The New York Times on Promotional Products

From the personalized coffee mugs at your local Starbucks to the 10-year-old t-shirt emblazoned with a high school logo that your cube-mate insists on wearing every casual Friday, promotional products are all around you. But just how effective are these branded gifts and giveaways?

Incredibly powerful, according to MP Mueller, author of The New York Times’ small business blog, You’re the Boss. Mueller arrives at this answer by way of a letter opener. But this isn’t just any letter opener. “In the clear acrylic handle,” Mueller writes, “float[s] a mini uterus with two pills strategically placed where the ovaries normally reside, alongside the drug’s name…”

Why would anyone own this item, you ask? Mueller’s grandfather, a doctor, received the letter opener as a gift from the drug company and the item’s practicality led him to hold on to it for 40 years.

While this anecdote certainly proves the staying power of promotional products, Mueller goes even deeper, delving into the psychological processes that occur as a result of receiving an advertising specialty item. Researchers have found that when people receive a gift, they feel the need to reciprocate the gesture. As a result, people are more likely to reach out to the distributor and even do business with that organization.

To garner the maximum return from promotional products giveaways, it’s important to ensure the product is functional, personalized, and appropriate for both the target audience and occasion. At Pinnacle, we help customers find the perfect products everyday. Here are a few of our suggestions:

•    Be early. If you’re trying to drive traffic at your next trade show, don’t wait until the day of the event. Sending a pre-show mailing, like this flexible, collapsible vase below,  can greatly encourage recipients to seek out your booth.

•    Think about color. A bold hue has the power to represent your brand and your message, as in the case of UPS and their slogan, “What can brown do for you?” Be sure your color and product choice appropriately reflect your company guidelines.

•    Add a unique twist to a classic product. These products will help you stand out in a crowd, just like a functional letter opener with a floating uterus.

What other tips do you have for customizing promotional products? Which products do you hold on to for the longest time? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Content Manager

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