The Mighty Pen: Using Promotional Products to Build Your Brand


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The Mighty Pen: Using Promotional Products to Build Your BrandCheck your desk, shirt pocket or what you’re wearing on your head. Chances are you’ll find a logoed item from a company you interact with on a regular basis. Why? Because people enjoy getting free stuff, and these promotional items go a long way in building goodwill, brand identity and repeat customers.

Are you putting promotional items to work for you? If not, you may not be making full use of your marketing dollar and leaving potential profits on the table. Promo items are advertising, just like an ad on a website or point of sale signage. Even better, they work!

In a recent study of business professionals and students conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the likelihood a company will get a new customer using promotional items is, on average, 36%. Those numbers go up to 48% when the item is a logoed jacket and no lower than 23% on a health or safety item carrying a company name.

Plus, when it comes to “impressions,” or opportunities for that promotional advertising item to be seen, the return on investment is very good. In fact, the pennies per impression you spend on a logoed pen are even more cost-effective than a print ad. The truth is promotional items work with the rest of your marketing efforts to help drive and retain business.

But even before you select a promotional item, consider the following:

  • Budget. The choices are seemingly endless and at every price point. If you are exhibiting at a trade show, for instance, you might choose something simple like a logoed bag, for everyone who stops by and a higher-end desk accessory for those who agree to a product demo.
  • Audience. Different items appeal to different people. For example, if you’re after baby boomers, a calendar is a very good fit. If millennials are your ideal customer, then a logoed USB drive might be best. Looking for consumers with a six-figure salary? Try a baseball cap. All of these items will be working for you for at least seven months to a year, according to the ASI survey.
  • Connection to your business. Promotional items are great as a handout at the point of purchase, to give away at a special event, or use as a leave-behind when calling on a customer. A product that recalls an event theme or supports recollection of your products or services adds even more value.

Now, let’s take a look at what items appeal to people, according to the ASI’s comprehensive research:

  • Harness the power of the pen. When it comes to popularity and cost-effectiveness, the ever-reliable writing instrument can’t be beat. Fifty-six percent of people like receiving them. Even in an increasingly digital world, people reach for their logoed pens three or four times a day.
  • Choose high-end shirts and low-end bags; both work! Right behind pens in popularity is a logoed shirt. Shirts too pricey for your promotional budget right now? Maybe a logoed bag will do the trick. They have a 34% popularity rating and low cost. Plus, bags are not only functional, they get more shared impressions because so many people see them in use.
  • Top of mind with calendars . . . and hats. Calendars and hats tie in popularity at 25%, and are both good, long-lasting, brand-building items. Coming in at 22% are desk and office items.

With thousands of options to fit every budget, it can be time-consuming to sort through all of the choices. Let our promo products experts comb through all the options to find the ones just right for you!

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