Choosing Promotional Items For Your Business

A bean plan with a logo on it
A “logo bean”

Promotional items, giveaways, tchotkes, whatever you call them, these items can help boost your business or drain your marketing budget.  So how do you decide what items are best for you? Below are my “rules” for choosing the right promotional items for your business. Each item doesn’t have to follow every one of them, but it provides a general guideline.

  • Does it match your target audience? Is the item something your customers will use? For example, a pizza cutter may not be the best idea for small children or seniors, but is a great idea for college students.
  • Does it match your business/promotion in the consumer’s mind?  I happen to think the sample stress reliever I have that is shaped like a to-go coffee container is pretty cool. However, I work in higher education and that really doesn’t say anything about education. But, the stress reliever shaped like our mascot? Given out at a pre-exam stress-busting event? A perfect match.
  • Does it have staying power? Try to think of promotional items that people will use over and over again, not something that will be thrown in the junk drawer. For example, I created a parent magnet a few years ago for the college I was working for. It was a 4″x7″ magnet that had a checklist of the basic steps in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade that a parent needed to get their student into college. And, it just so happened to have our logo on the bottom. We handed them out to parents of 8th and 9th graders hoping that magnet will stay on their fridge for at least 3-4 years.
  • Is  it unique? This is probably the toughest part. You MUST get creative! If a promotional company says something is popular with their clients right now, you probably don’t want it. Everyone gives out pens, water bottles, coffee mugs, etc.  Or, they all give out the latest trend item. Not that you shouldn’t probably have some of those items in stock, but you must think outside the box.  Probably one of the most unique products I’ve seen lately is the logo bean in the photo. If you were doing a marketing campaign or have a business with a  growth theme, this would be a very unique and memorable promotional item.

 As  mentioned previously, these are loose “rules,” but I’ve found them to be very helpful in choosing promotional items that make an impact. How do you choose your promotional items?

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