One of the most effective ways to increase brand recognition and sales is by providing promotional gifts to current and prospect customers. In a 2014 survey, British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) found that 96% of 1,200 respondents, each of whom has received promotional products in the past, said that these promotional products increase brand awareness. More interestingly, 83% of the surveyed individuals said that they buy from companies that give them these items.

However, slapping your logo onto a coffee mug or gift bags is not enough to improve your brand awareness. Here are several things you should keep in mind when assessing what promotional product to release to your target market.


Useful to the target market

Qualities of an Effective Promotional Product for Your Business

A key trait of an effective promotional product is that it is useful to its recipient. Usefulness means that the target market will want to bring it home, use it, and even keep it. Think of practical items that provide immediate value such as writing instruments, tech products, or kitchen items.

According to Tweak Your Biz, when a promotional product is kept anywhere from 1 to 3 years, your logo and company name stays on top of mind for a very long time. Moreover, the longer your promotional item is kept, the larger the chance for others (e.g. family members, friends, or colleagues of the owner) to see your brand name and get the impression that the owner’s use is a positive recommendation of your products or services.

Short-term use items such as branded drinks or snacks can also make a positive impact especially for trade show attendees who may be thirsty or hungry.



The increased availability of graphic design tools and tutorials have made many small business owners and entrepreneurs to take it upon themselves to design their promotional products.

While some may have a knack for great design, it may be wise to consult design experts to ensure the physical attractiveness of your marketing item, particularly for apparel, when investing in promotional products.

Attractiveness is, after all, what makes a user proud to keep and wear items like shirts and hats, which are noted to be two of the most popular promotional products.


Represents your company well

Qualities of an Effective Promotional Product for Your Business

Great branded corporate gifts positively influence what your customers, new or existing, think of your company. If the product you have in mind is meant for the recipients to keep and use for a long time, it’s important to invest in a high-quality item that works well.

A faulty or cheap product will reflect poorly on your brand, and give a negative impression of your company, even if it’s a gift.


Enforces brand relevance

When evaluating what product to give away, it’s ideal to have an item that is relevant to your brand—something that represents what your company does. This will help your target market associate your brand with the item they have received.

For example, pens are a very popular promotional item (with 150 of them million handed out across the U.K. in 2015), but if your company doesn’t do anything related to writing, then promo pens may not be the best choice.

Here’s a list of examples of promotional products that can be personalised to help enforce brand relevance:

  • Electronics like customised power banks and USB flash drives
  • Water-resistant reusable bags
  • Sunscreen and facemasks
  • Notebook and journal kits
  • Writing kits
  • Office kits with customised notepads, sticky notes, and coffee mugs
  • Attractive clothing apparel (jackets, baseballs caps, and shirts)
  • Sports apparel (dry-fit shirts, socks, and tumblers)
  • Trendy phone cases and accessories
  • Sweets like candies and cookies in tin cans or pouches
  • Cosmetics like lipsticks, and make-up brushes


Giving away promotional products improves brand recall and increases sales. However, when choosing a branded gift, you must ensure that it is useful, well-designed, relevant, and represents your company.

When these qualities are met, your promotional product is more likely to be kept for a long time and elevate the impression of your brand, products, and services.