Taking Advantage of Promotional Products


Whether you run a retail store or sell products online, promotional products are a great way to attract new customers, build brand loyalty and increase sales.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to advertise a product or service to potential buyers. They range from the practical to the completely insane (think Red Bull’s world record skydive from space). Every method has the same goal; convince the potential customer to buy something from a particular brand.

When you think of marketing, you probably have images of social media ads and email campaigns pop into your head. Or maybe you imagine a memorable television commercial from the Super Bowl. The more traditional marketer may picture newspaper ads or a giant billboard with a gigantic message and image. All of these marketing channels can be effective in their own way, depending on the brand and its target audience.

Here is one channel that may not pop into your head right away but certainly plays a significant role in your perception of brands. Promotional products are branded items that contain company information, such as a name, logo, and/or recognizable design, to increase awareness of a business. A company orders everyday items that are custom-printed with this brand information and then gives those products away to be used by individuals. Each time the owner uses the item, they could be exposing that brand’s image to potential customers.

Companies all over the world use promotional products to increase their visibility, and you probably witness it every day without realizing it. Most likely, this strategy has increased your knowledge or familiarity with many brands throughout your lifetime, even if you didn’t know it was happening. That is the genius of branded merchandise marketing.

Promotional products are not a guarantee of success. You have to know how to use them effectively to reach potential customers and inform them of your brand. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when building this type of marketing strategy.

Target Audience

If the products you invest in don’t connect with your ideal customer, then you may as well give up on those items. A good marketing manager knows the industry and the audience inside out. The merchandise should be useful to the people who would most benefit from your usual product or service. Otherwise, they may not think twice when they see your brand on this item. Also, loyal customers can be your best brand ambassadors, so if you give them promotional products they don’t care about, they will have no reason to use them and increase the company’s visibility as a result.

Location, Location, Location

Don’t you love that cliche? Where you give away your promotional products is key. If you are heavily dependent on the local community for business, then you should be distributing your merchandise at local festivals and to customers in the service area. Partner with other businesses or non-profits to gain access to a broader audience in the community. If your customers are business professionals, bring promotional products to trade shows and conferences within the industry.

Advantage of Promotional Products

With the right strategy in place, you now need to pick out some useful branded merchandise to distribute to your employees, customers, or members of the public. Here are a few popular examples you can try.


Clothes are a great way to get your brand image noticed by the public. Clothing is perhaps the most notable feature of a person that you are passing by. The color of their shirt, the type of outfit, and any accessories that they have on, all of those things could be a platform for your brand. Order some custom t-shirts, hats, hoodies, or other items that people can wear to display your brand to potential customers.

Devices/Accessories as Promotional Products

Helpful tools and accessories for devices are the perfect ideas for promotional giveaways. People are likely to use them, either in public, around friends, or at home with their families. Any of these scenarios can result in multiple interactions with your brand. Examples include lighters, phone stands, wearable technology accessories, mouse pads, and flash drives.

Health and Wellness Products

Wellness is a popular topic, both in lifestyle and business. Companies that demonstrate their care for the well-being of their employees and customers see their brand reputation improve. You can experience a similar effect by giving away health and wellness products like water bottles, stress balls, hand sanitizer, wellness swag bags, fitness equipment, or massage devices. With your branding present, these items can increase visibility for the business.

Use Branded Merchandise to Get People Excited

Everyone loves to receive a free gift. By giving away the above items to your team members as gifts or to loyal customers, you can harness their excitement into more positive messaging about your brand. Even offering some items to the general public through contests can turn people who have never heard of you into new customers just because they won something cool from your booth at the local community event. Generate both awareness and excitement for your business with a promotional product marketing campaign.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan