Branding/Business

Custom giveaways: Do promotional products really work?

Custom giveaways: Do promotional products really work?

When you find a branding strategy that works, you stick with it.

Custom promotional products have been used successfully by businesses for more than 200 years. Some of the most prosperous companies in the world rely on promotional items to empower their brand.

World Wrestling Entertainment, a global entertainment company, proudly places its WWE logo on promotional products.

“We know how important it is to brand things with our logo,” explained Ian Garrison, the senior director of product development at WWE, which is famous for hosting professional wrestling events.

Garrison recently ordered napkins printed with the WWE logo. They will be used for several corporate events to promote WWE, he added.

Approximately 70 percent of brands consider promotional items “highly effective” for achieving marketing goals. Shouldn’t you?

Why are promotional products important?

promotional products collage

Promotional products are a proven branding solution in good times and bad. Many companies relied on customized swag to stay visible when COVID-19 hit in early 2020.

Sales of promotional products increased 12 percent to $23.2 billion from 2020 to 2021 amid the pandemic. Businesses kept their name in front of customers and strengthened their brand with low-cost promotional items.

Here are a few more great reasons why smart companies rely on promotional products:

Brand awareness

Making potential customers aware of your brand is the ultimate goal of every company and campaign. A whopping 85 percent of promotional product recipients remember the advertiser.

The term that explains the science behind brand awareness is “Mere Exposure Effect.” It means the more frequently people are exposed to something, the more they like it. Basically, our brains are less apprehensive toward things we’ve seen before such as a company logo.

When your logo is placed on a hat or ceramic mug and exposed to hundreds of people over the course of a few months or more, it becomes familiar. This repeated exposure leaves a positive impression on your business.

Return on investment

One of the quick answers to the success of promotional products is proven ROI. Companies can invest modestly and reap big rewards with items such as personalized apparel and trade show giveaways. Ads on TV, radio and in newsprint can’t come close to the high-profit margins earned with promotional products.

For the best ROI, choose promotional products that are appealing to your targeted audience. High-quality, practical items that offer real value to a consumer will bring the most success.

Budget-friendly

handing a custom pen to someone else

Affordability is hands-down the biggest reason for the ongoing success of promotional products. Low-cost swag is an economical and cost-effective investment for startups and small businesses.

The average cost of a customized promotional item is less than $1. An order of 500 stress balls with your name and logo can cost less than $500. Compare that to TV advertising, which currently runs about $105,000 for a 30-second commercial spot.

Some of Totally Promotional’s most popular items — customized can coolers, cups, pens and lip balm — are much less than $1 each. Many of these products also include free delivery and setup.

The cost per impression for promotional products can be as low as 1/10 of a cent, according to ASI Central. For example, a customized pen that costs $1 and generates 3,000 views/impressions over its lifetime, will have a CPI of less than 1/10 of a cent. That is cheaper than nearly every other form of advertising available today.

Direct and personal engagement

Companies make an immediate connection with customers by placing a personalized pen, water bottle or T-shirt in their hands. You can’t accomplish that with a billboard! When you give away customized products in your office lobby or at a community event, you directly project thoughtfulness. That’s a good look for any business!

The facts speak for themselves: 83 percent of people are more likely to do business with a brand that gave them a free promotional product. If they need your products or services in the future, you can bet they’ll be back.

A fondness for free stuff

Consumers rarely pass up an opportunity to nab free giveaways, especially ones they can really use such as fanny packs, keychains and lip balm. These will please just about anyone of any age.

The effect promotional giveaways have on people is based on psychology. Recipients get a certain amount of satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment when they receive something free. Giveaways come without expectations or risks, unlike items purchased.

The biggest benefit to you is exposure to your brand. But don’t overlook the value of reciprocity. A person who receives a freebie often feels obligated to return the favor by shopping with you in the future.

Long life expectancy

cotton tote bag with logo by a chair

Studies show that 81 percent of people keep promotional products for more than a year; 40 percent keep them for more than 10 years! Often these items are passed down to others, which further increases their life expectancy.

Now imagine how many impressions a can cooler or tote bag can make in five or 10 years. Your name and logo will get exposed to countless people every time these items are taken to a party, the grocery store or on vacation.

Big hit for all generations

It isn’t difficult to satisfy all age groups — from Generation Z (born 1997-2012) to Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) — with promotional products. The variety of items available today (see the next section) makes it easy to find swag to fit the interests of all audiences.

Consumers under age 55 — the biggest sector of buyers today — prefer receiving promotional products over any other type of advertising.

Here are the most influential promo items for each age group in order of product popularity:

  • Ages 18-24: Outerwear, health and safety, bags, performance wear, umbrellas
  • Ages 24-34: Performance wear, outerwear, writing instruments, bags, health and safety
  • Ages 35-44: Outerwear, health and safety, performance wear, polo shirts, bags
  • Ages 45-54: Outerwear, performance wear, health and safety, drinkware, masks
  • Ages 55-64: Outerwear, masks, umbrellas, drinkware, performance wear
  • Ages 65+: Outerwear, masks, performance wear, umbrellas, health and safety

An incredible variety

customized novelty pen on a notebook

Promotional products got their start in the U.S. with none other than George Washington. The commemorative buttons made for his election in 1789 kicked off an industry that annually boasts more than $23 billion.

Promotional buttons soon led to customized bookmarks, calendars, bags and keychains. As technology advanced, print companies found ways to place messages, names and all types of designs on just about everything!

Some of the most popular custom-printed products today at Totally Promotional are water bottles, T-shirts, tote bags, can coolers and Koozies®.

What are the most unique promotional products we carry? Check these out:

Across the globe, there are literally thousands of different types and styles of promotional items. From beer glasses to phone chargers, there is a promotional product out there for every marketing plan.

Find yours today!

toast all your summer parties with custom can coolers

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