Top Tools To Use in the Promotional Products Industry

The promotional products industry is vast, with both small businesses and larger companies benefitting from the promotional merchandise they distribute. But what kind of promotional products are most popular, and what’s the best way to maximise your outreach with them?

Well, successful promotional marketing campaigns will differ between target audience. Millennials are more likely to want promotional products than baby boomers, so you’ll have to adjust your strategy accordingly.

Discover more about promotional products and merchandise below, including what makes a great promotional product and how best to utilise this strategy to stand out in the promotional products industry.

What is a promotional product?

A promotional product is an effective marketing tool that creates brand awareness and can also build brand loyalty with the end customer. The promotional products industry is successful and is continuing to forecast growth for the coming years.

Promotional items can take the form of almost anything, from bags and hats to USB drives and coasters. They bare a company’s logo, colour scheme, or design and are often distributed for free to potential customers at events like trade shows, or through direct mail campaigns, in the hope that the consumer will interact with or remember the company.

What are the most popular promotional products?

The most popular promotional merchandise items are those that are most useful to the consumer. These will typically include items that can be used in multiple everyday scenarios, such as mugs, pens, and general apparel. Promotional outerwear and other everyday items are also popular, given their usefulness.

Top 5 best promotional products to use

The best promotional products to use are often the most common. After all, they’re common for a reason, right? Originality doesn’t hurt, though, and many people will feel a greater impact from items that align with the brand’s product. For instance, a bottle opener for a drinks company will be much more relevant than the same promotional product for a car company (for obvious reasons).

Below, we’ve outlined the top five most popular promotional products that you’ll want to consider when selecting how to best distribute your brand and product.


When people think of the promotional products industry, they almost certainly think branded pens. There’s a reason why pens, pencils, and other office stationery are so commonly used as promotional items. Their versatility for many different scenarios and the frequency in which they are used mean that branded office stationary is a go-to marketing tool.

In fact, Statista cites writing instruments as the most common promotional product found in the home. Therefore it’s important that you consider office stationary as a necessity for your promotional products strategy.

Drinks bottles and mugs

A huge hit with consumers, drink bottles and other receptacles are practical and useful. This boosts their performance when it comes to leaving lasting impressions on your customers or the general public, especially since they can be used every day. Customers will become more accustomed to your brand and will be more likely to make a purchase with your company or learn about your business.

Tote bags

Tote bags are popular, useful, and – most importantly – reusable. This is especially relevant now as sustainability has become a fundamental driving force in customer generation for businesses. According to ASI Central, 46% of consumers will favour your company more if your promo products are environmentally friendly.

Plus, a tote bag can be used in lots of everyday situations and is often worn out and about. This gives your brand more visibility and publicity, without you having to pay for open-air advertisements.

T-shirts and apparel

Promotional t-shirts, outerwear, and other apparel are considered one of the most effective types of promotional product. According to Statista, they achieve around 6,100 lifetime impressions, more than any other form of promotional merchandise. This easily means that clothing items are one of the best ways to reach customers.

What’s more, promotional clothing items are not single-use, and many people wear them again and again. This enhances publicity for your company and massively increases awareness of your brand. As the promotional product that leaves the most impressions, clothing should be highly considered for companies looking to explore promotional campaigns.

USB drives

Another classic promotional product, the USB drive is great for more business and IT-oriented brands. Depending on your target market, you may or may not want to use a USB drive in your promotional campaigns, but they’re still relevant to specific demographics of consumers. Students are a great target market and love free stuff, so a USB drive is particularly useful in this instance.

Benefits of promotional products

Some people like to believe that blatant advertising doesn’t work on them. But many industry experts will tell you that using promotional products has a bigger impact on the general public than you might think. Promotional products, therefore, can be utilised as an effective marketing tool.

Promotional merchandise – such as corporate gifts, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and power banks – can return significant benefits for your company. Discover their advantages below.

Brand recognition

This is the main benefit and the overarching reason as to why companies use promotional products. Creating and distributing promotional items with your company logo is an excellent marketing strategy, because it gets your business’ image out there and holds its position in consumers’ minds.

The promotional product industry is vast, so it’s important for businesses to remain original in their marketing approaches. Trade shows are great places to distribute promotional products and increase brand visibility, but you can further enhance your company’s brand through corporate gifting. This leaves a favourable impression on employees, who will in turn advertise the company by using their gift.

What’s more, using promotional merchandise products is a cost-effective form of marketing. It’s an advertising specialty that is the best and cheapest way to increase your brand visibility, when compared to the results it gets. The ROI is excellent, with studies showing that distributing branded merch brings in more customers.

Improved outreach

Promotional products are a great way to generate new leads and explore new markets. A promotional item doesn’t just have an impact on the receiver, but its use in everyday scenarios can advertise your brand to a vast array of people and businesses. This will increase your brand’s visibility and reach a wider audience, including those who perhaps you wouldn’t normally target.

Not only do promotional products help you find and create leads, you’ll also benefit from enhanced customer retention. This is seen with clients too, as around a quarter of businesses claim that giving corporate gifts to prospective clients is useful in generating new leads, according to OnRec.

Long product life

The longevity of promotional products is another big advantage for companies and is a defining reason for the boom of the promotional products industry in recent decades. Because promo products and branded items are often kept for everyday use, your brand’s image will be visible for at least the next five years. The reusability of the promotional products is also much better for the environment.

In fact, according to ASI Central, 57% of American consumers have kept a promotional product for more than five years, and 40% have held onto one for more than ten years. This means that in almost half of all cases, your brand name will remain present for up to a decade, producing results and generating new customers even years after your promo items have been sent out. The ROI in the promotional products industry is simply unbeatable.

Sell or distribute your promotional items with Hexicom!

Hexicom provides the right tools for all your promo and printing needs! Our industry-leading Web2Print software enables you to sell merchandise and printed items online in an easy to use and customisable ecommerce store. This can form the basis of your website, or it can be linked to your existing site if you already have a company website and just need to add the functionality of an online store.

The store can be used to sell print, promotional merchandise, apparel, and much more. Products can be edited online to add branding and the store can be linked to a full warehouse management solution also provided by Hexicom Software.

Book a demo with us today and we’ll get back to you with how our software leads the way in the promotional products industry, as well as details on how to use and implement the software.

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