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5 Uses For Promotional Products & How They Help Increase Sales


Can Pens, T-shirts and Mugs really best Television, Radio and Print?  The short answer is yes!  We’ve already covered a post on whether promotional merchandise is effective, but if you want to know what promotional products used for and what they can do for your business then read on. We cover, in detail, 5 smart uses for promotional products and how they can grow your business revenue!


1: Giveaways

The most obvious and common use for promotional merchandise is to give it away to prospective clients as an advertisement of your business and hope the use the item as often as possible; a constant reminder of your business!  Look around your house or workplace and we bet you can recall the name of the business on at least one promotional product you have been given; that is branding effectiveness!  Give promotional merchandise away strategically to maximise ROI, you want to give items away at places that contain your target audience, otherwise they may lose their effectiveness.  Targeting students?  Give away on campus or at graduate fares!  A B2B organisation looking to network with other business?  Give them away at exhibitions and conferences.  Make the audience specific to your goals and watch the improved ROI!


2: Rewards for Employees

Now those hard working and clever employees do need to be rewarded once in a while don’t they?  Instead of gifting them something unrelated to your business, why not further organisational commitment and brand your logo on the award/reward, creating a positive employee company association every time they use it .  In this case a more executive range is usually appreciated and tends to be very popular with employees in our experience.  Items that will really be appreciated;  think Parkers, Leather goods or Crystal.  These are suggestions however and they need not be of such high cost, the true value comes in identifying what your employees value as a gift.  Often the rewards will be unique to your business, a symbol of what you do, perhaps, yet still useful and visually appealing, think gift first, branding second!


3: Branded Workplace Items

Organisations aim to keep the company theme running throughout their marketing, branding and networking activities but often the office itself is overlooked.  The office may be spectacular but what’s the benefit in having it dotted with either non branded items or items branded with other brand information!  Keeping the organisational culture going in the office is easy with promotional merchandise that has your company logo on it.  Anything from staplers to calculators can be brandished with the company logo and when using items in front of clients, it maintains consistency and well just looks plain professional!  Organisations big and small brand their work place tools and if you’re a budding brand looking to create a strong image both externally and internally make sure you have your bit n bobs stamped!


4: As Business Cards

The business card is tried, tested and flat!  Switch up your calling card to a more interactive item such as a unique pen that will give clients an incentive to hold on to after the initial business meeting, and use again and again; a true calling card!  You don’t need to stick to pens either, with a huge choice of pocket-able products, there’s no limit to what you can brand and use as an effective message of your services.  The main rule is keep it unique and memorable, something eye catching yet useful, so the client will continue to use the product and recall your brand and services each time!  Remember if you are using promotional products in the same form as business cards then use all the details you would on a normal card, including your email.


5: As Guerilla Marketing Accessories

This is one of our favourites!  If you’ve read our Guerilla Marketing Techniques blog post; then you’ll know we’re advocates of a good guerilla campaign!  Using promotional products you can easily brand items that either create a guerilla message or aid your main marketing message and create something truly unique!  Want to make it look like someone is holding something as they walk?  Brand promotional carrier bags.  Want to create a unique sticker that appears to look like something else, brand some promotional full colour stickers!  The possibilities are endless!  For a popular and eye catching effect why not brand thousands of helium balloons and create a unique and BIG message with them!  The two examples below show a good sticker campaign and a good carrier bag campaign:


5 Uses for Promotional Products - Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla Carrier Bag

5 Uses for Promotional Merchandise - Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla Marketing Stickers



So how do they grow sales?

In a nutshell.  They are a form of advertising; advertising that gets you a better ROI and engagement than other forms of advertisement.  Here’s why:

Promotional Products are appreciated by most people, especially when they are free.  This leads to a positive association from the receiver towards the organisation who handed them a freebie and that is a good association to have about your brand.  Furthermore they are useful, meaning people are likely to use them more than once, in fact research by the PPAI shows that 73% of people use a promotional item at least once a week!  This provides the potential of advertising to clients with the same item over and over again and most likely at their work or in their own homes, an advertising dream.  The increase in sales can be attributed from the effective and repeated advertising that the item provides.  To maximise potential we encourage the use of unique promotional products that really relate to your brand message.  This gives a much bigger visual impact and clients are likely to look twice at your brand!  Think Guerilla to get some inspiration and again the two examples above are great!  Now let’s compare promotional merchandise to traditional forms of advertising to further explain its worth:


Better than….


Television advertising is great, you see all manner of television commercials that are funny, unique, have great visuals and increase the ROI substantially for the Business!  The problems with TV advertisements however lie with both budget and audience.  TV advertising costs a premium  and if you aren’t a BIG organisation or brand it can be very difficult to justify the cost.  Moreover TV adverts produce a relatively un-targeted audience as you can never be sure what demographic is watching your advert when it shows.  To make up for this it relies on scale but unless you are a big budget organisation, scale alone can not make up for un-targeted advertising.


Radio advertising can also be great!  Radio however has its pitfalls in the same way Television does.  It’s difficult to know the exact demographic that is listening to the radio advert, it does not have the same price premium that television advertising does but it still commands a cost, especially if shown during peak 9 or 5 times when people are travelling by car to and from work.  Moreover it is cheaper than television advertising because it lacks the sheer numbers in audience that television will get you.


Print advertising can be very effective when it comes to targeting the right audience, especially for magazines, as they have a target audience that the brand is aimed towards.  Newspapers will have a greater volume of readers but again the audience isn’t very targeted.  Where magazine advertising falls short is in the sheer volume that Newspaper, Television and even Radio can get you.  Where Newspaper advertising falls short is in the lack of a targeted audience.  Furthermore print advertising is also a one hit wonder; most people are not likely to re-read the newspaper and a magazine only slightly more and so you pay for a one off advertisement.


Why Promotional Products are effective

BPMA Research on Promotional Products


Where other forms of advertising lack, Promotional products tend to win.  According to research by the BPMA (shown above), they make people feel almost 6 times as appreciated compared to TV or Print and motivate over Twice as many people to take action in comparison!  Volume of impressions is obviously dependent on the number of items you buy, but with costs as low as they are per item, it’s possible to reach audience numbers almost as large as TV adverts but at a much lower  entry cost.  Furthermore they have the benefit of being re-used by clients without any added cost.  The target audience is also selected by you and more than likely the products will be given to people who are likely to buy into your brand!

Disadvantages of Promo Items?

We’re being impartial here so if there is a disadvantage to promotional products, we’d say its that you must pick the best strategy to give them away.  You’ve got to get creative and think about how best you can reach your target audience and in the right places.  As long as you have that figured out you will do well with promotional merchandise, and if you don’t have it figured out, well that’s what we’re here for!  Getting creative is fun too and should encourage thoughtful discussion on brand promotion.


Round off

To recap, promotional products can help grow sales because;  they are versatile, have several uses, are reusable, cheaper than other advertising and more engaging.  This is why they work and are one of the best forms of advertising available today – and good advertising is definitely a precursor to increased revenue and sales!  Simply remember three main points regarding promotional merchandise/products -  The low cost per impression, Longer lasting advert and more Targeted impressions per item!

And to get you started on your Promotional Products journey or if you’re ahead of the curve, to get you a better deal and range of products; give us a visit over at:

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