Long-term marketing or short-term gimmick? How to use promotional items to secure loyal consumers

When we think of promotional items, we think of staples such as pens, notepads, t-shirts, and coasters. While promotional items can seem like throwaway gifts that are used to entice you, research has shown that 53% of people use a promotional product at least once a week. That’s a lot of people picking up and using something with your branding on it – realistically more people than those casually looking at your business card every week.

Promotional items have held their place of importance when it comes to marketing activity in the face of increasingly digital methods. In fact, promotional items are sometimes rated as more effective marketing tools than their online counterparts – the physical aspect of these items encourages interaction, meaning an organic exposure to the brand every time the item is in use. Promotional items can help people remember and associate your brand and company with something they own, which has been shown to increase referrals and likelihood of doing business in the future.

pens pencil stationery pot

Many people have promotional pens and pencils on their desks

While promotional items are a more traditional form of marketing and advertising, they are still very valuable tools and are surprisingly cost effective for the return they generate in terms of communication and brand awareness to customers. A free item handed out has the potential to engage a prospective customer for months or even years, providing a great return on investment.

What can I hand out?

It’s up to you! Good promotional items should be things people can use easily. The more useful and smarter promotional items are the ones people are most likely to continue to pick up and use over time. Some classic examples are:

  • Stationery – pens, notepads, sticky notes, pencils, rulers, calendars, message bugs
  • Apparel – hats, t-shirts, socks, wristbands
  • Homeware – mugs, glasses, coasters, shopping bags
  • Technology – USB, power banks, headphones
  • Consumables – biscuit tins, breath mints, toffees/boiled sweets

Tie your promotional items into your company if possible: for example, a clothing company would make much more sense giving away t-shirts and socks, and a catering company would be well placed to hand out branded breath mints. If you can give away miniature samples of your company products this is also an excellent option. Try and make sure that the items are high quality – you don’t want something to break after two or three uses, as it should be designed as a long-term marketing communication tool.

What makes a memorable item?

branded mug with hashtag and twitter logo

A branded mug that shows your drink preference – a great promotional item idea!

Creativity in your communication is key to making something memorable, so be inventive when it comes to choosing items. Many consumers have indicated that the more memorable and unusual the item, the more they’re likely to do business with the company in the future. Look for the more unusual items and think about things you’ve received in the past – which ones stand out to you the most?

You could even combine a selection of items and send it as promotional gift package to a potential or current client as a reminder of your business services. A gift package makes a customer feel special and remembered –  another great way of helping them to remember you and your services.

A successful promotional item will be useful to the everyday consumer, encourage them to use it regularly, and not ‘over branded’. Design should be subtle but still enough to demonstrate your company at a casual glance. Stick to your logo and brand colours and ease off on telephone numbers and website addresses to help maintain a clean and eye-catching design.

We’re experts at producing all manner of promotional items for marketing. We can design and source any items you’d like, thanks to our in-house experts and wide range of industry contacts. Get in touch with us today and see how we can help, or why not check out some previous items we’ve produced for our clients?

https://formationmedia.co.uk/contact/