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Branded Water Bottles vs. Branded Mugs for Long-Term Marketing

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Branding | 0 comments

Unless you’ve been avoiding all social media over the last few months, it’s hard to escape a certain brand’s infamous water bottle. Here’s a hint: It’s also the name of a hockey championship trophy.

While buyers are flocking to big-box stores to score the latest colours and designs, we’re still hard at work making branded mugs that will last much longer than the latest craze. Whether you have your own collection at home or you’re just thinking about branching into branded water bottles for your clients, we’re here to show you a better way.

Sure, it’s fun to get caught up in a pop culture phenomenon, and we can’t deny that this particular marketing campaign was especially well-executed. However, before you start researching ways to affix your logo to a similar cup or bottle, let’s talk. Today, we’re sharing a few of the top reasons why mugs are the way to go, even if your newsfeed tells you otherwise.

Better for the Environment

When we make the switch from disposable, cheap water bottles to reusable ones, most of us think we’re doing something fantastic for the environment. Finally, no more plastic clogging up the landfill!

However, research shows that even these aren’t as green as you’d imagined. While they might live in your pantry and not the local garbage dump, the manufacturing processes required to turn raw materials into your favourite sipper are very resource-intensive.

Plus, even if the bottle itself can eventually be recycled, many manufacturers use virgin materials to produce them. This requires more energy than necessary, which puts a strain on the environment.

The bottom line: If you’re eyeing bottled water branding as a way to showcase your company’s commitment to sustainability and eco-consciousness, there are better ways to relay this message.

For marketing promotions, branded mugs are more impactful. They’re also made of sturdy, long-lasting materials you know will stay in constant rotation for years. At the same time, they can reduce recipients’ use of single-use coffee cups, which can be as damaging to the environment as water bottles.

Research by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) shows that fewer than 1% of all disposable coffee cups are recycled throughout the UK. Instead, most of them wind up in landfills or tossed aside as litter, where they can take hundreds of years to decompose. Distributing mugs might not save the world, but it will help your brand (and others) make a smart step toward more eco-friendly practices.

More Likely to Use

Quick: Take a mental inventory of your cabinets at home. Chances are, you have more than a few water bottles stashed in a bottom drawer or at the back of your pantry. While it’s always fun to get a free branded water bottle at any event, how many of us actually take them out and use them on a regular basis?

Most of the time, they simply sit there, taking up valuable real estate amid our pots, pans, and dishes. That is, until we get the overwhelming desire to purge all of them, tossing them into the recycling bin without a second thought (see above).

On the other hand, how many times do you open your cabinet of assorted mugs during the day? If you’re like 80% of UK households, you keep instant coffee on hand to make a cup or two when you feel like it. In fact, 98 million UK adults enjoy a cup of joe daily!

The same goes for tea. Did you know that most Brits drink three or more cups of tea each day? Whether you prefer a bold roast or a bag of Earl Grey, your mugs likely see plenty of action. Knowing this, mug marketing makes a lot more sense.

When a brand’s logo, tagline, or business name is on a mug, recipients notice it. Your company will be in their homes, on their desks at work, and tagging along on their morning commute. All the while, the vessel sends out a subtle reminder of the products and services you offer.

If you want a marketing item that people will actually use, it’s time to transition from promotional water bottles to a more useful and convenient alternative: mugs!

More Impressive Gift

Imagine someone hands you a gift-wrapped box. Inside is a gorgeous earthenware mug with their company logo, wrapped in tissue paper with a few bags of tea inside as a special touch. The gift is stately and impressive, sending the message that the giver cares about you and wants to impress you.

Now, picture the same scenario. Only, instead of a mug, you open the gift to find a branded water bottle. While you might appreciate the gesture, you’re naturally a little disappointed. By nature, water bottles tend to look less expensive and exciting than their mug counterparts.

Much of this has to do with their weight. As most water bottles are designed to be used during workouts, manufacturers pride themselves on creating the most lightweight models on the market. While this is great when you’re on a run, it doesn’t exactly do much to “wow” clients, stakeholders, and other recipients.

Mugs make better promotional marketing tools because they’re heavier and sturdier. You can hold them in your hands and feel the craftsmanship that went into making them. Whether you want to impress a new lead or keep a current customer happy, you need a gift that’s high-quality and built to last.

branded water bottles

Enhanced Versatility

We’ve already established that most printed water bottles live forever stashed under Tupperware containers or pushed to the very back of your cup cabinet. However, when you do get one out, it’s likely for one reason only: It’s time to exercise.

Whether you’re going for a walk or packing a picnic for a day at the playground, you’re planning to use your water bottle when doing something active. That means your mind is engaged and elsewhere, focused on the exertion at hand. You might look down a few times each hour and take a quick sip, but you don’t have the time, energy, or bandwidth to ponder what’s on the label.

You don’t wake up in the morning, fill up a water bottle, and sit down to read your favourite book. If you were craving water when you woke up, you’d pour it into a cup. Or, more realistically, you’d fill a mug with a nice warm beverage before settling in.

People use mugs in all kinds of environments. They’ll sip while they’re checking emails at work, enjoying a relaxing nightcap with friends, or eating breakfast with the kids on a Sunday morning. They’ll take their favourite ones with them to the office, the conference room, and the living room.

You just can’t get that kind of versatility from a water bottle. It’s either in your gym bag, left in your car, or forgotten on a park bench somewhere. If you want long term marketing that will get used on a regular basis, a branded mug is the clear winner.

Related Article: Choosing the Perfect Promotional Product for Sports Promotion: A Comprehensive Guide

Better Design Options

Yes, there are water bottle manufacturers who are trying hard to disrupt the industry, creating products that don’t look like anything else on the market. However, for the most part, these drinking vessels are all the same. They look alike in terms of shape, colour, and overall design.

The same goes for their material. They’re mostly made of some kind of plastic, even if they have special sleeves to keep them from sweating, a unique pop-top, or some other extra feature.

Conversely, mugs offer marketing teams much more flexibility in terms of style and design. Take our Dye Sublimation Mugs, for instance! From photographic images to logos, these mugs are ideal for teams that want to display their branding in bright, bold colours!

There are few corporate gifts that even come close to matching the impact that these mugs make. Not only are they eye-catching and vibrant, but the images are also astonishingly clear and realistic, no matter which graphics you use. They’re also big!

The unique dye sublimation process allows us to print each image as close as possible to the bottom and lip of the mug, as well as the handle. This gives you more space to share your message with the world! Your image will especially “pop” when you choose our earthenware mugs, which feature a neutral background that beautifully spotlights any contrasting colours or graphics.

Printed mugs

Sparks Conversation

When was the last time you started a conversation with someone because of the kind of water bottle they were using? We’d venture to say this has never happened.

Why is this the case? Most people simply don’t notice what other people drink their water out of — at least, until this latest cup craze took hold. Instead, we look right past the action, even if they use their branded drink bottles right in front of us.

However, mugs are different. These have historically served as a means of expression. Think about how often you see ones on the shelf with humorous or witty sayings, sweet platitudes, or even monogrammed initials.

We shop for and engage with mugs in a special way. If we’re looking for one to give as a gift, we find one that we think represents the recipient, whether that’s a special colour they love or a quote that will make them laugh. Then, when we’re around someone who’s using a mug, we pay attention.

Our first inclination is to see what the mug says. Then, we think about how that saying relates to the person using it. If we find it particularly interesting, we may even strike up a conversation about it!

This is especially true at the office, where colleagues gather in corporate kitchens to chat before or after they’ve tackled their work. Unless the design is incredibly wacky, you won’t say anything about the bottle they’re filling up at the water cooler. However, you might say something if their mug catches your eye.

This is the heart of what makes mug marketing so special. While you might not always think of them as such, your mugs are an extension of your personality. If you want people to talk about your brand, you have to give them something to talk about first, and mugs are a great place to start.

Cost-Effective in Bulk

With items like branded sports bottles, you tend to get what you pay for. If you order water bottles in bulk to pass out as a promotion, you’ll likely get a large box of inexpensive plastic ones that hardly make an impression at all. Moreover, because of their lightweight and flimsy materials, they may arrive smushed and misshapen.

However, when you purchase mugs in bulk, the quality remains the same no matter how many you select. You can rest assured each mug will be solid and sturdy, whether you purchase one or 100. They’ll be carefully wrapped and expertly shipped to ensure all the right pieces are there.

As you’re building your marketing budget, you might be tempted to cut costs on your upcoming campaign. However, lowering your standards and using cheap water bottles isn’t the way to save a few bucks. What you might save in capital, you’ll spend on other forms of outreach and engagement, because the bottles simply weren’t enough.

That isn’t the case when you distribute branded mugs. These products are substantial enough to stand on their own. The best part is that the more you buy, the more you can save!

Skip the Branded Water Bottles and Notice the Difference

In your effort to keep up with the latest fads, are you thinking about giving away branded water bottles as part of your next promotion? While these might be the cheaper and easier option, consider going with promotional mugs instead.

Not only are mugs easier on the environment, used more often, and easier to remember, but they’re also interesting and economical. This makes them the perfect tool to spread your brand message to others!

At Prince William Pottery, we specialize in creating custom mugs that perfectly represent your business, school, charity, or university! If you can dream it, we’ll help you design it. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer!

Related Article: Branding Brilliance: How to Stand Out with Custom Promotional Gifts




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