America’s top five promotional product markets

The Advertising Specialty Institute's (ASI) Counselor Magazine has ranked the top 100 American cities and metropolitan areas for selling promotional materials. Below are the top five cities that made the list and the reasons why. Businesses can look for similar characteristics within their own communities to determine why promotional products might be an effective marketing tool for their services.

1. Bridgeport, Connecticut
There are many factors that account for the fact that Connecticut's largest city sits at the top of this list, but the most noteworthy may be the location. Approximately 35 percent of the U.S. population and 64 percent of Canada's is contained within a 500-mile radius of Bridgeport. Additionally, Bridgeport is close to a high number of Fortune 500 companies and sits almost directly between New York and Boston, two very densely-populated areas. Bridgeport's lesson: consider all of the markets available to your organization, not just those in your immediate vicinity.

2. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Though they constitute a large metropolitan center in their own right, the Twin Cities hardly make up the bulk of the U.S. population. Such isolation and unique location may account for the success of this market. Minneapolis/St. Paul boasts 28.5 small businesses per 1,000 people and saw upwards of $316 million in promotional product sales last year. The Twin Cities lesson: being isolated from the competition means that small businesses can flourish on their own turf.

3. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
The proximity to trading partners in the Caribbean as well as its geographic location near the meeting point of major shipping routes makes Miami/Ft. Lauderdale a burgeoning mecca for many businesses. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale has experienced a 3.3 percent population growth in the past five years and is home to over 176,000 small businesses. Miami's lesson: pay attention to where other industries have found success.

4. Jacksonville, Florida
This city is the site of enormous financial and population growth, with an almost 10 percent increase in residents over the past five years. Jacksonville is a gateway between the traditional South and the exploding cities of Florida (like the aforementioned Miami/Ft. Lauderdale). The destination contains 27.34 small businesses per every 1,000 people. Promotional products work so well in the area because it has positioned itself as a corridor between major markets

5. Nashville, Tennessee
The traditional home of country music is experiencing major growth in the 21st century. This has quite a bit to do with its position as an economic power in the middle of the South. Add to that a 12 percent population boom in the past five years as well as a staggering 38,000 small businesses within the city limits. The ASI's Advantages Magazine discovered earlier this month that the South is the top American region for promotional products sales, so it's easy to see why Nashville would be so successful. Organizations that seek out the most bustling hubs in their regions will likely experience the most success when offering promotional products.

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