Marketing 101: People Love Getting Free Stuff

Look around your house or office. Chances are there’s something there that has a company’s logo on it. And there’s also a good chance it’s something you’ve had for a while. I can say that with confidence because statistics back me up. In a recent survey of consumers, the surveyors found that:

91% had at least one promotional product in their kitchen and 74% had at least one promotional product in their work area.

What’s more…

81% of consumers keep promotional products for more than a year and 41% keep them for up to 5 years!

Sunglasses - Promotional ItemsYou know the kinds of things I’m talking about – pens, koozies, key chains, calendars, stress balls, water bottles, hand sanitizer, lip balm – the list goes on and on. They go by a lot of different names – promotional items, giveaways, novelties, premiums, swag, tchotchkes – but no matter what you call them, they’re a very effective marketing tool.

At JKS, we create dozens of different promotional items for our clients every year to be given out at the brand experiences we create. Usually, the client decides what the promo item will be, and we create it. It may tie into the client’s product or service, or to the brand experience we have created. And trust me, you ALWAYS have to give something away at a brand experience. People expect it. It’s an established formula – you attract people with the experience, get their email (which is the goal) to enjoy the experience, then give them the item as a reward. Of course, it doesn’t always have to be a promo item. It could be a discount coupon or small product sample. But it has to be something – people love getting free stuff!

PomPoms - Promotional Items

The giveaway could also relate to the venue. For instance, at outdoor events in the summer, people like getting things that help them beat the heat, like cooling towels or a small portable fan they can run off their phone, or items they can use outdoors like sunscreen or sunglasses. Overall, the best promo items are either unique and stand out, or that people use a lot and will become part of their daily routine. Either way, you want it to be something they will keep.

There are also giveaways that are more substantial. Big outdoor events are usually fine for small tchotchkes, but for trade shows you’ll want something a little more impressive and expensive, like a USB hub or a phone charger or cover. Trade show items are generally more business related, while items given away at big outdoor events are usually more fun and practical.

What exactly do you get by giving away promo items? A lot of things! Research by the Promotional Products Association has shown that giving away promotional items helps generate:

  • Goodwill – 82% of consumers surveyed had a more favorable impression of a brand after receiving a promo item.
  • Brand recognition– 76.2% of consumers could recall the specific product, advertiser and message of a promotional product they’d received in the past two years.
  • New customers – 80% of item recipients research the brand on the item and 83% say they are more likely to do business with the brand.

So, if you’re having an event or appearing at one, take my advice and have something to give away. It’s also a good idea to have some things with your logo on them that you can give to customers who visit your store or office – pens, glasses and mugs are among the most popular. Bottom line – having your name on something that’s out in the world is never a bad idea. After all, you never know what it might lead to!