Custom Mug Printing as a Marketing Tool


Here’s a simple overview of how to market your business using Branded or Custom Mug Printing.

custom printed mugs - its all about exposure

Custom mug printing is very direct and tangible and can be very colorful. In comparison marketing your business be it through print, digital, affiliate or online channels can be a very time consuming, complex and costly process as anyone who has embarked on a marketing campaign will attest. But whatever medium you eventually use, the core aim of any marketing project is to create exposure – which should then translate, either immediately or after a period of time, into some form of revenue.


For example, if you run a radio ad which gets your name heard by several thousands of people, the next time they are confronted with a buying choice you can expect them to be effected in some way to purchase your product or service over the competition. Now as good as Radio & TV advertising is for getting your brand out to a huge audience, it is generally the domain of the established high rollers so businesses with smaller marketing budgets need to look elesewhere and luckily there are a host of different marketing techniques that can be used to expand a companies brand awareness not matter what size your budget.

One of the the most productive marketing platforms at the moment is Online advertising, be it through Search Engine Adwords or Social media ads and they are certainly powerful mediums if used correctly. What is really key is the unique ability you have to target your exposure based on demographics and ythis is certainly an area all businesses should look at for marketing purposes.

Both of the above have their place in a companies overall Marketing strategy but they do lack longevity as they are transient by nature, this is especially true of Social media with consumers flick and forget mentality. This is where physical marketing merchandise comes into it’s’ own, because they permanently occupy a space that constantly transmits your marketing message and more importantly is extremely cost effective.




Table Of Contents

  1. Custom Branded Printed Promotional Mugs:

  2. Personalised Custom Printing of Mugs as Customer Gifts:

  3. Custom Printed Mugs for Internal Marketing:

  4. Things to consider when creating your customised mug design:



Promotional Mugs for Businesses

Promotional Business Mugs

The most common form of Marketing using mug printing as a medium, is to simply employ your logo as part of the design. This type of marketing platform is useful when you do not have a particular objective in mind and simply want to increase generic brand awareness. The promotional logo branded mug can be used both internally for employees or externally for customers at events such as open days, trade fairs, sales meetings, meet and greets. Basically at any occasion where you will benefit from increase in exposure. As with all promotional activity where customised mugs are used as the publicity medium, the effect will be ongoing as mugs are are used on a an everyday basis both in the office and at home so there is a level of extended exposure that is achieved.

– Easy to design as they usually are an adaptation of a company’s logo.
– Cheap and easy to have manufactured.

– Most Logo’s are limited in their ability to produce a wow factor on their own .
– Tend to be given away to all and sundry.

Cheap and easy way to get some general marketing exposure when there is no definitive campaign objective .




Personalised Custom Printing of Mugs as Customer Gifts

mug marketing outside the tin

It is safe to say that the most important aspect of any business are it’s customers, and making sure that your business is the one that they turn to when they decide to buy a product in a market sector is an ongoing struggle. One way of doing this is to do that little bit extra for your customers to make them feel special which in turn translates to an affinity to your brand and the products or services you sell. This is where customer customer gift practices come into their own, because for a relatively small cost you can sway a customers attitude on who they decide to buy from. It’s doing that little bit extra that usually wins it when there are a few businesses competing for a buyers custom.

Now you could at this stage just revert to providing the customer with the above mentioned promotional mug you have manufactured which has your logo on and they will use on a daily basis. This will certainly put your brand in front of them and ensure they are exposed to it over a period of time. There is however an even better Marketing opportunity, if the circumstances allow, which can be used to embed your business into the psyche of a customer. The technique in question is personalised customised mugs – that is a mug with your brand on it that has also been personalised specifically for the customer.

This method is obviously a little more complicated that just putting a logo on a mug and handing them out, but the benefits of the extra work involved are certainly worth it as the following examples will highlight.

Buying a new home is certainly one of the biggest undertaking you can do in your life and a leading Home Development company provides personalised custom printed mugs to every new home owner as part of their welcome pack. Understandably, this adds a wonderful personal touch to the happy new home owners special day.
Another company, which provides personal financial advice, also does the same thing to anyone who signs up to one of their Financial packages.
And finally there is the reknown consultancy company who provides bespoke mugs to both the managers who requested a consultancy role be fulfilled as well as the successful consultant who got the position. This last model is very clever as it cements the Consultancy company’s name with the people who do the employing, and it also get the company name in among the employees as the mug will probably be on the new recruits desk. This really is a win win – a very savvy marketing technique.

Caveat: In circumstances where it is not possible to give a mug to a customer in person, either because they only ever meet with a business once or due to a location issue, the mug shop has a Send to Customer Personalised Printed mug service whereby a company can place a bulk mug printing order providing all the different addresses and personaliations required by attaching a PDF or emailing the details through to us afterwards. We then send each mug directly to the customer. The benefit of this service is that if there are numerous customers you want to send personalised custom printed mugs to you don’t have to place a single order for each person. Essentially the price of delivery is built into the unit price of the mug so the delivery cost when going through checkout is zero. We also provide a gift wrap service where you can have a mug gift boxed and for that extra look have a ribbon added as well. see Custom Mug Extras:

– Quiet simply people like being given personalised gifts.
– Boosts customer loyalty because it shows extra commitment and attention to detail.

– If the design it too good the mugs are sometimes taken home.
– Requires a little more time and effort to aqcuire the necessary information .

Highly effective marketing technique that expresses a companies willingness to go that extra mile for their customers – and it works.



Custom Printed Mugs for Internal Promotions

Personalised mugs for internal marketing
Using custom mug printing as an Internal marketing tool for your staff –

Up until now the focus has been on the different ways you can use custom mug printing for external marketing purposes but they are very well suited for use in Internal marketing campaigns. Like for example staff reward schemes or for internal promotions. For example, if you are launching a new product or service and you want to generate some staff enthusiasm, then creating a catchy mug design based in some way around your new product or service and giving them out to your staff will have a positive effect. The key here is the quality of the design as when the director of operations at a Major TV company decided that his Mr Potato head design was exactly what was needed to generate staff enthusiasm for a new platform that was to be launched – the project backfired.

Staff rewards are also a brilliant way to use custom printed mugs, especially when they include a personalisation. This is especially effective in a sales environment as incentive driven rewards are a good way to show appreciation for hard work and they also act as trophy products within the office environment leading to healthy competition for other employees.

And finally there is the welcome to the company mug where all new employees receive a company branded personalised mug for use within the office. As an internal marketing strategy this practice is good because it brings new employees into the group from day one, making them feel they belong and are part of the team. It also acts as an ice breakers when everyone stops for a tea and coffee break. Finally it goes some way to prevent Bevvy Animosity when someone uses some else’s mug because the name usually put potential procurement artists off.

Case Study

A graphic design company took this idea to the max by not only have each employees name on the mug but also a bespoke caricature of that person which depicted not only physical features but also their likes such as hobbies, sports etc. Admittedly this is not for everyone but as a staff motivation tool it flat out fab! If you don’t have in-house graphic designs you can always use an online Avatar creator to generate characters with relevant staff members features. Letting the staff members create their own avatars is also a good practice and it can also be made into a competition which is great for staff moral.

– As most offices have to buy mugs for employees anyway you may as well go the extra mile and get mugs with your own designs or branding on.
– Can be used as incentives for staff.

– None, if you manage to avoid creating a really bad mug design in the first place.

Simple effective and positive way to reward, inspire and incentivise staff.



Things to consider when creating your customised mug design

go bold go vivid with your mug designs
go bold go vivid with your custom mug designs & mug printing

When creating a piece of promotional literature like a leaflet or a flyer, very few businesses adopt the “Plonk the logo on” approach. Instead they take a little time creating something that is eye catching and poignant. Which usually means creating some artwork internally or if you don’t have the resources externally using either a local graphic designer or a online freelancer using a website like Remember, you are looking for a visual impact so a logo and a couple of lines of text isn’t going to make your mug stand out that much.

The mug shop offers a free design service for all custom mug printing orders and we are happy to work with you to take your creative ideas and make them pop. You just need to provide us with the base design components and we will happily combine them, along with any required typography to produce the end result. Sadly, we cannot create a complete bespoke design from scratch as we are not geared for complete graphical undertaking, so please refer to the Upwork freelancer site mentioned above.


  1. Use bold vibrant colours and think outside the box – create something with impact that is eye catching while also has a strong connection to your product, service or Business in general.
  2. Remember that Mugs are relatively small and what looks great on a computer screen doesn’t always translate well onto a 9cm high mug. This is especially true for text which should not be too small to be able to read well from a distance. A top tip is to use one of our Custom Mug templates to create the design and then print it out using a normal printer. Crop the design to size and then simply place onto a standard 10oz mug. This will give you a really good idea what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Beware of wraparound text because again this looks great on a computer screen and is easily read however when its wrapped around a cylindrical mug it becomes meaningless unless the mug is rotated – which is not always a good idea when it contains a boiling hot bevvy.
  4. If you really would like to see what your mug will look like in the real world before embarking on a large print run then simply place an order for a single mug on the mug shop website as this will allow you to review your artwork actually on a mug. If you then go on to place a full bulk order we will refund you the price difference between our standard and bulk mug rates.


A few little extras

If you have taken the time to create your own mug design as detailed above, you may want to do a little more with regard to how the mug is presented to customers, staff or the general public. The most obvious addition to create a gift experience is packing your customised mug in a gift box. Mug shop has a number of different types of boxes in different colours that you can choose from including standard economy to premium ribbed – both of which enhance the gift experiences. Mug gift boxes also come in Black or White.

If you select to add a mug box, there is the added option of having the mug wrapped in tissue paper before being placed in the mug, we can also wrap the gift box in a ribbon tied with a Tiffany bow which really takes the appearance to another level. You can also provide us with your own business cards or discount vouchers code cards that we will happily include in the gift box or insert into the mug itself. Finally we can also add a trinket or gift of your choice like a coffee sachet, sweet or small promotional item like a key ring to the packaging – size is obviously restricted, so please contact us to discuss.


So there you have it –

a list of the various aspects of using custom mug printing as part of your marketing campaign for your business. Please feel free to add your own experiences in the comments as well as ask any questions you might have.
Custom Printed Mugs As A Marketing Tool


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