The idea of “attendee experience” is one that drives many decisions when it comes to planning an event. From catering menu options and selecting your keynote speaker to simply deciding where to place your signs and banners, determining just how elements tie into the attendee experience at a meeting is crucial to planning a successful event. Attendees are often looking for more than just products or services; they are seeking experiences and solutions that meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Branded promotional giveaways - especially those with a high perceived value- offer a solution that can address your attendees’ daily pain points long after your event has ended, making them one of the most effective ways to influence their perception of your brand. Join us as we delve into the world of high-perceived value promotional items and discover how they can help boost your brand!
Understanding Customer-Perceived Value
Understanding the power of customer-perceived value is crucial to effectively positioning your promo products to drive the post-event impact we’re after. So what is it exactly? Customer perceived value refers to the evaluation of a product or service's merits and its ability to meet customers' needs and expectations. It is important to note that perceived value can vary from individual to individual, highlighting the significance of understanding your demographic’s expectations. Let’s explore some of the key factors that influence how an individual perceives value in a product. Customers can have a mix of these, and their preferences may change based on their situation. We've got form, availability, task, emotion, reputation, and price.
- Form: When it comes to perceived value, the appearance of a product matters. A well-designed product with pleasing colors and a luxurious feel can give it a higher perceived value. Think about the difference between plain-packaged grocery items and brand-name foods that catch your eye on the shelf. Just as packaging is important, so too is the material these items are made from. Materials like wood and leather are typically perceived as higher value than plastic. Sustainable materials often get a bad rap (and let’s be honest, we’ve all had a bad paper straw experience at some point), so green materials like wheat straw or bamboo may take some additional communication regarding their environmental value in order to elevate your recipient’s perception. The good news is that recent innovations in manufacturing mean that sustainable materials are not only better for the environment but sometimes even more durable than their plastic counterpart! Be sure to check out our Eco-Friendly Products blog for a quick breakdown of all the sustainable materials on the market right now and how they stack up to the alternatives. You might just find that a material that’s better for the planet is also better for a product’s perceived value.
- Availability: How readily accessible a product is can be tricky in terms of perceived value. A product that is regularly out of stock can be perceived as lower value, and worse, customers might move on to a similar brand. On the other hand, scarcity can sometimes boost perceived value as it can be inferred that the item is in high demand because it is a superior, high-value item.
- Task: Products or services that save time and money or offer great functionality tend to have higher perceived value. Customers appreciate things that work well and make their lives easier. Think about items your customers might utilize on a daily basis - things like mugs, tumblers, pens, or tech gear. High-use items also mean higher unique impressions for your brand! One of the simplest ways to capitalize on this particular factor is to opt for promos that are capable of handling multiple tasks. From lunch kits that come with various accessories to promos that combine totally separate ideas, like a backpack that doubles as a cooler and camping chair. Even if your attendees aren’t necessarily making use of all of a gift’s functions, the fact that they’re capable of multiple functions at all is enough to drive up the perceived value.
- Emotion: If a product or service strikes an emotional chord with us, it can increase its perceived value. Even when it may not be the most logical choice, emotional connections matter. Have you ever noticed that some brands are bringing back retro packaging or reintroducing product trends from the past? Tapping into your attendee’s nostalgia is a great way to elicit an emotional response and potentially increase an item’s perceived value. While appealing to emotion can be a great way to increase a product’s perceived value, it’s easier when it also serves a practical function. Handy gifts like fanny packs can bring back fond memories of the 80s and 90s while still giving them a gift they’ll use on a day-to-day basis.
- Reputation: Reputation plays a big role in perceived value. Customers feel more attached to businesses that share their values. It could be a business's positive impact on the community or simply that the name brand is associated with high quality or performance. You can leverage these brand names and their reputations to bring some additional perceived (as well as real) value to your giveaways! Be sure to check out our How to Differentiate Your Event: Borrowing Equity from B Corp Brands blog for some ideas on how to leverage your promo brand’s reputation to increase its value (as well as creative ways to work them seamlessly into your event).
- Price: For some people, perceived value boils down to price. Budget-conscious individuals prioritize finding the cheapest option, regardless of marketing efforts. If you want to cater to this market, the perceived value lies in being the most affordable or promoting cost-saving aspects of your product or service. Conversely, high-priced items are almost seen as higher value. If budget permits, consider opting for a lower quantity of higher-priced items - especially if they’re a name-brand product that will drive your price point home with your recipients. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider sourcing options that appear to be at a higher price point. Simple factors like material and packaging can all help give the illusion that a lower-priced item is actually a higher perceived value. Look for simple substitutions like bamboo instead of wood or
acrylic over crystal.
Easy Ways to Increase a Product's Perceived Value
So now we know what factors influence how your recipient perceives a promo product, but as we mentioned earlier, tastes and preferences vary from person to person. So, what are some easy things you should consider when selecting your giveaway to help ensure your product is having the desired effect on your attendee's perception of both the gift itself and your brand as a whole?
- Know Your Audience: Quite possibly, the biggest proactive thing you can do to ensure your product is well received is to know what your attendees are looking for. Do your guests place special importance on sustainability? Is there a name brand that exists within your particular industry that attendees already know and trust? This step might mean conducting market research prior to your event, analyzing customer feedback from previous ones, and staying updated on current industry trends. By tailoring your offerings to meet your target audience's specific needs and preferences, you can create a stronger perception of value. Check out our Differentiating Your Event blog to learn more about some easy ways to engage with your audience prior to the event. This type of pre-event communication is not only helpful in gathering important information about your demographic but can also help you boost interest in your event for prospective attendees as well as streamline networking on-site!
- Know Your Vendor: Finding a reliable source in the industry is key to ensuring that you’re receiving the quality products you expect. From recommending the most up-to-date products to ensuring the items you order actually arrive on time for your event, it's important to have a source you can count on to optimize your gifting efforts at events. In keeping with the “Form” factor of perception, work with your supplier to explore different printing strategies, and knowing all your options is also important to ensure that the final product matches your expectations. Not every product will look exactly like the sample or virtual proof you receive, so understanding the different types of printing methods and selecting the one that is best for the material of your products will help avoid any surprises. Have questions? We’ve got you covered! Our Decoration Methods blog covers all the ins and outs of every imprint method available for promo items so you can hit the ground running when choosing the right method for you.
- Give Your Gift a Purpose: The important thing to remember is that perceived value is just that - a perception. It is equally as important to recognize that perception is not always based on reality and that sometimes, even the most carefully curated giveaway may not resonate as intended with every guest. As we touched on in the “Task” concept, providing a gift your recipient will actually use increases the face time of your brand. When customers see your brand on a regular basis and find value in the promotional items you provide, they are more likely to view your brand in a positive light.
- Be Extra: Perception isn’t just limited to the gift at hand! Delivering value-added benefits can also help increase customer-perceived value. These benefits can come in various forms, such as discounts, loyalty programs, extended warranties, or free additional services. By providing these extra benefits, you can enhance the overall value proposition and give your customers more reasons to choose your brand and your events over competitors. Being extra doesn’t always need to come in the form of a discount either! Consider pairing your promo with your on-site activities (like a nice water bottle for an organized morning jog or branded mats to go along with your guided yoga class). Being able to immediately use their gift on-site will help drive up the perceived value of your giveaway, as well as enhance your on-site activities. It’s a win-win! Our Differentiating Your Event With Networking blog has a lot of innovative ideas on how to use your promos to not only elevate your on-site events but also how you can use them to facilitate networking opportunities for your guests as well! Using a gift to forge a meaningful business connection at a meeting is a surefire way to drive up an item’s perceived value.
- Be Proactive: Just as knowing your audience means communicating with attendees before an event, following up after your event is over is equally vital for value perception. Knowing if your gift had the desired impact can be measured by way of post-event surveys or feedback collection forms. Aside from giving your key insights as to how your gift performed and helping you to tailor your next giveaway, attendees can see this type of follow-up as stellar customer service and an indication that your company is trying to do best for your customers by doing everything you can to deliver an exceptional experience. By continuously seeking ways to enhance the value you provide, you can help your company stay competitive and maintain a strong reputation in the market and relationship with your attendees.
Let’s Get Branding!
Enhancing customer perceived value requires a strategic approach and a deep understanding of what customers value the most. Branded giveaways hold immense potential to boost a brand's reputation and credibility. By understanding the power of customer-perceived value and implementing strategies to increase a product's perceived value, you can create an exceptional attendee experience on-site and a deeper connection with your attendees long after the event is over. By investing in high-perceived value promotional items, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, build trust with customers, and ultimately, boost their brand. So, why wait? Contact us and start harnessing the power of high-perceived value promotional items today and watch your event (and brand) soar to new heights!