Without your even realizing it, you probably have a promotional item hiding in your coat pocket or purse. Branded company products are so widespread these days that they do virtually everything—travel with you in your backpacks, attend family picnics as t-shirts and hats, carry groceries in an eco-friendly manner, and sit on the office desk at work every day cradling a fresh cup of hot coffee.
Promotional products are available in all sorts of options, ranging from t-shirts, polos, and hats to pens, office supplies, coffee mugs, and water bottles. You’ll even find cell phone accessories like cases and chargers branded with a company logo. Essentially, any everyday object has the potential to become a promotional item for a company.
The key word there is “everyday.” The reason promotional products are so effective as marketing tools for companies is that they are useful, everyday items that become a part of a person’s lifestyle and daily routine. They are gifts from a company to potential consumers that answer to everyday life’s basic necessities, and because of this, they make tremendous mileage.
Take a simple pen, for example. People have a tendency to borrow pens while filling out some sort of paperwork at a company’s front counter, and then to accidentally (though not always accidentally) take those pens. The company’s pen then stays in the person’s hands for quite some time, filling out grocery shopping lists and writing out checks. It even gets borrowed a few times by complete strangers. And then, suddenly, it’s gone. It was handed over to the pizza delivery man just after the credit card receipt was signed. And soon it’s on its way to being left at the next pizza delivery destination—a hungry student who is about to leave for a study abroad trip to France. And once the pen goes with her, who knows where it will end up after that? For this branded pen, with each transition of ownership has come an opportunity for the pen to leave a distinctive brand impression on the person using it. Already in its short journey, it has presented a company’s brand to at least five different potential customers.
The point is this: Promotional products are everywhere. We see them everywhere. While there is no statistic, it can almost be guaranteed that not a single day passes for any one of us where we do not encounter some kind of company branded item. And whether we know it or not, those items are training our visual memories to recognize logos, and our mental memories to remember what even the most obscure of companies do.