Business promotional products are any items that may be used to promote something about a business. That might be the whole brand – or it might be a specific product or message from within that brand.
Promotional items may be anything at all, as long as they are either directly branded or used in a way that has immediate relevance to a promotion or campaign. Such a promotion or campaign can be targeted for immediate return (as in a product launch) – or it can be a long term promotion, like getting workers within a company to wear branded protective clothing when they do a job.
The overall purpose of many business promotional products is the creation of a fun or interesting/exciting brand message. The product selected for use in a campaign becomes part of the language of that campaign, and hence is included in the lexicon of the brand itself. The message thus created is imparted by a juxtaposition of the promotional item with the product or brand it is being used to promote.
The use of branded flip flops in a bottled beer promotion is a perfect example of how this works. Flip flops are not, in and of themselves, items associated with the manufacturer and ale of bottled lager. They are, however, associated with holidays, sunshine and fun. So branding flip flops with the logo of a beer manufacturer, and using them in pub giveaways, may associate the name of a particular beer with the idea of summer fun.
Items with some kind of use to the recipient are also highly thought of as business promotional products. A USB stick or other piece of digital media is a prime case in point. In business terms, portable data is always useful – and the cost of printing USB sticks with personalised messages and logos is negligible in terms of the amount of visibility the brand gets when business clients begin using its memory sticks to carry their files with them.
The length of time an end user keeps business promotional items (on average) may be used as a factor in deciding which items to use. It is not always necessary, however, to select the products that have the longest average uptake. The item selected by the promotions manager will depend on the thrust of the promotion itself.
Some kinds of promotion specifically require products that won’t be used for very long. Often, business promotional products of this nature are novelty items, which can be used to enhance a message in the moment rather than dispensing it over a longer period of time.
The short-term message is usually associated with a giveaway promotion; or with promotions designed to help specific brands take ownership of important festivals and holidays. In this last sense, some business promotional products are no more nor less than the packaging in which a normal product is presented. As long as the item associates the brand with the holiday, that’s all that matters. You only have to look at the distinctive red and white branding of a particular soft drink over Christmas to see that in action.