Why Promotional Products Work – and How to Use Them

Research indicates that promotional products are the most highly regarded form of advertising. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?

With that in mind, we put together a quick guide to virtually everything you need to know about why promotional products work – and how to use them to make your customers and sales prospects feel special and grateful to your brand.

Why Promotional Products Work: Low Cost Per Advertising Impression

Promotional products provide great ROI, making them a highly effective advertising medium. A consumer who receives a practical and attractive branded promotional item is more likely to use it for a long time, all the while promoting your brand in spaces and places other advertising mediums can’t reach.

Popular and widely appealing promotional products – like branded t-shirts, bags, drinkware, and pens –are also a cost-effective way to raise brand awareness. Many types of promotional products provide an average cost per impression of less than a cent while generating thousands of advertising impressions throughout their lifetime.

Why Promotional Products Work: The Principle of Reciprocity

why promotional products work - reciprocity

Thanks to the work of psychologists like Dr. Robert Cialdini, we now understand that businesses that incorporate the principle of reciprocity into their marketing and advertising strategy can increase customer loyalty and boost revenue. That’s because we automatically feel indebted to anyone who gives us a gift – even if we didn’t ask for it.

This principle applies to any freebies that a business might present to loyal customers and prospective customers – including samples, coupons, ad-free sponsorship of streaming content, and promotional product giveaways.

When used strategically, promotional products and other giveaways (such as industry-specific eBooks and white papers) can help any type of business – including B2B companies – increase brand awareness, generate more qualified leads (both in-person and online), and even close more sales.

Essential Guides for Marketing with Promotional Products

Take advantage of these 9 essential marketing guides to see why promotional products work for yourself.

The Most Cost-Effective Promotional Products – learn about the value of promotional products, including which types of promotional products will provide the best return on investment for your advertising dollars.

The Most Influential Promotional Products – the promotional products most likely to influence a consumer to do business with your company.

2022 Promotional Product Trends – find out which promotional products will help engage your target market.

The Best Promotional Products for Trade Shows & Conferences – find out what types of business swag the attendees of trade shows and conferences prefer to receive.

Luxury Promotional Products – our guide to selecting high quality promotional products and company gifts for VIP clients and executives.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Promotional Products – this popular guide outlines the best promotional products for environmentally friendly promotional campaigns.

Unique Promotional Products – some examples of unique and creative promotional items that can help your brand stand out in a crowd.

Promotional Product Promotion Ideas – learn how to promote promotional products that your brand is selling and/or giving away.

Socially Responsible Corporate Gifts – Our guide to ethical & carbon/climate neutral promotional products.

Frequently Asked Questions about Promotional Products

What is a promotional product?

Why Promotional Products Work - What is a promotional product?

Promotional products are items branded with a company or organization’s logo, colors, and/or marketing message or slogan. Promotional products are used to advertise a company or organization, brand, product, or service. They are usually given away to consumers at little or no cost.

The most common decoration techniques for promotional products include screen printing and direct-to-garment as well as embroidery.

Since promotional products are customized with brand identity elements, they serve as tangible reminders of your brand and marketing message. Because promotional products are frequently used for years (in the home, office, and public spaces), they provide long-term exposure for your organization.

What are promotional products used for?

Promotional products are typically given away at no cost to a target audience as part of a brand or event promotion. Promotional products may also be used as internal marketing and employee motivation tools.

The main benefits of promotional giveaways include increased brand awareness and brand loyalty. Promotional products can also generate additional revenue for startups, small businesses, and established lifestyle brands as well. In fact, a significant percentage of U.S. consumers are willing to pay for (and have paid for) promotional products.

Some promotional products are sold at minimal cost to brand enthusiasts to generate publicity for a new brand or marketing campaign. Co-branded promotional products, limited edition items used in cross-promotional campaigns, are especially sought after by brand fans and collectors.

What are promotional products also called?

Promotional products are also known as promo products, promotional items, promotional merchandise, and logoed or branded company gifts.

One of the most common slang terms for promotional products is swag. Some people believe swag is an acronym for Stuff We All Get.

Bundles of promotional products are often referred to as swag bags…or swag boxes…or swag packs.

How do you distribute a promotional item?

Promotional products are often given away at trade shows, conferences, and other events. Promotional products are used at trade shows and conferences to increase booth traffic and raise brand awareness. Some salespeople may also use promotional products to follow up with leads after a show – and ultimately close more sales.

Promotional products can be distributed in a variety of other ways including direct mail campaigns and online or social media contests/sweepstakes. Promotional products may also be distributed as part of an experiential marketing campaign.

Some brands also sell promotional products through pop-up shops and online company stores. An online company store is also the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to distribute staff or customer appreciation gifts, including corporate holiday gifts.

What promotional products are most effective?

Effective promotional products that are kept by consumers for a long time and provide low cost per impression include promotional pens, drinkware, desk accessories, t-shirts, hats, jackets, and bags.

What is hot in promotional items?

Promotional apparel and accessories are exceedingly popular with American consumers. According to a recent survey of U.S. consumers by the Advertising Specialty Institute, the most popular and influential promotional products right now include outerwear, performance wear (like moisture-wicking shirts), health & safety items (like custom face masks), and polo shirts.

For additional on-trend promotional product ideas, check out these Trendy Swag Ideas for 2022. Or you can always check the Promotional Trends category in our blog.

Provide a Tangible Reminder of your Brand & Marketing Message

Promotional products can increase brand awareness and help your business or organization make a great first impression.

Promotional products will also keep your name in front of new customers and sales prospects long after initial contact. Research indicates that 85% of promotional product recipients remember the advertiser. In addition, promotional products can help improve customer retention, by making your loyal customers feel appreciated, special, and excited about your brand’s products and services.

To learn more about why promotional products work and selecting the best for your brand in 2022, contact Metron Branding or fill out the form below to set up a consultation with your dedicated account representative.