How ugly was it? It was indeed another time.
I remember as a teenager having so many printed coffee mugs in our cupboard at home. My father started Brougham back in the ’80’s when I was still in school and had no inhibitions about bringing stuff home. I think one mug that stands out in my memory was a light blue coffee mug with a dark blue print. It was, well… ugly.
How ugly was it? Well it reflected a less discerning time. It reflected a time when any one could afford mugs and lots of them. Business people did things because they were good ideas and if they weren’t well they tried!
Actually what was interesting about that mug and most of the mugs from that era is that it was well made and made in England. Affordable and made in England. Another interesting feature about that mug is that it had some value comments on it as expressed by my Dad. ‘Consider the impact of giving’, 'the advertising value', and 'the usefulness to the recipient.’ Consider each view that mug would get on someones desk or in an office, or in our case home, and practical value of that gift to the recipient. After all, a mug is useful, in this case the mug was so over the top that the message was actually good, and it fit with the times. I’m sure it was used, appreciated, and did its job of advertising and building a relation between the user and the advertiser
Today, mugs come from China but somehow seem less affordable; although for nicer mugs they are a lot more affordable then the ‘Denby’ or ‘Royal Bone China’ from England. There is a lot more diversity in design as well. After all we are a lot more discerning then we used to be. They have to be nicer and the presentation, well a bunch of text with a phone number at the bottom would be outrageous enough to maybe be kept but that maybe variable would have a lot of them relegated to the office kitchen or worse.
My point is that the mug said what still holds true today. Consider the value of a gift. If the right product is chosen people appreciate receiving a gift. The advertising and the relationship it builds with the user is an asset to the giver and hopefully the recipient. Today, so many people default to the value of computer communication, and social media. That’s because most of the advocates don’t have a choice but the reality is we’re inundated and to stand out is almost impossible. That the product carries a message or ‘makes a statement’ in its own right is a bonus for the giver. I mean when was the last time something you saw on-line made off your computer screen to last longer then a cheerful (or not so cheerful) thought.
Branded products have an important place. Users appreciate the product, they advertise, and every time someone looks at it your business’s good name reflects their acceptance, some kind of relationship, and hopefully engagement.