The average company spends 11% of its annual budget on marketing. For a company like Apple, that means billions of dollars per year on promotional merchandise, digital ads, commercials and more. For a small business like yours, 11% is going to mean a heck of a lot less.

Given your limited marketing budget, every marketing dollar that you spend needs to drive a considerable return on investment. In short, your money needs to work a lot harder for you than it needs to work for the Samsungs and Disneys of the world.

That begs some big questions when it comes to which promotional items you’re going to produce to pump up your brand: Should your promotional money be going toward mugs? Pens? Bumper stickers?

In our opinion, you should ditch those common go-to’s and go with custom patches. Here’s why.

1. Affordability

Cost should always be a consideration when you’re debating on promotional items. After all, you’re going to need to purchase a high-volume of collateral in order to cover you at the various events that you attend throughout the year. Fortunately, custom patches tick the “affordable” box.

When you bulk buy custom patches from a reputable manufacturer, they’re going to offer you serious discounts that can bring your spend down to well below $0.50 per unit. You can discover more about bulk pricing and what your patch producing options are online.

2. Longevity

Do you know what happens to items like promotional pens? They get thrown away immediately because they’re a dime a dozen or they get used and end up in the garbage when their ink runs dry.

Do you know what happens to custom patches? They get saved because they’re different and when they are affixed to something, they stay there for the foreseeable future.

That means decades of potential exposure.

3. Originality

How many organizations go with promotional patches when promoting their brand? Not many. And guess what?

That’s a good thing!

On trade show floors, people’s pockets are going to be filled with pencils and stickers. They’re only going to have one custom patch though and that stand-out item is going to be pushing your brand.

4. Versatility

Custom patches are incredibly versatile in that two classes of people can use them and where those people use them is virtually limitless.

The classes of people that can leverage custom patches are your customers and your employees. The places that they can affix their patches to includes jackets, bags, sweaters, jeans, backpacks, hats, drink koozies (we could go on forever).

5. Scarcity

Much like pins, patches lend themselves wonderfully to scarcity. Imagine if you hired a designer to create a custom patch that was specific to the current year. You could number those patches to let recipients know that they have one out of just a couple thousand units that were produced. Then, in the new year, you could stop handing out the current design and start circulating a new one.

By doing that, you’d create demand for your patches. That demand might even inspire local collectors to sport multiple years worth of patches that commemorate the decades that you’ve been in business.

6. Credibility

Every business has the ability to buy custom pencils and business cards. When those businesses hand items like that out to clients and customers, they say nothing about their credibility.

When you use custom patches as your go-to method of engagement though, you leave an entirely different impression on the public.

Custom patches speak to your brand’s creativity. They speak to the investment that your marketing team is putting into promoting your brand. They say that your brand is much more established than the 600,000 startups that open their doors every year.

That perception means everything and it’s worth splurging on custom patches to attain.

7. Effectiveness

What good is all of the stuff that we’ve talked about in this post if custom patches didn’t do what you wanted them to do? Not very good at all.

You’re investing in custom patches because you want to raise awareness for your brand, drive sales and build brand affinity out in your community. Custom patches do all of that wonderfully.

We’re confident that unless you operate in a niche that caters to a particular promotional item (ex: a running shoe brand lends itself to promotional water bottles) you’d be hard-pressed to find marketing collateral that does more work for you than patches.

Bottom line: You could spend thousands experimenting with cheaper, less effective items. If you go that route, you’ll enjoy middling results…maybe. Alternatively, you could hop directly to patches and start moving towards your goals without suffering through trial and error.

In case it wasn’t clear based on the information that we’ve hit you with, we recommend going with patches.

Final Thoughts on Using Custom Patches for Marketing and Promotion

Custom patches aren’t the first things that pop into marketer’s heads when they consider how to push a brand. That’s great news because the fewer people that are flaunting patches, the more that you’ll stand out.

Our post should have built a compelling case as to why custom patches are the way to go if you’re trying to get your marketing dollars to stretch. We hope that we’ve convinced you and look forward to seeing your awesome patches out on the street!

For more unconventional marketing advice, check out more of the newest on our blog that’s designed to help your business grow!