Using Promotional Products to Market Your Business

Maddox Marketing Co November 5, 2021

Promotional products are surprisingly ubiquitous. Most people have multiple promo items in their homes, each of which sparks a memory of an event or occasion on which they interacted with the business the product represents. (I know I do!) For small business owners, this means – when used effectively – promotional products can have enormously beneficial effects on a brand’s reach and reputation.

What is a Promotional Product?

A promotional product is any item that has been customized to include a brand logo and/or brand colors. They are usually given away for free to increase awareness of the brand. Some examples include free bags given out at a trade show, branded pens at a hotel, clothing or water bottles distributed at a conference, or t-shirts and notebooks given to prospective students who are visiting a university.

Why Use Promotional Products?

Promotional products are primarily used to increase brand awareness and recognition. They represent a relatively inexpensive way of getting a brand’s logo in front of potential customers and keeping it there for months or even years. Promotional products can also help to create good relationships with both customers and employees. Depending on how they are distributed, they can also improve public and investor relations as well.

They are also a great conversation stater. 100% of surveyed consumers said they would take action to get a promotional product, which means a business owner has a chance to briefly share about their services. In that same survey, 80% of consumers said they would act immediately, even if they had not heard of the brand, on something the promotional product or conversation prompted them to do.

How Long Do Promo Items Last?

One of the best things about promotional products is that they can continue working hard to promote a brand for many years after their initial creation and distribution. Promotional products last well beyond the initial giveaway. Many consumers take them home and use them over and over again, making them a part of their daily routines. As a result, the business logo remains present in their mind, in a positive way, for many years. Although 18 percent of consumers get rid of promotional products less than a year after receiving them, an equally large number of consumers hang onto their promo items for more than a decade! (41-percent of consumers keep the items for one-to-five years!)

How to Use Promotional Products Most Effectively

To get the most benefit from promotional products, companies should create and distribute the kind of items that consumers find most useful and appealing. Wearable promo items are very popular. According to a survey by the American Marketing Association, outerwear, jackets, hats, and t-shirts can provide an estimated 2,300 to 6,100 lifetime impressions! They also have the advantage of advertising the business to anyone the consumer interacts with while wearing the item. Consumers also enjoy receiving bags, stationery, desk accessories, water bottles, mugs, and glassware. All these items are a relatively cheap expense for the business and can have a big impact on brand awareness over the long lifetime of the product.

Promo items are most effective when they are used to compliment other marketing strategies. So by creating promo items that reinforce key marketing messages, companies can strongly influence how consumers view the brand in a way that greatly compliments other marketing efforts. (Yes to that!)

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