Everything You Need to Know About Promotional Products

Everything You Need to Know About Promotional Products

Promotional products are not a new branding idea tailor-made for the 21st century. In fact, they have strongly influenced consumers ever since the first door-to-door sales professional handed out a magnet for placement on a refrigerator.

According to the experts at gopromotional.net, the most popular promotional products extend far beyond traditional gifts such as logoed pens, t-shirts, and memory sticks (if we still need them today). They have morphed into the type of gifts that you give away at memorable family gatherings.

A 2019 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that 83% of consumers like receiving a promotional product, and 85% of all people who have received a giveaway can recall the company’s name.

How Promotional Products Can Help Boost Your Business

According to Boost Promotional Products, today’s customers are more receptive to passive advertising mediums like custom promotional products and merchandise.

Here’s how free goodies and giveaways can boost your small business.

You can achieve increased brand recognition

Being unique can also give you an advantage as a smaller business. While the big brand is handing out the same can koozies and keychains, you can up your game with something your potential customers might use.

Giving your own promotional items improves brand recognition and makes your clients feel you see and appreciate them. In such a way, your company can be trusted. According to Bladon WA, branded products offer value by providing potential customers with practical promotional items for everyday use.

RelatedHow to Add Value to Your Products and Services

Unlike online ads and popups, business promotional items last longer. An ASI study showed the average promotional item is kept for eight months. But not all are the same.

For example, a promotional desk accessory is held for 14 months. But if it is only used a handful of times, your brand is not getting the exposure you would get from drinkware used every day for eight months.

months promotional items are kept

Branded promotional items remain with the individual for a long time to come. When the customer wears or uses the item, it maximizes your brand’s exposure, turning the users into your brand ambassadors.

For example, giving out reusable coffee mugs with the recipient’s name custom-printed on them would be nice. You can print your company’s logo, artwork, and colors on quality promotional items.

Or, if you are at a trade show and are handing out the most unique branded giveaways as a part of your marketing campaign, you will attract some serious interest from attendees.

Think of branded giveaways as quiet, consistent reminders of your brand’s presence.

Higher level of customer loyalty and retention

quote - customers - Henry Ford

Modern consumers expect small businesses to engage them at a personal level.

When you give your consumers something they can feel, touch, and use in their daily routines, it ingrains your brand into their lives, which can be instrumental in convincing their purchasing habits.

Who remembers the company that gave them a disposable plastic cup versus the one that handed them a sleek metal tumbler?

The latter is a more utilitarian and sneakily sentimental choice.

Since people are happy when gifts are offered, they will want to reciprocate for your kind gesture. When they want a product or service, they are likelier to come to you as they have a favorable impression of your brand.

Promotional items are the reward for your customers

quote - promotion - P-T-Barnum

Every customer needs to feel appreciated. What better way to show your gratitude than to offer free promotional products?

Offering custom promotional products to your clients and partners sends a positive message as it shows you recognize their support.

When your clients feel appreciated, their interest and enthusiasm in you increase. They are more likely to respond by purchasing more from you.

Promotional gifts are cost-effective

Branded giveaways are cost-efficient compared to other marketing techniques. Their returns are better than those of TV, magazine, and newspaper advertisements, which demand big budgets. Other items like brochures and business cards mostly end up being thrown away.

When assessed for cost per impression (CPI), promotional products are remarkably affordable and continue to generate impressions long after the initial hand-out. Also, cost-effectiveness is even higher if you consider bulk ordering and get a discount.

Due to their longevity, custom promotional products continuously act as marketing tools throughout their lifespan. It’s an excellent opportunity to beat your competition without exceeding your budget.

If you want to know how to choose the right promotional item categories and the steps you need to take, read more here.

How to Use Business Promotional Items To Increase Your Revenue

There’s a difference between just distributing promotional products to clients and utilizing branded merchandise properly to boost recognition or drive sales.

The following tips help ensure you are using promotional merchandise effectively:

1. Choose promo products that are appropriate for your target audience

quote advertising - John Wanamaker

Every business has a target audience, and that specific group of people should be considered when choosing the promotional products to distribute.

For example, a lighter is not an appropriate product to give away if you run a school or educational institution; a pen, notebook, and other school or office supplies will be more suitable.

If you operate a dental clinic, a stress ball shaped like a tooth, dental floss, or breath spray attached to a keychain are appropriate options.

2. Make your promotional giveaways memorable and useful

Outside-the-Box Promotional Products Leave Lasting Impact

Your custom promotional items should attract attention and be memorable. In addition to choosing appropriate promotional merchandise to give away, the items should be eye-catching and worth keeping.

Unique promotional products can quickly become conversation starters between your clients and those around them. Select custom promotional items that will prompt customers to use them often.

Giving away company-branded things as promotional products during the rainy season? Umbrellas with your company’s logo or brand name imprinted on them are useful, and you also get free advertising whenever customers use them!

3. Add company information

Unless you are a very established brand, you should consider adding an address, phone number, or social media links to your own promotional items. After all, your main goal is to increase revenue.

Simply help customers reach you by adding your website and contact information to a calendar or planner. No matter how small, you can always incorporate your company information into your company promotional items.

Also, if the promotional products are big enough to add a short message, why not add a call to action to encourage customers to contact you?

promotional giveaways

Types of Promotional Products

There’s a seemingly endless array of items to choose from, including apparel, office supplies, tech gadgets, and more. Some timeless options, like branded clothing and bags, offer mileage in terms of reach and impressions.

Take note that some items are really popular when it comes to using some of the most popular promotional items:

Apparel as custom promotional items

Personalized T-shirts
  1. Personalized T-shirts: T-shirts can be used for gifting purposes. They can feature your company logo, witty slogans, industry-specific jokes, or compelling graphics designed to spark conversations about your brand.
  2. Caps and hats. Your custom logo caps will get instant attention. Use this idea to show off your brand and to gain a competitive edge in your industry. You can give your hats to your employees, customers, and clients. You can even distribute your caps to people at sports events, rallies, and other fun events where you meet people.

Office Supplies & Desk Accessories

Promotional Products - Which Ones Work Best

Office supplies and desk accessories are great promotional items you can use to promote your business. If they have a great design and help the owner do some work, they will stay at the office desk for a long time.

  1. Pens. Pens can be a cheap giveaway, but high-quality promotional pens can do a lot of good for your business. You can customize them with the company’s logo, message, and contact details.
  2. Notepads. There is no simpler or more widely used office item than a custom notepad combined with a pen. Custom printed notepads occupy prime space on a desk, and with a company logo on each page, they move around the workplace with the messages they carry.
  3. Mouse Pads. Mousepads are a popular choice for advertising. People will see your mousepad every single day. Sitting on a mousepad with an eye-catching design on someone’s desk is a brilliant way for you to get attention to your brand.
  4. Business card holders. These cardholders are perfect for giveaways as promo products for professionals. They can be customized with your company logo and are stylishly useful for holding business cards or credit cards.
  5. Phone holder. This is a unique and useful promotional item as everyone uses a phone. You can choose from various designs and customize them with your company’s logo for maximum brand exposure.
  6. Pen holder. Another useful desk accessory that is great for displaying your company logo and keeping pens organized.
  7. Desk organizers. Keep your brand at the forefront of your mind by providing clients with a desk organizer with your logo on it. This can be one of the most useful promo products because they are perfect for keeping desks uncluttered and organized.

Tech Gadgets

quote - advertising testing - David Ogilvy
  1. Power banks and portable chargers. Power banks are handy gadgets that can provide long-lasting power to mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. These items are popular due to their practicality and usefulness, making them an excellent option for corporate gifting.
  2. Stylus pens. With the increasing use of touch-screen devices, stylus pens are becoming a popular promotional item. They can be customized with your logo and used as a functional and practical giveaway.
  3. Bluetooth speakers. These portable speakers are a popular choice for your own promotional items as they offer high-quality sound and can be customized with your logo for maximum brand exposure.
  4. Earbuds and headphones. These popular tech items are perfect for branding, as people of all ages and interests can use them. Whether it’s traveling, working out, or just listening to music at home, branded earbuds and headphones will gain your brand valuable exposure.
  5. Charging cables. Customized charging cables are a useful and practical promotional item that customers can use daily, giving your brand constant visibility. You can choose from various options, such as USB cables, lightning cables, and more.

Drinkware Promotional Items

quote - advertising - William Bernbach
  1. Water bottles. We all need to drink more often than we need to eat, so the simple practicality of promotional water bottles as drinkware means they have broad appeal. Water bottles have quickly become one of the most popular lines with year-round appeal. With a move towards sustainability, water bottles with your company logo, name, or specific designs can encourage both hydration and brand visibility.
  2. Coffee mugs. Placed on a desktop, a branded coffee mug carries unmissable branding. The right mug will become a regular part of the recipient’s day. Coffee consumption continues to grow across the world, and as a result, promotional mugs are here to stay.
  3. Stainless steel thermos. A stainless steel thermos makes a great promotional item for premium customers who deserve something extra. This is especially true in the business-to-business world, where you deal with folks who take their morning coffee to work.
  4. Travel tumblers. Perfect for those on the go, travel tumblers are a popular choice for promotional products. They can be customized with your logo and come in various designs and sizes to fit different needs.
  5. Wine glasses. Consider branded wine glasses as business promotional items for a more sophisticated and upscale option. These can be used at events or given as gifts to special clients and customers. With your logo engraved or through screen printing on the glass, it will be a classy and elegant reminder of your brand.

Health and Safety

  1. Hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers have become a popular promotional item with the current emphasis on health and safety.
  2. First aid kits. The first aid kit allows a ton of space for branding on the package and contains some genuinely useful stuff.
  3. Stress balls. While some marketers view stress balls with skepticism, the reality is they are compact, fun 3D models that bring out the kid in a recipient while delivering a therapeutic benefit. Producing your custom-shaped stress balls is also cost-effective.
  4. Lip balms. For those of us in cold-weather climates, chapstick is a way of life. We may pull out the balm multiple times daily to avoid cracked lips. Not only does this make a useful promotion someone will appreciate, but it will become a staple of their daily lives and provide a ton of exposure.

Eco-Friendly Options

quote - advertising - Jef I Richards

With sustainability at the forefront of consumer concerns, eco-friendly promotional products showcase your brand and your environmental consciousness.

  1. Reusable straws. Show your commitment to sustainability by providing customers with branded reusable straws. These are not only environmentally friendly but also practical and stylish.
  2. Tote bags or duffel bags. Tote bags represent a popular corporate gift because of the high functionality the bags offer your clients. They can carry a customized canvas tote bag for a flight to a business seminar and use several tote bags to haul groceries to and from the car. Tote bags provide plenty of room for a stylish logo and a printed message that sticks with customer prospects.
  3. Metalic Drinkware. As a testament to the growing focus on removing plastic from the Earth’s waterways, metallic drinkware has become a huge hit at industry trade shows. Drinkware travels well, as evidenced by the number of products travelers hold at airports and railway stations.
  4. Solar-powered gadgets. Solar-powered gadgets such as phone chargers and flashlights are eco-friendly, practical, and useful, and they can be branded with your logo.
  5. Biodegradable pens. Instead of traditional plastic pens, opt for biodegradable ones made from materials like bamboo or cornstarch. These pens are an environmentally friendly alternative that still serves its purpose.

Fitness and Wellness

Tailor-made fitness items, like yoga mats or gym towels, offer a personal touch while promoting wellness and your brand’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Yoga mats. Custom-branded yoga mats are a great promo item for fitness enthusiasts or those looking to start their wellness journey. These mats can be used at home, the gym, or even in outdoor workouts.
  2. Gym towels. A branded gym towel is practical and useful and will be seen by others during gym or outdoor workouts. Your prominently displayed logo will be a constant reminder of your brand’s support for an active lifestyle.
  3. Fitness trackers. With the rise in popularity of fitness tracking devices, branded ones make for a trendy and useful promotional item. They promote health and wellness and showcase your brand’s modernity and innovation.
  4. Resistance bands are universal workout tools that can be used at home, in the office, or on the go. Recipients often keep branded bands for their convenience and usefulness.

Automotive Accessories

  1. Car air fresheners. If you have kids, a stinky car comes with the territory. Finding something that will cover up the smell of fast food and dog hair is a nice reprieve. Making custom air fresheners with your business logo is a great way to introduce your brand to someone each time they drive.
  2. Dashboard phone holders. A branded dashboard phone holder is the perfect promotional item for those who use their phone as a GPS while driving. It keeps the driver safely hands-free while also showcasing your brand.
  3. Car chargers. Branded car chargers are practical and will be used frequently by recipients, increasing your brand’s daily exposure.

Personal and Custom Promotional Items

quote - advertising research - David Ogilvy

To make a lasting impression, consider offering personal and custom promotional items that resonate well with your audience’s unique preferences.

  1. Keychains. Keychains, or “keyrings” as they are called in some regions of the Anglosphere, are practical items that promotional marketers have utilized for as long as promotional products have been produced. It’s not just a useful way to organize keys; a key chain is something people keep handy so your branding will always be kept close.
  2. Monogrammed notebooks: These high-quality notebooks feature a monogram of the recipient’s initials, offering a classy and personalized way to keep them on their desk year-round.
  3. Custom phone cases: Offering protection and style, phone cases can be customized with your logo alongside designs that cater to the personal tastes of your recipients.
  4. Badges and pins. A sponsor’s custom lapel pins and badges are hard to beat as a simple and cost-effective way to promote your business. Considered jewelry items by some people and with usable lives that surpass those of the people organizing their production, lapel pins are cost-effective and highly sought after.

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Promotional products have been and continue to be a reliable linchpin in any marketing strategy. Their tangible nature gives them a leg up in creating lasting connections between brands and their customers.

As you consider including them in your marketing mix, take the time to understand how promotional items can amplify your brand message, and don’t hesitate to get creative. After all, a well-executed promotional product can significantly impact your brand’s trajectory.

Remember, what you get back is often immeasurably more in the world of giving.

Promotional gifts represent your company’s best opportunity to make a positive first impression on the professionals attending industry trade shows and the loyal customers who show up for customer appreciation day.

Most promotional products sell in bulk, with manufacturers offering generous discounts. Potential customers who receive promotional gifts from your company will likely remember your brand when buying.

Make your company stand out in a crowded field of competitors by giving away the most popular promotional products.