Engaging Millennials With Promotional Products

We know that people like to marginalize the generation of millennials. However, they are wrong to do so. In fact, at the moment millennials represent the most important generation you can target. But, remember, they are also the toughest to manage. In fact, a lot of people believe in what Simon Sinek (a famous author) said about millennials. Other generations accuse them of being narcissistic, lazy, self-centered, and entitled. The main focus of the critique usually revolves around the “entitled” part.

However, one simply has to admit that they are not actually bad. In fact, millennials have open minds, great future outlook and can inspire other generations. And, one of the areas they are trying to influence the world through is changing the overall concept of workplaces, education, economy, and leadership.


What makes millennials special?

The bare-bones definition of a millennial, according to Pew Research Centre, just says that ‘millennials are people born between 1980’s and 1996’. However, if you take a closer look, you will notice a number of differences in comparison to the gen X. Namely, they are a part of a generation of individualists. Millennials want to be independent and to be the ones who are setting the trends. However, that is not their prevailing characteristic. They are also very skeptical and aware of technical advances.

The Skepticism of Millennials

Millennials have access to almost all knowledge people have gathered over the ages. That makes them more aware of their surroundings. For starters, that means that they are aware that business competition drives the society. In turn, that makes them understand that promotional offers are not always beneficial to them. So, if you want to build your brand, you will have to work to earn their trust.

It is also worth mentioning that they are willing to turn from global corporations to local smaller brands. They are very conscious about any product they buy. After all, they are aware that buying certain products is equivalent to making a statement.

The Digital Age

Another principal characteristic of this generation is that they are all the way in when it comes to digitalization. Unlike the generations before, they are ready to grow with new technologies. They embrace every upgrade as it makes their lives easier. Physical stores are no longer as relevant as user-friendly apps, and e-stores make the process much more enjoyable.

The Social Media

One thing we can all notice is that millennials spend a lot of time on social media. Whether they focus on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, most millennials communicate through social media. So, if you want to gain their attention, it is of paramount importance for you to understand these channels.


Why would you target millennials?

For the last couple of decades, we would usually think of millennials as kids. However, these are the years during which they are reaching the age at which they have stable jobs. That means that they are now considering buying property, starting a family, and investing. And, for you as a marketer, that means that there is a lot of money you could redirect.

So, naturally, other marketers are focusing them. One of the main ways they are doing so is by trying to push their ads on social media. However, according to PPAI research, millennials don’t really appreciate ads on social media. For starters, the sheer amount of ads is irritating. The research also shows that business gifts are still the best way to reach millennials. Online marketing, surprisingly, doesn’t come near it.

In fact, promotional products don’t actually have a negative impact on the audience. Unlike other channels of marketing, instead of annoying customers, you make them feel better. And then, the reciprocity principle comes to play. Simply put, they want to return the favour by buying your products, or at least praising your company. In essence, giving away promotional products is an excellent way to build brand appeal.


How do you Engage Millennials with Promotional Products?

There are several principles you want to bear in mind while trying to reach millennials. So, let’s take a quick look at what you should focus on.

Show commitment and don’t oversell the product. Millennials are very quick to notice people who are trying to hard sell their brand. Unfortunately, they are also very quick to reject such brands. Instead, focus on presenting your brand in the best light possible.

Show them that they matter. Millennials love to feel like they are a part of something bigger than them. So, try to engage them and make them see that they matter to you.

Step out of the ordinary. If you want the millennials to remember you, you will do well to try and surprise them. It doesn’t have to be anything insane, but try to come across as fun and uplifting in your campaigns.

Send a message. Try to have your products tell a story that is about a lot more than just profit. Show them that your brand has a purpose and that it supports an idea beyond the physical object.


Choosing the Ideal Promotional Products for Millennials

Choosing the right product for your promotion is crucial to the success of your brand. However, it is not always easy. For that reason, we have created a list of some of the best product areas you can pick.


As we already said – millennials are a digital generation. So, what is better to use to get them to your side than a piece of tech? Sure enough, when we say “tech items” many of you will instantly think of flash drives. And, it is definitely true that they provide a lot of utility and people love getting them. However, they don’t really pressure the advantage of social media.

For example, an augmented reality print can get you a lot more bang for your buck. Promotional hoodies, branded power banks and printed backpacks as such offer a lot of value, and it gets better with interactions. This type of marketing includes multiple channels. The items are physical, you get to push your phone app, and it might go viral in an instant. Remember, millennials love sharing interesting pictures.

Eco-friendly gifts

Millennials exhibit a lot more awareness of the environment than any of the previous generations. Consequently, a lot of them will try to surround themselves with eco-friendly products, which makes them an excellent choice. Just make sure that the product you chose truly is eco-friendly ones such as promotional reusable coffee cups which are currently exceptionally popular.


Millennials love to focus on fulfilling their dreams. And, one of the most common ones is traveling. Some of them enjoy visiting other places, while others simply do it for social media superiority. However, most of them simply love to travel. So, things like power banks, car chargers, and travel kits are sure hits.

Custom Gifts

Millennials really appreciate what makes them special. And, they want to feel unique as often as they can. Therefore, spending a bit more money for a custom-made promotional item will pay off quickly.

Common Mistakes

While promotional products tend to give you excellent results, you should still be very careful. If you are giving away clothes, avoid cheap cloth and tacky logos. Remember, millennials are all but obsessed with the clothes they wear. So, don’t give away anything you yourself wouldn’t proudly wear.

The same goes for gadget giveaways. Millennials are very quick to notice subpar technologies, and they won’t appreciate cheap gifts. Also, if you are giving away uncertified accessories for phones or laptops, you are at risk of potentially causing damage to them.

And lastly, if you are going with eco-friendly products, take utmost care. Not all millennials care about that, but those that do, care a lot. Even the most eco-friendly companies nowadays are under constant scrutiny by their customers. So, be sure that your items cause no damage to the environment.


In the End

If you really want to reach millennials, you should focus on the characteristics of this generation. Make sure that you know your audience and which methods will work to your advantage.

At this moment in time, millennials are slowly becoming the main source of income for most companies. With that in mind, you definitely don’t want to alienate them. Naturally, using social media as your main marketing tool seems like a logical strategy. However, studies show that even cheap promotional products outclass social media when it comes to effectiveness. So, make sure to choose a promo item that aligns with the preferences of this generation. We would recommend focusing on technology, travel kits, and eco-friendly gifts.