Choosing The Right Promotional Products for your Business
Visit pretty much any home in the US, and you’re likely to find promotional products. As the 2016 edition of the Global Advertising Specialties Impression Study points out, the average person in the US owns 9.8 promotional products. Compared to other forms of advertising, promotional products offer several benefits to businesses.
For one thing, they’re durable. Advertisements usually last just 30 seconds or a minute. A T-shirt or promotional pen will stick around for months, if not years. The Impression Study found the average person keeps a promo product for about seven months. Some products, like umbrellas, stick along for even longer — 14 months on average.
Every time a customer picks up a pen with your company’s logo on it or pulls on a logo T-shirt, they will be reminded of your business.
Promotional products tend to be much more affordable than other types of advertising or promotional materials. For example, getting a commercial on TV during “The Walking Dead” on AMC costs an average of $400,000. It costs $20 per 1,000 impressions for an ad on Instagram or $35 per 1,000 impressions on Hulu, plus a minimum requirement of two ads per campaign.
Meanwhile, depending on what type of promotional product you buy, the cost can be just a few cents each for pens or just a few dollars each for apparel.
Types of Promotional Products
When it comes to choosing the right promotional products, your options are nearly limitless. Here’s a list of the various promotional products available and details on how each type of product can benefit your company.
- T-shirts. More than half of consumers in the US, 58 percent, own at least one promotional T-shirt. T-shirts appeal to people young and old and men and women. Even better, T-shirts are an effective form of promotion. The Impressions Study found the vast majority of people who received a T-shirt were able to remember the brand that gave them the shirt.
- Polo Shirts. While polo shirts aren’t as popular as T-shirts, they do have their appeal. About one-third of people in the US have at least one promotional polo shirt. Polo shirts are especially popular with people living in Alaska, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina, where they have the biggest effect on a person’s opinion of a brand.One benefit of choosing polo shirts over T-shirts is that they are a bit more dressed up than a basic T-shirt, making them slightly more special. If golfing is any part of your client negotiations, polos make sense as a promotional gift since many courses require them.
- Sweatshirts. Although sweatshirts cost more than T-shirts, they can be an excellent promotional product to invest in for a few reasons. For one thing, they have a higher perceived value than a basic T-shirt. For another, they can be slightly more useful. Whether it’s a zip-front hoodie or a pullover style, a sweatshirt is much warmer than a tee.
- Button Shirts. Button shirts are ideal for companies who want their employees to wear uniforms and look professional.
- Jackets. According to the Impressions Study, jackets and outerwear are among the top five most influential promotional products in the US. About half of the people in the country have at least one piece of promotional outerwear, and those people tend to hang on to the jackets they receive because they find the outerwear useful, attractive or nice to have in general.
- Hats. Whether it’s a beanie with an embroidered logo, a baseball cap or a visor, hats are appealing and pretty effective as a promotional product. The average cap or hat makes more than 3,000 impressions over the course of its life. If you’re going to choose hats as a promotional product to give out at a company event or to employees, make sure you pick a visually appealing design. The Impressions Study found 42 percent of people who kept their promo hats did so because the design was attractive.
- Accessories. Promotional accessories can include a range of objects, from buttons and sunglasses to hair accessories and jewelry. The appeal of these items is that they are small but effective. For example, a button is usually less than a few inches in diameter but often has a clear, easy-to-see logo.Sunglasses might not have a lot of room for your company’s logo, but every time a person picks up a pair to wear, he or she will be reminded of your brand.
- Cups and Mugs. Next to T-shirts, drinkware like cups and mugs are among the most commonly owned types of promotional product. People not only own drinkware, but they also tend to use logo cups or mugs several times weekly. Plus, individuals who own promotional drinkware are more likely to do business with the companies who gave them the product.
- Bags. Whether it’s a logoed tote bag, backpack or messenger bag, bags create more impressions than any other type of promotional product. They are also very popular with people, particularly with women, the majority of whom own at least one branded bag.
- Umbrellas. Is there a promotional product that’s more useful than an umbrella? Maybe not. The Impressions Study found more than 80 percent of people surveyed kept an umbrella given to them by a company because when you need an umbrella, you really need an umbrella.
- Health and Safety Products. Health and safety products, like a first aid kit or hand sanitizer, are extremely useful promotional products. People not only tend to keep and use these products, but they are also more likely to take them on the go with them and remember the name of the company who gave them the product.
- Home Goods. Home goods like magnetic chip clips, aprons or bottle openers serve a purpose and help people remember your brand.
- Automotive Tools. Products designed for use in a car tend to be very useful for customers. These products include ice scrapers, USB chargers and air fresheners.
- Pens. It’s a rare person who doesn’t own at least one promotional pen. You can find logo pens when you stay in a hotel, in the lobby of many banks or when you visit a gym. Pens are so popular because they are one of the most valuable types of promotional products. Each impression a pen makes costs just one-tenth of a cent.
- Office Supplies. Desk accessories and office supplies tend to have the longest shelf life of all promotional products, with many people hanging on to a freebie desk accessory for more than a year. Office supplies are most commonly used at other businesses, where they can make impressions on the staff and customers of that business.
- Coolers. Whether a person needs something to bring lunch in or is looking to pack food for a camping trip, coolers are very useful objects.
- Golf Gear. If your company regularly sponsors golf events or outings, promotional golf gear is an excellent way to make an impression on a large number of people.
- Outdoor Equipment. Whether you’re looking for products to give away at a company picnic or need logoed products to stand out at a festival or fair, outdoor equipment is the way to go. Outdoor gear such as camping chairs, inflatable beach balls or can coolers is useful and fun.
- Toys. If you want people to associate your brand or company with fun, consider promotional toys. Toys can appeal to people both young and old. For example, stress balls are perfect for adults while beach buckets and frisbees are attractive to kids.
- Tech Gear. Tech gear, such as USB drives, are very effective promotional products. Nearly half of those living in the US have at least one promotional USB drive, with younger people being more likely to own one. The Impressions Study found that USB drives are the most influential promotional product out there.
- Snacks and Candy. How can you build loyalty with customers or employees? Give them food. Promotional snacks, candies and mints help people see your brand in a positive light.
How to Choose the Right Promotional Products for Your Business
While some promotional products tend to be more popular than others, not every type of popular product is going to be the right fit for every industry or business. When selecting promotional products, there are a few things to remember to make sure you get the right type of product for your company.
- Relevance and Fit. If you’re a brand that specializes in formalwear or suits, it might not make much sense to give T-shirts to your employees or potential customers. If you’re a casual apparel brand, a T-shirt is a great promo product.
- Usefulness. In an era when minimalism is trendy, few people will appreciate a product that doesn’t have at least some usefulness. The most popular promotional products also tend to be the most useful, such as USB drives, drinkware, T-shirts and umbrellas.
- Functionality. People do tend to hang on to promotional products, at least for a few months. For that reason, pick out products that function well. A leaky travel mug or USB drive that crashes won’t win you many fans. Neither will T-shirts that shrink, become misshapen or develop tears or holes after just a few wears. Research the company you’re considering ordering from to make sure their products are good quality.
- Look at Your Competitors. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but you probably don’t want to be flattering the people you’re competing against. Look at what other companies are using as promo products, and try to avoid giving out the same items, especially if you’re going to be at the same conferences or trade shows as your competitors.Attendees of trade shows will only need so many travel mugs or USB drives.
- Attractiveness. How appealing a product looks will influence people’s opinions of your brand or company. You don’t have to be particularly creative or artistically gifted to make an attractive product. Show Your Logo, Inc. has an in-house art department that will help you flesh out your ideas for a logo or come up with an appealing design for you for free.
- When in Doubt, Stick With Apparel. Apparel, from T-shirts to hoodies, always tends to be a hit with people. If you’re not sure what type of product will best represent your company, sticking with apparel is usually a safe bet.
6 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Promotional Products
Here are a few more things to keep in mind before you choose and buy promotional products for your company.
- Your Budget
Your budget is a major factor when it comes to what type of products you can buy and how many you can purchase. If you have $1,000 to spend, you’ll get a lot more for your money if you buy T-shirts instead of sweatshirts or outerwear. If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few products that will give you the most bang for your buck:
- T-shirts, which can be as low as $2.23 per shirt.
- Visors, which can be as low as $1.27 per.
- Flip Flops, which can be as low as $3.75 per pair.
- Pens, which can be as low as 20 cents each.
- Water bottles, which can be as low as 64 cents each.
- Where You’ll Be Giving the Products
Think about where you’ll be distributing the promotional products when choosing the best products for your business. If you’ll be giving out items at a golf event, it makes sense to choose products that have something to do with golf, such as a golf shirt or umbrella.
If you’re giving out items at a fair or festival on a hot day, handing out water bottles with your company’s logo on them makes a lot of sense. USB drives are a great pick for tech fairs while T-shirts shot out of a T-shirt cannon are always a fun pick for sporting events.
- How the Person Will Receive the Items
Some promotional products are more fragile than others. When deciding on a promotional item, think about how a person will get the product. If you’re mailing a free item to new customers, picking something that won’t break in transit is a good idea.
The same goes if you’re giving out items at an outdoor fair or festival or any time when people will be walking around carrying the thing. Soft, lightweight products such as a T-shirt or cap make sense in those cases.
- Who the Products Are For
Think about your intended audience when choosing promotional products. If you’re buying apparel for your team to wear as uniforms, consider what type of appearance you’d like your staff to have. In a more formal business environment, button front shirts with your company’s logo embroidered on one side are ideal. If you have a business casual workplace, logo polo shirts will work. T-shirts with your company’s logo on them are perfect if you have a casual dress code.
If you’re giving products out to current or potential customers, think of your demographic. Some products appeal to certain groups or demographics than others. For example, the Impressions Study found more women than men own T-shirts or bags. Young women, between the ages of 18 and 24, were the group most likely to own or want a logo bag. Men were more likely to keep office or desk supplies and to own promotional outerwear than women.
Some qualities appeal to certain age groups over others. For example, 18 to 24-year-olds were more likely to think positively of a company that distributed eco-friendly promotional products. People over the age of 65 and 18 to 24-year-olds also held better opinions of companies that distributed promotional products that were made in the USA.
- What Your Goals Are
Think about what you want the promotional products to accomplish. Are you trying to boost employee morale by giving your staff members freebies? Are you trying to create a sense of unity in the workplace by having people wear uniform shirts?
If you’re giving products to customers, are you trying to build loyalty or advertise? Many people are likely to see and use pens and other smaller, inexpensive promotional products. A T-shirt with your company’s logo on it will be seen by however many people a person walks by while wearing it.
Some items won’t be seen by the masses, though, such as USB drives or drinkware, but these products can improve your standing with the people who use them.
- When You’ll Distribute the Products
Timing is everything. If you’re giving out promotional products in the middle of summer, baseball hats and sunglasses are a logical choice because people will be able to use them right away. In the winter, handing out knit beanies or jackets makes more sense. Keep the amount of immediate use an item will get in mind when deciding what to order.
Industries and Ideal Promotional Products
Like peanut butter and jelly or fish and chips, some industries pair perfectly with some types of promotional products. If you’re still stumped about what type of product is a great fit for your brand, look at this list of perfect pairs:
- Technology companies: USB drives. If your business is in any way connected to tech, such as a web design firm or digital marketing company, giving potential customers USB drives is a good fit.
- Dentists: Dental kits. One of the joys of going to the dentist is getting a free toothbrush and toothpaste at the end of your appointment. Make sure patients remember to visit you again in six months by handing out kits with your practice’s name and contact information on them.
- Airlines: Sleeping mask and ear plugs. A sleeping mask and ear plugs will make a long, overnight flight in coach a bit more comfortable.
- Nail or Beauty salons: Logo emery boards. Encourage clients to keep their nails in good shape between manicures by handing out emery boards or nail files.
- Skincare company or dermatologist: Logo lotion tube. If you’re a dermatologist who’s developing a line of products or a skincare company, it helps to have a lotion tube that has your logo printed on it.
- Beer or other beverage companies: Coolers or coolie can coolers. Giving people some way to keep their favorite beverages cold, even on hot summer days, will boost the public’s opinion of your brand.
- Coffee company: Travel mugs. Travel mugs don’t only advertise your brand to the world. They also build loyalty. A person with a Starbucks mug isn’t likely to bring it into Dunkin’ Donuts, for example.
Keep in mind that some promotional products are industry neutral, meaning you can consider giving them out no matter what type of company you run. Pens, T-shirts, tote bags and notepads are a few examples of products that work well for any type of business.
Need some more advice or personal assistance choosing the best promotional products for your business? The sales team at SHOWYOURLOGO.COM is here to help. Contact us today and we’ll get to work for you.
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