Corporate Promotional Products


promotionalGuide to understanding the Promotional Product industry and benefits

Promotional merchandise, sometimes nicknamed “swag” or “schwag”, are products, often branded with a logo or slogan, used in marketing and communication programs. They are given away to promote a company, corporate image, brand, or event at trade shows, conferences, and as part of guerrilla marketing campaigns


How are promotional items used?

Promotional merchandise is used globally to promote brands, products, and corporate identity. They are also used as giveaways at events, such as exhibitions and product launches. Promotional products can be used for non-profit organizations to promote their cause, as well as promote certain events that they hold, such as walks or any other event that raises money for a cause. If you have been to a product launching, conference, tradeshow, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of promotional products handed out these events.

Almost anything can be branded with a company’s name or logo and used for promotion. Common items include:

  • T-shirts
  • Caps
  • Key chains
  • Posters
  • Bumper stickers
  • Pens
  • Mugs
  • Koozies
  • Toys
  • Usb sticks
  • Mouse pads

The largest product category for promotional products is wearable items, which make up more than 30% of the total. Eco-friendly promotional products such as those created from recycled materials and renewable resources have been experiencing a significant surge in popularity.

Most promotional items are relatively small and inexpensive, but can range to higher-end items; for example celebrities at film festivals and award shows are often given expensive promotional items such as expensive perfumes, leather goods, and electronics items

Promotional Items for Corporates

When it comes to corporate promotional products, promotional merchandise is rarely bought directly by corporate companies from the actual manufacturers of the promotional products. A manufacturer’s expertise lies in the physical production of the products, but getting a product in front of potential customers is a completely different skill set and a complex process. A promotional merchandise distributor is defined as a company who “has a dedicated focus to the sale of promotional merchandise to end users. These distributor companies have the expertise to not only take the product to market, but are also to provide the expert support required.

The unique aspect of promotional merchandise is that on most occasions the product is printed with the logo, or brand, of a corporate organization. The actual manufacturers rarely have the set up to actually print the item.

Promotional items for Marketing and Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the most common use for promotional items. Other objectives that marketers use promotional items to facilitate include employee relations and events, tradeshow traffic-building, public relations, new customer generation, dealer and distributor programs, new product introductions, employee service awards, not-for-profit programs, internal incentive programs, safety education, customer referrals, and marketing research.

Promotional items are also used in politics to promote candidates and causes. Promotional items as a tool for non-commercial organizations, such as schools and charities are often used as a part of fund raising and awareness-raising campaigns. A prominent example was the livestrong wristband, used to promote cancer awareness and raise funds to support cancer survivorship programs and research.


Does it really work?

So how effective are the use of these promotional items? Are they really worth the investment?

The effectiveness of promotional merchandise is demonstrated by their research which shows that in Australia alone:

  • 52% of recipients of promotional merchandise say their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product
  • 76% recall the name advertised on the product, 55% keep the item for more than one year,
  • 50% of recipients use them daily and…
  • 52% of people do business with a company after receiving a promotional product


Well, numbers sure don’t lie. As you can see from the data the use of promotional merchandise can deem a very useful marketing technique, so why not join the bandwagon and find a corporate promotional products supplier today!

Paul Alana

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