What Promotional Products Are Most Effective?

September

18

2019

Markos

Successful product marketing ensures that your brand is remembered for weeks, months or even years after making a connection with a consumer. By handing out promotional products to customers is a sure-fire way of getting your brand’s name out into the public eye. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are giving away the most effective promotional items that will be kept and treasured long after the event is over.

With over £840 million spent on promotional merchandise each year, it is important to stand out from the crowd by not only purchasing creative promotional products, but also items that are useful for day-to-day use. This is the best way to ensure that your brand is being seen continuously by potential customers.

But, the most effective promotional items for your business depends entirely on your target audience. Ask yourself this question: Who is your target market? Are they young children, teenagers or millennials, or perhaps they are older? Their age will have an impact on the type of product that they will find most useful and want to take away with them.   

With this in mind, you must also think about which items are most useful in your customer’s everyday life too, which may vary depending on the type of business you are promoting. According to a survey conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), 50% of people believe the most important quality of a promotional product is its usefulness.

TOP TIP: Your brand’s promotional products should always be useful and relevant, as well as being representative of your brand.

For instance, if your business is a sportswear brand, your audience will stereotypically be aimed at young people with a keen interest in keeping fit and healthy. As a result, they will be more appreciative of a personalised t-shirt or water bottle, as opposed to desk accessories or chocolate.

On the other hand, if you are a tech company, your audience will predominantly be aimed at office workers – an occupation who are a sucker for promotional items, with 44% having 4 or more promotional items on their desks. Therefore, think carefully about what office workers may use on a daily basis? In this case, personalised desk accessories, pens or USB sticks would be a fantastic option, as they are likely to be used frequently during their working day.

These are some of the most effective promotional products:

Pens

If you’re looking for a traditional, timeless promotional product for your brand, pens are the answer. These items are suitable to be distributed in the vast majority of situations, such as client meetings, conferences and events, because – let’s face it – who says no to free pens?

This is why they are a popular option found almost anywhere you go, from your local bank, your gym or office. Therefore, it is unsurprising that they are the most common promotional item found on a desks, according to the BPMA. They are a sure-fire way of boosting your brand awareness far and wide, as they are light, easily transportable and highly practical.

Drinkware (e.g. mugs, travel coffee cups, water bottles)

Who doesn’t love a coffee on the go, or a new mug for their cup of English breakfast tea?

Giving away free promotional drinkware are a definite hit with all age groups, as they are highly practical. Whether they’re used on the go at the weekend, in the office or at home, or taken to school or gym, they are clearly valuable for every Tom, Dick and Harry – all day every day – meaning it is the perfect type of promotional product.  

Reusable cups, whether it be for hot drinks or a water bottle, have become increasingly popular over the years due to the increased awareness of plastic pollution on our planet. As a result, the world have become more eco-conscious, so what better time to capitalise on this for your brand?

You may also want to look at eco-friendly promotional products too.

Reusable shopping/tote bags

Reusable bags are increasing in popularity, thanks to the government now making it a law to charge 5p for plastic bags. As a result, people of all age groups and genders across the country are ensuring they take their own reusable bags as a shopping trip necessity, in order to save money and our planet.

Next time you head to the supermarket, take note of the reusable shopping bags people are using. You will see that most people are drawn to bags with some personality – often, the brighter the better so they are remembered! Therefore, make the most of your business’ branding and colours by handing out reusable tote bags to your audience.

Tech accessories (e.g. power banks, USB sticks)

In this electronic day and age, tech-related products go down a treat with customers – particularly youngsters and millennials. Research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) has revealed that USB sticks are one of the most popular promotional items that people are most likely to keep for a long time. In fact, 21% of people believe USB sticks are the most useful promotional product.

Desk accessories (e.g. notebooks, diaries, post-it notes, coasters)

For businesses with a target audience of predominantly office workers, promotional office items (including notebooks, coasters and sticky notes) are highly effective. Think about it – how many items have you seen on people’s desks whilst walking around an office?

How many promotional products do you own in your home or office space? For most people, stationery is often complimentary from other businesses, with the most popular desk accessories including pens (66%), notebooks (43%), mugs (20%) and coasters (17%).

By taking advantage of this, your brand will feature in the workplace for a long period of time (87% keep them for 12 months or more), thus ensuring your company will be remembered for months – if not years depending on the promotional product!   

Confectionery

Confectionery – such as sweets or chocolate – is always a winner with customers. Who can say no to a bar of chocolate? Even though the longevity is extremely short – possibly just seconds once the bar has been demolished – and your brand’s logo won’t remain on somebody’s desk for weeks or months, like other promotional products, it is still a highly effective form of marketing for your brand.

Confectionery engages people and can be a fun icebreaker when used at events. This is especially the case when you opt for something unique, such as gifting retro sweets, which can evoke a sense of nostalgia among older generations.


Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that the effectiveness of promotional items differ from business-to-business. Our top tip is to remember your target audience – what would your customers want?

Furthermore, if you are looking to build a name for your business, check out our other post explaining the best marketing giveaways for small businesses or the best freebies to give away at events.