They’re as much a fashion accessory as a marketing tool, but the ever-popular silicone band is a cost-effective and savvy way of raising your brand awareness. Durable, highly customisable and easy to distribute, a high-quality silicone wristband puts your logo and brand name directly around your recipient’s wrist.
How it all began
Back in 2004, the now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and his Nike sponsors developed the Livestrong campaign, a support organisation for those battling with cancer as Armstrong himself had so successfully done. As he entered the 2004 Tour, aiming for a record-breaking sixth win, he was seen sporting a yellow band around his wrist.
Harnessing the power and visibility of the iconic yellow jersey was a smart move and soon the roadsides of France were filled with eager spectators all wearing their yellow silicone bands in support of the Livestrong cause. An astonishing 87 million bands were sold (some changing hands on eBay for vastly inflated prices), kickstarting a craze that has continued to the present day.
Pink Unity bands for breast cancer awareness and turquoise and mustard bands for Movember have sold strongly, while Sport Relief and Help for Heroes are two of the high-profile charities who receive much-needed donations from the sale of silicone bands. And though it’s unlikely that a silicone band will ever capture the zeitgeist again like the Livestrong band, these rubber bracelets are still a worthwhile investment as part of your marketing strategy.
Fad or here to stay?
There’s no doubt that the silicone wristband no longer commands quite the impact that it did back in the days of Livestrong. But the manufacture of silicone wristbands shows no signs of letting up. Why? Because popular as they remain for fundraising, silicone bands have made real inroads into marketing and are now a mainstay promotional products at conferences and trade shows. In the same way that custom pens and keyrings are no mere fads, the silicone bracelet is here to stay.
The power of mobile marketing
The silicone wristband is something of a double whammy in marketing terms. Let’s say one of your employees is undertaking a charity event: in this case, selling silicone wristbands with an appropriate slogan plus your company logo will tap into the same feelgood factor that drove the popularity of Livestrong bands. After all, who can resist showing off their charity giving?
On the other hand, a well-designed, high-quality silicone wristband will make a great promotional freebie, as many people simply won’t be able to resist showing off something fun and attractive that they got for free. Putting your company name and logo on your customer’s wrist is a smart twist on word of mouth and mobile marketing, with phenomenally cheap costs per impression to add to their appeal.
Make a mark with wristbands
As with any promotional product, buy the best quality you can afford. Even buying top of the range bands is not expensive, and they’ll repay you with longevity. A broken or faded wristband is of no use to anyone. Another tip is to order de-embossed bands. Not only is the carved effect more sophisticated than printing, the messaging will last as long as the band does.
Now you’ll need to match your brand colours for recognition and consistency. Customisation is something that silicone wristbands do extremely well, with a huge range of colours and effects. Be aware that single colours will look more professional, whereas patterns and multicolours are likely to see your bands make their way onto the wrists of millennials and teenagers – in an ironic fashion, of course.
Next you need to get your messaging right, which is surprisingly crucial for your promotional bands. Obviously your logo and company name need to be on there, but don’t be tempted to leave it there because this is where you have the opportunity to really deepen your wristbands’ impact. Consider timing your wristband release to coincide with an online campaign and add your hashtag. The point is, the more value you can add to your marketing messages, the more effective your wristbands will be.
Finally you need to think about distribution channels for your bands. Giving them away – at conferences and trade shows, in your retail premises, at reception – are all quick and easy ways to get them onto people’s wrists. But why not also tuck a few in with an order or your next direct mailer? Your customers will appreciate the extra little gift and return the favour by giving you free publicity. Hold a social media competition with wristbands as a reward for participation and tuck a few in with the big ticket main item. Another great way to encourage your customers to wear your wristbands is to offer a discount whenever they shop with you wearing your band. The word will soon get out and all your customers will want one!
A unique product
Silicone wristbands are perhaps unique among promotional products in that they don’t really serve a useful purpose. You can’t play with them like a frisbee or charge your phone from one of them. But what silicone wristbands offer is a cross generational appeal that few other products can match, except perhaps the promotional pen. A desirable fashion accessory for the young and a way to demonstrate your support for a company or cause without seeming over the top, with a proven global appeal, the silicone wristband covers a lot of bases.
If you stay true to your brand values and create the right band for your customer base, high quality silicone rubber wristbands are a powerful and enduring marketing tool. This modern marketing method is an easy introduction to promotional products, offering an exciting and unique platform for your marketing ideas through the medium of a much-loved and highly recognisable promotional item.