Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Right Promotional Products for your Business

When it comes to using promotional products to promoting your business, there is a right way and wrong way to do it. Many people believe that they should just purchase a series of hats, pens or mugs and then give them to as many people as possible. The chances that your business will earn a good return on investment from this strategy is the same as slinging mud to a wall and seeing what sticks. Rather than leave it to chance, it is better to take a more strategic approach. Below are a few tips that will help increase your business’ chances to earn a return on investment from promotional items that are used as part of your marketing campaign.

USB Drive Cassette Tape
photo credit: Flickr

Define the campaign objective before you get your promotional products.

You need to know what marketing objectives you want to accomplish from using promotional products. Ask yourself if you want to:

  • Increase the awareness of your business?
  • Increase more lead enquiries for your business?
  • Initiate more sales for your business?

Choose the right promotional product that will allow your business to increase its sales.

The product that you choose must relate to the marketing actions you want your target audience to take. For example, IT service workers can receive a new laptop case. Or provide a customised Rubix cube for clients that love to work in problem-solving industries.

Whatever your marketing objectives are, you should attribute the return on investment from your business’s marketing activities.

Don’t just spend money to promote awareness. Aim to make a profit from your business’s promotional activities. Select a specific market that you want to target and understand how you can relate a promotional product to them and your business. Below are a few clever ways promotional products have been used to get more business.


When Nintendo was bringing out the Wii, they wanted a post-launch marketing campaign that would improve the branding and appeal of their new gaming system. Promotional products were used in the campaign to generate interest and to add value to the brand.

Nintendo Wii keyring torch
photo credit: Fluid Branding

This was executed by simulating the Wii remote as a keyring flashlight that would emit a blue light, similar to the actual Wii remote. The keychain was promoted as a ‘free gift’ for people that subscribed to Nintendo’s Power Magazine. This enabled Nintendo to gain over 100,000 subscribers to the magazine, free promotion across online and offline media, as well as increased sales of the Nintendo Wii product.

Gold’s Gym

Gold’s gym is one of the most popular and recognisable gym brands in the world. Originally opened in Venice Beach, California in the USA; the gym was frequented by bodybuilding great Arnold Schwarzenegger and featured in the movie ‘Pumping Iron’.

Gold's Gym shirt
photo credit:

In order to promote more gym memberships, the gym used promotional products to boost the brand’s ‘chic’ appeal. Merchandise products such as branded tee shirts, gym bags, exercise straps and wristbands were developed to improve the brand awareness and social appeal of the gym. As a result, the gym earned more subscriptions.

Monument Realty

This real estate business was hosting an Oktoberfest themed event for real estate professionals and they wanted to increase the attendance numbers as much as possible. The marketing campaign used promotional products in their direct mailing activities.

A custom box was designed and each box contained an acrylic pint glass which had the actual invitation printed on the pint glass. Unshelled peanuts were also placed inside the pint glass to add to the ‘pub theme’, as well as a wristband for them to gain entrance to the event. As a result, 60% of the real estate agents that were invited attended the event, making it a success!


There are a few ways you can successfully use promotional products to improve your business’s marketing activities. Consider the needs and wants of your target audience, construct an angle that will improve their appeal and desire for what you have to offer and then pitch it to them in a compelling way.