Promotional products vital to marketing - keeping brands front of mind
New research shows that customers buy from businesses that give them promotional gifts. A second UK wide survey, commissioned by the BPMA, was conducted online among 1000 randomly selected adults from a 250,000 database of business people who were found to have received promotional items.
- 94 per cent of us, when given an item of promotional merchandise, do not forget the advertiser or product advertised even after having the product for over six months
- Two-thirds of us keep promotional products for over six months and 44 per cent keep them for over one year
- Half of us would like to receive promotional products more often
- Nearly half of us like receiving free promotional products that have an advertising message
- Nearly 98 per cent of us think that promotional merchandise is not a waste of money.
- Usefulness is a key driver with over half of us saying we would go and get a useful item if it was being handed out
- Over half of us have three or more promotional products on our desk or in our office
The survey, carried out by the independent research company Relevant Insights LLC, questioned business people about what they do with and what they like about different promotional gifts.
One of the most significant results of this second comprehensive national survey was that, as a way to remind us about a company, promotional merchandise works.
94 per cent of us remember the advertiser who gave it to us or the product advertised after we have had the item for six months and nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of us are more likely to use a business that has given us a promotional product, when the need for the advertised product or service arises, rather than a similar business that has not given us anything.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of people questioned said that they like receiving free products that have an advertising message, and 98 per cent think that promotional products are not a waste of money. Half (50 per cent) said that they would like to receive such items more often.
Neal Beagles, Chairman of the BPMA comments: “Promotional gifts clearly are a powerful marketing tool. Indeed, two thirds of us said we like to hang on to our gifts for more than six months and 44 per cent for over one year. And, of course, one important element that promotional merchandise has in its favour is that we like a free gift!”
Neal Beagles continues: “These results show that promotional gifts are liked by people in business, but also that they keep a brand or message front of mind. By exposing customers and prospects to a company logo or message time after time, brand recognition is reinforced and that leads to sales. So promotional merchandise has a direct and unequivocal influence on our decision-making process when we are ready to buy and so has impact on the bottom line.”
The survey findings show clearly that UK business people don’t like just any product, ‘usefulness’ is the key factor in people taking and retaining promotional merchandise. Over half of us (54 per cent) said we would go and get a promotional product that was being handed out if the item is useful. This is backed up by a look at the list of what we prefer to receive*. Useful items like USB sticks (31 per cent), clocks and watches (26 per cent), luggage (22 per cent), umbrellas (20 per cent) and coffee mugs (18 per cent) are among those most likely to motivate us to take action or to lead to a more favourable impression of the advertiser or company.
Another key factor that must be taken into account when selecting a product is ‘likability’ with 61 per cent of people saying they would take a free gift being given out if they liked it.
Usefulness is again apparent as the key reason why people keep products, with those being kept for at least a year including USB sticks (63 per cent), coffee mugs (60 per cent), umbrellas (51 per cent), clocks and watches (48 per cent) and pens (43 per cent).
This follows on from findings of national independent research in 2011 when 18 per cent of respondents said that they had kept a mug for the longest period of time, 15 per cent a USB stick and 12 per cent a pen, with around one-third (33 per cent) indicating they had kept an item for between one and two years and 30 per cent between three and four years, highlighting that around 87 per cent of recipients had kept a promotional item for longer than 12 months.
We are a nation that likes, keeps and uses promotional gifts and this is again highlighted by the fact that over half of us (53 per cent) have three or more products on our desk or in our office, and nearly a third (30 per cent) have four or more products. The most commonly kept items are pens, mugs and cups, calendars, mousepads and USB sticks, with the biggest reason for people keeping products they have received being because the item is useful (80 per cent).
Neal Beagles continues: “Any company, organisation or brand using promotional merchandise is hoping that it will be kept by the recipient and act as an ongoing reminder of them. In order to achieve this it is clear that the most important questions to ask when choosing a product are ‘is it useful to my target recipients and will they like it?’ If it ticks those boxes then it is far more likely to be retained.”
Neal Beagles concludes: “This survey has again confirmed how effective promotional merchandise can be. Not only is it welcomed by recipients, but it demonstrably affects their purchasing behaviour by acting as a reminder of any given company or brand and making them more likely to be chosen over a competitor. Customers that already know about your business are far easier to sell to and so keeping in touch is important. Promotional merchandise enables companies to do this at relatively low-cost in comparison to other forms of advertising.”
*Which promotional products are most likely to motivate you to take action or lead to a more favourable impression of the advertiser/company?
Gift basket………43.3 %
Coffee mug…… 18.0%
T/golf shirt…… 16.5%
Sticky note pad….11.2%
Water bottle…… 8.9%