The Surprising Power of Promotional Products

Custom USB Flash Drive
Custom USB Flash Drive

The Surprising Power of Promotional Products

The promotional products industry is a 20 billion dollar a year industry in the USA alone. This shows the effectiveness of promotional products to centuries old cultural norms around the rule of reciprocity. If you give something, the recipient is honor bound to give something back. In other words promotional items gives the benefit of being a step ahead of the competition who has not provided a useful promotional product.

Hare Krishna society members hand out paper flowers to travelers. They found that as soon as travelers accepted the flowers, they became more likely to reach into their wallets and reciprocate with a donation. Sociologists and anthropologists have found that there is not a single society in the world that doesn’t train its people from childhood to this rule. Marketers take advantage of this all the time.

A well-known veterans’ nonprofit group, the Disabled American Veterans, is another case in point. When the group sends a mailing for contributions it gets an 18-percent response rate. When the same letters are sent with personalized address labels, which cost about eight cents more, the response rate went up to 35 percent. This small investment caused their response rate to nearly double.

How do companies find the right promotional item? Here are four suggestions:

  • Give items that members of your target audience will use in the environment where they make decisions about using your product or service.
  • Have it underscore your marketing message and differentiate your company.
  • Customize them. You want to make sure your audience remembers who you are.
  • Skip the typical customized pen or sticker that can quickly be tossed and forgotten. Make your promotional products investment something that will have beneficial use or a shelf life.

Some of the most popular promotional items right now are custom USB flash drives and custom apparel such as T-shirts and coffee mugs.

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