When you’re considering the next big move in your promotional campaign, you need to have all the facts. That’s why, before you decide whether you’ll use promotional products or not, you need to learn more about them.
What Is The Definition Of Promotional Products?
Any item or product that you give to promote your business is a promotional product. Usually, these products carry the tagline, logo, name or phone number and website address of the company that gives them to their clients. They are usually used to promote a certain activity of the business that is giving them – an event, a new product, new service, a significant discount, etc.
According to the dictionary definition; “Promotional products, promotional items, promotional merchandise, promotional gifts, or advertising gifts such as a pen, mug, bag, t-shirt, coaster, calendar, cap, clock, diary, etc., given away to current or prospective customer. These items usually carry the organisation logo, name and address of the company, as well as information on the products and services, and serve as reminders. Also called advertising novelty or advertising specialty.
All kinds of companies, organisations and foundations use promotional products to advertise their services or products. Most of the time, those are products that people can find a use for in their everyday lives – products that have a company’s branding and website address or phone number.
The promotional products industry is worth over $20 billion, and it will only grow. But, what are the real basics of this multi-faceted industry?
Where did it all begin?
First of all – our generation isn’t the one that came up with the idea of using promotional products for marketing and branding purposes. In fact, not even the modern age can take the credit for promotional products.
The very first promotional products probably appeared during the dawn of humankind, just as the first men started trading. A typical seller who would want to have the upper hand over his competition would give a test sample of his merchandise, a piece of the very best fruit he had or a bite of prime meat. As our civilisation developed, strategies started evolving.
The turning point in that evolution was 1789. That’s when commemorative buttons were given to George Washington’s supporters before the elections. After that, the popularity of promotional products only kept growing. During the 19th century, there were printed rulers, wooden objects, as well as calendars, printed tote bags, notebooks, water bottles, card cases, aprons, and even horse hats.
But, why are promotional products important?
They’re important because they provide benefits that no other marketing strategy can achieve in such a short timeframe and with such a low budget.
* In-house benefits
Yes, you can use promotional products in-house as well. And, not just that – they can show some magnificent results, boost your sales, as well as employee satisfaction.
When it comes to sales, it’s simple – give your sales teams promotional items. They can then give the products to their clients upon signing a contract or build a rapport with potential ones by sending promotional gift bags before the big meeting. That is how you show your clients you appreciate the fact that they chose you, and how you make the jobs of the people in your sales team easier.
On the other hand, there’s another in-house benefit. You can give promotional items to your employees. Branded mugs, T-shirts and promotional pens should be everywhere, while your high-quality promotional products should be given as gifts to the employee of the month, or for special occasions. That’s how your employees will become brand advocates – even in their free time.
* Customer-related benefits
Promotional products are crucial in this area. With business corporate gifts, you get effective, low-cost marketing that’s a lot cheaper than any other method per impression. If you choose good products that will frequently be used, you get cheap exposure on a daily basis. People who get a product from you will remember your brand for almost two years, so there are branding benefits as well. And, last but not least, you get customer loyalty.
How Do Promotional Products Help Business?
How do promotional products differ from advertising?
Promotional products and advertisements are definitely not the same. Why? Well, firstly, advertising is a lot more expensive than a promotion, and you use it when you want to achieve long-term product/service awareness. Advertising includes ads in newspapers, magazines, mail, and on social media. In contrast, promotional products usually serve to prompt a fast response.
However, we have to say, usually is the key word in the previous sentence. Why? Because good promotional products, given within a well done campaign, can have a long-term effect.
What can you use as promotional products?
Every little thing that you believe people will use on a regular basis. No, we’re not joking, and we’re not oversimplifying. According to research, over 750.000 different products are in use as promotional merchandise. You can use pens with your company’s logo, phone number, website address, and tagline. You can use drinkware, conference folders, all sorts of bags, paper products and desk accessories, keyrings, novelties, technology, sweets, clothing, as well as lifestyle and outdoor items.
Each of these has its own benefits. For instance, if you decide to use drinkware, your mug or bottle will be before your potential customer’s eyes every day. They will read and re-read your message over and over. As a result, when they need a brand of services or products from your niche, they will go to you. That will happen both because they feel like you offer additional value and because they will feel like they “know” your brand.
Promotional cotton shopping bags and conference folders with good branding and an interesting design can be magnificent for your company. They will turn recipients into your own little walking billboards.
Technology promotional products, on the other hand, such as branded power banks show your potential clients or partners that you are in touch with the very latest modern times. You are not lagging behind, you know what people like and need, and you take all the right steps to give it to them.
Things you should consider before you start using promotional products
- The audience you are aiming to reach – determine who exactly you want to wow with your promotional products before you order.
- Your goals – make sure to know exactly what you want these products to achieve. Then choose the type of product accordingly and get advice where necessary.
- Your budget – never go overboard. It’s better to take smaller items, but choose high-quality ones, than take big ones that are poorly made. After all, you are looking to win people over.
Whatever your audience will be interested in is a good choice for a promotional product. And, if you play your cards right, whatever you choose will bring a return on your investment.
Why Promotional Products Work?