Promotional items/gifts are articles of an organization which are often branded with the logo of that organization and used and used for communication and marketing purposes. Such items are given away to promote products and services of an organization.

Promotional products such as pens, coffee mugs, T-shirts and others with the name of a business imprinted on them are very effective when used for that purpose, (Huff 279). Recently, promotional products have been proved to be the best choice of promoting business enterprises’ image, products brands and services. In fact, various studies have come up with Statistics that support this fact. Moreover, they are the promotion alternatives compared to other traditional promotion strategies.

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The major advantage of mostly used promotional items is that they can reach a wider market and they can be used on a daily basis by anyone for example, pens and key holders and others. Consequently, they are very effective and beneficial to business enterprises. However, though such products are the best option, it must be clear that other promotion methods such as trade shows, exhibitions, TV and Radio advertisements, internet sites and others are also effective and should not be ruled out. Therefore, this paper examines some of the benefits of promotional gifts which make them unique from other promotion strategies as illustrated by various studies. In addition it should be understood that these products can also be detrimental to the business if not used well. In view of that fact, it will also be prudent to focus on some of the harmful effects that can be caused by such items in this paper.

Promotion gifts are beneficial to a business in various aspects, which makes them a better option from the other promotion methodologies. To start with, these items are very effective in making the recipients remember the products and services of a company, (Hart et al. 38).

This fact is well illustrated by a study that was conducted in America in the year 2006 by researchers from university of Louisiana and university of Texas on effectiveness of promotional products compared to other traditional methods, (PPAIDIM, 2011). The study involved collection of data on responses by recipients of promotional items/gifts given by companies.

The findings of that research showed that approximately 76.1% of those given promotional gifts could recall the name of the business imprinted on these items. Surprisingly, they even could recall the names of those companies even after twelve months since when they were given. From these results it is easy to deduce that such gifts create visibility for a company which can lead to traffic and eventually help to increase level of sales.

Those findings also illustrate the importance of putting the name and contacts of a firm on the items. Such approach will ensure that when clients want to contact the company, they have ready details from the items. In addition, these items facilitate the recipients to be seeing the name of the firm regularly. Therefore, these items serve as a reminder to the clients and this helps to keep long-lived connection.

Another benefit of promotional items is that they help to create a good impression or image of a company, its products and services to clients, (Hart, T. et al. 38). This can be confirmed by the findings of the research illustrated earlier that was conducted by researchers from university of Louisiana and university of Texas, (PPAIDIM, 2011). Statistics derived from this study showed that those respondents who had been offered with gifts were likely to recommend the donor companies compared to those who had relieved nothing.

Significantly, that group had a more positive image which was evident from their comments. These facts explain that use of promotional items do not only give a firm a corporate image but they also enable it to build lasting relationships with would be clients. Consequently, the recipients of these items are likely to talk more about your business and the quality of your services, (Hart et al. 38).

It has been found out that most clients find promotion gifts very useful. Consequently, they form emotional attachment to them eventually to the products and services of the firm offering them those gifts. As such, they foster a sense of goodwill in the client’s mind. In the year 2004, a study had been conducted by L. J Marketing Research on the impact of promotional gifts on performance of business in America, (PPAIDIM 2011).

The data collected from this research indicated that 75.4% of those who were given promotional items kept those items since they found them useful. Further, 73 % of the respondents who found the gifts indicated that they used them at least once every week. In addition, 45.2% of that group claimed to have been using the product at least once every day.

More interesting 52 % of the recipients did business with the advertisers who gave them the items afterwards. In short, those products are very useful in enhancing a sense of belonging to the recipients. Eventually, such clients feel emotionally indebted to the firm and always choose that firm among other similar firms. Therefore, the impact of promotional items is dipper than it seems to be on sight.

Promotional products help to reinforce the impact of other promotion strategies on the recipients. A good example is the findings of the study conducted by L. J Marketing Research. During that study, the researchers divided population from a certain region into three groups. They went to promote products of a certain company to the three groups.

That event involved trade shows where individuals form one group received two gifts each, those from the second group received one each and no gift was given for those from the third group, (PPAIDIM 2011). The researchers later measured the level of remembrance of three groups to the events of trade show and knowledge of the products that were being advertised.

The findings indicated that the group that was given two gifts was four times able to remember the event and all related details compared to the one that was not given gifts. In addition, respondents that were given gifts had goodwill towards the company while those who were not, the opposite were true.

Also there were significant differences between the first and the second group, the first group ranking higher in this aspect. This means that promotional gifts are very influential and more so when used conjunction with the other available advertisement methods. Therefore, it is recommendable for businesses to complement other advertisement methods with these means.

However, as Hart, T et al (38) explains, promotional items may have harmful impacts to the image of your business. This would happen if these items lead to detrimental effect to the recipient or to the environment. For example, mugs used as promotional items that have sharp edges may injure the user, usually a client or a potential client.

In such a case, the injured person will develop a bad image of all products associated with the logo on the mug. In fact, such a person is likely to preach against the products or services of your business. Similarly, shirts, pens and other items made from nylon and other inorganic materials could be injurious to the environment especially if they are thrown away for disposal. But if a company uses items that are not harmful, it will have ruled out possibility of the negative effect.

Secondly, promotional items can harm the image of a company if they last only for a short period of time and they get used. Such items create bad impression to the users towards the promotional items. They eventually equate such items to the products of your business. For example, if you give low value batteries as promotional items to promote an electronic sales business, this could prove more harm than good to your business.

Such batteries will get used after a very short period of time as it is used by a potential customer. Possibly, the client or potential client will have feeling that your electronic products are of such low value, (Huff 279). However, this will only require a company to make a wise choice of durable products. That way, its good image will not only be maintained, it will also improve.

Finally, promotion items may not be effective if they are not related to your business products or services. This calls for careful selection of such items. For example, use of mouse pads of a computer as gifts to advertise a computer sales business can be very fruitful. Similarly, choosing pens to promote a bookshop is a good option and can be very effective.

But choosing pens as promotion items to advertise the services of a restaurant may not very effective, (Huff 279). But this is easily treated through making a choice of items that are related to the brands of a company’s products. In short, these points explain that though promotional items have a wide range of benefits, they can cause more than good sometimes If not used well.

Conclusion

Promotional items can be quite beneficial if one wants to use them to promote your business. They will help circulate the name of the business while at the same time helping to draw customers to the business. Evidently, they are very influential in making the recipients remember about the business, its product brands and services. Secondly, they are very effective in enhancing a good image of the business to the recipients.

As such, they can be used to lure new clients to the business. In addition, they help to, maintain the existing clients. Remarkably, such products help the create sense of goodwill in the mindset of a client. Emotionally, the client feels obligated to purchase the products of that business enterprise other than form other similar business enterprises. Lastly, these items produce quite impressive results when combined with other methods of advertisements. They greatly support the impact of those methods.

Though these promotional items are largely beneficial, some circumstances have been examined in which they might be harmful to the business. This would happen if they are harmful to the user or the environment. Still, they can display a bad image of a firm if the are not durable. Finally, they may not be effective when they are not related to the products of a firm.

They thus fail to produce the desired result and end up being costly to the firm. Therefore, though promotional gifts may have harmful results, they are largely beneficial. As explained earlier, it should be understood that the other promotional methods such as tradeshows, exhibitions media advertisements and others are effective and cannot be ruled out. However, various no study indicates those strategies surpass the use of promotional gifts.

Works Cited

Hart, Ted, Capps, Adrienne and Bauer, Mathew. Nonprofit Guide to Going Green.

New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print.
Huff, Priscilla. Make Your Business Survive and Thrive!: 100+ Proven Marketing

Methods to Help You Beat the Odds and Build a Successful Small Or Home-Based
Enterprise. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2006. Print.
Promotional Products Association International and Dynamic Image Marketing Systems

(PPAIDIM). Power of promotional products, Dynamic Image Marketing Systems

Inc, North California, USA. 2011. 21 March, 2011.