Consumers want functional promotional items

Consumers want functional promotional items

A recent survey from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) revealed that the most well-liked promotional items are those with everyday functionality. In the "Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study," ASI wrote that 81 percent of respondents said that a branded product's usefulness was the main reason they kept it.

The institute reported that gifts like tote bags, pens and USB drives were among the most appreciated. Promotional pens were rated as the most popular items by American consumers. According to the survey, 50 percent of respondents from the United States said that writing utensils were their favorite promotional gifts. Pens are some of the best marketing tools. Consumers are exposed to branded content every time they jot down notes or write shopping lists.

Sharing increases
The good news is that branded items aren't being wasted because recipients aren't holding onto them. The Baltimore branch of the American Marketing Association (AMA) recently wrote that small items like pens are frequently shared by consumers. According to ASI's survey, re-gifting unique promotional items has increased since 2008.

In 2008, 30 percent of respondents said they threw away marketing products, while only 51 percent said they shared the gifts with their associates. Those figures were significantly different in the 2012 – only 16 percent disposed of promotional items and 66 percent gave them away.

The goal of every marketing campaign is to increase a business' visibility and reach potential customers. Promotional products are more memorable than other advertisements, and because they can be shared they can reach a greater number of consumers beyond the target audience.

The AMA notes that items like pens are frequently shared with members of different demographic groups. The gift's functionality benefits almost every consumer, which means business' can use the tools to break into new markets. Instead of targeting small groups of current customers, companies can develop leads with their promotional tools.

Increasing brand recognition
Consumers can ignore other forms of advertising. For instance, emails can be blocked by spam filters and never reach their intended recipients. Promotional products put branded content directly into potential customers' hands so that they'll develop recognition for a business.

Additionally, it behooves businesses to distribute functional gifts rather than their frivolous counterparts. Consumers are more likely to remember logos if they continually use branded products, so it's vital that entrepreneurs use advertisements that fill specific needs.

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