Promotional Merchandise Hits the Spot.


“Promotional Merchandise Works”

New research carried out by the independent research company Relevant Insights LLC, questioned business people about what they do with and what they like about different promotional gifts. The UK wide survey was conducted online and randomly selected 1000 adults from a database of 250,000 business people who were found to have received promotional items over latter times.

Perhaps the most predominant finding of the survey was the confirmation that promotional merchandise works. The following statistics are extremely positive for our industry in light of the competitive business environment we find ourselves in:

  • 94 per cent of us, when given an item of promotional merchandise, do not forget the advertiser or product advertised even after having the product for over six months
  • Two-thirds of us keep promotional products for over six months and 44 per cent keep them for over one year
  • Half of us would like to receive promotional products more often
  • Nearly half of us like receiving free promotional products that have an advertising message
  • Nearly 98 per cent of us think that promotional merchandise is not a waste of money.
  • Usefulness is a key driver with over half of us saying we would go and get a useful item if it was being handed out
  • Over half of us have three or more promotional products on our desk or in our office

“Promotional Product Preferences”

The research does however provide us with evidence that UK business people don’t like just any old product, and its ‘usefulness’ is the key factor in people taking and retaining promotional merchandise. Over half of us (54 per cent) said we would go and get a promotional product that was being handed out providing that the item was useful. Another key factor that must be taken into account when selecting a product is ‘likability’ with 61 per cent of people saying they would take a free gift being given out if they liked it.

Neal Beagles, Chairman of the BPMA, reiterates that: “Any company, organisation or brand using promotional merchandise is hoping that it will be kept by the recipient and act as an ongoing reminder of them. In order to achieve this it is clear that the most important questions to ask when choosing a product are ‘is it useful to my target recipients and will they like it?’ If it ticks those boxes then it is far more likely to be retained.”

In terms of promotional preferences the following list breaks down the items that are most likely to motivate individuals into taking action or instill a more favourable impression of the advertiser:

  • Gift basket – 43.3 %Promotional Items
  • Usb stick – 31.1%
  • Clock/Watch – 26.2%
  • Luggage – 21.8%
  • Umbrella – 19.8%
  • Coffee mug – 18.0%
  • Confectionery – 17.2%
  • T/Golf shirt – 16.5%
  • Diary/Notebook – 16.1%
  • Pen – 15.3%
  • Wallet – 14.5%
  • Tote bag – 14.0%
  • Sticky note pad – 11.2%
  • Calendar – 10.8%
  • Cap/Hat – 9.4%
  • Key ring – 9.3%
  • Fridge magnet – 9.1%
  • Water bottle – 8.9%
  • Trophy – 6.0%

“So what does this all mean?”

Promotional merchandise is without a doubt an effective and powerful marketing and communication tool: especially when compared with more traditional and costly forms of advertising such as TV, print and radio. Given that two thirds of us said we keep hold of our promotional gifts for 6 months (and 44% for over a year!) they are proven to cost-effectively stand the test of time, generating endless opportunities of exposure for your company. The long-term brand exposure will keep your message at the forefront of your clients’ and prospects’ minds while the reinforced logo recognition will likely lead to increased sales for your business.

(Reference – The UK wide survey, commissioned by the BPMA, was carried out by the independent research company Relevant Insights LLC and published to the industry on Thu 17 January 2013)


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