What is a promotional gift?

More than 80% of people in the United States currently own a branded promotional product. The industry is incredibly profitable and wide, with over $20 billion being spent on this form of promotion in the last year alone.

A promotional gift can be described as ‘any item or product given to a potential customer by a business.’ In other words, it’s a marketing tool that’s used to spread awareness of a company’s products or services.

Companies of all sizes and statuses use promotional products to some effect. They take the form of cups, mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, pens and many other products. These normally have the company’s name, logo, and website and can be used as a reference for getting in touch with the business if necessary.

Why use promotional gifts?

One advantage of using promotional gifts is that it presents you with an opportunity to establish your logo and create brand similarity. Being a recognized brand in the market provides you with a significant competitive advantage. For instance, you can price your product a little higher than the market equilibrium without hurting your bottom line.

As compared to other methods of advertising, promotional gifts are much cheaper. They also have a ‘hang around’ value since most of them are intended to be long-lasting. T-shirts can be re-worn and pens reused.

Their longevity plays a big part in creating a sense of value, despite being given to the recipient for free. It’s not uncommon for a branded mug to survive for decades because its new owner has developed an attachment to it, for example.

Finally, the most important way promotional gifts can benefit a marketing campaign is by creating loyalty. A company giving things away for free is often perceived as goodwill, and people that receive these gifts tend to stick around.

What can be used for promotional gifts?

Almost anything can be used as a promotional gift, but what to use largely depends on the context within which it’s being used. For instance, water bottles will make a lot more sense to give away at the beginning of a marathon as opposed to a formal meeting. And a branded book would be something nice to give away at a formal meeting, but not so much at a 5K run.

The general rule of thumb is that promotional material must be long-lasting and offer some value to the client. Combined with a clear context, promotional gifts are a formidable marketing tool. For instance, since power banks are popular among millennials, using that as your promotion tool is sure to turn some heads.

When it comes to technology, be careful with where you buy them. Power banks and USB drives are increasingly popular, but so are the number of vendors selling fake products. The kind of harm that they can cause should be immediately apparent.

Lastly, wearables are always in promotional gift fashion. Branded hats, t-shirts and other items of clothing are consistently popular with different market segments.

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