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Managing a Fundraiser
Promotional Products and School Branding
by Chris Ellis
When making purchasing decisions for the school year, pretty much anything a school will buy could also bear the school's mascot, but frequently won't. The unfortunate fact is that there are a number of schools that do not factor in branding when they are planning their annual budgets, when they really should. Those schools might simply not realize that the industry has more than your typical pompoms and jerseys that they can imprint a school mascot on. Not to mention some schools might not even see the benefit of maintaining their brand.
The term "promotion product" covers a wide swath of products, and there is a wide variety of school-related items that can be found. Just as in the case of an employee gift, a good student gift or reward will be something students will use and not simply inexpensive. A well made binder that is embroidered with an image of the school's mascot would encourage school pride in a student. Your promotional items distributor doesn't just make leather tote bags or stylish messenger bags that are only suited for business execs, either. While these do exist, there are also backpacks that cater to students of all ages available to be imprinted. Backpacks are something any student will be using in a modern school setting as the number of schoolbooks they carry around increases each year.
Even a small school can take advantage of branding opportunity that promotional products will bring. Even small elementary schools or junior colleges can be a matter of pride for the surrounding community. Donated items with school logos on them will help establish a vital symbiotic link to the community and contribute to an interest in the welfare of the school's students.
Starting around high school and college, you'll frequently find students who love to show their school spirit and can do so with help of promotional items. Just as branded products can link a community and school together, they can form a connection between the student and school. A student body that feels a connection to their school inspired to make better grades. As a graduation present, a customized product bearing the mascot they grew up with is an excellent memento of an unforgettable school experience.
Schools will find that promotional product purchases could fulfill their basic supply needs for the year, even if they're working with a limited budget. In the early school years you've got the basics: Scissors, crayons, and glue. General office supply purchases, or even the later grades, are readily available as well: rulers, pens, pencils, and paper. The opportunities to save money in this manner are found for any grade, from as late as high school or as early as kindergarten.
An imprint will often be included in a product's price and will serve to compound the savings. This is always a part of the promotional industry purchasers must use to their advantage. Simple things like pencils or stationery that bear a school's colors or mascot inevitably make their way into the nearby community and the school becomes a piece of the fabric that binds the community together in the process.
Many organizations, businesses and schools purchase office and school supplies at their local supply store off the shelf when in reality the low cost of getting a pencil with a logo or backpack with a mascot could provide budgetary savings and extend the school's brand into the community.
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