10 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Buttons

Feb 5th 2015

10 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Buttons

As a small business owner, you want to get the word out about your venture, but it's important to make your marketing dollars stretch. Buttons are a great way to build your brand and keep in mind limited budgets. Endlessly customizable, you can start small and try out new ideas, or order a big run to that reaches people for just a few cents per item. Even better, buttons are an open-ended option that allow you to create an item perfectly suited for the promotion, event or message you want to send.

Need some help getting your creative juices flowing? We've got 10 tried and true ideas for using buttons, all tested and approved by Busy Beaver customers. We're sure you'll find something that works for your business!

1. Give Them Away

pile of buttons that say free!

Everybody loves free swag, and buttons are a fun and cost-effective way to get your name out there. With a relatively small investment, you can promote your business to hundreds of new customers. Check out this blog post for unique and strategic ideas to give buttons away.

2. Buttons as Merchandise (e.g. Sell 'Em!)

SubPOP buttons packs on display

If people already love your brand, it's a good bet that they'll be happy to buy your buttons as well. Makers can offer their work on a button as a way to expand their product line, and if you offer higher price point items, buttons are a good way to offer a lower price point item. Sub Pop's button packs are a great example of how buttons can be packaged together into an attractive stand-alone item, and buttons and magnets for Camp the Pigeon offer fans a fun way to support their favorite celebrity bird.

3. Buttons ON Merchandise

wooden sleepers buttons on jacket

Buttons are a unique way to add branding to items that you sell. More durable than a paper tag, buttons offer a fun freebie for your customer to keep. Wooden Sleepers vintage uses buttons to express their "old becomes new" branding and attaches a button to outerwear pieces they sell in store.

4. Wear Them

Hello My Name Is Buttons

Obviously you want your customers to wear your buttons, but are you neglecting yourself and your employees? Buttons are great as name tags and for non-verbally getting branding or sales messages noticed. Use buttons as write-on name tags, or create a batch advertising your next promotion for employees to wear at work.

5. Take Them to Events

New Belgium Beer Buttons

Buttons and events go hand in hand-- take advantage of the crowd to get your name out there! Make commemorative buttons for special occasions, as New Belgium did for their Tour de Fat and their Clips Beer and Film Series, or distribute branded buttons when you table at events as Graham Elliot did at Lollapalooza.

6. Vend Them (Button-O-Matic-style)

Great Lakes Tattoo Buttons

Branded Button-O-Matic machines are a fun way to sell buttons or give away buttons at your location. With a relatively small investment in the machine, you get a conversation piece to keep customers engaged. Great Lakes Tattoo used their Button-O-matic machine to show off pieces of their hand-painted flash artwork.

7. Make Them Collectible

Dairlyland buttons

Like Button-O-Matic designs, making a series of collectible buttons is a great way to get your customers excited about your brand, and your buttons. Dairyland Dare bike race offered buttons at the starting and finish lines, as well as at points throughout the race course, and though the food certainly has diners coming back for more, the ever-changing mermaid buttons at La Sirena restaurant don't hurt either.

8. Snail Mail

assorted buttons on wood

Everybody likes getting something fun in the mail, and buttons can add something special to outreach mailings and correspondance with your customers and clients. Whether tucked into orders as Good Eggs does with some food deliveries, used as new year's gifts like Surface 51's motivational button and magnet packs, or accompanying online order's from the Mochimochi Land shop, a button surprise is guaranteed to delight your customer.

9. Think Outside the Business Card

Cards Against Humanity employee buttons

Creating a memorable brand for your small business means that you've got to stand out from the crowd, and sometimes that means a unique take on the traditional business card. Harper Reed created "calling card" buttons with images of himself and his contact info on the backrim and Cards Against Humanity staff each receive a set of personal button business card with a watercolor portrait of themselves and contact info on the button face.

10. Go Big

Kickstarter glow in the dark buttons

Got an idea that might be a little bit crazy? We want to hear 'em! Customers have come to us with all sorts of off-the-wall requests, including scratch and sniff, branded-wood and glowing 24k gold buttons, and we've been able to make them happen. Totally unique buttons like these are guaranteed to make a big impression on customers, event-goers and potential clients.

Feeling inspired?  Start spreading the word about your biz with buttons today!

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