4 Benefits of Using Promotional Items as a Marketing Strategy

A promotional item is an item that bears the logo, name, and/or slogan of a business or organization. You likely own a promotional item of some sort because it bears the name of a brand you support. So why aren’t you doing the same for your own business? Here are four benefits of using promotional items as a part of your marketing strategy.

#1: Creates Brand Recognition

Probably one of the most obvious benefits of using promotional items is that they create brand recognition. As mentioned above, a promotional item bears the logo, name, and even the slogan of a business. When these promotional items are seen by your target audience, your company name and logo are embedded into their minds. The more they see these products, the more likely they are to remember and recognize your company.

In a sense, promotional items are like business cards— but better. People tend to misplace business cards or never even give them a second look. On the other hand, promotional items are more likely to be used by those who receive them since they serve a purpose other than bearing your company name. You can even put your website link on these promotional items to get more traffic to your website.

#2: Allows You to Sell Another Product

Promotional items can be free, but they can also be sold alongside your main inventory to help pay for the items themselves. Just keep in mind that promotional items tend to do better when they’re free, so consider giving away a promotional item for free with a purchase of one of your products. You should also keep in mind that the promotional items that you’re giving away should make sense with the purchase, with examples being:

  • A free coffee/tea mug with the purchase of coffee beans/grounds/tea leaves (coffee and tea companies)
  • A free blender bottle with the purchase of a protein powder/wellness mix/etc. (wellness companies)
  • A free sports bag with the purchase of workout gear/water bottle/etc. (sports/fitness companies)

When introducing a promotional item on your website, you can advertise them as a “gift with purchase” (GWP) at first, and then sell them alongside your other merchandise when they have proven to be successful.

#3: Creates a Sense of Loyalty

Those who love your products will be willing to give your promotional items a try, especially if it’s a free GWP. Your most loyal customers may also want more promotional items (such as a T-shirt) to be able to support and market your brand for you. This is also a great (and essentially free) marketing strategy:  the more loyal customers you have, the more promotional items you’ll sell/give away, and the more people will become familiar with your brand. 

Promotional items can also create a sense of loyalty among your employees. Giving your employees free promotional items makes them feel appreciated and proud to be a part of your team. Your temporary, seasonal, and employees who may not plan on working for you for the long haul will be reminded of the good times they had with your company— and also promote your company to consumers and other job-seekers.

#4: Any Item Can Be a Promotional Item

The final benefit of using promotional items is that just about any item can be a promotional item— although you’ll have the most success with items that make sense to your business. However, promotional water bottles, T-Shirts, hats, and phone cases are examples of items that can work for virtually any type of business. However, you’ll have more success when you use items more relevant to your business product or service, such as those mentioned earlier.

In general, tech companies should consider electronic items (USB flash drives, mouse pads, laptop covers, etc.), food companies should consider kitchen items (aprons, coasters, mason jars, etc.), and lifestyle brands should consider T-shirts/tanks/hoodies, bags, and tumblers. If you’re thinking about introducing a new product to your customers, this is also a good time to offer a free promotional item with the purchase of your new product. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t offer a new product just to promote a promotional item— you should always strive to offer quality products.

Promotional items are a great way to increase brand recognition and build loyalty with both your consumers and your employees. As long as the promotional item you choose makes sense with your brand, you’re likely to see great results.