The basic definition of promotional products is “imprinted products that are given away at no cost to the recipient.”
For a real world example of this, look around your office or home. Chances are you have quite a few of them. Like the pen with some company’s logo, the magnets on your fridge that promote a product or a drawer full of branded t-shirts you got at trade shows, retreats or events.
One of the big benefits of promotional products for marketers is their longevity potential.
Unlike a television commercial that only lasts 30 seconds, research shows that over half of promotional product recipients keep these products from one year to more than four years.
In those cases, the products provide an ongoing reminder of a brand. Of course, a large portion of the $20 billion or so spent on promotional products every year do more to fill up landfills than fill a business’s pockets.
To be truly effective, branded items need to be perceived as having value or use. At Insight Marketing Design we refer to this as the “Toss Factor.”
In other words, how easy would it be for someone to chuck it into the trashcan without feeling like they were being wasteful?
Products that don’t remain in the potential customer’s environment don’t provide a whole lot of marketing benefits.
Another important consideration is suitability:
- Does the product reflect the brands position?
- Does it relate and reinforce what the brand stands for?
The closer the association of the product to the brand it is promoting, either through what it is or what it does, the stronger the recall will be and recall, as you may remember, is the main point of promotional products.
Finally, to maximize promotional products effectiveness you need a strategy and creative expression of that strategy on or in the product.
Tag lines are often used on items to remind people of a brand’s promise.
Smart design and messaging also make items stand out and be more memorable. The best creative executions actually encourage people to talk to others about it and thus your brand.
Promotional products can be a cost-effective tool for building your company’s brand awareness and can also be a way to get more out of your other marketing initiatives.
But remember; don’t just toss your logo and message on anything because the end result could be that the item gets tossed.