A recent study by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) shows that a majority of Americans like promotional products, especially because they are either free or cheap. It also reveals that about 71% of Americans with promotional products wish they could receive them more often. It is for such reasons that the 2019 promotional product sales in the US amounted to over $24 billion, as reported by Statista.

This suggests that giving out free products could be one of the surest ways of advertising your brand. While it also works for established brands, the use of promotional products is mainly suitable if you’re introducing a new product or brand in the market. Keeping this in mind, here’s a look at some of the benefits of using promotional products for advertisement purposes.


1. Saves Advertisement Costs

One of the reasons why start-ups fail is ineffective marketing, usually caused by issues such as lack of finances. Since many small businesses do not have adequate finances, choosing cost-effective strategies can help a great deal in keeping them afloat. For instance, the use of promotional products is among the cheapest ways of marketing your brand. This is because manufacturers charge low prices on promotional products, and this enables mass production and distribution. Additionally, prospective customers are more likely to remember your brand for a long time, and this saves you from recurrent advertisement costs.

Source: Stevens & Tate Marketing

2. Builds Customer Loyalty

When advertising a new product, the impression you give your potential customers greatly determines whether they will purchase it or not. Typically, offering them a promotional product works better than just using plain words to market your brand. Since most people like gifts, the potential customer will have a positive impression of your brand and is more likely to become a loyal customer. Wwsintl, a company that specializes in product testing, suggests that you make your promotional products of high quality lest you paint a negative picture of your brand.

Source: Acquire

3. Creates Instant Brand Recognition

Most companies use promotional products such as branded shopping bags, mugs, books, pens, and lately, face masks. For instance, Jack in the Box restaurant in Reno, Nevada, is giving away chicken-scented face masks branded with a logo, a new chicken sandwich, and smiley faces. While such masks may not guarantee massive purchases of the new sandwich, they will definitely promote instant brand recognition if people walk around wearing them.

Source: The Balance Small Business

4. Works Better Than Business Cards

In this digital era where people spend a lot of time on their electronic gadgets, giving them business cards is not an appropriate marketing strategy. Worse still, most people throw away business cards in less than a week without looking at the contact information, as reported by Promotions Warehouse. While business cards are evidently irrelevant in 2024, people still give them out because it’s one of the fastest ways to convey brand contact information to potential customers. However, it is still ineffective considering most people don’t even look at the contact information or save it for later use.

As such, promotional products remain a better option since they are helpful items that can’t just be thrown away. They are also more presentable and attractive considering you can use different items and designs for this purpose, unlike a business card which is just a piece of paper. Take note that you can also include contact information on your promotional products in small font size.

Source: Generates Leads

5. Generates Leads

The main purpose of marketing is to generate leads, which eventually turn into sales. Regardless of how long it takes for a lead to convert, the use of promotional products somewhat guarantees this. For instance, Starbucks gives away items such as coffee mugs and pouches, which help generate leads when people share them with their friends and families. This also promotes customer retention and brand loyalty, which is every business’s goal.

Source: Forbes

6. Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

In a competitive market, a customer will go for a brand that presents itself most perfectly. For example, if one brand is giving away free products while the other one is asking people to go and check their website, the former is more likely to generate more leads. This is because giving away gifts gives your business a competitive edge in the market. Generally, a buyer would prefer something tangible to lots of words that they may never recall. In the above example, a customer may not even remember the name of your website.

Source: UX Collective

7. Builds Brand Confidence

Due to external influence or previous disappointments, most shoppers would want to try a product and verify its authenticity before purchasing. In other words, a customer is less likely to purchase a new product in bulk, unless it is for redistribution purposes. An incredible way to satisfy this need is to offer free promotional products. In case a customer likes it, he/she is most likely to make more purchases in the future as well as market your brand to other people due to the confidence gained. This works like the “try before you buy” strategy which allows customers to test products and only purchase them if they meet their expectations. Amazon is one of the brands employing this strategy in its Prime Wardrobe program.

Source: High Visibility

8. Promotes Long-term Brand Exposure

Experts recommend giving out high-quality promotional products that portray the quality of the brand. If your products are long-lasting, you will enjoy free marketing for as long as the recipients keep using them. For example, if you decide to give out branded washable face masks, make sure their quality is top tier so that they can last long for purposes of long-term marketing. Take note that customers would also like useful items that won’t fade or break within no time. Such items would reflect poorly on your brand, and therefore, you should go for good-quality promotional items.


These are some of the advantages of using promotional products as a marketing strategy for your business. While this method is effective in boosting brand visibility, you should consider combining it with other marketing strategies such as digital marketing for optimum benefits. If you need help to choose the right marketing methods, consult a marketing expert near you.