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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Promotional Items

When it comes to choosing promotional items, businesses have no shortage of options. From umbrellas to flash drives to stylus pens, if an object is big enough to fit a company name on it, there’s a possibility that a business has already turned it into a branding opportunity.

While the bevy of options can sometimes seem overwhelming, it also means that businesses have the ability to find the perfect giveaway to represent their interests. There are plenty of considerations that go into making that decision. Here are some of the most important, many of which follow common sense.

Usefulness Research from Promotional Products Association International found that the main reason for customers to keep a promo item is its usefulness. Intuitively, this makes sense, as people aren’t likely to throw away a product that they find to be a reliable tool. According to the research, especially useful goods include computer products, health and safety items and writing instruments. More frequently used items are calendars, planners, computer products and electronic devices.


Market specificity Related to usefulness is the idea of promotional products that are geared toward a specific market. Companies that want their products used may want to choose universally beneficial promotional pens. However, if businesses are working within a niche market such, a better product may be one that speaks to potential client interests, such as flash drives or jumper cables. Organizations that try to advertise to their ideal customers as opposed to the general population may just have a better chance of attracting the clients they want.

Visibility Businesses want products that aren’t just useful, they also need products that are visible. Helpful items that only get used once a year don’t do much in the way of free advertising, and the infrequency means that consumers are liable to forget that they have the product in the first place. As such, a product that gets used a lot – and which is readily visible to potential clients – is ideal. The best scenario is one in which a promotional product sparks conversation among people.

Attractiveness While not nearly as important as usefulness, the attractiveness of a product may make a difference when a potential customer is debating picking up a promo item at a tradeshow. Pass on gaudy, over-the-top items, and instead focus on products which let their usefulness speak for themselves. Simple, minimalist designs are not only pleasing to the eye, they also make sure that the company’s brand is easier to read.

Calendars These considerations are still a lot to process. However, research has found that printed calendars are among the most reliable promotional products. According to the most recent 2011 PPAI report, 79 percent of homes and 78 percent of businesses still have printed calendars. Furthermore, 61.4 percent of home calendars and 76 percent of those at businesses are promotional vehicles. The prevalence of the wall-calendar, then, makes it a relevant product that companies can still expect to be used by customers.

Go digital Companies looking to embrace the digital age, however, should not discount the wide variety of goods associated with new technology. While much of business is now conducted through computer screens and smartphones, there are still plenty of opportunities for companies to introduce promotions into the online workplace.

Flash drives are among the most common electronic branding goods. Some companies even offer personalized cell phone covers and laptop cases. All of these products make navigating the digital world easier, and may still get plenty of use in the modern era.

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