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May 31, 2021

By Vanessa Nghiem

4 minutes read



We’ve answered some major questions you might have about promotional products and outlined some reasons you should consider using them for your next marketing campaign!

What are promotional products?

Promotional products are branded products used to promote a business or event. Some examples include pens, mugs, bags, or t-shirts customized with a company’s name or logo on it. 

Promotional products can also be referred to as swag or freebies. If you’ve ever received a pen with a school’s logo on it, or a reusable water bottle with your company’s logo on it, you’ve received a promotional item! 

How much is the promo product industry worth?

In 2019, annual distributor revenue was $25.8 billion. For reference, Google, the largest digital ad seller, earned $103.73 billion in 2019 from ad revenue. However, unlike digital ads, promotional products are tangible and can be regularly used, and may have lower costs.

Why are promotional items important?

Promotional items have many advantages, such as increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty, and providing an experience–all while being cost-effective!

1) Increases brand awareness 

Did you know that a customized pen will generate 3000 impressions over its lifetime? As well, 57% of consumers who own promo products will keep some for more than 5 years. Not only are promo products impactful, but they also generate long term brand awareness. 

This chart shows the average number of impressions/views each product generates across its lifetime:

number of impressions generated from promo products

*Data taken from ASI’s 2020 Global Ad Impressions study

Having a strong brand presence is key to a company’s growth, and printing your company’s logo on high-quality, useful, and well-designed merchandise communicates that your company is credible, understands quality, and is solution oriented. By creating quality products that will be used regularly by clients, your clients will also become brand ambassadors!

2) Builds brand loyalty

82% of people are likely to buy from brands they already have experience with!

However, promo items can not only be used to strengthen relationships with customers, but also with employees. Beyond logoed pens and shirts, other branded products can include outerwear, golf balls, travel kits, gift sets, and many more items to show appreciation. 

Branded items can increase morale among staff, help shape company culture, foster a sense of community, turn employees into brand ambassadors, and remind them about how important their work is to the overall company mission. Energized employees are engaged employees!

3) Provides an experience

Promotional products provide an experience–while most ads are digital, promotional items can be touched and regularly used, making them more memorable and practical than a TV or internet ad. 

Many people keep these products long-term due to product quality, utility, and design. This is an opportunity for brands to get creative and find quality products that represent their brand, and stand out!

4) Cost Effective

Promotional products are one of the most impactful and cost-effective marketing solutions. For example, the cost per impression is less than 1/10th of a cent for a customized $1 pen. Compare that to online advertising, which has an average cost per thousand impressions at $3-$10.

More Promotional Product Statistics

Still not convinced? We have more statistics to prove that promo products are effective! 

  • About 30 promotional products are kept in each household
  • 85% of people recall the advertiser that gave them a shirt or hat, making brand recall the highest for apparel items 
  • 23% of consumers reported that they purchased a promotional product in 2019
  • 27% of consumers purchased more Made in the USA products in 2019 than 2018
  • Promotional products are the most liked form of advertising, followed by newspaper and radio

Best Uses for Promo Products

Branded BBQ kit for employees, including BBQ sauce, beer, and recipes

Thank You’s: An opportunity to thank clients for their business, or employees for their hard work throughout the year. 

Corporate Events: Trade shows and giveaways are great opportunities to make your mark on the industry with branded merchandise.

New Client Welcome: Sending an industry relevant package that provides useful items to the client can help build a stronger client relationship. 

Corporate Milestones: Work anniversaries, birthdays, and various individual and team recognitions.

Anytime: “Just because” gifts are always appreciated!

Creating memorable and enjoyable experiences is the goal, and good promotional products will help connect employees and clients to your company authentically. 

Are you thinking about starting a new project? Contact us to see how we can help! 

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