How to communicate through the object in the digital age?

BtoC: proof of generosity …

Some brands have made the branded gift a pillar of their relational promise, such as Basic-Fit, which offers a backpack to all new members: “It uses the colors of the brand and reflects our identity. Simple to use, it accompanies the start of sports practice for new members and makes them feel welcome. Thanks to the millions of members who wear it across Europe, the visibility of the brand has thus increased tenfold. ! “, confirms Susanne de Schepper-Veerkamp, ​​operating director of Basic-Fit France. A rather appreciated approach since the advertising gift would be the 2nd favorite media of the French, behind the influencers on social networks (source: TSM study Research x 2FPCO – French Federation of Object Communication Professionals). But does this gift necessarily have to be personalized in the name of the brand? “At Yves Rocher, generosity has always been in our DNA because, in the spirit of Mr. Rocher, “every woman is a queen and must be treated as such.“. Every month we offer millions of gifts, which have only one role, to pamper our customers and make them happy, but for all this we do not systematically brand them. Today, this is an area we want to focus on, because they are our customers in the best position to be true ambassadors!“, says Hélène Peguy, director of omnichannel commercial activation at Yves Rocher.

… but also of love brand!

Conversely, some brands do not hesitate to proudly display their name on a capsule collection they market. We can mention for example LIDL, which since 2020 has been a huge success with its collection of shorts, flip flops and beach towels, but also more recently Heetch, a French VTC, which launched on April 28 an unprecedented collection of 5 products in the streetwear spirit (cap, sweetie …): “This is an opportunity for us to talk about a playful topic and to affirm our personality. Through press contacts and influencers, we hope to strengthen the brand’s reputation with our passengers, especially Generation Z.“, explains Benjamin Sousa, Marketing Manager France of Heetch. Etienne Lamotte, innovation manager of MEDIA Figaro, analyzes this phenomenon as follows:”A brand that creates a collection without being legitimate in the industry is above all a show of strength, a proof that belongs to the culture of an audience like artists or audiovisual content. In other words, it has gone from a heritage brand to a “love brand”. The fact of releasing limited edition products also raises the fear of shortage among consumers and allows brands to announce sold out almost instantly!“.

BtoB: The challenge of sustainable utility

Gone are the days of useless goodies, throw away as soon as you get home! The offered object must be thought to be useful and this, in a sustainable way. This then leads to choosing a gift that will easily find its place in the daily life of the target audience (fluorescent bracelet for joggers, thermal bottle as summer approaches, etc.), “advises Antony Villeger, president of 2FPCO “.It is therefore not surprising that among the most tidy advertising objects we find the pen, the water bottle and the notebook at the top: fairly simple objects but which have a good chance of being used“, François Nourrit, CEO of the yamzho group, specialist in advertising objects, abounds.

Thus, in the construction sector, it is not uncommon for some brands and suppliers to offer ready-to-wear garments that are useful to construction site workers on a daily basis: T-shirts, down jackets, etc. This is an opportunity to nurture the commercial relationship, to be present on a daily basis and to play on the preferences of the brand. Therefore, it is better to have a simple but high quality object than a more trendy but low-end gift. Interest in eco-design objects is also growing: “However, not all groups are yet ready to pay the price for this new policy that favors responsible products.“, Complains François Nourrit.

Relations with the press and influencers: how to grab attention

Journalists and influencers receive hundreds of information every day, prompting communication agencies to double their imaginations to be able to grab attention. Communicating through the object, dressing up a press release or sending a product is therefore an opportunity to amaze and create a memorable memory. We can mention in particular the FANTA brand with the Havas agency which, on the occasion of last Halloween, sent journalists and influencers an experience to share with their family, friends or colleagues: 3 mysterious jars in which to dive with one hand by closing your eyes find out what each contained: a clue, a dripping material (slime in real life) or even candy! We are therefore on a playful and fun communication, like the one that HARIBO also started more recently for the 100th anniversary of the Goldbears golden bears together with the 40hertz communication agency, with a nice suitcase full of surprises: a recipe book, beautifully illustrated postcards …: “We live in a time when each of us is overworked every day. This is why it is important to renew our way of communicating to create impact and emerge. This echoes our mission, which is to “create small moments of happiness in everyday life. “By sending this suitcase we wanted to distinguish ourselves and make a nice gift to our privileged contacts” confirms Virginie Orezzo, Head of Marketing Brand Management Haribo France. Opinion shared by Emilie Sanson, founder of Rezôkids, who supports relations with the press and influencers of brands such as Playmobil or VTech: “ For years we have made it a point of honor to contextualize and eventualize our portages, both to differentiate ourselves, create surprise but above all to please. Accompanying our new objects allows us to contextualize, to give ideas and to retain more the interest of our interlocutors“.

Internal communication: a new means of onboarding

Finally, the branded object is increasingly used also in internal communication, in support of the employer brand, in particular in the recruitment of new employees: “Offering a cup of coffee, a notebook … means facilitating the insertion of new employees, cultivating team cohesion according to the principle of equality and making people feel welcome in the company.“, Observes Antony Villeger, whom Benjamin Sousa claims:”At Heetch, we regularly offer gadgets to VTC employees and drivers, both during monthly events and at the Heetch Café in Paris. These are often useful and fun items that they can use on a daily basis: charging cable or holder for their smartphone, etc. This initiative helps to maintain the bond with the brand and strengthens the sense of belonging“. This approach thus nourishes team spirit:”At the CF we offered a fouta at one of our annual conferences. A more original object than the traditional cup and which has the advantages of being useful, unisex and easily customizable, but we did not expect it to be so successful! It started with one of our interns taking a picture of himself in Times Square, patting him on the back. A photo that immediately went around the office and amused the colleagues. It was then that we came up with the idea of ​​launching a challenge for our 800 employees: “Take your CF fouta on the road”. From Bordeaux to Madrid, passing through Marseille and Athens, many participated!“says Aurore Prouzet, Marketing and Communications Director.

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