3 Outrageous Myths About Promotional Products - Smashed!


Sitting on the couch last night I found myself watching a rerun of a very cool show called Myth Busters. These guys spend a crazy amount of time debunking some of the world’s oldest myths. This got me thinking about some of the myths that surround the promotional products and branded apparel industry. The sad reality is that these myths have a huge impact on marketers, buyers, businesses and organizations in just about every industry.

Today I am going to try to smash three of the most outrageous myths about the promotional product and branded apparel industry. Before I jump into smashing these myths, I need you, the reader, to think like a consumer or customer. After all, that is who we are trying to connect with when using promotional products or branded apparel.

Myth #1: There is no current innovation in promotional products.

How this came to be:

History lesson, the first promotional item recorded dates all the way back to 1789 when George Washington used election buttons to help get elected president. That was over 200 hundred years ago. Most often people think that the promotional product industry is only offering pens, calendars or cheap trinkets. In the past 200 years this industry has completely evolved.

Smashing this Myth:

Numbers always convince people. The promotional product industry is a $19.83 billion dollar industry and every year thousands of products are created and introduced to the marketplace. Also let me bring up one global brand juggernaut that uses promotional products, NIKE. The Lance Armstrong “Live Strong Yellow Band” was created by Nike and has been used to spread awareness of testicular cancer and sold $26 million worth of these wristbands. One of the most successful promotional products in the last two decades.

Myth #2: The Cheaper the product, the better for business.

How this came to be:

Promotional products have gained a reputation of being cheap. Well, some are cheap to manufacture but that doesn’t mean that marketers and buyers need to have a solidified view of promotional products being cheap. All they have wanted to do in the past is place a logo on a product and to accomplish this goal they chose to use the cheaper end products. Well this myth is about to become smashed.

Smashing this Myth:

The adage, “Cheaper is always better” is simply not true. If you are the buyer or marketer, it is your job to create promotional products that help you connect with your fans which in turn leads to a better and higher perception of your brand. Promotional product research has shown that 92% of people will keep a promo item if they find it useful and relevant. They can also recall the name and advertiser of promotional products better than mainstream media. The best part is that the ads on promotional items can NOT be turned off like the T.V. or radio. Your fans know the difference between cheap products and products that give them the sense that you are working hard to gain their respect and business.

Myth #3: There is no way to measure Return On Income of promotional products.

How this came to be:

The idea of putting your logo on an item and handing that item out at an event or trade show used to be the norm. It was acceptable to simply create these products to spread brand awareness. It was very difficult to track and manage each of the items that were given out, so it used to be measured in how many items were given out. A lot has changed.

Smashing this Myth:

Promotional Products are completely and easily traceable. All that needs to happen is for you to create a sound marketing strategy for the product, the message and the measurable objectives for each promotional product that is given out by your brand. Here are four simple methods to measure and track ROI on promotional products:

  • Social Media Hashtags: Almost everyone has a smartphone and uses social media applications in one form or another. On your promo item you can identify a specific hashtag you want them to use and track how many times that hashtag is referenced by searching it throughout the campaign. Once you have identified those who have used the hashtag you can follow them all the way through the buying process.

  • Phone Numbers: Place a specific phone number that you have created and placed on the promo item and track how many times it was used. Again, once you have identified the people using them you can follow them through the buying process.

  • A Strong Call to Action (CTA): Promotional products are there to help you connect with your fans and customers. If created with usefulness and relevancy for the consumer in mind you will have no problem seeing people react to strong CTA’s. By giving them a custom branded replica jersey of the sports team they are there to watch, place a CTA on the package or jersey itself telling them to go to the team store in the next 7 days and use a certain promo code for 10 percent off there next order. You can measure ROI with the number of times the promo code was used.

  • Promo Codes: We throw out promo codes on websites, social media, email marketing campaigns, T.V. and radio advertisements all day long. Why not put a promo code on the promotional product. It is a strong CTA and can be easily tracked and traced for a ROI report.

There you have it, three outrageous myths about promotional products, smashed.

Be sure to check out some of the cool stuff that we, BrightPoint Creative, are doing on our social media, @brightpointcreative, and take a peek at thousands of promotional products, branded apparel, corporate and employee recognition award ideas on our site.


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