What Are Promotional Products and How Can You Use Them?

brand awareness

Creating brand awareness is the first step for any business that is either starting or looking to grow. The goal is to tell people about a brand and its offerings so that they will remember and consider that company when it comes time to make a purchasing decision. Even the most well-known brands in the world continue to run brand awareness campaigns, especially when they are coming out with a new product or service.

The number of marketing channels that a business can leverage seems to increase every year. There are more traditional methods such as television, radio, and print advertising that still hold an important position. The digital age has created other significant marketing channels like websites that are search engine optimized, social media, emails, and pay-per-click advertising. Then there is experiential marketing, where brands create a memorable interaction or event for consumers that will stick out in their minds.

Discovering a balanced marketing approach is all about finding the right channels for your target audience and creating a message that connects with them on an emotional level. The better you understand their needs and behaviors, the easier it is to build a relationship with potential customers.

What Are Promotional Products?

One marketing channel that you might not be taking advantage of is branded merchandise. Many companies will purchase custom-made everyday items that contain information about the company. Then, they will give these products away to employees, customers, and members of the public. The goal of this is to increase visibility for the brand and raise awareness. Whenever a person uses the branded item, they could be exposing new customers to the company when they see the logo or name of the business.

Advantages of Using Promotional Products for Marketing

If you own a business, you probably have a marketing budget. Figuring out how to allocate these resources is a critical aspect of growth, so you need to weigh the pros and cons of each marketing channel available to you. In terms of promotional products, here are a few of the unique advantages that they offer.


When you have a tight budget, your marketing campaign needs to effectively reach a large audience without breaking the bank. Promotional products, if used strategically, are very cost-effective. With an upfront purchase of items in bulk, which is a one-time expense, each item could result in multiple impressions and leads generated. For example, a well-designed shirt with your logo may be seen by a large number of potential customers every time the owner wears it in public. That is a lot of brand exposure for the price of one t-shirt.


Promotional products are great incentives for both employees and customers. They could be included in a welcoming package to new hires, given away to potential recruits at job fairs, or used as a holiday gift for team members. With customers, branded merchandise could be a reward that is part of your referral program. Or, you can run a social media contest where the winner gets a free swag item as a prize. The opportunities for using promotional products as incentives are there, and each giveaway could lead to greater brand awareness.

Benefits Local Businesses

When your company is heavily dependent on the local community for sales, promotional products can be particularly effective. The more items you give away to members of the public, the more often people in the local area will see your brand information. Eventually, they will start to recognize it when they see it, eventually convincing them of your level of authority in the community. Plus, you can enhance your presence by partnering with local events and sponsoring charities, at which you can give away more promotional items.

Examples of Promotional Products

Not every business should consider every type of product for their promotional marketing campaign. But if you are looking for ideas on what items you could use to spread awareness of your brand, consider a few of these examples.

  • Custom tote bags
  • Branded t-shirts
  • Rally towels
  • Custom pens or other office supplies
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Water bottles

Important Things to Remember

A promotional product campaign is not a guarantee of success. Many factors will determine whether or not your investment will result in more impressions and sales. Have you chosen products that will appeal to your target audience? Does the design follow your visual marketing strategy and is it eye-catching enough for people to notice it in public? Where have you given the items away so that they will be seen by the people who make up your target audience? Have you purchased a ton of cheaply made and useless items or invested in quality products that will be used over and over again, elevating the potential reach?

Remember that this strategy should be just one component of your overall marketing efforts. The more you can integrate this campaign with other channels, the greater your reach will be. Combine this method with great messaging from your other marketing initiatives and your business could see tremendous growth as a result.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.