5 Reasons Why Promotional Products Work

It’s a fact: promotional items are one of the first advertising techniques used. But how much of an impact can these small promotional trinkets have on today’s customers?  A big one.  According to a study¹, promotional products are still the most effective advertising form despite the TV and digital marketing advancements.  

Promotional products pros

Out of all available advertising channels, only promotional products provide more than a 1:1 return on investment for numerous reasons.  Promotional products are cost-effective, but an incredibly efficient marketing strategy.

Promotional products industry: let’s talk numbers

According to an ASI study, 89% of consumers remembered the name of the company that gave them a promotional item they use. A different study showed that 76% of tradeshow attendees had a favourable impression of the company that gave out promotional products.  And 71% of tradeshow attendees remembered the name of the company that gave them a promotional product one year after the trade show, while 85% of people who received promotional merchandise did business with the advertiser afterwards.

On the other hand, out of people who saw a magazine ad a week ago, only 53.5% could remember the advertiser’s name, let alone remember the CTA. Additionally, out of people who receive your promotional merchandise, 79% will research your brand.  Also, Fortune 500 companies spend $85, $80 and $58 million of their marketing budget on free giveaways. Mind-boggling numbers speak in favour of promotional products!

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What classifies a promotional product?

Promotional products are free items personalised with a company’s logo, name, message or slogan. Pens, t-shirts, calendars, or magnets are usually most associated with promotional products, as well as useful items like water bottles, tote bags, notepads or umbrellas. However, anything can be a promotional item.  One thing to keep in mind when choosing your promotional product is to keep it useful for the consumer.

Why Do Promotional Products Work?

1. Principle of Reciprocity

To understand the customer psyche, marketing companies have been using the help of psychologists. The Principle of Reciprocity is based on the circle of giving and receiving.  Evolution has embedded in our brains that when we get something we should give something back. Perhaps the customers themselves might purchase from you, or they may refer your products or company to their friends and family.

For this reciprocity to be effective, the marketing products you give out should be useful, attractive, and relevant.

image of welcome pack promotional product

2. Sense of Accomplishment and Loyalty


When a recipient receives a free product, it provides him with a sense of accomplishment. It fosters a sense of appreciation and makes the customer feel as though their presence made them worthy of earning this free product.  Appreciation creates loyalty.


A sense of loyalty works when it comes to employees and customers. Most employees don’t enjoy coming to office meetings.  But providing them with a promotional product might make them feel their presence was worthwhile. Or, if given a promotional gift at an event or office party, it can help remind them of the good time they had.

Employee welcome packs as promotional gifts, for instance, will foster a greater sense of belonging and loyalty to your company.  This, in return, improves employee retention.

Promotional products will also build a good base of loyal customers quickly. People who remember and recognise your brand will go to you for all their relevant needs. Customer loyalty is inevitable.

image of impressions and views

3. Impressions

Other marketing tools stay in front of someone’s eyes for a few seconds.  Promotional products, however, have a longer shelf life than a website pop-up, TV ad or any other overwhelming advertising campaign.  The more useful the item is, the longer it will be retained and the more impressions it will make. A promotional product kept for around five months garners an average of about 1,000 impressions per month. Compared to a paid ad, this is a very cheap everyday exposure and business promotion!

Useful promo items, such as mugs and t-shirts, stay in sight most of the time. Every time a recipient wears his promotional product gift, such as a t-shirt, hundreds if not thousands of people will see your brand name.  Custom branded mugs will be used every day.  If you give them a keychain USB stick, they will remember your brand every time they use it.

4. Improved Brand Recognition

If you want to gain new customers, you need to familiarize potential customers with your brand. If you choose the right product, customers will remember both your brand and the product for a long time. Just the sight of your logo will be a constant reminder of what you do and what you’re offering.  When they need a service or product that you offer, they will go to you first. Promotional products increase brand awareness better than a business card.

image showing a woman holding a promotional cup

5. Empathy makes promotional products work

Promotional products are tangible and people also love promotional products because they don’t cost anything to receive.  But it’s not just about the money.  It’s the little act of saying I care and Thank you for being a customer that applies to the customer psyche, to make them feel appreciated and cared about. This silly little act of kindness goes a long way because it hits your audience’s sweet spot. 

Offer vs. Giveaway brand message

Although equally effective in keeping consumers engaged, promotional products don’t convert the same advertising message or evoke the same reactions when offered or given away. 


There is more to offering a promotional product than simply giving it a product. For one, it is easier for a company to ask for something in return.  It also helps provide reciprocal information that enables small businesses to target giveaways better and use the target audience to grow.

This is especially visible when they are used as a lead magnet. In this case, you give your customers promotional products in return for more information about them, such as a mailing list signup. For your business, this ensures another opportunity to sell them your products, and services or to upsell them, if they already are your customers.

Promotional Giveaways

Promotional product campaign is very popular on social media. Contest-style giveaways on social media can be used in exchange for social media shares or referrals. In fact, 91% of Instagram posts with over 1,000 comments are contests because they work wonders for business exposure and brand recognition.

social media giveaway

Simply, effectively – promotional products work

The promotional product industry had an impressive 15.1% five-year growth rate, and this only continues because it is one of the most efficient and cost-effective marketing tactics.

Promotional products influence the recipient, and the people in their networks too. This serves as a great catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing.  It also gives your business the social lift to get ahead of your competitors. Promotional products raise brand awareness by allowing people to see, associate, and recognize your brand.  The more people become aware of your brand, the better for your business and sales.

Promotional products

Count on Camaloon

Any promotional items can leave a lasting impression and provide sentimental value. But promotional products are cheap and direct, and they provide fast results with effects that last. Items such as keychains, magnets, pens, bottles, t-shirts and mugs will remain customers’ staples.  

However, it’s important to remember that people tend to be loyal to brands that gift them high-quality branded promotional products. A low-cost marketing method is a plus but low-quality promo items aren’t. Giving a premium quality item to a first-time customer will make them remember you as a high-quality business.

That’s where Camaloon can help you.  We manufacture our own products so that we can guarantee high-quality, but low-cost promotional items.  Whatever your industry, whatever the occasion, from welcome packs for your employees to individual promotional gifts to be given out at a trade fair, we can make it all happen.  Just let us know what you’d like and we’ll make it happen!

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