Promotional products have hit the headlines since 2016 as throw-back to the late 20th century makes a massive comeback to the boardroom of companies big and small when marketing budget time comes around. In the past being seen as a cheap gimmick is now being viewed as a low-cost, longer lasting, higher reach marketing tool, that embeds itself in the psyche of the consumer in a more effective manner than a 2-minute TV commercial or digital advertising campaign.
The industry reached a century high growth figure in 2017 in Australia for promotional items and is continuing to startle businesses with its statistical surveys of consumers. Long gone are the days of just caps, mugs and pens for promotional giveaway products. Today the industry is at the forefront of the tech revolution, health and fitness, office-ware, clothing and gadgets.
Many people who have grown up as a millennial may not even know what a promotional product is as their life has been consumed by technological advancements to the point that they are unaware of the subliminal promotional products that surround them in their office on a day-to-day basis. From the notepad in the hotel room, the drink ware used in their local pub, to the pen you are given at work with a holiday company on the side of it, which by some co-incidence is who you booked your package tour with this year.
Businesses are catching on fast that promotional products and business promotional products give outreach and longevity to their marketing campaigns helping stretch their budget considerably further than other advertising mediums trending today. Statistics out there from 2016 onwards have pointed to the fact that 8 to 10 consumers have up to 10 promotional products in their possession either at home or work, using these gifts at least once a week. The vast majority surveyed retained these gifts for at least two years. This is why the industry has topped over $20 billion since 2016.
Benefits of Promotional Products for Buyers and Industries
Brand Recognition: It’s an ongoing reminder of your brand and service you provide, by maintaining its relevance in the mind of the consumer. The goods being produced today are of much higher quality than 30 years ago meaning that they serve an outreach purpose for a considerably longer amount of time, enhancing brand visibility.
Enhanced Longer Lasting Outreach: It’s an equation that digital marketing experts find it hard to argue around. You get better, longer lasting outreach to more people using promotional products than another medium such as digital advertising, TV, radio or newspapers. A promotional item is visible daily, for longer and is cheaper to produce and distribute. Use items that are convenient and usable every day or at least every week to the average person.
Your Permanent Business Card: A well thought and well produced promotional gift acts as a business card that doesn’t quickly or easily get discarded or left in a file or a desk drawer. If you are smart with your usage, this is a business card that is not only being carried around it is being used and also visible to the general public or other business people for an extended period.
Repeated Public Exposure: Reinforce your branding on a continual basis with items such as drink ware, especially the new style of sports flasks made from stainless steel, the same with keychains, leather credit card and money holders. These are visible and durable items, continually pushing you’re branding, sometimes subliminally on a daily basis. Reinforce your message long-term.
Logo visibility is a must, so ensure this is placed appropriately and of course relevant contact information and website details either underneath or on the reverse depending on the item and the viability of where to place it.
Promotional Products as an Effective Marketing Platform: The one thing Promotional products brings to the table is options and variations. At an event where you are giving away promotional items make sure to have a choice rather than push a particular item. The recipient chooses the most practical item for their use, in effect your marketing strategy is done for you, why would someone pick something they are not going to use?
You may be wondering what industries are hot in buying Promotional Products to make the market so robust? The answer is many, but some of them may not have been your target market; yet.
Here is a list of areas to consider and why:
The Real Estate Industry
Real estate is a big consumer of promotional products. You can find them sourcing anything from:
- Door Hangers
- Customised notepads
- Various gifts upon purchase items
All of which fall under daily use in this industry.
The Education Industry
The education industry is big on events, from seminars to sports days, workshops and expos. So there are many relevant products such as:
- Writing Instruments
- Water Bottles
- Back Packs
- Laptop Bags
- Post-it type notes
- Sports Equipment
Ensure the school, college or universities logo is well placed and well represented and you have yourself a sizeable renewable contract.
The Healthcare Industry
Healthcare is a significant player.
From clinics to outpatient’s clinics, hospitals, dentists and surgeries, they all use branded materials so think about:
- Branded Ice-Packs
- First Aid Kits
- Sealable plastic bags
Here lies another big industry keen to promote awareness of their brand and message to gain participation as they rely heavily on donation and local community support. So for outreach make sure visibility is the key with items like:
- Tote bags
- Silicone Wristbands
With non-profit’s the logo and message is everything, so when quoting make sure if you do not have an in-house designer, it is well worth having the opinion of a reputable graphic designer to ensure the message is seen and heard.
Last but not least:
The Financial Industry
Next time you go to your local bank now that promotional products are on your mind, have a look around and try to find what is NOT branded.
However, it’s not just the bank it’s the branded gifts they give you when opening an account for example, so think about both the bank and their customers as the consumer and target items like:
- Stationery Holders
- Wall Clocks
- Mouse pads
- Travel Bags
- Drink ware – Various
- Laptop bags
- Stress Relievers – Various
The list is endless in the financial business sector.
Promotional Product Industry Overview
The industry as a whole is booming right now, but the US and Australia are seeing the most significant upturn in western countries since the turn of the century with Australian promotional products posting its best figures in the 21st century in 2017. We are looking at an industry with its highest sales generation in a generation at $23.3 billion in 2017 and a whopping 9 per cent in sales growth. Major global power firms like Pfizer, Phillip Morris, PepsiCo are big value spenders within the industry, weighing in last year at an average spend of US$39 million on all kinds of promotional items.
The world’s top 10 corporations alone spent nearly US$550 million on physical promotional merchandise. However, when you take into consideration what the industry is generating as a whole they are not the major players in the market, small to mediums sized businesses (SME’s) are finding other mediums of advertising way too expensive and are unable to run them long enough to ingrain their brand and message into the public psyche.
In effect a single day a local charity event or a kids sports day can raise more long-lasting brand awareness and brand loyalty than a 2-minute TV commercial run for 1 monthn at a fraction of the price, plus giving you a better standing in the community with word of mouth and everyday use products that will last and be used for over 12 months. When you think about it that way, who needs digital advertising.
With industries ranging from healthcare to law, finance and education, the product range possibilities are endless. Make sure you think your product range through thoroughly and gather your statistical evidence to show unconvinced marketing executives why promotional products make sense in this current environment.
Millennials are becoming the dominant influence in today’s society, and they don’t buy into gimmick advertising like the last generation, they want value and something direct and to the point. When it comes to design, don’t throw a logo on the front and contact details on the back of an item, have a design team to help you present to SMEs and large corporations, just as any businesses 1st impression is their website so should their promotional items be.
Statistics don’t lie business are looking for cheaper marketing alternatives and their alternative as you read this, ironically is probably right under their nose.
Author Bio: Olivia Caitlin is associated with Logopro Pty Ltd and writes about fashion and creative gifts ideas related to business, lifestyle and more. Logopro offer a range of promotional products based in Sydney, Australia.