The lesser-known benefits of promotional merchandise

How did we survive before the digital age? How did we communicate before we could ‘reach out’ on LinkedIn?

For marketeers, the digital world has rewritten the rulebook, but the real world still has plenty to offer. While there’s merit in connecting with customers both digitally and face-to-face, as experiences go, the latter is often far more enduring.

For blanket exposure digital is still king. Digital platforms can reach vast audiences and get your brand under more than a few noses. However, it’s not just about the numbers. There are times when making a positive impression is the best way to get your brand noticed. And that’s when promotional merchandise really comes into its own.

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s 2016 cost analysis of promotional products versus other advertising media, consumers keep, use, and retain promotional items for about eight months. The report also revealed that 85% of consumers were more likely to remember a brand if it featured on a promotional product.

When it comes to brand recall and longevity, promotional marketing outperforms digital. Brand recall is more powerful in the real world because our brains are wired to commit physical items to memory. Besides, the more useful or desirable a product, the longer someone will keep hold of it. By comparison, digital media have a far shorter shelf life.

However, first impressions still count with promotional merchandise. Creating physical items that connect with consumers straight away calls for quality, utility and relevance.

  • Quality – just because you’re giving something to someone for free, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have value. Though it’s unlikely to be cherished forever, or even for 24 hours, poor items only lead to poor publicity.
  • Utility – the more useful and convenient an item is, the greater the positive brand association.
  • Relevance – every promotional item needs audience appeal. Proving to your average customer that you have considered their interests will help create that positive, long-lasting impression.

Compared to digital marketing campaigns, monitoring the success of promotional campaigns can be hard work. But rather than treat digital and promotional marketing separately, they should be interconnected. Make that happen and you’ll unlock the full power of promotional merchandise.

To find out how promotional merchandise can benefit your business, get in touch with the team to learn more:


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