What are the Best Promotional Items? Zig When Others Zag.


best promotional items article from customworthypromo.com

So you’re looking to grow your brand’s exposure and presence and you’re considering promotional product marketing. But you don’t want to get some cheap trinket and slap your logo on it. You want something that’s a great fit for your brand identity, is affordable, and quality. You want something you’re proud to give to friends, associates, customers, and potential customers. You go to Google and ask, “What are the best promotional items?” And now you’re here. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re going to explore what the best promo items have in common, how quality impacts your brand, how to choose the best item for your brand, why standing out matters, how promotional items compare to other forms of marketing and advertising, and I have some interesting statistics to back it up.

In fact, here’s a strong statistic to kick this whole thing off:

“Before receiving a promotional product, 55 percent of people had done business with the advertiser. After receiving a promotional product, 85 percent of people did business with the advertiser.”


The best promo items have one huge thing in common. They’re useful.

It might be obvious, but it’s also the most important. Usefulness is absolutely critical for giveaway items and promo products. No one wants junk, trinkets, or useless gimmicks. Those items turn into litter, trash-can filler, or a surprise gift to someone else (who is probably under the age of 7).

Ideally, you want a product people are going to use regularly. Daily if possible. The more they use your promotional product, they more they see your brand. And every time your brand is seen by one person, it’s considered an impression.

“Useful” is still a pretty broad concept so let’s define it a little more. The best promotional products are useful for saving time, making something easier, improving something, or satisfying a need. If you only remember one thing from this whole article, remember this. Good promotional items are useful.

If it has your logo, it has to be quality.

What are the best promotional items?

Promotional products can backfire if it’s poor quality. The last thing you want is people to lose respect for your brand because you put your logo on something cheap. In the mind of the average consumer (including you) “quality” can mean a lot of things. On one side of the spectrum, it just has to work—not break. On the other side of the spectrum, your product might perform much better than expected—a pleasant surprise.

Any level of quality that causes your customer to become thankful or glad that they ended up with your promotional product in their hands is a win. Anything less than that is a waste of your marketing dollars and possibly a knock against your brand. For more insight into the psychology of bad trade show swag, check out this article by Worthy Promo.

How to choose the best promotional products for your brand.

A lot of people are searching Google for the phrase, “What promotional products are most effective?” The truth is, the answer is different for each brand. There is no catchall best promotional product. The better question is what products are best to demonstrate the values of your brand and your brand promise? Finding a way to tie in the strengths of your business with your promotional product will help emphasize your brand promise to your potential customer.

Some examples of good promotional materials include sunscreen for a swimming pool builder, nail clippers for a beauty salon, sugar-free mint tins for a dentist, or sanitizer for a doctor’s office.

I personally remember getting a stress-ball in the shape of a throttle for a jet ski. That was several decades ago, and I still remember it. Kawasaki dealership. Said something about strengthening my grip so I could hold on tight to their powerful new models.

When your promotional item is directly related to your product or service, it makes your brand more relevant and more memorable.

To find the best match for your brand, ask yourself, what are people doing when they use or enjoy your brand. Then choose something that makes that experience better, easier, or maybe even more fun or pleasant.

Also, in sales, timing is everything. Finding the right moment to remind your core customer about your brand promise is paramount. That’s what makes promotional products so important.

Custom Sunscreen with Personalized Label by CustomWorthyPromo.com

For example, let’s say Shehan Pools has given away promotional sunscreen. Every time their potential client is out enjoying the sun and thinks to apply sunscreen, they’re reminded about how nice it would be to have a pool—specifically, a Shehan pool. At that moment, the brand promise is stronger and more memorable. That’s why promotional products are important. They amplify your brand at just the right moment.

The best promotional products stand out.

The best promotional items stand out.

If you want to stand out from the sea of sameness, you’ll probably want to stay away from t-shirts, pens, bags, and koozies. Why? Because that’s the majority of giveaway items at your average trade show. The trick is to find something that is useful, unique, and affordable.

Business.com asked “What is the best promotional product you have given out or received, and why?”

Here are a few responses they received:

“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.”

Jennifer G

“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.”

Joseph G

“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.”

Anonymous User

One broad category that stands out is health, safety, and personal care items.

If you’re hunting for affordable promotional products that are useful on a daily basis, and truly solve a problem—health, safety, and personal care promotional items might be a good fit. These items can meet at the intersection of affordable and useful. Some good examples include hand sanitizer gel, sanitizer spray pens, sanitizing wipes, sunscreen, lip balm, lip gloss, bug spray, hand lotion, nail clippers, toothbrushes, hair brushes, tissues.

“Should I really be investing in promotional products? What about TV, radio, or digital marketing?”

That’s a fair question, and the fastest way for me to address it is with a few quotes and statistics.

“Consumers have learned to ignore most forms of advertising. The recall rate for promotional product is a record 85% for some products. There is something unique about receiving a physical item that you can touch, feel, and actually use, that far exceeds the impact of a TV commercial or search ad.” –Forbes.com

“The cost per impression of an ad specialty [promotional product] is better than that of TV, magazines and newspapers.” –Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study

“Adding a promotional product to the media mix increases the effectiveness of other media by up to 44 percent.” –Sageworld.com

So, what are the best promotional items to give away?

Taking into context what we’ve covered so far in this article, here are the top 5 things you should be looking for in a good promotional product:

1) Useful

2) Quality

3) Related to Your Brand Promise

4) Stands Out

5) Affordable

About Worthy Promotional Products

Founded in 2007, Worthy Promotional Products is a family owned business in the USA that has quickly grown to be the nation’s largest sports licensed personal care products provider for the MLB, MiLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, and NHL, with more than 800 team licenses. Worthy specializes in personal care products but continues to expand their product catalog into new categories including soy wax wood wick candles, magnetic picture frames, jewelry and more.

CustomWorthyPromo.com makes available to the masses the same top-quality custom promotional items sold for major household brands. By keeping low minimums, competitive prices, fast turnaround times, and a commitment to excellent customer service, Worthy Promo maintains a healthy balance between corporate America and main street clients. Typical clients for custom promotional products include small business owners, entrepreneurs, event planners, and fundraisers.

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