Importance of Promotional Items: What You Need to Know

To gain new customers, promote your cause, improve morale, or mark a milestone…do you really need a pen with your name on it? A baseball cap sporting your logo? A USB drive engraved with your website? The short answer: Yep, you bet!

If you’re trying to create a case for the importance of promotional items, we’ll get you to the table with all the numbers you need to get buy-in and secure budget for the tried and true, game-changing power of promotional marketing.

First, Some Facts About Promotional Items

A recent, comprehensive study by non-profit PPAI revealed the following about the importance of promotional items:

  • Promotional products rank #1 as the most effective form of advertising to prompt action in a recipient—more effective than online, mobile, print, and broadcast. And this is across all generations, from millennials to the “silent generation” (those over 70). (Ugh! Such a sorry name for those of us enjoying our golden years. Some re-branding is definitely in order here!).
  • 9 out of 10 recipients of a promotional item recall the branding (your name or logo)
  • 8 out of 10 recipients of a promotional product recall the messaging (your slogan or tagline)
  • 7 out of 10 recipients of a promotional item recall the call to action (like a website, social media, contact, or hashtag)

As the numbers above suggest, promotional items fire on all cylinders. What’s more, the CPI (Cost Per Impression) makes custom giveaways as budget-friendly as they are brand-building. In fact, the CPI of promotional items is as low as 1/10 of one cent—lower than nearly any other advertising medium.

Customized Giveaways Put the ‘Personal’ in Promoting

Promotional marketing involves marketing with the consumer rather than at the consumer. For instance, when you give a consumer a customized pen, hat, or USB drive, they interact with your branding (often daily) rather than just seeing it in an ad.

Also, promotional gifts elicit positive emotions in your target audience. According to a recent consumer study, when a consumer receives a promotional item they feel happy, interested, thankful, appreciated, impressed, special, and connected.

The importance of promotional items boils down to this: Customized giveaways and gifts imprinted with your logo are simply more personal. And personal means emotional engagement. And emotional engagement leads to a relationship between your product/service and your target audience. Which is the precursor to a purchase every time.

A Promotional Product Is a Many Splendored Thing

Unlike other forms of advertising, a giveaway that’s customized with your unique logo, slogan, or text serves multiple purposes:

  • Keeps your logo top of mind
  • Strengthens customer loyalty
  • Encourages referrals
  • Recognizes key employees and customers
  • Serves as a souvenir of a great event or shared milestone
  • Incentivizes and rewards in-person meetings, booth visits, and event attendance
  • Extends an in-person interaction well beyond a single meeting
  • Turns a bad customer experience into a win
  • Functions as a business card

A Few Tips to Win In the Giveaway Game

According to recent research, your recipients will keep your promotional item longer and use it more often if it’s fun, functional, and trendy. A few suggestions to get the giveaway brainstorm going:


May we suggest a whimsical extending backscratcher or a smile-inducing rubber duck?


Pens, pens, and more pens! Check out our best-selling promotional pens and other useful items. (And here’s a blog on the promotional benefits of pens!)


There’s nothing more trendy than eco-friendly (and we’re pretty sure–and surely hoping–that this one’s a trend that’s here to stay!). And here’s a helpful stat to support your eco-friendly cause: 42% of customers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they receive is environmentally friendly.

Check out our easy wins for eco-friendly promotional items. Stainless steel straw kit, customized with your awesome logo, anyone?


Rotate giveaways seasonally to keep things fresh. No need to go crazy here–little tweaks are effective, like a white barrel pen for spring and summer (like the White Metallic Splendor Pen) and deeper colors for fall and winter (like the Metallic Splendor Pen).

Customized Promotional Items Simply Rock!

You should now have enough stats and ideas to make your case for the importance of promotional items. Define your budget, pick your products, add your imprint, and distribute with abandon among your target audience. Happy marketing from us to you. Let us know how you do!

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

Recent Posts

Battle of the Brands: The Best Drinkware Brands

CamelBak® or CORKCICLE®? Klean Kanteen or Koozie®? When it comes to branded drinkware, the options are truly limitless! There are so…

3 weeks ago

Brand Colors, Green Edition: The Best Green Promotional Products

Whether you’re choosing your company colors or just creating a seasonal promotion, your choice of color has a major influence…

4 weeks ago

10 Recycled or Waste-Reducing Swaps for Classic Swag

Is your perception of recycled or waste-reducing related products stuck in the past? Let’s face it, recycled and waste-reducing promotional…

1 month ago

15 Fun Holidays in April to Inspire Your Next Promotion

After the ever-perilous April Fool’s Day passes, what’s left to keep the laughs rolling through the month? Actually, there are…

1 month ago

Top Tips for Printing Your Logo on Products

A high-quality logo is essential for any company that is looking to establish their own brand. However, not everyone is…

1 month ago

Best Promo Items with a Low Minimum Order

Make smaller occasions unforgettable with custom gifts in small batches! Our low minimum promotional items leave a lasting impression while…

1 month ago