9 Ways Promotional Products WORK for Your Business

By Blog


How do you get your business marketed efficiently and create brand awareness?

We’ve all heard that phrase “you have to spend money to make money” haven’t we? But what, exactly, are we supposed to be spending our money on?

I’ll tell you what.. Promotional Products!

They are a proven, cost effective way of marketing your company to an extremely large audience while doing minimal work. Sounds efficient, does it not?

If you’re new to the idea of promotional products, I understand that you might be hesitant. Despite any fears you may have, I strongly urge you to continue reading and discover just what quality promotional items can do for your company.

1.) Opening Lines of Communication

The law of reciprocity: Give, and you shall receive.

More often than not, giving a gift or item to an individual promotes a feeling that he/she should reciprocate for your kind gesture. In terms of promotional products, the giving of a product to someone else will make him or her more likely to do business with you.

L.J. Market Research did a study that found 52% of participants given a promotional item, ultimately did business with that company. The remaining 48% of participants said they would be more likely to do business with that company in the future because of their gesture.

Giving out promotional products is also a very effective way of starting a conversation with a potential customer. Handing something over allows you to “break the ice” and engage that person in conversation and because you gave them something, he or she is likely to listen to what you have to say.

2.) Drawing Attention

“Hey, Hey! Look at ME!”

Everyone wants to be the popular table at the trade-show, am I right? We all want attention for our companies and our brands and promotional products are a great way to attract that attention!

There is no more powerful word in the field of marketing than the word “FREE”, so why not offer free stuff? You now know how promotional products can help open lines of communication, but they can also get people to you all on their own!

Your trade-show booth can only be viewed from so far away, so how do you reach people all the way on the other side of the convention center?

Easy! Send a promotional product after them!

Those who receive one of your promotional items will likely be wandering all around the trade-show where others will see them. That will strike up conversations similar to the following:

“Where did you get that awesome T-Shirt? Really? [Your Company] is just giving them away? I’m on my way!”

“Oh darn I lost my pen.. oh how convenient, this booth is giving out [Your Company] pens!”

To prove these outrageous claims, we turned to
Exhibit Surveys, Inc. who did a study that determined that there was a 176% increase in trade-show traffic to a booth that gave out promotional items.

3.) They Stick Around For A Looooooong Time

“How do I still have this thing?”

Conventional advertisements generally run for a set period of time. TV ads might run for a few weeks, billboards for a few months, etc. Promotional products are a unique form of advertising that could potentially continue advertising to new target markets for an unlimited amount of time.

Think about what promotional products generally are: note pads, pens, t-shirts, key chains etc. These items are not large or expensive; instead, they are simply useful. These types of items can easily be used in every day life, making them susceptible to long term exposure.

L.J. Market Research completed yet another study that interviewed random business travelers. These interviews took place at a variety of airports across the country. According to L.J. Market Research, 71% of the participants said they had received a promotional product sometime in the last 12 months.

But it gets better.

Of that group, 33% of those participants had that product on their person!

The number of impressions with traditional advertising stops when the ad stops running on TV or in the paper or wherever. Promotional products never stop collecting impressions because they are constantly in use or being passed from one person to another. The cost per impression using promotional items is drastically less than that of traditional advertising.

Who can argue with more impressions at a lesser cost??

4.) Exponentially Increase Brand Recognition

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

Brand recognition requires repeated exposure to the brand name, slogan and logo. Seeing the same thing over and over again is often one of the best ways to remember something and that’s where promotional products come in.

Customers are more likely to remember your company if they have been exposed to it hundreds, even thousands of times. A promotional item has the ability to show off your brand on a daily, hourly and even minute-to-minute basis.

According to Schreber & Associates, 39% of all people who have received a promotional product in the last 6 months can remember the name of the company associated with it.

5.) More Brand Exposure Than Ever Before

Expand Beyond Your View.

Are you getting enough brand exposure with traditional advertising methods?

Promotional products to the rescue!

Promotional items have an uncanny ability to reach an audience far beyond your targeted boundaries. The most obvious examples of how this is accomplished are by using pens and t-shirts.

T-Shirts: These can be viewed as walking, moving, breathing billboards for your company. Promotional t-shirts are often worn to the gym or simply while out on the town exposing themselves to hundreds, even thousands of people each trip.

T-shirts generally account for 30% of total promotional product sales (Advertising Specialty Institute)

Pens: These change hands at an alarming rate. People are constantly taking notes, jotting down grocery lists or writing entire reports with pens, but most importantly, they’re sharing. This allows your branded pen to reach an astronomical number of demographics during its life cycle.

6.) Promoting A Favorable Image

Psst! Wanna know a secret? I’m awesome!

Brand reputation can sometimes take a lifetime to develop into one that is particularly positive. Why not cut down on that time by using promotional items? 71% of participants in a study done by Louisiana State University could remember the company’s name that gave it to them. You can bet these people also had a favorable impression of the company as well, simply because of their gesture of goodwill.

Promotional items can also be given to employees to reward goals met, accomplishments and even just hard work in general. That particular employee will then, more than likely, continue their hard work at an equal or greater level because of the feeling of appreciation they received because of the gift.

7.) The Gift of Re-Gifting

This was useful to me, now I want to share it with you!

Re-gifting is generally a forbidden practice. The thought of someone passing on a well thought out personal gift to someone else generally promotes blood boiling anger but not in the case of a promotional product. If your promotional product is being passed along, you should be elated!

People share; people share stories, emotions and most importantly, people share stuff. Recipients of promotional items are more than likely going to pass them along to someone else and this is exactly what we should hope for!

The more a promotional item is passed along, the greater total audience it sees, the smaller our cost per impression gets and the bigger our smiles become. It’s a know fact (thanks to the Advertising Specialty Institute) that 62% of those who receive a promotional product will give that item away before throwing it out.

Think of it this way:

1 person is given a promotional product.

That 1 person exposes that product to 100 people.

If you give out 100 promotional items and each of those items was passed around 100 times by its recipients, you will have gained 1,000,000 impressions with just 100 items!

That’s what we in the business call incredibly effective advertising.

8.) Don’t Limit Yourself To Just A Target Audience

More impressions = more business generated.

We’ve all heard, been taught, or thought about a target audience. What we often don’t think about is the possibility that our perfect customer is outside of our current targeting boundaries. That’s where promotional products can come in handy!

Promotional items have no geographic or demographic limitations and because of their mobility, items such as USB drives, t-shirts and pens have the ability to reach a vast number of people you may have never gotten the chance to advertise to.

9.) Sell More, Make More

A simple pen could be the reason for your largest client.

The whole purpose of advertising is to generate revenue for your company. The fantastic thing about promotional products is, that’s what they’re designed to do!

Baylor University did a study that concluded, companies whose sales people utilized promotional products did 22% more business than those sales people who didn’t.

Due to high exposure rates, promotional items create a positive affiliation with your company and can help to generate sales at an alarmingly rapid pace. This means you’re going to be recommended more often than a company who did not use promotional items because of your giving reputation and that’s a great feeling!

Expand Your Company

Seriously what are you waiting for?

You’ve seen the evidence; you’ve seen the examples, now its time for you to take the dive. Promotional products are an extremely effective and efficient form of advertising and they can do wonders for your business.


View our catalog of items you can personalize at http://thehbgroup.espwebsite.com/ .




Eight Common Mistakes of Promotional Marketing

By Blog

Working at various marketing companies, I can tell you firsthand that sometimes promotions work and sometimes they bomb. And, very often, promoters find themselves too caught up in the daily rush of trying to make a profit and satisfy customers to take a moment to analyze the reasons their promotions are not always successful.

Here is a list of what I have found to be the eight deadliest sins (I call them “Promotion Killers”) that companies commit when planning and executing a promotion.


1. Ineffective Distribution

Far too often, distribution plans are not followed or fully completed. For example, you order 200 calendars every year to give to your best customers but somehow those calendars never manage to find their way to those customers

Maybe your support person neglected to notice all those calendars gathering dust in the storage room. Or, maybe, your salespeople forget to grab some on their way out the door to distribute them.

Either way, you end up with an extra 75 calendars in a box at the end of March. That is a waste of time, money, and resources. And the problem can be easily avoided by planning well in advance and following through. Remember, that dumpster behind the building is not one of your customers.

2. Not Allowing Enough Lead Time

Good promotional-products companies can turn around an order very quickly these days—usually within two weeks, and sometimes within a few days if it’s a stocked item. However, don’t make the mistake of betting your whole promotion on it!

It’s much smarter, and a whole lot less risky, to begin your research and planning 90-120 days before an event. Why? Two reasons:

  • First, if you’re a high-quantity buyer, you may be able to save tons of money by having your vendor source your product directly from an overseas factory. The catch, however, is that you will need to give them a 90-100 day lead time.
  • Second, you need to account for the very strong possibility that not everything will go as smoothly as planned. For example, your company’s artwork may need to be reworked to properly fit on some of the items. If you allow for several weeks of back and forth, you will give yourself enough time to make sure everything is done right.

3. Ignoring What People May Want to Receive

Don’t be a creature of habit. Just because you’ve always given out mugs, T-shirts, or… whatever, doesn’t mean that those items will always be your best promotional product spend.

When was the last time you asked your best customers or employees what they would like to receive? Some business owners fall into the trap of saying, “But that is what I like to give out,” when their real goals should be to attain better customer response and to increase sales.

4. Not Having Clear Goals for the Product or Promotion

Though promotional products can certainly boost excitement, you need to make sure they also do what you intend for them to do. Therefore, clearly define your expectations so that you will know how successful your promotion actually is.

For example, if your goal was to drive traffic to your booth, did you clearly outline, ahead of time, what volume of traffic you would consider great and the volume you would consider just OK? If your goal was to gain new customers, did you have a specific target number in mind?

Promotional products can be very valuable tools if used correctly. Don’t make the mistake of trying to cut wood with a hammer and ending up disappointed with the results.

5. Focusing Only on Price

Remember, promotional products are your ambassadors to the world. The items you hand out at a tradeshow or in person to your best customers will become their lasting impression of your business. You will not be remembered fondly if the product falls apart or the pens you’ve given out stop writing after two days, for example.

Giving out cheap products is sometimes worse than handing out nothing at all. Don’t skimp! That extra $200 could make the difference between a promotion’s success and its failure.

6. Giving to the Wrong People

Everyone loves to give out interesting and cool promotional items. Keep in mind, however, that the purpose of those items is to appeal to current and prospective customers, and to entice those customers to drive your business to the next level. Don’t choose items that appeal only to people outside of your target market.

A company I know once handed out stuffed penguins at a tradeshow. They were so adorable that people flocked to the company’s booth and buyers begged to get extras because they had three kids at home. But as soon as every 8-year-old girl put her penguin next to her pillow, that penguin suddenly became completely invisible to the buyer.

The company is still waiting for one of those young girls to purchase its plumbing supplies.

7. Ineffective Information

The promotional product is important to the recipient, but what is more important to you is that your business’s name and information be imprinted for all to see. Ideally, you want that imprint to clearly inform your customers how they can buy something from you.

Many companies list their business name, address, and phone number. Some also include their logo, slogan, or some kind of artwork. But most promotional items are short on space, restricting the amount of information you can display. Therefore, you need to make some smart choices.

For example, why list your phone number if you’d really prefer that the customer go to your website? Does your slogan make sense to someone who is unfamiliar with your business? If you display only your logo, how will customers know how to contact you? Is everything clear and easy to read? Think about the information you are displaying.

And most important, carefully check the proof that you receive from your promotional-products vendor. One wrong digit in the phone number can kill your promotion.

8. Not Dealing With a Reputable Company

Thousands of promotional-products companies are in the marketplace today. If you go online, you can literally spend days searching sites for deals. However, consider a company’s credentials when you make your choice. Do a little research, and find out whether the company has a time-tested positive reputation.

A large number of promotional-products companies are extremely price-competitive but aren’t invested in quality or customer service. Many don’t even have a customer service department.

A good thing to know is whether the company does its own imprinting and whether it has a good quality-control process. Also, find out whether you’ll get a real person on the other end of the phone if you have a problem with your order.

A little research beforehand can go a long way toward making your promotion a success.


Happy Marketing! 🙂