We’ve all received promotional products—pens, magnets, branded calendars. But as we travel deeper into the digital world with marketing and advertising following suit, these simple but useful giveaways are being forgotten by marketers. Research still supports that promotional giveaways are an effective way to entice and engage customers. Not convinced? The New York Times spoke to a professor of psychology and advertising, who explained that humans are wired to respond when given something. It’s just part of our cultural make-up and norms—we’re trained to reciprocate when given something. What does that mean for your company? When you give something to a customer, you’re increasing the likelihood of getting something in response, like signing up for your mailing list, or even purchasing a product you’re selling.
This 2016 study does an amazing job outlining some of the most popular giveaways by asking U.S. consumers which products they currently owned, broken down by gender, location and more. Highlighted promotional products included writing instruments, which are owned by 50% of U.S. consumers, and drinkware, which are owned by 53%! Below, we dive into the research to give you the 5 best promotional items to consider for your next giveaway.
45% of U.S. Consumers own a promotional USB drive. Even more impressive? A whopping 91% of users say that they keep them because of their usefulness in their daily lives. For a brand looking to make an impact, what more could you really ask for in a promotional product? The dream is that potential customers keep your giveaway around long enough to not only leave an impression on them, but perhaps those around them. With that in mind, think about the utility of a USB—it’s a great way to transfer digital information. So, while some folks will use it as their personal backup, others will use it to hand off information to someone else, like a colleague or friend, thereby transferring knowledge of your brand forward. USB drives are a perfect item for a corporate-oriented giveaway, including conferences and job fairs.
Drinkware includes a variety of potential items, like mugs (great for keeping on an office desk), or to-go tumblers (perfect for traveling business folks and busy parents alike). ASI’s 2016 study found that half of U.S. owners of branded drinkware use it several times every week. That is a ton of opportunity for them to not only use the product, but have your brand become ingrained in memory. If you opt for drinkware are your promotional item, quality should be an important consideration. As the research above points out, people will keep their drinkware around for a while In fact, According to a study by the British Promotional Merchandise Association, 87% of participants who received a free promotional product kept it for over a year, Drinkware is a perfect item to give away when promoting a food or drink product, as well as at sporting (water bottles) or business events (everyone needs a good office mug).
Ah, the almighty branded t-shirt, owned and loved by 58% of the U.S. population. In fact, every age group studied clocked in at over half (56%-60%) owning logoed t-shirts. Having your brand on a t-shirt is a great way to start conversations, get noticed and make some noise. As promotional giveaways, t-shirts are versatile and work at almost any event you’d like to commemorate including festivals, tech conferences, and more.
In the U.S., branded bags create the most impressions of all promotional products. There are a few reasons to explain this. Unlike a mug or pen, bags are used when out and about to carry items in high-trafficked places. This gives them a fantastic opportunity to be seen, which serves to expand your brand reach. For this reason, it’s especially worth investing in a catchy design and easily recognizable logo to make sure your bag stands out when in a crowd. As for when to hand them out, they work great at conferences and trade shows (perfect option for attendees to carry all the other items they collect while traveling from booth to booth).
5. Lip Balm
In the bottom of every purse lays a lip balm—or commonly, a handful of them. The popularity of this simple beauty product has surged over the past few years. In fact, a Marie Claire survey found that half of their readers considered lip balm an essential office item, and the number two item they’d pick for a desert island. That’s some serious lip balm love—making it a perfect promotional product. Like a USB drive, lip balm is small—easily fitting in a pocket or handbag, its unisex, and it’s a $660 million industry. Lip balm is a perfect giveaway item for a convention, as planes are known to cause dry skin for travelers.
When you invest in promotional products, you want to be sure it’s going to be a success with consumers. By choosing one of the best promotional giveaway items listed in this piece, you can feel confident you’ll not only entice potential customers but have a wider reach by using some of the most popular items available. As discussed, each of these products has real staying power, creating value for both the consumer and your brand. And, circling back to the top, offering useful and helpful products to prospective customers means a higher chance for positive brand engagement.