10 amazing statistics about promotional products

In a world  where social media marketing is king, promotional products may seem old school to some business owners. Though the advertising medium has been around much longer than Facebook or Twitter, it is an extremely valuable and effective way to spread a brand name. It’s a sensory medium that lasts much longer than ads on television, in magazines or newspapers.

Custom promotional products make up an industry that is constantly expanding the number of items offered. New creative ideas and unique promotional products hit the market every year to supply businesses with a wonderful selection of freebies and prizes for customers. Promotional Products Association International crunched the numbers for proof.

They generate business
Here are the facts:

  • 85 percent of people who received promotional products then did business with the company advertising
  • 88 percent of people can remember the advertiser that gave them a promotional product
  • 62 percent of people are able to recall the message printed on a promotional product they received
  • By adding promotional products a media mix, the other forms of media become up to 44 percent more effective
  • Promotional products bring in up to 500 percent more referrals from satisfied customers than just an appeal letter

The moral of the story is, these products do their job – and they do it well. The first three statistics imply that promotional products have a 78 percent rate of making an impression, whether it be by generating new business or simply bringing about brand familiarity.

There are several purposes that promotional products can serve in a marketing plan. Promotional products help the brand impact a larger audience because anyone around a consumer carrying the company’s product can see the name. Products can be used in direct mailing programs to entice people into opening the envelope. Gifts will make customers feel special and appreciated and improve the brand image. Custom promotional products may increase sales and help jumpstart conversations with potential clients. Aside from pleasing customers, personalized promotional products can also boost employee morale and help convince them to keep improving their performance.

They make customers happy
Here are more facts:

  • 83 percent of people like promotional products
  • 81 percent of people hang onto promotional products because they are useful
  • 8 out of 10 people own at least one promotional product
  • 53 percent of people use a promotional product at least once a week
  • 47 percent of people hold onto promotional products for more than a year

The Advertising Specialty Institute Global Ad Impression Study 2013 showed which promotional products consumers have received in the previous 12 months. In America, 50 percent of respondents had branded writing instruments and 44 percent had promotional shirts. Bags followed at 31 percent whereas calendars and desk/office supplies tied with 22 percent. Next came drinkware with 13 percent, hats at 19 percent, flash drives at 11 percent, outerwear at 10 percent, and health or safety products at 9 percent.

Promotional wall calendars tend to be more popular with consumers ages 55 and older while desk accessories fare well with people between the age of 21 and 34. The same younger demographic also owns more promotional mugs and promotional flash drives.

Personalized calendars have the most staying power but on average, consumers keep their promotional products for a little over six months. The benefit of a calendar is that people must change the page every month, allowing for repeated exposure to the brand.

There’s further good news for brand exposure. In America, 83 percent of respondents said they give promo items to other people. As a result, multiple people are seeing the company name, logo or tagline. However, it’s important to note that 77 percent of people keep a promotional product when it’s useful.


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