purchase or mid-shipment!
A Few Closing Lines
As stated earlier, you will want to focus on strategic buyers first. They present the perfect balance between someone who thinks about the product they need and someone who wants to save a bit of money buying it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on other types as well. So, in order to cover your bases completely, here are a few final tips:
- Follow the latest trends, but do it smart
- Keep your stock varied and full
- Offer discounts and enable coupon purchases during special events
- Maintain a loyalty program with return buyers
- Offer information on why the buyer should focus on you and not the competition
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