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What are Promotional Products & Why They Are Important?

Posted on July 14, 2021 // All, Branded Merchandise

Are you wondering what promotional products are and why they are important?

We’ve created this post to help you understand the meaning and importance of these high-impact, cost-effective items that can boost your advertising efforts and raise awareness of your brand. 

To be more precise, in this post we’re going to:

  • Discuss four reasons why promotional items are important
  • Present you with the ten most popular promotional items
  • Give answers to some of your most common questions

Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

What Are Promotional Products?

4 Reasons Why Promotional Products are Important

What are the Most Popular Promotional Products?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are Promotional Products?

Promotional products are branded items with a company logo, slogan, or motto that are used in marketing, sales, and advertising.

Moreover, promotional items – also known as swag and promotional merchandise – are generally distributed by companies to their audience, employees, and clients in trade shows and giveaways.

Companies use promotional items to generate buzz about their business, make more people aware of their products and services, and generally boost their reach. 

Overall, the promotional products industry is a powerful industry that can benefit a wide range of companies to enhance brand recognition and get closer to their audience. 

Keep reading to find out more about the importance of promotional products as well as four reasons why promotional products work.  

4 Reasons Why Promotional Products are Important

We’ve already touched upon several reasons why promotional products are important for companies around the world.

Overall, we’d say that promotional products work as an efficient advertising medium for companies to promote themselves and grow bigger.

In this section, we’re going to discuss in detail four reasons why promotional products might be important for your business. 

Let’s start with the first reason why printing your company name on a freebie, like tote bags, mousepads, or a custom face mask can be highly beneficial for your business. 

 Reason #1: Increase brand awareness

First things first, promotional gifts and other items that are used for promotional purposes can help small businesses reach new potential customers. 

Through promotional giveaways and carefully designed swag boxes, companies manage to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and make new customers aware of their products and services.  

On that note, one of the biggest takeaways from the 2019 ad impressions study conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) showed that the vast majority of people receiving a promotional item generally remember the advertiser. 

More specifically, 85% of worldwide consumers would recall that an advertiser gave them a product, with apparel and wearables being the most memorable type of swag. 

Image Source: ASI

That’s pretty impressive if you consider how challenging it can be to get people to remember your brand when they’re not actively in touch with it. 

What this statistic shows us is just how powerful a promo item can be when incorporated into a marketing strategy that aims to improve reach and expand a company’s target audience. 

To cut a long story short, try to think of branded merchandise as a marketing tool that allows you to make sure that people will get to know of your product and will also increase the chances of your audience recalling your brand after they’ve interacted with it. 

Let’s get to the next reason we have for you. 

Reason #2: Connect with your employees 

The second reason why we truly believe in the power of promotional products is that they facilitate connection with your employees and can also boost brand loyalty.

There’s no doubt that promotional products can enhance the credibility of a company and it’s easier for employees to connect with a company that invests in high-quality corporate gifts and makes them feel appreciated with thoughtful and useful gifts. 

According to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 57% of the U.S. workforce would stay with a company that offers their employees branded items over a company that doesn’t. 

Have a look at these employee retention rates by job level at companies that offer promotional gifts:

Image Source: PPAI

What this 2018 PPAI consumer study shows us is that, when an employee feels connected with the company, they’re more likely to keep working for the company and be loyal to it.

Subsequently, this proves to us just how efficient and important promotional items can be in terms of allowing companies to connect with their employees and making them feel appreciated and valued.

Therefore, we can see that there’s so much potential when it comes to businesses showing their appreciation and love in a very real and tangible way, through branded items. 

Moving on.

Reason #3: Enhance brand presence through repeated brand marketing

Promotional products enhance brand presence through repeated brand marketing.

This means that, when you give your audience an item that carries your messaging, they’re still engaging with your company even when you’re not actively talking to them about it.

According to a 2020 ad impressions study, a piece of promotional outerwear can be kept for almost one and a half years…

Image Source: ASI

… which means that your company logo and, therefore, a piece of your brand will be with someone for a long period of time. 

Think of it that way: you meet someone at a conference and give them your conference swag, your business card, or a customized coffee mug

When the conference is over, that person will get back home still carrying a piece of your brand with them. 

This means that they’ll have a new product that’ll remind them of your business long after the conference is over. 

Alternatively, if you were a non-remote business, then chances are that during 2019 and 2020 you probably had to adjust the way you and your team works. 

If you were one of these great companies that created work-at-home kits for their employees and gave them, let’s say desk accessories, then it’s likely you gave them an item that’ll remind them of the company they work for in a unifying, deep way. 

Reason #4: Keep your audience engaged and loyal

The fourth reason why promotional products are important – and can be highly beneficial for your business – is because they can help you keep your audience engaged and loyal.

The reason for this is quite simple and is firmly linked to what we discussed earlier about connecting with your employees and enhancing brand recognition. 

Promotional products can work as powerful marketing tools that can basically help you create a long-lasting customer relationship and a positive brand experience. 

Additionally, they allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level and basically show that you care about your customer through creating a seamless customer lifecycle. 

When you stop using any tactics that don’t provide your audience with value and offer them what they need instead, while showing that you really care about them and value their love and support to your business, you’ll have a loyal customer base that’ll keep on supporting you, giving your brand referrals, and many other great benefits. 

We’re now done talking about the reasons why promotional products are important.

We think you’d be glad to know what the most popular promotional products for all businesses are.

We’ve now established that promotional products can generally enhance customer loyalty and that they can be efficient and low-cost compared to other forms of advertising given the fact that they remain with the recipient for a longer time than an internet ad, for example.

The most searched promotional products in Canada will give you a taste:

What’s left to talk about is the most popular promotional products that’ll help your audience keep your brand top of mind. 

Let’s jump right into it. 

Product #1: Jackets

Given that a promotional jacket, or other piece of outerwear, will generate over 6,000 impressions over their lifetime, which means that it will be seen several thousands times, there’s no doubt that a jacket is a great idea when it comes to products you can customize to promote your business. 

Plus, they’re one of the most practical promo items you can give someone. 

Product #2: Hoodies

Following up from jackets, we couldn’t miss mentioning another type of promotional apparel that’s very popular among branded products, the hoodie

A customized hoodie is one of those branded items that most people have most definitely received at some point in their life and there’s a reason for that. 

It offers a wide range of customization options to businesses and it’s also a durable piece of swag which means that it keeps on promoting your brand for a long time.

Product #3: Backpacks

The third product we want to share with you in terms of promotional products that can help you connect with your audience in an efficient and cost effective way is none other than the branded backpack.

The customized backpack is an item that can be used by people of all ages while also promoting your brand everywhere they go just by carrying it on their shoulders.

Product #4: Drinkware

Customized drinkware is generally a very popular category of promo items that companies across the globe are personalizing and sharing with their clients and customers. 

Personalized water bottles, branded coffee mugs, and unique custom tumblers are just a few of the different types of drinkware marketers can source from their promotional products distributors. 

Plus, these items are great for when you’re creating thematic swag boxes for an event. 

For example, a durable travel mug would fit perfectly into a travel swag box giveaway or as a gift to attendees of an international conference. 

Product #5: Pens

All sorts of writing instruments – promotional pens and notebooks included – are always a great idea when it comes to creating promotional products with your company logo on them, just because people tend to get a lot of use out of them.

This means that you’ll be giving your audience something that they can carry when they do their everyday activities for an average of nine months, thus enhancing their connection with your brand over a considerable amount of time.

Product #6: T-shirts

Whether you’re organizing a t-shirt fundraiser for your nonprofit or you simply want to put together a fun giveaway for your social media audience, promotional t-shirts are always a good idea, with 80% of consumers owning one.

What branded t-shirts achieve is that they turn your audience into walking billboards for your brand which means that they’re advertising your brand simply by wearing the high-quality, cool t-shirts you’ve created for them.

Product #7: Earbuds

Image Source: PCNA

Earbuds belong to the branded tech category and, naturally, they’ve been trending in the past decade. 

Along with flash drives and USB drives, earbuds are products that might be slightly more expensive than other pieces of swag but they’re totally worth their price if you consider that they last so much longer than other everyday items and they are heavily used.

We particularly like them because gadgets are personal items that can deepen the relationship that you create with your audience when gifting them products like these.

Product #8: Power banks

Image Source: PCNA

As we’re moving towards the end of our list, we’re adding one more gadget to our group of ten popular promotional products for all brands.

Enter… power banks

They might not be an item with symbolic meaning or a very personal promo item, but it’s nevertheless an item that anyone with a cell phone needs and will highly appreciate. 

Product #9: Bluetooth speaker

Image Source: PCNA

The second to last item we want to talk about is the bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth speakers today are great, powerful little gadgets that can do different sorts of things, including being a digital clock and also offer users the feature of wirelessly charging their phones or other devices on them.

That’s all on top of the item being a stereo speaker that can be used for listening to music.

If you want to offer your audience a multifunctional item, then it doesn’t get any better than this.

Product #10: Tote bags

Last but not least, an item that many companies around the world are already customizing and sharing with their audience and we think you should be creating too, is the ever popular tote bag.

There’s a reason why streets are full of people walking around with unique tote bags over their shoulder.

A customized tote bag is a great item through which people express their identity, style, and preferences including quotes and logos they love and support. 

If your tote is made from recycled polyester from water bottles like the one you can see on the screenshot above from our Swag Pack Builder, you’ve just put a smile on all green consumers’ faces out there.

Keep reading to find the answers to some very hot questions in relation to promotional products.

Final Thoughts

That’s a wrap!

You now know everything about what promotional products are as well as what the main reasons why promotional products are just so important for companies.

In this post, we’ve tried to take you through the most important points around promotional products and also shared with you a list of ten very popular promo items you can start customizing soon.

If you need any help choosing and personalising promo products with your branding, we are here to help!

Just leave a comment below and we’ll come back to you with plenty of fresh ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re wondering what might be good promotional products for employees and clients and what the most cost-effective promotional products are, you’re in the right place because we’ve got you the answers.

Q1. What are good promotional products for employees?

When it comes to promotional products for employees, thoughtful and useful items like notebooks, desk accessories, customized decorative objects, tumblers, and coffee mugs are some of the ideas you could consider. 

Q2. What are good promotional products for clients?

These are some good promotional items for clients:

  • Padfolio
  • Quality drinkware
  • Wine basket
  • Premium duffel bag
  • Action camera

Q3. What are good promotional products for growing companies?

Growing companies should invest in swag items their employees and customers will actually want to use. These are some examples:

  • Self-care products 
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Workout equipment
  • Planners and calendars

Q4. What are the most cost-effective promotional products?

Some of the most cost-effective promotional products companies of any size could customize are:

  • Tote bags
  • Coffee mugs
  • Keychains
  • Hats 
  • T-shirts
  • Commemorative pins

Based on our research, some of the most popular promotional products in Canada are:

  • Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Pens
  • Playing cards

Q6. What are good eco-friendly promotional products?

Given that almost 50% of consumers in the U.S. would have a favorable opinion of an advertiser if they get an environmentally friendly promo item from them, we understand that eco-friendly products should be an important part of any company’s promotional products strategy. 

Some of the best eco-friendly promotional products are:

  • Bamboo lunch box
  • Bamboo cutlery set
  • Biodegradable tumbler
  • Soap bar
  • Recycled materials apparel


Featured Image: PCNA

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