Promotional Products in 2021 – The Definitive Guide

Introduction to Promotional Products

custom promotional products

Are you looking for an easy way to build up the brand awareness for your business? Using promotional items can be an effective solution in helping people recognize your business, logo or brand anywhere you go.

Whether you’ve decided to create a custom shopping bag, stickers, apparel or even gloves, promotional items could be your best marketing strategy to grow your businesses reach.

But there’s a problem. People can sometimes be doubtful and unsure of whether promotional items are worth the money or investment.

Is it worth spending a large amount of money on merchandise which is just going to get given out at trade shows or a convention? Will promotional merchandise really make a difference?

In this article, we will explore why promotional items are one of the best marketing strategies for your business.

The Cost-Effective Nature of Promotional Products

You know there’s a reason that when you walk down the high-street, you see a lot of promotional products. Companies do it for a reason, and it’s because promotional products are a super effective marketing technique.

Did you know that 8 out of 10 people in the US have between one and ten promotional products?

Did you also know that using promotional material within your marketing campaigns can increase the effectiveness of your brand by up to 44%?

Whatever your take is on promotional products, it’s clear that they are a powerful tool in marketing your business.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why they are so effective.

5 Reasons Why Using Promotional Items is The Best Marketing Strategy

Promotional items can make such a huge difference to your marketing strategy. Let’s explore some of the reason why promotional items are so effective for your marketing strategy.

1. Low-Cost Yet Effective Marketing

Let’s face it, a lot of companies would love to be in a position to have an all-guns-blazing, Beyonce style, Superbowl advertising budget. But frankly, budgets don’t allow it.

Luckily, promotional products are an affordable way to improve your marketing message. For many startups, there are a lot of low-cost promotional product campaigns you can implement alongside your existing campaigns.

You’ll find most manufacturers keep prices low for mass production. It’s a great opportunity to have a low-cost item that amplifies your brand.

Some of the most effective promotional products like mugs are great for brand recognition, with 57% of people being able to recall the advertising on a mug. Putting your promotional items in the hands of people makes a big difference.

2. Instantaneous Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is huge in the world of business. It’s why you see such huge endorsement deals for brands all across the sporting world.

It helps people to identify immediately with a company, and it’s products or services. You’ll know this if you’ve ever driven past the yellow arch logo of McDonald’s.

When you give out promotional items as gifts to customers, you’re not only giving them something of value; you’re giving that value a face in the form of your branding. This helps them to remember and recognize your business.

These gifts can often remain in their homes, offices, and vehicles for months and even years. This then reminds them of you and your business.

The next time they see your logo, it’ll remind them of your gift and of your business.

3. Increased Exposure of Your Business

Advertisements on billboards or television are gone within a blink of the eye. But people hold onto promotional or gift items for a long time.

Although you may not know it, your body subconsciously is seeing that branding and imaging every day, building familiarity. When consumers use your gift items, they’re also exposing your brand to more people.

These freebies are an easy way to get more eyes on your branding and logo. 66% of people can recall the brand on a promotional product they received in the last 12 months.

Of those people, 87% kept a promotional item for over a year. This longevity increases your brand’s exposure over time.

4. They Work Like a Business Card

A business card is there to introduce you, as a business, to your consumer or client. Your promotional products are something of an unconventional business card.

Unlike business cards though, people tend to keep a hold of promotional items. When you are giving out your promotional items, you’re not just giving away something for free; you’re introducing your business to potential clients.

Your promotional products can actually have the same approach as a business card. They can include contact information, a company logo, an image or a slogan talking about your business message.

This effectively works as a wearable business card, that not only that customer can use, but others can see too. You can also work your promotional products into your social media campaigns.

Choosing the best promotional items can help with this one. You can put things like hashtags on t-shirts or a competition on a back of a shirt that people can see and share online.

5. Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is a great asset to have. It means your customers will come back to deal with you, over the competition.

When you give away promotional products for free to your customers, you are improving your relationship with your customers and improving your brand loyalty.

You want to make sure when producing your promotional items that they are of high quality. Nothing will lose your loyalty quicker than giving away free products that are junk.

When people receive something for free that is high-quality, they associate your brand with quality. This helps in keeping the first-time buyers of your products with your company forever.

How Will You Use Promotional Items In Your Marketing Campaigns?

It’s clear that the best marketing strategy is to use a mixture of different methods. If you combine a traditional media campaign, with online SEO and mix in free promotional items, you can reach an incredibly wide audience.

3 Reasons Why Promotional Products Work

promotional products

In 2017, US and UK marketers spent a whopping $52 billion on digital marketing alone. That’s a 44% increase from the previous year!

That figure doesn’t even include out-of-home advertising expenditures. In the US alone, companies spent a staggering $8 billion for OOH advertising. That includes print ads, such as billboards and street signs.

All this shows how vital both digital and print marketing is to businesses. The thing is, many of these platforms could be expensive for small business owners.

If you’re an SMB owner, using promotional products is one affordable way to get your brand known. Best of all, they can perform their purpose much longer than TV or radio commercials.

The question now is, how effective are promotional items as marketing tools? What do they bring to the table that makes them a worthy investment?

We’ll give you three great reasons, so be sure to keep reading!

1. Free Things Are Irresistible

If there’s one thing that people — including Americans — love, it’s the four-letter word “free”. In fact, it’s the main reason many of them are willing to stand in line for hours. The sole fact that one can get something without paying up makes it worthy of joining the long queues.

To many, anything that’s free is a welcome respite from today’s high cost of living. In the U.S., for instance, the cost of living has jumped by a whopping 14% from 2015 to 2018. Tuition fees, real estate, and even groceries — you name it, its price has likely gone up and will continue to do so.

Also, most consumers think that purchases always come with the risk of disappointment. If they end up not liking what they bought, then they’re likely to think that they’ve wasted their money.

This is why consumers think of free products as items with a higher value than those they need to pay for. They won’t be risking their hard-earned money, so they’ll happily take that freebie. They are free, after all, and they offer something to consumers without them having to dole out cash.

All these make promotional products hard to resist and effective strategies for marketing.

2. Free But Useful Items Can Be a Key to Effective Publicity

By giving away promotional items, you’re already sharing great news about your brand. These “free” merchandise will instill not only brand awareness but also brand recall.

For starters, promotional products are free, which will already likely attract consumers. It’ll spark interest in people, even those who don’t know about your business. These folks would want to know what you’re giving away for free and how they can also get those freebies.

That alone would make them want to more about your business. They’d want to learn about the goods or services that you have to offer.

Even if they don’t need the products or services you sell now, they’d likely remember your brand once they do. That’s brand recall right there, which your giveaways have instilled in them.

But that’s not all there is to promotional merchandise. Let’s take a look at a couple of other ways that promotional gifts can benefit your business.

A Low-Cost Strategy for Long-Term Marketing

Consumers won’t lose money to get free goods and services, but what about your business?

Don’t worry, as most promotional products are cheap in terms of price, and if you order in bulk. Just be sure to order them from reliable and highly-rated promotional products companies. This way, you can make certain that the items are of top quality.

Also, by ordering in bulk, you’ll have more consumers to give them away to. And because they’re affordable, you can use them as a staple marketing tool. This allows you to use them for multiple marketing campaigns.

However, it’s best to choose items that recipients will have an actual use for, and not just end up at the back of a closet. The more useful the products are, the more effective they will be for marketing.

For instance, you can take advantage of the fact that there are now over 225.712 million drivers in the US. This means that almost every potential customer you encounter drives. So, why not consider giving them free driver’s gloves, which they can use every time they drive?

Portable Advertisements

So long as you give away useful promotional products, consumers are likely to use them. Especially if you choose high-quality items, such as winter insulated hand gloves.

Every time people use an item printed with your brand logo, your business gets free publicity. The more use they get out of the product, the more they’ll remember your brand. And the more people they expose your brand name to.

This is how promotional merchandise also serves as portable ads. The more people who use these products, the greater your brand name will spread. Imagine how many more potential customers you can get from these “walking” ads!

3. Promotional Products Trigger Humans to Honor the “Law of Reciprocity

For most people, receiving something for nothing triggers a feeling of reciprocity. It’s a natural emotion that makes them want to “repay” the kindness and give something back.

This phenomenon is what we call the “Law of Reciprocity“. Think of it as a “paying it forward” kind of situation. Those who receive something useful, valuable, or helpful would also want to do the same for others.

That said, promotional items could trigger these feelings. Consumers who receive such products may feel that they’d want to do something in return. And that could be buying your other products or hiring your services.

Invest in Useful Promotional Items to up Your Marketing Ante Now

There you have it, all the reasons you’d want to start giving away promotional products. They’re not just a one-time method to spread the word about your brand. So long as they’re useful and durable, they can be a long-term marketing tool for your business.

Ready to make your business stand out from the competition through high-quality giveaways? Then please feel free to check out our large collection of gloves that you can use as promotional items!

Tips for Choosing the Best Promotional Items for Your Business

best promotional items

Did you know that people who receive a promotional product are more likely to have a good impression of the company who gave it to them?

That’s right–and it’s a clear indicator that promotional giveaways are still an effective marketing strategy, even in this digital age.

However, if you want your promotional giveaways to be successful, you can’t just choose any old item to give out. Gone are the days of printing your logo on some cheap pens, or giving out a branded mousepad.

Let’s be honest, how many people even use a mousepad nowadays?

Instead, you’ll need to think carefully about the kind of person you’re targeting, the event you’ll be giving items away at, and the kinds of items that will stand the test of time.

Feeling lost?

Keep reading for five expert tips on choosing the best promotional items for your brand.

1. Think About Your Target Customer

What makes your ideal customer tick? What are they into? How do they spend their time?

Answering these key questions will help you to choose an item that suits your target customer’s lifestyle down to a tee.

Let’s say you’re selling premium, organic dog food that appeals to conscious pet owners. Would they appreciate a promotional plastic dog toy, or something more natural, like a toy made from jute, cotton, or leather?

Are you promoting a new sports product to semi-professional athletes? Giving out a cheap water bottle probably won’t go down well, but a well-designed, ergonomic bottle with a built-in filter should draw the crowds.

Knowing your audience is essential if you want to choose the right promotional items.

2. Consider the Event You’ll Be At

Tailoring your promotional items to the event you’re attending is a smart move that can drastically increase interest.

Let’s say you’re attending an outdoor event on the hottest day of the year. Giving out branded ice packs, bottles of water or miniature fans will make you the most popular stand around.

If you’re at a winter event, you’ll probably do better with thermos flasks, ice scrapers, and lip balm.

The content of the event matters, too. For a business event, most attendees will appreciate practical items, like notebooks, memory sticks, and cardholders.

For fun events based on sports or music, novelty items like foam fingers, inflatables, and wristbands are likely to be more popular.

Knowing your event is just as important as knowing your customer, so be sure to do your research.

3. Choose Something Genuinely Useful

Is there anything worse than getting home from an event with a bag full of useless freebies?


If you don’t give away items that are genuinely useful to customers, they’re likely to end up straight in the garbage can–which means nobody will remember your brand.

If you want your investment in promotional items to be worth it, you need to choose items with a genuine practical use.

The exact item you go for will vary according to the industry you’re operating in, but the principle is the same.

If you’re promoting a modern brand and you want to appeal to young people, opting for a tech-based product like a speaker, power bank, or car charger is a smart move.

For a fashion or beauty brand, giving out a wearable item like a branded tote bag, T-shirt, or hoodie is a great option. If your item looks good enough to wear, you’ll get maximum exposure when your customers model it around town.

Before hitting ‘buy’ on any promotional item, ask yourself, “Will people actually use this?”

If the answer’s no, you need to keep looking.

4. Opt for Quality over Quantity

Did you know that 6 in 10 people keep promotional products for up to two years?

That means that having fewer items of a higher quality could pay off in the long run, as that is less likely to end up in the bin after a few days.

Try to choose products that will last for many years and could become a new staple in your target customer’s daily routine.

It could be the trendy water bottle they take to work every day, the cardholder they use for their daily train ticket, or the favorite mug they always drink their evening coffee from.

Even dated promotional items take on a new character when you focus on quality–what if the best pen you’ve ever owned was given to you for free by a brand?

Deciding on a budget for promotional items can be hard, so remember that you’re getting up to two years of advertising out of each item when you opt for quality.

That’s a hell of a lot more than you can say for most modern marketing strategies.

5. Tap into Current Trends

Staying current is a guaranteed way to stand out from the crowd with your promotional items, so be sure to check out the current trends before you buy.

Most of the best promotional items fall into either the tech or eco-friendly category.

These are two sectors that are huge right now–even if they don’t seem to be directly related to your company.

Running a flower shop?

Giving away a tech-themed item shows that you’re on the cutting edge, and can help promote services like online flower delivery.

Trying to sell cars?

An eco-friendly giveaway item shows that you care about the environment, which could give you an edge over competitors.

If you want to choose the best promotional items, you need to stay on trend.

How to Choose the Best Promotional Items

Finding the best promotional items is all about getting to know your customers, planning for the event you’ll be attending, and focusing on high-quality items that are genuinely useful.

If you stick to the golden rules above, you’re guaranteed to choose promotional items that will do your brand justice.

Promotional items have the power to give better results than even the most cutting-edge marketing channels, so don’t discount them.

4 Ways to Target New Clients with Custom Promotional Products

best marketing strategy

Did you know that you can use custom promotional products to bring new customers to your business?

While you might be tempted to invest in traditional or online advertising, promotional products offer another avenue to be in front of potential customers for a longer period of time.

Read on if you want to know how promotional products can help your business.

Use Custom Promotional Products to Get New Customers

Promotional products are wonderful tools for building your brand and goodwill among current and potential customers. Promotional products are an inexpensive way to stand out, set yourself apart from your competition and be remembered long after your campaign.

How can you get new clients by using promotional products?

Before you place your order for custom promotional products for your company, you need to have an understanding of how they fit into your overall marketing plans.

1. What Is the Goal of the Promotional Product?

Typically, promotional products are used for brand awareness, which is the first step in creating a customer.

After all, people have to know about you in order to buy from you.

You can also use the products to promote a new service or product with your custom logo.

Promotional products can also be used in customer retention. For example, you can use the products to show appreciation to your current customers.

You can use the products as giveaways to encourage customer referrals from current customers and your employees.

2. Who Are You Targeting?

If you are using promotional products to create brand awareness, you must know who you are targeting so you can pick the perfect product for that audience.

When looking at products, think about what would be the most useful item they could have. You want to have the perfect custom promotional product that will be used to keep your company front and center in the prospect’s eye.

For example, if you are a construction software company wanting who works with contractors and construction workers, you can give high-quality work gloves to your customers. Of course, those gloves will have your logo on them.

The same holds true for business travelers. They might not need work gloves but could benefit from phone chargers or adapters.

3. Choose a Product That Will Last

When you see online ads, do you typically click on them or ignore them? If you’re like most people, you ignore most of them.

It takes about 6-7 impressions for someone to remember your brand. In fact, only 26% of people will remember a brand from an online ad.

With promotional products, a whopping 76% percent remember the brand on a promotional product.

Not only that, 80% of people own at least one promotional product, and 60% will keep them for two years!

That means that your investment continues to work for you.

That’s why it’s important to choose a promotional product that’s practical and people will use over and over again.

4. Have a Distribution Strategy

The final step in choosing promotional products is deciding how they will be distributed.

Will they be handed out at trade shows or given to your top customers?

If you outlined your goals for the promotional products, this step should be easy to answer.


4 Tips for Creating a Successful Promotional Strategy

promotional strategy

A lack of marketing from a small business might be caused by the owners feeling overwhelmed with how to create a promotional strategy. With no marketing or promotional strategy in place, how is a business supposed to draw in new customers?

Some businesses forgoing marketing might be why 80% of entrepreneurs who start a business fail in the first 18 months. If you’re running a business, much of its success or failure is riding on you.

Do you have a promotional strategy in place? If not, keep reading to find out tips for how to create a successful strategy that’ll boost your sales and new customer leads.

What Is a Promotional Strategy?

For many business owners, they think that promotional marketing and promotional strategies are one and the same. They’re not. They’re similar but different.

Promotional marketing deals with the specific tactics which you use to spread knowledge about your product or service. The purpose of marketing is to spur a customer to take some form of action.

The action you want your customers to take can vary. Maybe you want the customer to sign up for your site’s newsletter, or perhaps you want them to purchase a product that’s on sale.

A promotional strategy is the greater whole. It is the larger picture. A strategy deals with defining all the important aspects of your business and customer base. It also includes mapping out different tactics you’ll try in your marketing campaign.

4 Tips for Making a Promotional Strategy

It’s important to create a strategy before you start marketing. Without a strategy to guide your efforts, marketing campaigns can become disorganized. If you don’t have a coherent strategy in place, it’ll be impossible to track your KPI’s as well.

Here are four tips for making a promotional strategy:

1. Define Your Buyer Persona

The first step to making a successful promotional strategy is knowing the type of person you want to promote your product or service to. If you don’t know who your target audience is, how are you supposed to market to them?

Creating a buyer persona is similar to creating a social media profile. You should map out several key characteristics of your buyer persona, such as:

  • their age range
  • occupation
  • personality traits
  • goals
  • sites they frequent
  • pain points
  • and more

This buyer persona profile can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Some profiles go deep, analyzing the potential customer’s lifestyle. Others keep it brief and focus on the core data.

The upside to creating an in-depth buyer persona is that it will give you ideas on how and where to better market to them. If you know a potential customer demographic frequents Facebook and that 72% of them are looking for social content that includes discounts and sales, then you can make a personalized ad targeting that group.

2. Budget Out Your Strategy

Another key aspect of creating a successful promotional strategy is determining what your overall budget is. You need to know how much you have in resources before you can begin allocating any of it. Your budget will also dictate the types of marketing you can and can’t do.

Once you’ve decided what the overall budget number is, the next step is to allocate those funds to different core aspects. You will no doubt run multiple campaigns under a single strategy.

One campaign might revolve around tracking the introduction of a new product. Maybe you spend money on advertisements spread across multiple platforms like social media, television, classifieds. Releasing a new product is a big deal, and you wanted to invest more in making a big splash.

Another campaign might involve selling year-old products at 15% off. You’re looking to get rid of old wares and don’t want to spend as much, so you designate a smaller portion for a few paid ads. You’re looking for a high-yield return on a small investment.

It’s once you have a defined budget laid out for the promotional strategy that will better enable you to know what your true ROI is.

3. Go to Your Audience

A huge mistake some entrepreneurs make is expecting customers to come to them. The world is a huge place, and there are thousands of other businesses competing with you. Your job is to make the customer’s journey as easy as possible and provide something meaningful to them.

If you want to promote your product or service to your target audience, you need to know where they are. Research where your target audience frequents online. These places might be:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Niche Websites
  • Niche Forums

One of the worst mistakes a business can make is spend all that money and time on advertising and their target audience not even see it. So long as you create a buyer persona for your product or service, you’ll know where your target audience is located.

4. Four Marketing Pillars

Once you have completed the above three steps, the last important task is to create campaigns utilizing the four marketing pillars.

The four pillars are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

Product is either the tangible item or intangible service you sell.

The price encapsulates the entire amount the customer will pay for the product. The price is also linked to the perceived value and is not limited to the objective cost of production.

Place refers to how a product is provided. If you’re selling a tangible good, the distribution of that product falls under this category. Do customers come into your brick-and-mortar store to purchase goods, or are your items all shipped? These are questions you must answer.

Promotion covers the marketing campaigns you run. This might include advertising, special offers, sales promotions, promotional products, and more. If it helps, think of promotions as how you are choosing to communicate with your customers. Content marketing is a form of promotion.


Ready to make your business stand out from the competition through high-quality giveaways? Then please feel free to check out our large collection of gloves that you can use as promotional items!

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