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Why Do Most Corporate Ceramic Mug Gifts Fail?

If you are thinking of giving away a ceramic mug that features your corporate brand, you might want to step back a little. Seriously. It’s not like you’re the first person to come up with that idea. In fact, if you were to go to any industry meeting or trade show, it should quickly dawn on you that branded ceramic mug packages are quite common.

In fact, the problem is, they are too common. If you were to just jump on the bandwagon and issue your company’s own branded ceramic mug, it’s highly likely that it will fall into the cracks and your target audience members will probably not notice your mug. Sure, people would still use it, but they probably would not engage with your brand. In other words, you’re not going to get much return for the amount of time, effort and money you invested in giving away a ceramic mug as a corporate gift.

Why is this the case? Why do such giveaways fail? Here are just 6 of the most common reasons the typical corporate ceramic mug gift falls flat. This does not, in any way, mean that the list is complete. However, the 6 factors outlined below should give you a clear enough idea as to why giveaways of this type fall flat and what you need to do to work around these common challenges.

Does Not Grab Attention


The first reason why the typical corporate ceramic mug fails to achieve its branding objectives is that it doesn’t grab attention. In many cases, it’s just a typical round ceramic mug with a nice printed message on it. This vinyl printing obviously used some sort of heat transferring machine to “design” the mug. It turns out, the mug is really just a generic ceramic mug with some printing on it.

Giving away a ceramic mug like this will not make your brand stand out because almost anybody can give away a similar mug. They just change the design, but it’s essentially the same mug. It is no surprise that mugs that look like this do not grab attention. People are usually not going to pay attention when they assume that your mug is exactly like the few hundred mugs they’ve seen before.

Look Obviously Cheap


Since many companies try to flood their target markets with cheap giveaways to try to get as many eyeballs as possible, they try to cut on costs. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you should not be obvious about it. When you go out of your way to buy the cheapest ceramic mug available, make sure that the mug does not betray its low cost.

In other words, it’s perfectly okay to pay cents on the dollar for each unit of corporate you’re going to give away. In fact, this is highly encouraged. You’re simply trying to maximize your return on investment. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is, the item should not look obviously cheap.

The good news is, thanks to the marvel of modern Chinese global manufacturing, you can buy something for pennies while the product looks like you spent top dollar on it. At the very least, you should not commit the cardinal sin of picking an obviously cheap looking ceramic mug.

Obviously Generic

If you’re just going through the motions of printing out your brand or logo on a ceramic mug, you shouldn’t even bother. Seriously. If you do, the end product would look exactly like all the other corporate mug giveaways out there. There’s really no point of distinction.

Look at the situation from the perspective of the recipient. They won’t feel special. They won’t feel like you’re appreciating them because you’re giving them something that they can get from everybody else in your industry. Your brand doesn’t stand out.

If they get the impression that your gift is generic, it’s going to be very hard for them to equate their existing or prospective business relationship with your company, with something positive. They might feel that they just need to do business with you because they have no other choice. That’s not exactly the foundation of a healthy and profitable relationship.

Too Small to Be Practical

In addition to the looks of the ceramic mug, you also need to pay attention to its size. You want the mug to be used every day. You want the recipient to engage with your gift every single day. Of course, every engagement can lead to the use being called to action. That’s where the real payoff is. It’s when you remind the user that they can always call your company to place an order or otherwise get some value.

Unfortunately, this is not going to happen if the ceramic mug is too small. So make sure that you do some sort of rough census of your potential distribution base and see what would be the right size ceramic mug to give away.

Does Not Withstand the Test of Time

There are many mugs out there that are so badly produced that they look like relics after they’ve been sitting out for only a couple of years. This is bad news. Seriously. You probably would be better off not giving away any ceramic mug. The reason? Simple. If the mug starts looking like a piece of trash after a couple of years and it has your brand on it, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that your brand is being equated with low quality products or something that does not withstand the test of time.

Neither of these situations is good. Do yourself a big favor and make sure that you pick a ceramic mug that is durable enough to withstand the test of time. Otherwise, it’s going to send out all sorts of bad signals regarding the value of your brand and tarnish your target audience members’ expectations of your services or products.

Doesn’t Call the Viewer to Action

The main reason why you’re giving away a ceramic mug is you want your brand to call the user to action. You want to remind them of something or you want them to pick up the phone and place an order. Whatever the case may be, there has to be a payoff there. If the mug only just has your logo on it, that’s too little too late. In fact, it would become so much easier for the user of your ceramic mug to compartmentalize your brand. In other words, instead of looking at the brand logo as a gateway to either starting a relationship with your company or deepening an existing one, your target user just looks at the logo as a design element. If that happens, then you’re just wasting your time giving away corporate gifts. Seriously. Don’t let this happen. Call the viewer to action.

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