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8 Promotional Products to Take your Brand to the Next Level

Promotion is all about recognition, first of your brand, and then of the emotions you intend to be associated with it. This means that the type of product you use as a branded company giveaway, either at your location or at industry tradeshows, can greatly affect how your brand will be perceived and how much exposure your promotion will bring to it.

Knowing how people use certain products can help you foster the right brand associations, give people products they will be compelled to use, and maximize your advertisement's promotional potential.

The first step is to make your product useful, to associate your brand with something practical that people will be compelled to use often. Here’s a short guide to 8 great promotional products to use to get your brand out there.

How promotion sells

Consider that promotional items are not all equal between people or even between brands. Knowing the advantages of each helps you reason which will benefit your brand the most.

For instance, shirts are a useful promotional product, but more so for brands that people will feel compelled to associate with. Most people would rather wear a shirt with an appealing branded message written on the front than the logo of a bank or accounting firm.

This is because of how promotions encourage action and must do so to be successful. Recognition that comes from clients using your products in public can only occur if they are compelled to use it in the first place.

Therefore, the top promotional products are useful daily and matched to the perception of your brand. They may associate your brand with a specific function or simply show it off passively on something that your prospective client has integrated into their daily routine.

Here are a few options for choosing the best promotional product for your business.

1. Tote bags

Tote bags exemplify the premise that a promotional product should be immediately useful. They generate a ton of impressions (this is a term used in marketing to refer to the number of people seeing your brand’s logo) compared to other items. Pens, for instance, generate fewer impressions because on a tote bag your brand is displayed nice and big, facing outward, and in a public place.

Grocery shopping is something that everyone must do, and they don’t think about their image when choosing a tote bag from their pantry to take with them. Unlike a shirt, where the advertised brand may affect their image, tote bags become automatic ad devices for you because of how nonchalantly people use them even when they’re branded.

Remember: the more useful your promotional item is, the more likely people will expose others to your brand.

2. Laptop accessories

Computer technologies populate the office, travel, and remote work environments. Conference rooms and seminars are filled with people using flash drives for work. Office workers often use USB ports for added utilities like USB fans for comfort.

Portable tech like this can be seen in offices, in airports, on planes, and in conferences.

This means that your logo can appear on a device that everyone needs, and which is showcased in a business setting. This is where people who are most likely to act on seeing your brand will congregate.

By exposing your company to that environment, your logo becomes associated with practicality, professionalism, and utility. People capable of investment and outreach are more likely to identify your brand and take action that benefits you. You just need to give them products that will appear in the right environment.

3. Phone technology

The modern business and social space is now inseparable from our smartphones. People take their phones with them everywhere they go and constantly use them.

This means that while technology to supplement a smartphone may seem like a larger investment than a pen, it can deliver a much more significant level of brand impressions with far fewer products in circulation. Anything connected to a person’s ability to use their phone will be something that they’ll want to take with them and use daily.

This makes its ability to generate impressions for you much easier. Every time they end up at a café for work or take out their chargers in a waiting room or airport, your logo will be there.

As a promotional tool, a phone technology accessory like a wireless charger or portable power bank can make a huge impression. Simply by making your promotional item useful to prospective clients, you encourage them to begin the recognition, action, and emotion cycle that characterizes a great promotion.

4. Lanyards

A custom lanyard is a great way to showcase your brand. They are useful, promote your products in a business and professional setting, and are easy for your clients to incorporate into their daily lives without thinking about it.

Combined with a container for professional id cards or badges, this recognition benefits your brand by association with a business setting and a directed exposure that encourages professional action.

5. Bottles and drinkware

Not only is it ecologically friendly to promote your brand with custom drinkware by saving people from using plastic water bottles, but it’s also a great way to incorporate your brand into people’s daily routines.

Whether it’s a travel mug, coffee cup, or water bottle, most people won’t discriminate from promoting your business when they’re having their morning coffee. By implanting your brand on an item that people are likely to take with them in public and use every day, you increase its exposure and generate impressions.

6. Desk accessories

If you can make your promotional products useful to business professionals, they might put it on their desks. This means that they’ll be advertising your brand to all their clients without performing any additional actions to continue the process.

Since the need for additional action on the client’s part reduces the chances that they will continue to advertise your brand, a desk accessory could be the ideal promotional product for your company.

These include desk caddies, notebooks, cup holders, and much more. The more useful the item, the more chances that it will end up on desks in corporate offices around the world.

7. Clothing

We mentioned earlier that custom shirts aren’t always the best promotional items. This doesn’t mean they’re useless – they’re a staple of tradeshow promotions for a reason.

Particularly if your brand is trending or associated already with good emotions, a t-shirt might be something that a prospective client is willing to wear often.

Since a logo on a shirt directly affects their image, they may not advertise a law firm – those shirts may end up being work shirts and generate no impressions as a result. However, food places, websites, and trending companies can make great use of a t-shirt as a promotional item.

It’s also good to consider other clothing items as possibilities, such as socks and hats. Encouraging a diversity of promotional options can only help you achieve a wider range of brand recognition.

8. Pocket items

Things that people can take with them anywhere are particularly useful as promotional items. If you can make a small object part of their daily routine, you can encourage a regular series of brand impressions generated by regular use.

The staple of this strategy is logoed pens but there are other options. Reusable straws are becoming more popular. Phone accessories are a great option since no one these days is without their phone for long.

Cases, clips, stands, and holders are great options for promoting your company’s brand because people use their phones often and they use them in public. If you make these little items as useful as possible, people will be encouraged to use them daily, without even thinking about it.

Pop sockets are also becoming more popular. They adhere to the back of your phone and are handy for when you need a stand for a pad or to attach your phone to the dashboard of your car to use as a GPS.

The Takeaway

Usefulness is the key to the top promotional products. Whether you’re giving them away in your corporate offices or at an industry tradeshow, you cannot generate impressions unless people are compelled to use your promotional products in public.

They won’t do that unless the objects have a specific use and accomplish it efficiently. This is why smartphone accessories are becoming a hot topic for industry promotions: people are never without them and use them in public without thinking about it.

The other items listed here all have their specific uses. Your brand may benefit from a diversity of these products so that prospective clients can attach themselves to your brand through a product that they are more likely to use.

Recognition depends on the actions that your clients take to use your promotional products. Matching your company, your product, and your client through this recognition is how you can take your tradeshow performance (and thereby, your company’s brand exposure) to the next level.