We know consumers of all ages love promotional products- after all, who doesn’t love receiving something for free?  Giveaways do a great job of getting someone’s attention, but over time the novelty of a giveaway can eventually wear off, especially when the value of the product is perceived to be low.

Branded giveaways, when done right, have the potential to be the most effective way of connecting with a consumer.  However, if your giveaways are being thrown away then you are missing out on some serious ROI.  And given that the average lifespan of a promotional product is near 7 months, imagine how many impressions your brand could have if your customers are regularly using (and exposing others to) your brand.  The potential reach is exponential, so take advantage of that by ensuring your products will be used.

According to PPAI, the top three reasons people keep promotional products are because they are functional, fun and trendy.  To keep your promotional products from being thrown away or stored in a drawer forever, it should fall into at least one of these three categories.

Functional

popsocket

Functionality is the most important factor when determining the value of a promotional product.  In fact, 85% of consumers reported that they will keep a product because it is useful for them to have (PPAI).  There are several ways to look at functionality and an item’s ability to be reused is one of the biggest factors.  If your giveaway can be used weekly, or even daily, the perceived value to the consumer is destined to rise.

Now, think about how the product will help the consumer.  Does it simplify a common task?  Maybe it solves a problem, large or small?  Popsockets and SlingGrips seem to be all the rage right now because they make you less prone to drop your phone.  Another example, portable chargers, are highly funtional because they make sure your audience stays connected on the go.  Today it’s all about simplifying anything and everything!  Lastly, when it comes to functionality, the product’s function must fit into your target market’s lifestyle.  It doesn’t matter how functional a product is if your target wouldn’t use it.

Fun

Cornhole

Chances are, if you can give a product that elicits a laugh or smile, that product is going to be kept.  Why?  Because it will be harder for your consumer to part with your giveaway if there has been an emotional connection!  A fun product can be anything from a small desk toy that works your mind to a product that creates an experience.  For example, a branded Rubik’s cube or a branded cornhole set are fun games that immerse the recipient in a fun experience.  These branded products can be integrated into events like future tailgates and will be associated with good friends and your customer’s favorite team.  Any product that creates an experience is also bound to be functional and will receive repeat usage, allowing the fun with your brand to continue!

Trendy

Image from YETI.com

Everyone likes to stay up to date and be included in the latest and greatest trends!  Trendy branded products create a huge opportunity to get your company’s name out there, the key is just to stay on top of what’s new and popular in retail.  Since trends fluctuate by nature, once a new trend comes about it’s important to jump on it.  Your goal should be to get the trending product to your consumers before they get their own- one that doesn’t have your brand on it.

When a promotional product is on trend, the perceived value rises.  For example, think of YETI.  This trendy brand has a huge perceived value that consumers are willing to pay for, even though there are much cheaper alternatives.  Since many consumers are aware of name brand products and their price points, they will be overjoyed to receive one for free.  And even if your budget doesn’t allow for a brand name giveaway, customers still appreciate products inspired from retail too.


The truth is that 81% of consumers keep a promotional product for more than one year and 60% even keep if for 2 years (PPAI). Make sure your product has the value to be one of these! If your products are functional, fun, and trendy, they are sure to be well loved by your customers, employees and clients!

Jaclyn Maneri

Contact us to learn more about capitalizing on your giveaways!