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Which promotional products are kept the longest?

If you’re investing your marketing budget into promotional products for your business, you want to be as sure as you can that the items aren’t forgotten about, or worse still, disposed of within a short space of time.

What was the last promotional item you received – have you still got it?

Like many of us, you’ll probably have many branded pens that you’ve picked up at conferences, events and networking events over the years – you could well have some post it notes on your desk, and a branded mug or notebook. If you’ve been given sweets at an exhibition – did you eat them? Did you bin the container afterwards, or did they come in one of those useful containers that is now home to your paperclips?

Research carried out by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA – of which, Chilli Promotional Products is a proud member!) shows that two thirds of us will hang on to a promotional product given to us for over 6 months and just under half (44%) will keep it over a year! The longest serving promotional products are the USB sticks (63% of us will keep those for a year or more!), mugs (60% of us will keep them for over a year), umbrellas (51%) and pens (43%). Like I said, most of us will have branded pens on our desks, as well as in our cars, bags..!

2013 Research from the BPMA shows the top 5 promotional gifts likely to be kept the longest are:

1. USB
2. Mug
3. Umbrella
4. Clock/Watch
5. Pen

This is not to say that all other promotional items are thrown away within a week – and of course you will still have to keep your customer in mind when deciding what to order – if your customers are not technologically minded, then a USB stick may not be as useful – similarly, if your customer is always on the go, a standard mug might not be much use to them (but a travel mug might be a treasured gift!)

Personally, the items that I have had for longest are Rulers (I am using one that I received from a promotional merchandise company in my first job (so I have had it for around 16 years!) along with a TR02 Torch which I have had since I got some branded for Chilli at Christmas 2008! I also love a calendar mousemat – which then stays on my desk for a full year.

In 2014 BPMA research, 83% of respondents reported that they had purchased products and services from a company that had given them a promotional gift. Carefully chosen promotional products can make us, the customer feel appreciated and nearly two fifths of us are more likely to use a company that has given us a promotional item, compared to those businesses who have not.

Whilst this research is great and highlights some fascinating insights into our behaviour as consumers, it’s not discounting other items of promotional material – sometimes the more fun, frivolous giveaways are the ones that get people talking, and get you remembered. These can tie in really well with social media campaigns – I’ve seen examples where businesses have given out lots of pairs of branded sunglasses and then held a “selfie” competition on social media.

If you’re not sure what you should be ordering to have the biggest impact, then speak to Jody – there may be items that you haven’t even thought about yet that would be just perfect!

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