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Effective Promotional Products: How to Choose the Best Promotional Products for Your Next Event

There are a number of factors that go into choosing a promotional product such as quantity, budget, message and ROI. How does one choose the “best” promotional product for their next campaign?

First and foremost, think about what you hope to accomplish with your promotional campaign. Do you want to attract new customers or create awareness for a new campaign? Do you need a promotional product as an achievement award or participation incentive? Or do you want to thank your employees, supporters and/or existing customers? 

These three examples all have different price points:

Example 1: You might be a new business exhibiting at a community event such a street fair or community block party. As a new business with a limited budget, you want to reach as many customers as possible. In this scenario a low-cost promotional product is the best option. Think pens or magnets, personalized with your company’s name and contact information. These items may be ordered in high quantities and are most economical.

Example 2:  A local solid waste department is kicking off a new recycling program and residents need to sign up to receive their bins. A mid-range promotional product would be ideal in this scenario as you are asking people to do something in order to receive something. You are not giving away anything for free and you have the ability to put a limit on the giveaway. For example, “The first 100 people to sign up will receive a free gift.” Quality giveaways that have synergy with the program would be a reusable water bottle made from recycled materials or a reusable shopping bag.

Example 3: It’s the end of the year and you want to thank your best customers for their business over the past year. Think about high-end promotional products that also have visibility throughout the year and help to keep that customer ordering again and again. Ideas include long-lasting bamboo kitchen accessories or electronics such as mobile chargers or speakers.

After you have set your goal, consider your audience. Choose a promotional product that fits the demographics of the recipients. Children, teens and adults find value in very different products. Also, promotional products should be relevant to your message or campaign. A recycled item conveys a targeted message for recycling campaigns just as sunscreen or lip balm would for a dermatology office.

Next think about how much the item will get used. An effective promotional product will be used time and time again. While people like to receive food, once the food is consumed, the branding is gone. Longevity is important for branding, but it’s equally important to the environment as products will be kept out of landfills. A few ideas for long-lasting, highly visible promotional items are microfiber cloths, mouse pads and cell phone stands. 

Finally, think about how your product will be talked about and how your message will spread. A beauty retailer did a self-promotion using seed paper and asked customers to post photos of their flowers growing to the company’s Facebook page.