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Myth Busted: Promotional Products Aren't For Sophisticated Brands

Published: 8/26/2019 Author: Lisa Horn

There's a myth that sophisticated brands aren't using promotional products. That swag doesn't have enough swagger for upscale companies and their customers with discriminating taste. But that's flat out false. FALSE! 

The truth is that promotional products are for every company and everyone. They are the most effective form of advertising across generations—including Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—beating out broadcast, online mobile and print advertising. 

Why? Because they create deep engagement with consumers, increase brand recall, are kept for years and create a positive impression for your brand.

Deep Engagement

Promotional products engage and influence consumers—83% of whom say they would be more likely to do business with brands advertised on promotional products—and help brands offer experiences that bring people's passions to life. Consumers not only welcome these experiences from brands, they expect it. 

There's more. Ninety percent of consumers are willing to offer insights in exchange for promotional products, while 89% are willing to show up and/or take chances to get swag. 

Want loyalty? Eighty-eight percent are willing to stay loyal when you give branded merch. Furthermore, 85% are willing to self-promote and 83% are willing to get social and/or give contact details for promotional products. 

No other advertising medium has the ability to connect consumers to brands and elicit engagement like promotional products.

Brand Recall

You might be surprised to learn that nine in 10 consumers recall the branding on promotional products they have received—that's 67% higher than broadcast advertising and 78% higher than online, print and mobile advertising. 

This is a HUGE difference. Brand recall is key for initiating the sales process because people can't buy from someone they don't know! 

No other advertising method can generate this kind of brand recall except promotional products.

Staying Power

Why is brand recall so high? Because people love promotional products—so much, in fact, that 41% keep them from one to five years, 22% keep for 6-10 years and 18% keep for 11+ years. In total, that's 81% of consumers keeping your logo around and integrating into their daily lives for years. 

Only promotional products have this kind of staying power. No other advertising vehicle comes close!

Positive Impression

Consider this: There's a ton of talk about digital ads, yet consumers are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products compared to internet advertising. 

Overall, 8 in 10 consumers like receiving promotional products, and 7 in 10 wish they received them more often. Can't say that about internet advertising. 

A whopping 96% want to know ahead of time when companies offer promotional products, and nearly 10 out of 10 say they are willing to go out of their way to get their hands on your branded merch. 

Promotional products are the only advertising medium that can generate that kind of positivity around a brand.

Promotional Products Are Tailor Made For Sophisticated Brands

So why, with all the data to the contrary, is there a misconception that promotional products and sophisticated brands don't go together like peas and carrots? We have a theory. 

What's the first thing everyone does when researching something they need? Google. Duh. Type in “promotional products,” click on “images” and you have thousands of colorful collages showcasing any variety of items…and they all end up looking the same. 

For the well-intentioned marketer, this due diligence ends up being a downer. Google page rank is influenced by Ad Words and SEO. Sure, it delivers results full of promotional products. But what it may not deliver are promotional products that are right for your specific brand and target audience. Google understands content, not context. 

Unfortunately, these marketers walk away from their googling thinking that there's just nothing special. Nothing new, even though there is a sea of products being offered. Nothing that's just right for them. 

This is where professional promotional consultants like us come in. We know our way around the thousands of products on the market to find ones that fit with your corporate culture and style. We know what's new and on-trend. We know that there are more customization options than simply putting your logo on a product. We also know about the quality of the product…because not all swag is created equal. And we certainly don't want you to damage your hard-earned brand image with bad swag. 

Upscale brands need more than simply choosing a product out of a catalog at the last minute. They need an integrated, strategic approach: One that incorporates their unique brand story and target audience with the right promotional product. Only then will promotional products be elevated to the level required by sophisticated brands. 

No matter what your brand personality is, our concierge service can work with you to find the perfect promotional merchandise to incorporate into your next campaign so that you'll be on-trend and on-budget. 

Contact us at or book an appointment at for a quick 10-minute chat, 20-minute new product call or 30-minute brainstorming session to get started today.