There are numerous benefits for gifting promotional items to existing or potential customers, or to long-term or high-performing employees. However, a few of these benefits are cited as the main reasons organizations use these items. Promotional items can help a business improve sales, bolster a reputation and perform better financially.
- Making an impact on a customer. Almost everyone likes to receive free items; it makes people feel as if they’ve gotten something for nothing. That’s why organizations use promotional items as incentives—to draw in new customers and hold on to existing ones. A promotional item that is durable and useful serves a dual purpose: not only will the initial impact of receiving it reflect well on the business, but the item will act as a constant reminder of that company. The imprinted name, logo, and possibly even a message will be seen daily. Items can also be used as thank-you gifts for customers who’ve just become affiliated with a business or who’ve been dealing with that company for a long period of time. This serves to help cement a beneficial relationship between a business and its customers.
- Selling a product through samples. A sample of an item that a business is selling is considered a promotional item, as it is given away to potential or existing customers in an attempt to acquire or retain their business. Sample items draw attention to an item that may be new on the market, highlighting its advantages over competing products. If customers are impressed with the samples they receive, this can boost sales. Promotional items are often used (regifted) by customers to recommend a business to their family, friends or colleagues.
- Motivating employees to reach their maximum potential. Contrary to popular belief, promotional items are not only for customers or clients; they can also be offered to employees for reaching impressive milestones or for high levels of performance. They’re often used to reward team members for attaining a targeted goal or for reaching some other sort of business milestone. Offering items as incentives helps motivate employees to work to their full potential, and can boost loyalty.
As a general guide, most promotional items will cost between 50 cents and $15. Ask the vendor for a portfolio of previous work to ensure the imprinting or embroidery that’s being ordered is of a high quality and is clear to read. Paying slightly more may result in a better-produced item, reflecting well on the business handing it out, especially at trade shows or events where there’s competition with other companies.
Often merchants will offer small discounts for larger bulk orders, with the discounts increasing in tiers as the order size increases. It’s worthwhile to find out what the discount levels are for any particular item. Many merchants offer discounts if a business orders from them regularly; this can add an extra discount on top of the bulk discount. It’s worth checking out more than just the list price for the item that is needed.
Promotional Items Important Terms
- Employee Motivation Objectives: A set of goals that an organization is attempting to achieve by giving staff members recognition and/or gifts to promote a more efficient and loyal workforce.
- Promotional Campaign: A marketing strategy that a business uses; it offers promotional items to generate interest from both new and existing customers in the products and services the company is offering.
- Promotional Items: Offered by a business to potential or existing customers as part of a promotional campaign.
- Promotional Objectives: The goals that a business sets in an attempt to acquire new customers or retain old customers.
- Sales Objectives: Offering free promotional items to attract customers, with the goal of reaching a specific minimum increase in sales.
- Trade Show: An organized event where businesses in a certain industry can showcase products and services. Promotional items are frequently purchased for distribution at such shows.