Promotional Products: What are They and How are They Used?
Promotional products are defined by the Promotional Products Association International as items used to promote a product, service or company program including advertising specialties, premiums, incentives, business gifts, awards, prizes, commemoratives and other imprinted or decorated items.
Traditional items such as writing instruments, clothing, calendars and drinkware remain ever popular, but now share the .8 billion US market with more contemporary and trendy promotional products such as desktop items, stress products and computer accessories.
Promotional products have many diverse uses in today’s highly competitive marketplace, with companies vying to promote their product, brand or service in a positive light and lasting way. According to the PPAI*, the top ten uses of promotional products in 2006 were:
1. Business gifts
2. Trade shows
3. Brand awareness
4. Public relations
5. Employee relations and events
6. Dealer/distributor programs
7. New customer/account generation
8. Not-for-profit programs
9. Employee service awards
10. New product/service introduction.
Other uses for promotional products include market research, corporate communications, incentive schemes, customer referral, public awareness campaigns, internal promotions and brand loyalty.
One of the many attractions of promotional products is that they can either be used alone or integrated with other advertising media such as print and television. In fact, they have been proven to complement and actually increase the effectiveness of other media.
Promotional products are a key ingredient of marketing and advertising campaigns run by businesses and organisations, ranging from major blue chips and government bodies to hospitals, universities, schools and clubs. Whatever the marketing objective, it will benefit from the use of timely and appropriate promotional products.