A teenage student walks into class and sits in her assigned seat. As her teacher circles the room, he notices a pink wristband with the words “My loved one survived!” imprinted and filled in a prominent white. The teacher asks her who survived. The girl begins to tell about how her grandmother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
After she tells of her grandmother’s survival, other students who had been listening intently begin sharing their own stories. Some even show their own custom wristbands while others ask how they can get one. A school sponsored club is selling them in an effort to raise awareness among the youth and to raise money for a donation to the American Cancer Society.
Meanwhile, another student in a school in another part of the country notices a green custom wristband with gold lettering. It’s in reference to a popular video game that has been just released. The student asks about the game, “What’s that?” His classmate tells him about going to a midnight release event for the game. The shop gave away the custom wristbands with the pre-sale copies of the newly released game. As they discuss the game, the student’s interest piques.
These anecdotes are not unique. Customized rubber bracelets spark conversations everywhere. They can be seen not only on the wrists of teenagers but also school-age children, college students, teachers, waiters, retailers, churchgoers, and so on. The possibilities are limitless. Because of their boundless reach, customized wristbands prove to be a perfect tool for spreading a message, promoting a product, developing school spirit and raising funds at the same time.
But why promotional wristbands? Schools already sell various items for fundraising purposes: t-shirts; event tickets; candy and cookie dough. Businesses already invest in various forms of marketing, having their company or products branded through various methods of media and product placement. Even non-profit organizations already have their niche. The answer: cost effective marketing and penetration.
Because of funding, schools constantly have to find new ways to fund programs, clubs, field trips, scholarships, and student awards, as well as build a stronger school community. The typical fundraisers, however, involve a higher payout by parents, teachers, and students, causing some to not buy the products. Besides pushing away possible sales, the percentage of return is marginal and the investment too large. Most schools resort to pre-selling the items and to avoiding purchasing extras. This is a missed opportunity to maximize the effectiveness of the fundraiser.
On the other hand, the entry cost of custom wristbands can increase effectiveness. Depending upon the volume of the initial order, custom wristbands can cost as little as .06 cents each, as well as being offered under special promotions, i.e. buy 100, get 100 free. The school then sells the wristbands at lunch or at school sponsored events for a few dollars, which is considerably less than the $10 t-shirt. Since the initial investment requires so much less, a supply can be purchased and kept on hand for future events, thereby continuing the fundraising income. Even if the funds are no longer needed for the previous intention, they could be saved and used for other programs or student awards.
Businesses stand to gain from the use of wristbands, too. While different forms of marketing may reach a wide target audience, no form of marketing can give businesses the depth of penetration that a custom wristband provides at such a minimal cost. Imagine having the ability to put your company’s brand into places that commercials, ads, and certain clothing lines can’t reach. Schools and other companies have dress codes restricting what kinds of shirts, caps, or other garments that can be worn. Custom wristbands are seen as just another accessory, allowing people to wear them wherever. Besides the ability to wear them anywhere, unlike clothing that has to be washed or at least alternated, custom wristbands have the advantage of becoming worn daily.
How do you get the wristbands into the hands and onto the wrists of patrons? They could be sold at events or in stores for a nominal price; however, people love free stuff. The custom wristbands could be handed out at events as people wait in line or as free souvenirs. Rather than having vouchers, the wristbands could be how those who have been waiting to purchase a new product or tickets are identified. Since the wristbands are customizable, the color, image, or printing can be made unique to a location or date, giving customers a permanent keepsake.
All sorts of people want to show off where they have been or what they have been a part of. Give them something that can be taken with them and worn, and they will become your living, breathing, mobile advertisements, reaching clientele you’ve not been able to reach. What company wouldn’t want such a cost effective form of marketing?
Non-profit organizations could offer the custom cancer wristbands as a gift for a donation. While donors may have generous hearts, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like something to show others that they were a part of a greater cause. Just look at the “I donated shirts” given at blood drives. People don those shirts proudly.
Custom silicone wristbands create a subtle yet powerful way to have people talking about a cause, feeling camaraderie, or promoting a product. It’s not a question as to whether they can be profitable, and at their cost, the risk is minimal.