Custom Coffee Mugs: Do You Sincerely Want to Know How to Use Them Well?

Many people hear custom coffee mugs and instantly they imagine a large array of mug shapes. If you’re using for marketing, odds are you’re better if custom means square or triangular mug. Well, that’s true for most businesses.

Everybody’s used to your regular mug, so even a small change, like making it square, has impact. With other shapes, you might gain novelty points but lose marketing surface. Novelty wears off, a larger marketing canvas remains.

Actually, if we’re talking custom mugs that are square, you’re really talking 4 marketing surfaces.

I see a lot of promotional items, usually only part of the item is used for personalization, and that always amazes me. Yes, additional lines, design cost more but, if chosen carefully, it increases response, which is good for ROI, which is good, period.

Yesterday, someone showed me a personalized water bottle, a nice, stainless steel one. There was a logo and the company name on it. If you turned it around, you have just as much space on the other side. But the other side was just a nice blue sports water bottle. It could have had a message, an invitation to visit a website, perhaps.

So, if you’re thinking custom coffee mugs, think up a message coffee maker manufacturer in 4 panels. And track results. And compare and draw meaningful conclusions.

But before you do that, consider the following:

Who are you after?

What’s your message? What image/feeling do you want to create in your target audience?

Where’s the mug going to be used (home or office vs commuters)? (Here also consider what’s the coffee serving size of your target audience is used to. If they’re used to Starbucks venti (20 oz), then a much smaller mug would not get used that often, for instance.

What mug material best fits (ceramic is more traditional, stainless steel less so; both offer less shape flexibility than plastic yet acrylic is not that elegant or classy; ceramic is best for office or home use, stainless steel for commuters, etc.).

How are you going to give it to them? (The letter that goes with it, the packaging, the time. Speaking of timing, I received a thank you gift for making the grand re-opening a great success. Except I did not. It was a novelty item related to the business.

Someone told me that it was a clever idea to send it to me even though I had not participated because now I knew they had a successful grand re-opening. I think they should have sent me something but not a ‘thank you for participating’ gift. Maybe, a ‘sorry you couldn’t have been part of the great event’ gift. Which could have been the same as the thank you gift, perhaps, depending on my lifetime value to them if I become a customer.

The letter, though, should clearly have identified me as someone who did not participate and missed out on greatness by not participating.)

Again, coffee mugs, being useful items, are kept by the people who receive them for months and months. So, they have potential. Paying attention to the ideas covered here will take you a long way towards fulfilling that potential.

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