September 29th, 2018 BY Douglas Lober

Understanding the True Staying Power of Promotional Products

We’re all familiar with promotional products. They make their presence felt with every trip to the grocery store, every phone number or email address we jot down on that notepad, every click of that pen with the doctor’s address emblazoned across it.

But while we intuitively understand the value of promo products in our own lives, many businesses aren’t so familiar with how to put them to work in a marketing context. Even if they know, they’re not sure how to choose the right promotional products, which is a complex process of figuring out whom you should target and what you should buy for them. (1)

Plus, there’s the fact that some business owners aren’t quite convinced of the value. Wouldn’t our money be better spent in digital advertising? they wonder. Can a tee shirt or a bag really do that much for my company?

While valid questions, these prove that the asker lacks a true grasp of a promotional item’s staying power. Its ability to catch a prospects interest and insinuate its way into daily life is truly impressive, especially in the case of some standout items. Let’s examine those now.

Brand Impressions by Type

Pop quiz: Which does better, television advertising or a desk calendar?

If you, like most people, assume a desk calendar is just another lifeless piece of furniture in your prospect’s life, think again. According to experts, a desk calendar generates 333 impressions per dollar, while television clocks in at only 200 – and that’s for primetime cable. (2)

Moreover, writing utensils get 500 impressions per dollar, while reusable bags get a whopping 1,000 – a number that can be much higher if that bag is well-made and withstands the test of years. By contrast, radio gets only 17 impressions, while magazines are only slightly higher at 22 and newspapers get 34. So much for media being your marketing go-to.

If you’re going to pay for physical items, though, you want them to keep doing their job over the long haul, both for the sake of your marketing efforts and for the environment. The question then becomes, how long do these promo items stick around?

Staying Power of Promo Items

How often have you looked at a crummy pen from your local insurance agency and simply chucked it in the trash? Same with flimsy notepads or cheap glassware that chips in a stiff breeze? Our guess is pretty often.

Yet that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, well-made promotional items have the ability to stick around for weeks, months or even years, says the Advertising Specialty Institute. According to a 2016 survey, they 58 percent of people own promo tee shirts, while 53 percent have drinkware and 50 have bags. Outerwear, caps and desk accessories rank up there as well. (3)

What does this tell us? A little theoretical math will prove enlightening. Let’s assume that your average American receives four promotional items a year. That’s an item every 13 weeks. That means, in order for 50 percent of them to have an item at any given time, they’re keeping those items for at least 6 weeks on average. Keep in mind that these numbers are an average, which means some promotional items hang around for years … or conceivably even decades. Wouldn’t you like your items to be among them?

That was a rhetorical question; of course you would. Luckily, by sourcing the right products from the right company, you have a much better chance of making that happen. That’s where environmentally friendly branding comes in, delivering several benefits. (4) These are:

  1. Such products help the Earth, which in turn lends your company a green perception, making clients and customers want to work with you
  2. They last longer, so they stick around in your audience’s lives correspondingly longer
  3. As such, they bring a great ROI – the longer they stick around, after all, the more impressions they’re racking up

It’s easy to see how, if you buy the right promo items, your marketing efforts can live long into the future, even after you forget all about a particular campaign.

Promotional Products: A Budget-Friendly Tactic If Ever There Was One

Did we mention that promotional products are an affordable way to market your business as well? So says Brandwatch, reporting on a study that found mugs, pens and umbrellas cost as much as or less than radio spots per impression. Calendars and USB sticks cost less than or equal to newspapers, while all five items came in under television. (5)

These figures, combined with the facts that promo items as a group deliver higher impressions, paint a very clear picture: greater impressions + lower cost = no brainer. It’s time to get started with your promotional campaigns right away, wouldn’t you agree?

Good news. That’s easier than you think.

How to Start Leverage Promo Product Staying Power Today

Want to get the power of promo behind your biz? It’s as simple as finding quality reusable items that won’t become trash in a matter of days or weeks. Also, keep in mind that promo products can play a role in your relationships beyond prospects, clients and customers. You might also use them to reward or entice:

  • Suppliers and vendors
  • Drivers and service professionals
  • Employees
  • Board members and other stakeholders
  • Investors
  • Business or referral partners

You can even offer them to the postman or doorman at the holidays, to your favorite barista when you’re running a promotion or giving away free samples of a new product/service, or to your own family members. Each action is super affordable, because you’re buying in bulk, and helps enhance your market penetration.

The takeaway is this: While some promotional items flow through our lives, breaking or crapping out too soon, a well-made promo product truly can stick around for years … or longer. If you’d like to learn more, we’d like to help … so get in touch!