We’ve all been there: an industry convention, a nonprofit fundraiser, or even a meeting with an external sales team. You receive a smorgasbord of swag: a few branded pens, a coffee mug -- maybe a drawstring bag. Relatively underwhelming, most of the time.
However, as brands look to up their image game with stakeholders, promotional product companies are seeing a shift in the quality and type of products their clients are ordering.
Arizona-based Boompromo has multiple clients in the building and construction space, and owner Zack Barna has observed this shift firsthand.
Less Is More
‘Whereas clients used to frequently lead with budget and ask for the maximum number of items for the cheapest price, we’ve recently seen an increase in requests for higher-end, higher-value items,” Barna says. “Marketing departments seem to be taking a more bespoke approach — selecting personalized items specifically for the end user.”
Case in point: A high-end residential real estate clients recently ordered custom paddle boards and kayaks for one of their waterfront properties.
“Our clients are purchasing branded items with higher perceived value, because they know it makes a lasting statement about their brand,” Barna added.
According to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the promotional products industry is a $23.3 billion business, and with good reason. Companies utilize branded items to promote products, incentivize employees, thank customers and increase brand awareness. Wearables comprise the most promo sales, 35%, between apparel and accessories.
PPAI also asserts that 81% of people keep promotional products for more than a year, and 82% had a more favorable impression of the brand after receiving a branded product. Arguably, these numbers increase as does the value of the item.
To that end, promotional product distributors see more and more clients ordering one-off gifts such as luggage, laptop backpacks and Bluetooth speakers. Distributors can even create custom online stores for each client, with an entire section devoted to their favorite one-off gifts. There’s no need to maintain a warehouse full of boxes and boxes of gear when you can drop-ship these branded gifts one at a time as-needed.
The bottom line? Promotional products can be a powerful tool for marketing departments looking to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Giving customers and stakeholders a tangible takeaway can leave a lasting impression. And as with every other material used in the construction industry, quality matters.