Increase brand awareness with promotional merchandise
Promotional items are a great way to get the word out about a product or to increase the visibility of your brand. The practice goes back as far as the 17th century when commemorative buttons were used during the election of George Washington, however the promotional merchandise industry didn't formalize until the 19th century. By giving them away for free, promotional items are rarely refused. This also plays upon the natural tendency of reciprocity; to want to give something back in return for having been given something. Many promotional items were first given away during the Christmas season in the spirit of giving. Today, promotional items are given away regardless of the season.
Types of Promo Items
Promo items are easy to spot; they are heavily branded with a logo design or a slogan and are often given away at trade shows or other events. They can be used to promote a new product launch or to increase the overall brand awareness within the industry. Popular items for promotional giveaways include T-shirts, caps, posters, pens, mugs, key chains, bumper stickers and mouse pads. Not only are these items affordable to purchase, they are also used daily or are highly visible, getting maximum exposure.
While cheap promotional items continue to be effective, some businesses have ventured into custom promotional items in order to stand out even more from the competition. Stainless steel drink containers and tote bags are great promotional ideas since they appeal to those with increased environmental awareness. Often, promo items are used as part of a guerilla marketing campaign that is used to get maximum exposure for those with small budgets.
Another option that has been growing in popularity is to give promotional gifts to celebrities. These items are often very expensive (like luxury handbags), and are given freely to the celebrity with the stipulation that they have their photo taken with the item. This approach plays on the popularity of the celebrity and the fact that they have the ability to influence hundreds or thousands of other people to purchase the product that was freely given; a true win-win scenario for both the celebrity and the business doing the branding.
Investing in promotional items allows the company to spread awareness of their products and services while giving away something useful at the same time. Promotional gifts can also be given to employees to help improve morale, or as prizes at company functions and tournaments. No matter what the purpose behind creating promotional items, they can be a great investment that can pay off in many different ways over time.