The unique benefits of using promotional products

by Editorial Team
5 minutes read

Many entrepreneurs are cottoning onto exhibitions as a brand marketing
strategy. Another brand marketing strategy which complements exhibitions is
the use of promotional products to build and market brands. Promotional
products are various branded products such as tote bags, cooler bags, flash
drives, pens, T-shirts, caps and thermos flasks among many others which brand
marketers give away free of charge to existing customers and prospective ones
to keep them reminded of the brand being promoted.
This exposes and showcases the brand to other members of the society when
the beneficiaries use the products. Promotional products can be used as
exhibition giveaways, sales promotion prizes or corporate social responsibility
initiative giveaways. They can be used to market sales promotions and other
marketing initiatives.
Promotional products have a number of unique benefits which help brand
marketers to achieve their objectives. Here are some of the many benefits of the
marketing strategy.
 Acceptability
Most brand marketing messages especially advertisements are viewed as
interruptive and they are therefore viewed negatively. In the case of television
advertising, viewers use remote control devices to change channels to avoid
advertising. In press advertisements, readers flip past full-page display
advertisements if they feel that they are standing in the way of their reading.
Not so with promotional products as they enjoy a higher level of acceptance
than most brand marketing strategies. It is human nature to accept something
which is given away free of charge hence the higher level of acceptance.
 Memorability
Promotional products enjoy remarkable memorability. According to the
Promotional Products Association (PAA) 76% of people who own promotional
products remember details of the promotion under which they received the
promotional products, the company or brand promoted, and some contact details
such as phone numbers. High brand memorability is very important in brand
recognition. Once someone remembers a brand it makes it easy for them to ask

for it or recommend it to someone by name. Remember that brand marketing is
about securing customers and prospective customers’ mindshare before one can
talk about market share.
 Message durability
Depending on the type and quality of a promotional product, marketing
messages on the promotional product last longer than those carried in other brand
marketing communication media such as newspapers and electronic media. A
press advertisement does not last beyond 24 hours because the newspaper
edition carrying the message becomes obsolete the moment the following day’s
edition hits the streets.
Electronic media marketing messages are transient in nature as viewers and
listeners cannot keep copies of the advertisements. Promotional products, on the
other hand, enable the message to last longer in the customers’ possession. A
branded thermos flask provides a good example. In winter a recipient can use it
to store and carry tea to his office and in summer it can be used to store fruit
juice. Each time he uses the flask to dispense beverage he gets reminded of the
giver’s brand.
 Improved customer opinion
It is natural for people to think well of other people who do good to them. Free
gift-giving is one such good deed. Similarly, recipients of promotional products,
whether existing customers or prospective ones view the distributors of the
products in a positive light. This goodwill is very important in that it contributes
to future buying decisions and forms the basis for word of mouth or mouse
referrals.  While recipients of promotional products are under no legal
obligation to buy their benefactors’ goods or services, some of them may feel a
moral obligation to return the favour. If they are happy with their experience
with the purchased brand this may mark the beginning of a long relationship.
 Affordability
Advertising and other forms of brand marketing do not usually come cheap.
This is driven by high advertising agency costs and media costs. For
example, in Zimbabwe, most companies cannot afford a full-page display
advertisement because of prohibitive costs. The cost is so high partly because

most local newspapers are distributed nationally. However, this does not help an
enterprise whose operations are in Mutare only as it is a waste of resources. For
the press, advertisement cost the Mutare enterprise can order 400 top quality
branded coffee mugs and give them away to its high-quality leads during the
Manicaland Agricultural Show. This is likely to yield meaningful results than
the press advertisement. For small businesses, the same cost of a full-colour display
advertisement can buy 10 branded coffee mugs which can be given to their top
10 customers as a way of strengthening their relationships. Promotional
products are therefore more affordable and practical especially for small
businesses which normally do not have large marketing budgets.
 Variety
Distributors and manufacturers of promotional products usually provide a wide
variety of products to choose from. This makes it easy for brand marketers
to choose products which help them to meet their marketing objectives within
their available budgets. This means that brand marketers can choose products of
varying quality depending on the different types of their customers or leads. In
exhibitions, top quality leads to get the most expensive, high quality and durable
giveaways while low-quality leads get the lowest quality products or none.
Leveraging on promotional products
Promotional products, whether used as sales promotion prizes or exhibition
giveaways, are a brand marketing strategy. They, therefore, should not just be
given away anyhow without properly strategising to get maximum brand
marketing mileage out of them. One way of achieving this is by ensuring that
the products are of high quality. Quality begets continued usage of the product
by the recipient thereby continuously exposing the brand to the recipient and
those around him.
A promotional product should be brandable. A beautiful product upon which
one’s logo cannot be printed becomes an ordinary giveaway and loses its
promotional nature. Brand marketers should strive for products which last long
in the recipient’s hands for extended brand exposure. A pen may be affordable
but once its ink runs out it becomes useless to the recipient and loses its
promotional purpose. Products with a bigger printable area are advisable as they
allow for more contact information such as contact telephone numbers or websites
to be included. This helps recipients to engage the brand owners when they need

more information about the brand when considering buying a product in the
brand’s category. Including contact details facilitates the brand to be considered
as a potential solution for the recipient’s needs.
When well-planned and executed, promotional products are a very effective
brand marketing strategy.

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