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How Effective are Promotional Products?

Firstly, promotional products or in slang terms, schwag, can be considered any product that has been imprinted with a company logo, company name or company motto that is then given away at trade shows, at conferences, or merely as employee or company incentives/giveaways. Giving away these promotional items is a way for companies to promote and advertise their brand, image and products.

Promotional products, unlike flyers and brochures, are meant to be useful to the consumer and something that will not end up in the next trash can that is spotted. The main goal of a of using this type of advertising is staying power! If a consumer retains these items for daily use, they are then constantly reminded of the company, as are those around them.

The research is in! Promotional items are an effective way to create consumer knowledge of your brand/company and also a great way to generate traffic to your website or business establishment! A late 2009, two-part study by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), found that, out of over 1,000 participants who were surveyed:

– 94% could recall receiving a promotional item in the last two years

– 89% were able to actually recall the company name that was imprinted on the item

– 76.2% were able to recall the specific product, the advertiser and the message!

– 83% said they enjoyed receiving this type of merchandise

– 48% would like to receive more

– 38% feel that promotional products serve as a constant reminder of the advertiser

Is there really staying power though? The PPAI study also found that of the consumers surveyed:

-91% had at least one promotional item in their kitchen

-74% had at least one promotional item in their work area

-55% had at least on promotional item in their bedroom closet/storage space

Bottom line, the first part of this survey found that consumers “like promotional products, keep promotional products and want more promotional products.”

The second part of the PPAI study asked end buyers to evaluate different mainstream advertising media outlets including; print, online, television and promotional products, just to name a few. The findings:

– Promotional merchandise ranked as their top advertising choice

– 72% of end buyers use promotional products sometimes, often or always (7 out of 10)

Why? Each media outlet was evaluated based on 8 different attributes and promotional products ranked number one in the following areas:

– Ability to achieve long-term memorability

– Said to have the flexibility to fit within different budgets

– Able to bond audience to advertiser in order to promote repeat business

– Audience friendly

– Ability to generate traffic

With these findings it is easy to see that promotional products are becoming a popular advertising choice. A quick browse on the internet yields thousands of different product choices. The main question now becomes not whether or not to use promotional products but which ones to choose.

Simply adding your company name or logo to a product without any thought is no longer the answer. With so many choices to choose from companies are now able to be more creative and have their promotional product line reflect and enhance company marketing goals and also promote their brand.

A Few Tips To Keep In Mind When Choosing Promotional Merchandise:

– Relevant and Useful (products do not always have to be related to the products or services that you  offer. It is often more important to find a product that your target market would find useful or  interesting)

– Keep your budget in mind (important when thinking about relevance and usefulness, if you go too  cheap the product may be thrown away or company image could be hindered.)

– Scope (try to find a product that can reach a lot of people all while keeping the other tips in mind;  going too expensive on products could yield fewer products and reaching less people)

– Find something that allows you to give as much information about your company as possible (a plain  logo on a chip clip for example sometimes gives too little information)

– Find something that stands out! (Eye-catching products are key! Not only does the owner of your  promotional product notice it but so will others who are around it! Do try to reflect your brand image as  well though, if your company is not all about what’s funky and retro then find something that is more  sophisticated and sharp)

Where To Present Your Promotional Merchandise:

– Trade shows (make your company stand out against the rest!)

– Promotional Giveaways (Either by inviting people to your business location or by doing a direct mail  campaign)

– Employee incentives (Your employees can be great advertisers just by owning your promotional  products and showing other people)

The return on investment from your promotional campaign will be strong. Your potential consumers will now be able to find out more about your company and discover the products and services you offer. Let your company be known to the world!

For more information on the PPAI study please visit

Thanks for reading!

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