Promotional magnets were once the exclusive domain of Mid-American refrigerator doors. Now the humble refrigerator magnet is surfacing in corporate offices, restaurant kitchens. car service station bays, home workshops, on tool and tackle boxes and in college dorms.
Auto Mechanics and Housewives Have Something In Common
Mechanics just like housewives have important information that needs to be in constant view … things like work orders, phone numbers of auto parts suppliers along with indispensable business documents such as Chinese take out menus, discount coupons from the local pizzeria, and of course, a picture of Miss November from last year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar.
It’s not unusual to find these promotional magnets on file cabinets in corporate offices holding up critical business documents such as company holiday schedules, pay check calendars, cocktail party invitations and assorted emails with varying degrees of importance.
In college dorms, promotional magnets can be found on desk lamps and computer CPUs to hold up class schedules and a postcard promoting the next Free Beer Blast. But then college students never say no to anything that’s free, even if it’s only a promotional magnet.
Brides and Sanitation Departments Are Getting Magnetized Too
An increasing number of brides-to-be are sending out magnetic “Save the Date” cards for their wedding. As brides try to become more creative and cost conscious about their weddings, magnetic save the date cards are an interesting change of pace and a cost-saver too!
Even municipal sanitation departments are getting turned on by magnets. The Hollywood Florida Sanitation Department now sends out refrigerator magnets with a map of their garbage collection zones along with a calender of dates for special pick-ups. More people will use and refer to the magnet than they would to a routine municipal mailing.
Why More Companies And Their Customers Are Being Attracted To Magnets
There are several solid marketing reasons for the resurgence of popularity in the mediocre “refrigerator” magnet.
A Return to Practicality
As the economy continues to falter, consumers are becoming more practical in what they buy, as well as in free promotional items they might never have considered using before. What’s useful is now in. There’s no longer any stigma attached to using an item or product that blatantly promotes a company or product name … even in the office.
Broad Consumer Appeal
Promotional magnets have always been one of the most practical premium items available. For generations, they’ve been holding shopping lists, recipes, coupons,homework assignments, report cards, and children’s drawings prominently displayed on refrigerator doors in kitchens everywhere. Even in sleek Italian designer kitchens in the most upscale neighborhoods, you’ll find a refrigerator magnet attached to some appliance or cabinet.
Marketers are realizing that promotional magnets have an appeal that extends far beyond frazzled moms. They’re becoming more common in business-to-business direct marketing and as give-aways at trade shows too.
High Advertiser Value and Long Life
Many sales promotion premium items, even the more practical ones, often have a very short life spans. Promotional candies will probably be eaten immediately. A pad of “stickie” notes may be used up in a few weeks. Pens can be misplaced or picked up by a co-worker or customer and never returned. Once the item is used up or no longer of value, the company’s name and logo are no longer in front of the customer.
Magnets however stay on refrigerator doors, file cabinets and other metal surfaces for months and even years. This keeps a company or product name in front of the customer, family, co-workers and friends for a longer period of time. Longer, multiple name exposure is clearly an advantage to any marketer.
Fast, Efficient and Cost Effective
Advances in technology,including digital printing and production, have made designing and distributing promotional magnets quicker, easier and a whole lot cheaper.
It used to take weeks or even months to design and produce colorful promotional magnets. Now thanks to new technology, a business can get them in a matter of days. It’s as easy as just going online.
Magnets used to be big and clunky making them difficult and costly to distribute by mail. Technology has now created paper-thin, light weight magnets that can be easily “tipped onto” direct direct mail letters and distributed at a fraction of the former cost.
Finally, the cost of promotional magnets has come tumbling down from dollars per magnet to a few cents . Their customer appeal combined with the, long term multiple exposure potential they offer advertisers make them a cost-efficient promotional item.
Utility Is The Key to Success
Businesses who decide to make sales promotional premium items part of their marketing mix need to focus on the utility and life span of the item as well as their cost. Even in today’s digital world where high tech premiums are currently very popular, businesses need to still consider some of the tried and true promotional items.
Refrigerator magnets have reinvented themselves and made a come back. Who knows what will be next!