How to Reap All the Benefits and Avoid the Pitfalls of Using Branded Promotional Items

Everyone has a pen with someone’s name and logo on it. Maybe you got the phone cover you’re using from your gym. And if you don’t have a t-shirt or hoodie with a logo from some team, it’s almost unheard of. These are all pieces of custom promotional items that help spread the word about a particular business. You can use this type of merchandise to promote your own business, too.

promotional item
photo credit: [puamelia]


You know that saying that all publicity is good publicity? To a certain extent, it’s true. The more people see your brand’s logo, the better. Each person you give a branded piece of promotional merchandise is one more you’re making aware of your business.

Branded promotional items also allow you to remain foremost in your target audience’s mind. Giving out useful items like pens, calendars, and coffee mugs with your information on it can help do this. If your target customer sees your brand every day on his or her routine, they are more likely to remember you when they’re ready to buy. Certain items such as tote bags

There’s also a certain amount of goodwill earned when you give out free stuff. The customer saves money on that item or the time it takes to go get it for themselves. Food is especially effective in this respect. Almost everyone enjoys a little treat. If you give away cookies with your logo, your target customers will be grateful for the sweet treat and remember where they got them.

Avoid These Pitfalls

While there are obvious benefits to using promotional items personalized for your business, there are also some mistakes you should avoid, too. The most common one is an irrelevant product. Whatever you decide to use should have some relevance to your business. Magnets and calendars are pretty universal, but you should also dig deeper. If you’re in the beauty industry, it makes sense to give out branded makeup bags. Those in the auto industry might give out car visors. Just make sure it’s relative.

Another mistake is a bad design plan. Your promotional products should have enough space to fit at least your business name, logo, and phone number. If you don’t do a lot of phone business, consider putting your website address instead. The last thing you need is for your target customers to remember your brand, decide to get in touch, and have no way of doing so.

Don’t forget that each promotional product you give out has a cost associated with it. If you don’t budget yourself correctly, you can find yourself spending big bucks. Crunch the numbers to find out what you can realistically spend. Then shop around wholesale websites for a manufacturer who can get you what you need within your budget.

And speaking of money, never forget that you are giving out these trinkets in hopes of getting back valuable information – and business. Don’t give your promotional merchandise randomly just so you can get rid of it. Limit them to targeted prospects–those you know have a need or interest in your services. Try to collect as much information about those prospects as possible during the transaction, too. For example, ask them to sign up for your email newsletter before you give out that t-shirt. It will make it that more effective if you can follow up with your potential customers later on.