Promotional items are a phenomenal marketing tool, but only if customers actually use them. You don’t want customers to toss your free branded gifts in the garbage as soon as they get home or, even worse, as soon as they walk outside. You want them to keep those items and carry them around town, where members of the community will see the branded messaging on them. You want them to take their promotional mugs, pens, and USB thumb drives to work, where their coworkers will see them.
So, what promotional items will customers really appreciate and use? The old standbys — pens and drinkware — are always popular. USB drives are a perennial favorite, and with face masks expected to continue on as a common fashion accessory for some time, it’s the perfect opportunity to invest in the ultimate branded wearable. Today’s consumers branded items that are sustainably sourced, if possible, and high enough in quality to remain useful for years.
Drinkware, especially mugs and tumblers, are always welcome, especially when you spend the little extra to get a quality item. A custom, branded tumbler will reinforce your brand messaging in the customer’s mind every time they get a drink — and it’ll do the same for those who see the customer using it.
Drinkware like mugs and tumblers are among the most frequently passed-on promotional items — eight in ten people will give away a promotional item they’re done with. Seven in ten of those people will give the branded item to someone they know, while the other three will donate it to charity — where it will continue to get your brand messaging before the eyes of the public. How many times have you seen a branded mug or tumbler in a thrift shop? These items carry on spreading brand awareness even when your original recipient is no longer using it.
Engraved pens are a longstanding favorite of promotional marketers for a reason, too — it’s not that expensive to buy a nice, durable pen that writes smoothly and well, and that’s exactly the kind of pen that a customer will really appreciate. Have you ever had a great, random pen that you kept for months or years because you loved the way it wrote? Was it a branded pen? Everyone uses writing implements, and a good pen can be hard to come by.
Everyone has cloud storage now, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to rely on it. Sometimes you just need an offline copy of your files. And USB thumb drives aren’t prohibitively expensive, but they’re just expensive enough to make them appealing as a promotional gift. They’re small, rugged, easy to carry, and useful. Customers will carry them to the office or to school, where the branded messaging can imprint on others.
Wearables are the gold standard when it comes to promotional products, because anything a customer wears gets maximum exposure to others in the community. Everywhere a customer goes while wearing your T-shirt or carrying your tote bag, they’re effectively a walking advertisement for your company. Hats, jackets, embroidered patches, and, in COVID times, face masks all offer opportunities to get your brand messaging in front of the maximum number of eyes. With 80 percent of consumers still wearing a face mask in public most of the time, you still have a chance to appeal to customers with a promotional face mask that will make your messaging the first thing everyone sees when they look at your customer.
If you’re going to offer wearables that have sizing, like jackets, T-shirts, or even hats, make sure that you offer a wide enough range of sizes to be inclusive. Large and small customers alike might be miffed if you don’t have any shirts in their size. Of course, you can avoid this quandary altogether with wearables that don’t require sizing, like tote bags, or one-size-fits-most wearables, like hats.
You spend good money on quality promotional items that will last a long time — and you want your customers to get as much use out of them as they can. The more customers use your branded items, the more exposure they’ll have to your brand messaging, and the same goes for everyone around them. Choose the kinds of free gifts that people actually want, and reap the benefits for years.