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Reasons Why Promotional Products Get Attention

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

EMPROMOS swag selectionby Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Come on, admit it. We all love swag. But why are promo items such a draw?

We’ve all been there. It’s a trade show. Or a convention. Or just a community celebration in the park. The speakers might be amazing or the music is top notch. But what we notice is the swag. So are there reasons why promotional products get attention, no matter where we are?

Here are ten reasons why we love those logo-branded giveaways so very much.

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10. Customers and prospects like Free!

Promo Items for Free

It’s not that we’re cheap. It really isn’t. But these days, there are very few things that are absolutely free. So that thermal drink cup, that drawstring bag or that brand new flash drive someone is ready to hand you “just because” feels like a real treat. Customers, prospects, clients and employees alike all love a free gift now and then. And swag fits that bill perfectly.

9. It’s immediate

prize drawing entries in bowl

People enter drawings and contests all the time, hoping to win the new TV, the all-expense-paid vacation or the big lottery. But deep inside, we know that only a few will win…and the odds aren’t in our favor. But with a promo item, the payoff is immediate. You reach out your hand, and you have a new t-shirt with a pithy saying. Or a pair of colorful sunglasses. The dollar value isn’t important. It’s the fact that everyone wins.

8. We get to say “We were there”

SXSW tshirt

A promo t-shirt provides instant proof that someone was in a certain city, saw the concert or attended big event. And especially in the U.S., we love wearing t-shirts, sweatshirts, or caps that tell everyone about our experiences. And other people pay attention to what our attire says. We tell people “we were there, too!”, or mention how much we wish we could have been. We gather — and grant — street cred or even professional credibility in part based on what someone’s clothing tells us about what they’ve done, and when they did it.

7. It’s so very visual

green reusable shopping bag

Promotional items tend to “shout out” their message, whether it’s with a logo, a brand name, a color combination or some all of the above. People can’t help but notice the images and words, so even casual passers-by get the message, too.

6. People actually use them

Remote charger from ePromos

The promo items people pick up at the show or convention tend to be the things they use. So that hat will be seen on the train. That bag will be carried in the grocery store. And that water bottle will be pulled out at the gym. The fact that people incorporate your swag into their lives gets your company attention with every view.

5. Good promos are timely

rotary telephone

There’s probably not a company in the country who would give away telephone book covers, dialer sticks or address books at their next event, even though these very items used to be popular choices long, long ago. Marketers select swag and giveaways based on what we use today. That’s why memory sticks and phone chargers have replaced those now useless phone book covers. Our promos get attention because we adapt our choices to changing technology and styles.

4. Good swag lasts

coffee mug 1965

Yes, we’ve all had the experience of getting a promo pen that didn’t even last through the first meeting. But most of the time the promotional products we give away and the ones our customers or employees choose to take last for a good long time. It’s not at all unusual to still be using that coffee cup from an event that was a decade ago. And that tape measure someone just used for a DIY project could easily be from a show three or four years ago. Items that last carry your message well into the future. It’d hard to think of any other kind of advertising that lasts so long.

3. It’s a treat

chocolate covered pretzels

Promotional products feel like a treat. We wouldn’t buy a new windbreaker or a nifty little toolset that fits in the glovebox. But we’re thrilled when someone gives us one. And with all the focus on healthy food choices, it’s delightful to have someone hand us a cookie or a bag of chocolates we can enjoy without feeling bad for having bought it. It was a gift, after all.

2. It’s a way to try new things

Man with headset

Your prospects might not buy a picnic blanket, a new kind of headset or a clever little clip on watch for themselves. But when you hand them out as a promo, they’ll be grateful for the chance to try it. And with your name on the product, those good feelings can translate into sales down the road.

1. It’s part of the event experience

chairs with swag bags

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Half of the fun of attending a conference or trade show is looking for the swag. People prowl the aisles, trying to spot the most unique items and the best looking choices. They look for things to take home to their kids or partners, and things to share back at the office. The promotional giveaways get attention because it’s part of the game… and because everyone likes taking goodies back to the people at home.


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