Promotional gifts are a unique form of advertising. Depending on the nature of the product, they either get used or thrown away. Here’s some ideas on how to buy swag that people will actually use and get your advertising message in front of millions of people.
So why give promotional products? Like business cards, they are custom printed giveaways for your business. They keep your company name out there, along with your corporate logo for brand recognition.
Unlike many forms of advertising, promotional gifts are almost evergreen. You pay once, and every time the gift gets used, the advertising message gets repeated.
So what are the best, most “given” promotional items? According to Counselor Magazine, “Materials like wearables rank first. Followed by pens and corporate accessories for the desk and office. Then come bottle openers, ceramics, glassware, and calendars.”
Ok, so those may be the most given items, but what are the most “used” and best promotional products for brand exposure?
Most promotional giveaways like pens, calendars, mugs, golf balls, and key fobs get seen by only one person. They usually end up in the back of a drawer somewhere. Hats, while popular, give people, well, hat hair. And only certain types of people like to wear hats.
Luxury swag like water bottles, hoodies and gym bags are expensive, but better as gifts because they last longer. They might get used and seen by a few people.
Fun products like balls and puzzles are popular. But because of wear and tear, the advertising – the printed message and logo – usually wears off fast.
No matter which promotional item you choose, quality is more important than quantity. Higher quality freebies will last longer, providing more return on your advertising dollars.
So what is the number one promotional giveaway, the most useful gift for advertising? The one offering the most visibility and exposure?
It’s the humble t-shirt.
Blue Sky Promotions agrees. “One t-shirt, worn by one person in an average-sized city, gets seen by over 100,000 people in its lifetime.”
Yes, that is not a typo. I checked the numbers twice, over 100,000 people! Although that number seems high to me, if even one-tenth of the number is true, it’s still a lot of exposure.
Here are some ideas and tips that will help.
When it comes to buying the t-shirts, do not rely on one-size-fits-all or unisex sizing. If you want your t-shirts to get worn, be sure to purchase appropriate sizing.
Find t-shirts that are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, and never give men’s clothing to women. Doing so will ensure that the t-shirt will get worn. And many of those 100,000 people will see your advertising message.
Imagine ten high-quality t-shirts, made for $50 each. Then hand them out as promotional gifts for people to wear. That’s a potential one million people that will see your advertising and logo over the next couple of years. Not bad for a $500 investment in advertising!
Promotional products – especially quality t-shirts – can be advertising dollars well spent.
By Michael Warren Campbell
What about you? Do you have some favorite marketing swag? If so, what did you like about it? Have you purchased promotional products? What did you buy and how did your customers react to it?
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