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Myth Busted: Promotional Products Aren't For Sophisticated Brands

Published: 2022-10-04 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 branded merch and 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

Merch engages and influences 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 merch, 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 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 merch/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 merch 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 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 and branded merch. 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 merch. 

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 merch. (For more tips on how to do this, check out 3 Ways To Make Your Corporate Gifts More Upscale.) Only then will promotional products be elevated to the level required by sophisticated brands.

Sophisticated Merch For Sophisticated Brands

No matter what your brand personality is, our concierge service can work with you to find the perfect merch to incorporate into your next campaign so that you'll be on-trend and on-budget. To give you a sneak peek into what's available, check out these ideas.

Mercer + Mettle Women’s Stretch Crepe Long Sleeve Camp Blouse


Looking to add a more chic and tailored style to your wardrobe? The elegant Stretch Crepe Long Sleeve Camp Blouse by Mercer + Mettle is just the fit. 

At only 4.3 ounces and being made of 95% polyester/5% spandex, it has an airly luxurious feel that shows a refined taste while still offering soft and comfortable ease of movement. Additional features include adjustable button cuffs and a trend-right dropped hem. Choose from four classic color options: Ivory Chiffon, Townsend Green, Anchor Grey and Deep Black.

With its versatile style, it’s easy to transition from workwear to evening wear while always keeping your appearance looking well put together. 

Who says corporate apparel can’t be chic? To add the essential Mercer + Mettle Stretch Crepe Long Sleeve Camp Blouse to your ensemble, contact us here.   

Barrington Belmont Cabin Bag


The perfect bag for a weekend getaway, the Barrington Belmont Cabin Bag carries not only your essentials but also your brand image in a way that’s sure to get noticed. 

With a modern shape as well as classic style, this lined cabin bag is made of natural cotton canvas trimmed out with brown leather accents (including a luggage tag), sturdy handles and a detachable strap to keep your hands free. Sized 10” x 12” x 22”, the Belmont has spacious capacity to hold all your necessities for work or play.

To tap into the tartan trend while showing off your logo and brand image with this upscale cabin bag, click here for all the details on the Barrington Belmont Cabin Bag. 

Hugo Boss Gear Matrix Gift Set


Is the Matrix everywhere, all around us, even now in this very room? We can’t say for sure. But we do know the HUGO BOSS Gear Matrix Collection is real. Real cool.

This three-piece Hugo Boss set consists of a sleek connected speaker, key ring and ballpoint pen. Ultra-light and hyper-functional, the Gear Matrix loudspeaker features wireless connectivity technology that pairs it to any mobile device, allowing you to listen to your favorite music or radio, take a call and make conference calls with ease without having to use your mobile phone. Use it and see how it’s an indispensable accessory for your everyday life. 

The Gear Matrix keychain has a modern tubular shape and plays on the contrast between an eraser-finish lacquer and matte black metal inserts with the finely engraved HUGO BOSS signature. The matching Gear Matrix ballpoint pen smartly completes the package.

Whether you're at home, in the office, on the road or on vacation, the HUGO BOSS Gear Matrix Collection is a set you can't live without. Click here to learn more.

Like what ya see? Contact us at or book an appointment at for a quick chat to get started today.

Corporate Specialties. We Do Merch Right.