While we may think that online marketing is the only kind that matters nowadays, that is not the case. We sometimes overlook branded merchandise and write it off as outdated, thus making a big mistake.

Branded merchandise is still a valuable marketing tactic. According to sources, 94% of people remember where they got a promotional product. The bottom line is, people still love getting free stuff and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

In this article, we will discuss reasons why promotional products are crucial for your business as well as include some tips for designing the merchandise.

What Is So Great About Promotional Products?

Branded items bring numerous benefits to your business. They can help you establish a connection with your consumers, engage with them, and express the personality of your brand. One of the biggest appeals of branded merchandise is their cost-effectiveness.

Even small companies and startups that don’t have a big budget can afford these low-cost promotional products. For a small price, you get to impact a lot of people. Furthermore, according to the same study, a great number of people can recall the name of the company up to two years after they received the free products.

Another reason why giving away free branded promotional products is still popular is the fact it provides instant brand recognition. Giving away free stuff will help make your logo memorable. Consumers spot your logo on the branded merchandise and recognise your company. A study has shown that people tend to have more favourable impressions of the company that gave them free items.

The third big reason why this tactic should not be neglected is the fact that people use these promotional items and sometimes for a long time. According to the same study, people usually keep promotional items for about eight months after they receive them. This is better than seeing an advertisement on TV because when you get a T-shirt, a bag, a pencil or a coffee mug, you are likely to use those items for quite some time.

The study has also shown that more than half of consumers of all age groups own a branded T-shirt. With useful items, the logo of the company will constantly be somewhere where consumers can see it. Needless to say, it is a powerful advertising tool.

Promotional products also enable you to reach more people and because the items include not just your logo but some contact information too, they can function similarly to your business cards. Think about all the consumers who will give their free branded product to someone else and all the people that may potentially see your message.

Let’s not underestimate brand loyalty. Giving away free items can increase the chances of consumers choosing you over any other competitor. When they receive a free gift, certain feelings emerge and consumers experience the need to reciprocate in some way.

What to Focus On

There are several factors to consider when designing promotional products. The goal is to leave a good impression on consumers and in order to do that, your branded merchandise should be outstanding.


Promotional items should be of high quality. It is wrong to think that just because the products are given away for free, they should not be of good quality. On the contrary, in order to create a long-lasting impression, the items you give as gifts should not break or fall apart after a few days of using.

Always make sure that your branded merchandise is of premium quality because that will lead consumers to associate quality with your business and brand.

Graphic Design

Graphic design of branded merchandise should also appeal to the consumers. Designing a good logo is not an easy task, but it is a very important one. It’s more than just a combination of colours and shapes; a logo is a very powerful tool for creating a recognisable brand.

Since colours have a great impact on viewers, you should carefully pick the colours for your logo. Certain colours can be associated with certain feelings and this ought to be considered when designing a logo. The same goes for lines, shapes, and images.


How useful are products you give as gifts? This factor should not be neglected because if items don’t serve a certain purpose, they will not be used and that is not your goal. A T-shirt, a hat or a pencil are always useful and that is why such promotional products never cease to be popular. On the other hand, you shouldn’t forget to brand your stalls and exhibition stands, or any other items you use at conferences or trade shows.

In conclusion, even though many have abandoned and neglected the method, giving away free branded promotional products is still crucial for a viable business. While it costs very little, if used to the full potential, it can make a huge impact and help grow your business.

Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.