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What Are the Most Popular Promotional Items? [Infographic]

Cathy Houston Written by: Cathy Houston |

What Are the Most Popular Promotional Items? [Infographic]

I get it – choosing the perfect custom products to promote your brand can be intimidating once you realize the magnitude of promotional items from which you have to choose. I’ve found that the best way to relieve the stress of selecting the perfect promotional products for your business is to look to which products consumers keep and repeatedly use.

So, let me help you out! Thanks to ASI's 2016 Impressions Study, I know which promotional items are currently owned and kept by consumers in the United States. Here are the most popular promotional items that consumers say were given away free by companies.

1. Promotional Drinkware

Promotional Drinkware

Say hello to the most often owned promotional product by U.S. consumers: promotional drinkware! Over half of U.S. consumers own some type of promotional drinkware. How's that for high-staying power and repeated impressions?

Quick Tip: Remember, the category of "promotional drinkware" covers a vast range of items that includes water bottles, ceramic mugs, glassware, and more.

2. Custom Tote Bags

Custom Tote Bags

Promotional tote bags are extremely prevalent marketing tools, especially when it comes to trade shows. It’s not hard to figure out why – promotional bags are extremely useful to consumers! Whether they’re a trade show giveaway or a custom reusable grocery bag, promotional bags are insanely popular promotional items, and the statistics above prove it!

Quick Tip: Notice how the bags generate the most impressions out of any other promotional item in the U.S.? To understand the weight of this finding, you must first know exactly what “impressions” are! The average number of impressions each promotional product receives is calculated by multiplying how long a recipient has the product and how many people come into contact with it each month while using it. Bags have such a high number of impressions because they are most often used in public places.

3. Logo Writing Instruments

Logo Writing Instruments

This one’s no surprise considering the amount of promotional pens you probably see in your day to day life. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run; nearly every company can benefit from utilizing promotional writing instruments due to their high-staying power and unbeatable cost per impression.

Quick Tip: Don't just order cheap pens and expect to make a good impression on customers. You have to make sure that the writing instruments you order are high-quality, useful items, because, after all, the promotional products you choose ultimately represent your brand.

4.Promotional USB Drives

Promotional USB Drives

Here’s a product that is an embodiment of the 2016 promotional product trend that “usefulness is key.” Recipients even said it themselves: 91% of people keep promotional USB drives because they are useful.

Quick Tip: USB drives have way more styling options than you’re probably aware of. USBs can be made custom to your company with a variety of different colors, materials, and sizes.

5.Custom Desk Accessories

Custom Desk Accessories

Look at the high-staying power of promotional desk accessories! Think of all the repeated impressions these items will make on customers in 14 months. These impressions will ultimately lead to strong brand recognition among consumers.

Quick Tip: Promotional desk accessories are great for creating a sense of brand unity in office environments. Deck out your employees’ work spaces with promotional desk accessories such as pens, calendars, and notepads to brand your office.

6. Health Promotional Items

Heatlh Promotional Items

Promotional health & safety items have grown in popularity over the past year, and I accredit that growth to the usability of health products. Health items can give companies credibility in the eyes of consumers as a brand that values health and wellness.

Quick Tip: While there are products that are specifically tailored to medical companies like dental practices or doctors' offices, any company can make use of health & safety products. For instance, during flu season, logo hand sanitizer is an appropriate and useful giveaway.

7. Custom Calendars

Custom Calendars

One benefit of using custom calendars to promote your business is the obvious fact that they last a year! That's a whole year of repeated impressions that will create a strong sense of brand recognition among the consumers exposed.

Quick Tip: Logo calendars are popular promotional items for consumers as well as employees. Utilizing office promotional products creates a sense of brand unity among the people that matter most - the innards of your brand!

8. Promotional Power Banks

Promotional Power Banks

Here's a promo item that will literally charge up your marketing! Promotional power banks are influential due to their functionality and high-staying power.

Quick Tip: I find it beneficial to look to trends outside of the marketing world to indicate which promotional products will be a hit among consumers. For example, since two thirds of people in the U.S. are smartphone users according to PEW Research Center, power banks make sense to give away because they are compatible with smartphones.

Key Takeaways

So what makes a promotional item popular? Here are the key factors that these popular promotional items worth ordering:

  • High-staying power
  • Usefulness
  • Number of impressions

Remember these key takeaways and above items when it comes time to order effective promotional items for your brand. With these key factors in mind, you're sure to pick a product that will resonate with recipients.

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Orignially published on March 31, 2016, updated on March 26, 2019

Topic: Promotional Products