Published May 26, 2023 by Rick Cundiff
If you’re a small business entrepreneur, you know what a challenge it can be to build brand awareness. You need a creative approach to marketing that maximizes your brand exposure in the most cost-effective way possible.
Custom patches can get your message out at a low cost. They’re a remarkably effective way to promote your brand or logo. And when you combine them with social media, you can multiply their impact and really make a splash for minimal money.
A good design is the key to successful marketing with custom patches. Think about what you want your patches to convey. Do you already have a logo or distinctive brand? Incorporate them into the design.
If you’re starting from scratch, think carefully about your design. Consider your target audience and prospective customers. What do you want your logo to say to them? Do you want to project a fun, carefree image? That’s different than a design that projects solid, traditional dependability. Think art studio vs. investment bank, for example. Different audiences, different messages.
Keep your brand look consistent. If you already have a logo or specific colors and fonts for your signage and other materials, stick with them on your patches. Keep the visual link between your patches and your overall marketing. Use the same elements on your website and social media posts.
The size of your patch will influence your design, and vice versa. If you have a simple logo, a small patch can serve well, a subtle statement. If, however, your logo features intricate artwork or text, a larger design will be necessary. If the text is too small, it won’t be legible. If the artwork is too small, it can look muddy and indistinct.
Once you have your patches, there are several effective ways to use them. Let’s review a few.
By furnishing custom patches to your employees (including yourself if you’re a small retail or direct customer service organization), you give your business a coherent, professional look. The simple addition of a custom patch to a uniform shirt or a jacket raises the positive impression of your business considerably.
As part of your overall marketing plan, participate in or sponsor community events. Festivals, farmers’ markets, holiday events and similar activities draw potential customers out. You can include patches with purchases, give them out freely, even sell them if it’s a design that attracts attention.
You can also attach patches to tote bags, caps, t-shirts and other items. The more you distribute, the more familiar with your logo and brand your local community becomes. It establishes your business as an active part of that community
Collaborating with another local business is a way to promote both, and can be highly effective for complementary businesses. For example, a local coffee roaster might join forces with a coffee shop to promote both brands. A custom patch featuring both logos boosts awareness for both at the same time.
Consider giving custom patches to customers who make a purchase, either online or in-store. This is especially effective for apparel and accessory retailers. You can even turn the patch into a coupon – just have the customer bring the patch in, or wear it, the next time they come in for a discount price.
Ever dream of becoming the next hot fashion designer? You’re closer than you think! Create your own line of tote bags, shirts, hats, backpacks or other items, with your custom patch attached to each one. Your customers will support you and increase your local brand awareness.
Once you’ve established your patch design and had patches made, it’s time to bring them into the social medial realm. There are lots of great ways to leverage social media for your brand. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are powerful tools that you can benefit from.
As noted earlier, consistent branding is important. You want your patches, your website, social media posts, and even your signage to all feature the same look, colors and messaging.
A little suspense builds excitement. When you’re ready to release new custom patches, announce their availability on social media. But not all at once. Tease the audience, let the anticipation build. “Wait ‘til you see THIS,” “It’s Almost Here,” and similar posts will draw attention to your patches. Then, when you’re ready, unveil the patches. You’ll generate buzz that will boost your social media followers as well.
Another way to boost interest is with limited edition patches. Pro tip – FOMO sells! Fear of Missing Out prompts customers to jump on board. Announce you’ll be offering a limited number of patches, or only for a specific time, and watch interest soar.
People love to win things. Hold social media contests that give customers a chance to win custom patches. You can organize it just about any way you wish. Hold a drawing on a specific day for anyone who engages on your social media sites. Likes, shares, comments and tags get your audience engaged and keep them coming back.
It’s a breeze to incorporate pictures and video into your social media. Use it to your fullest advantage! Show pictures of your staff wearing your patches, video of customers wearing your patches at events, behind-the-scenes happenings at your office, anything to get people engaged. You can even encourage your audience to submit pictures or videos with your patches in them. It’s a terrific way to increase audience engagement, provide you with content and raise your visibility.
Create custom hashtags for your patch posts. Encourage your followers to use them for pictures related to your patches. Once again, you get increased engagement and user-created content. And you can track posts and engage interactively with your followers. Be sure to share the hashtags on your own posts to boost its usage.
Social media influencers can have a powerful effect on your brand. Identify those with a significant number of followers who have fit with your brand and your target audience. Send them custom patches with your brand, and encourage them to promote your business through their social media channels. Authentic word-of-mouth promotion is a great way to take your brand to new heights.
Be sure your social media posts include a clear call to action. Tell your followers how they can obtain your patches. Whether you want them to visit your website, enter a giveaway or buy patches, be sure they have an easy path to do what’s needed. Make it easy for them, and they’ll make it profitable for you!
To get the most out of your social media posts, remember to post on a consistent schedule and engage with your audience through comments, responses and messages. Keep track of analytic metrics to determine the effectiveness of your posts.
With a little attention, you can coordinate your custom patch marketing efforts with your social media to boost engagement, increase brand awareness and enjoy greater sales success.