The Power of Promotional Products

by Aug 1, 2019Blog, Marketing

It’s summertime here and people are out and about. They’re donning their most comfortable t-shirts and baseball caps, carrying water bottles to their favorite festivals, and keeping their cellphones constantly charged for that oh-so-perfect Instagram pic. The only thing missing on all that swag is you… or rather your company’s unique, attention grabbing advertising message! But don’t worry, the power of promotional products isn’t relegated only to the summer heat. The flexible marketing opportunities and impressive benefits can be felt throughout the seasons and even for years to come. 

Benefits of Swag

  • Brand Awareness For most promotional products, the main value is growing brand awareness and recognition. According to PPAI.ORG (Promotional Products Association International), 89% of consumers have received a promotional product in the last six months, 79% researched the brand, and 83% are more likely to do business with that brand. 
  • Customer Loyalty In the same study, PPAI found that 81% kept promotional products for more than a year, and 82% had a more favorable impression of the brand.
  • Budget Friendly In comparison to traditional advertising (TV, radio, billboard), promotional products are extremely affordable and 7 in 10 brands consider them mostly or always effective in achieving marketing goals.
  • Lead Generation Promotional products are the gift that keeps on giving. Each piece has potentially hundreds of impressions per day (depending on product & user interaction). After the initial recipient, they’re often passed off to work successors, family members, or donated to charity, thus potentially reaching a far wider audience.


  • Employee recognition/incentives A well thought-out, branded award, or gift can help employees to feel more valued in the workplace, boost company morale, and maintain company loyalty
  • Emotional Connections Just as high-quality promotional products tend to boost a brand’s reputation, connecting them to specific events (tradeshows, festivals, etc) serve to remind the user of the fun, fantastic time they had at the event and are more likely to keep the items for nostalgic reasons.
  • Personalize/Customize With technologies like laser engraving and 3d scanning/printing becoming more and more accessible to the masses, short-run and highly-customized swag is becoming more popular (and affordable!).

A Few Tips

  • Quality over Quantity Want to make a lasting impression? Choosing high-quality, useful everyday items is the key. This ensures that the (insert your company name here) promotional coffee mug becomes your customers favorite mug or the pen with your logo is cherished for years because the weight and balance of it is just perfect. Poorly designed and useless products can’t claim that fame in your customers’ minds. Consider the user. 
  • Be strategic When designing for promotion, you’re afforded the opportunity to be creative. Sure, promotional products can simply act as a business card, but they can also be a vessel for your company’s core values and culture. Consider sharing your Why with customers as they sip their morning brew or making your witty tagline the central focus of a t-shirt. Take care to appropriately match the product to your campaigns, or get really clever and craft your marketing message around a product.
  • Consider Design Generally, less is more when it comes to designing promotional products. Consider what you want to say, but also where you want to put it – where it will live. Is it a quick impression on a passerby’s tote bag? Or something the user will spend more time with? Rarely anyone will be compelled to (or able to) read the two paragraph long quote from your company’s founder in 4pt font, especially if you put it on an umbrella. 

As the tradeshow season keeps rolling along and school season approaches, be thinking about how many products you’re seeing out in the wild- how many brands are making great impressions on you and their customers. Notice any of your competitors? We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you see any that are especially clever, inspiring, or just plain fun!

If you’re ready to start harnessing the power of promotional products, let’s talk

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