What is the best promotional product you have given out or received, and why?
Most companies, when buying promotional products, purchase the cheapest item (i.e. pen, mug, shirt, etc.). What do you do when you receive a cheap item? Which ones have made the greatest brand impression on you? I am a service provider of promotional products asking these questions to educate clients and potential clients that cheap promotional products are a waste of their money.
No one uses or keeps those frisbees, ice scrapers, mini flashlights, and boring business cards. I have come across few promotional materials and business cards that I’ve actually kept. People get dozens of these things going to trade shows, shops, and fairs. Generally, never lasting more then a week at home.
I know people use the pens or bags that they are given, but this doesn’t make your business stand out.
As a business owner, your investing in items that are suppose to reflect your business and promote it. Invest in something unique that makes your business stand out from the crowd. Spend a bit more on something that will last more then a week then something that’s junk.
It’s fine if you run out of items. Every business should think about what they hand out and if its worth it to the customer to keep. If not, then rethink what you give out and invest in something new and maybe even a bit crazy.
My first rule of thumb when trolling a conference or expo .. don't pick it up. We have a pretty strong green policy for the business which includes no plastic, must be refillable/reusable, run paperless and whatever comes in must be recyclable but preferably biodegradable. That pretty much rules out most promo items.
When we exhibit at trade shows, we partner with local businesses and give away apples, Cabot cheese, or locally produced small batch chocolates.
This fall we will be purchasing our favorite promo item to give away - Chico Bags [http://www.chicobag.com]! They make fabulous reusable, washable and sturdy shopping bags that has the pouch attached. They can imprint both the pouch and bag (or just the pouch or just the bag) and the folks over there are great to deal with.
On the receiving end, I hate to admit to liking coffee mugs and picked up two at a conference last week. Other favorites are USB jump drives and stainless steel water bottles.
I sent potential clients what appeared to be a piece of steak (of course fake, but looked real) you would buy in the super market. I had it on the foam tray and wrapped in the plastic and everything.
On the pricing sticker I just had, "Our agency will not treat you like a piece of meat", and had our number and URL.
It was great I had customers and competitors calling!!! Even my competitors had to agree it was a great idea and it put us on the map a bit...
Hello Troy --
The promotional items that leave the biggest impression on me are ones that while ostensibly promotional, are at the same time, extremely high quality and valuable.
To wit: a very nice fountain pen with promotional branding in gold lettering, a high-quality promotional iPad case, or a calfskin padfolio with imprinted brand messaging. The list goes on.
All these items create enduring value while simultaneously leaving a lasting brand impression. The way I see it, the secret is to create promotional items that people will actually want to use in their daily lives. By creating value (via quality or productivity gains) you can ensure your promotional product will regularly be used by your audience, in so doing, ensure your brand messaging will always remain "top of mind".
Avoid all the cheap and low perceived value commodity items; as they will have little or no beneficial effect on your marketing efforts. A couple of years ago a client was considering the ubiquitous branded ball point pen, he could get 500 for about 12 cents each. I asked him if he knew 500 people who would actually appreciate him giving them a cheap Chinese pen. The answer was, as anticipated; No! I then asked him how many good customers he had that would really cherish a premium quality writing instrument, he could count them on the fingers or two hands, so I recommended that he buy them each a top quality pen, and have each engraved with the recipient’s name (not his). The boxed and well-presented gifts (each costing more than three times the original ‘me too’ concept), were very effective they generated immeasurable of good will, word-of-mouth and resulted in each pan spawning multiple referrals over an extended period, in addition to the recipients continued loyalty.
The best promotional items tend to be the ones that somehow reflect the product or service of the company, tie-in well with the actual event they will be given away at, and are useful to the target market/audience.
Lip gloss in three different colours with the logo of the wedding magazine we were advertising. They were a smash. Brides loved them. Gave them out at trade shows.
Notepads were the first promotional products we gave out and they worked like a charm. Even though they're old school I would still do them again because they worked. Also distributed at trade shows.
I believe the best promotional products are the ones that relate in some way to the product/service they are advertising. If you can find a promotional item that is relatable to your brand and match your consumers' needs, it has a chance to be more memorable.
For example, if you are promoting a beer brand, it would make sense to give away branded beer koozies or bottle openers. Although these are inexpensive items, they are useful to your intended audience.
A non-brand-specific item that I've found many consumers love is the expandable phone grips (think PopSocket). The majority of your consumers use their cell phones every day, and therefore would likely see a free branded phone grip.
When explaining the importance of promotional products and their value, make it known that your products reflect your brand. Whatever you choose as a promotional item should be useful to your consumers specifically. Shy away from cheap items that have no value and will likely just end up in the trash. These cheap items can be seen as a reflection of the cheapness of your brand.
One of the items I gave out and got rave reviews for were neoprene lunch bags with clients names stitched on them. My name was not on them, but people remember where they got it and that is the whole point. Nobody needs more crap, but they do appreciate useful things and remember who gave it to them.
I have several.
1)Windows phones… with our Office app already installed on it. It was a great way to a) get our enterprise customers to buy win phones for their users of office 365 and purchase more seats and b) small business customers understood the interoperability of that phone with office, share point, email and lync/skype. Very good at helping close all in one productivity business.
2) USB Mobile phone batteries
3)Branded travel kits with noise canceling headphones, international chargers, etc. etc
4) All in one pens: USB flash drive, laser pointer with powerpoint slide advancers
5) free digital downloads to information people value
People want stuff they can use… and it is far better at actual reach to engage the RIGHT customers than every customer.
The best one I've received recently is a logo cigarette lighter USB charging unit for my car. Three things are absolutely necessary: useful, memorable (it has saved my "life" a few times when my cell battery was dead), and durable.
Cheap products never have all three attributes.
sports promotional products have always worked best for us personally. We own a small wholefoods shop, and sports based products have always been the best area to put our money in.
The best useful promotional item I have received was a really nice metal business cardholder. Because I thought that was pretty different, shows they care for the environment and their customers, and everyone asks where I got it from so it's good for their business.
If I had to choose, the best promotional product I have ever received was a notebook planner and pen that another company purchased from https://iwipromotionalproducts.com/. Since receiving that item, I went ahead and purchased some from them for my own business because I used and liked the set so much. While a pen might be considered a "cheap" item, it does not have to be cheap quality. Cheap quality products are most certainly a waste of money because as soon as the receiver sees, feels, or experiences the product's "cheapness" they are going to toss it into the trash along with the hopes of any additional prospective clients seeing your brand. Moreover, they may equate that "cheapness" with YOUR company. Therefore, going with high-quality promotional gear that the receiver is likely to use or uses anyway on a daily basis is what you should choose. Going back to my planner and pen example - it fills a need that nearly everyone has - to schedule their days out and jotting down quick notes. One can never have enough pens in enough places, but everyone has that ONE pen that writes so smoothly or feels good in their grip that they try to keep around no matter how ridiculous the colors are or what brand is listed on it.
The important take away from that is to BE THE COMPANY THAT CHOOSES TO HAVE YOUR BRAND BE THAT BRAND ON THAT PRACTICAL PEN SOMEONE DOESN'T WANT TO SET DOWN!
Promotional products are products which help a company to market itself and well as to provide goodies to the customers. This is one of the ways to catch the attention of consumers and get your brand name to be remembered. Promotional products can vary from engraved pens, printed bags, customized calendars, etc. There are many companies providing promotional products at exhibitions, conferences, etc. I myself use PrintStop to get my promotional products done. They do it in the best quality and are very professional in approach.
Of course, I am very happy to get goods with low-quality quality such as expensive goods. For me, cheap or expensive items depending on how to use and care for them.