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White Paper Post: 3 Myths You Must Know about Promotional Product Spending

"Quality is the best business plan." We believe that Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter hits the nail on the head with this simple yet powerful statement. The demands of today's consumer are growing with their increased accessibility to more stores and services than ever before. So what can be done to stand out and improve the customer development process?

Would you believe us if we said promotional products?

It's actually not breaking news that promotional items make a lasting impression. What's really noteworthy is the exponential impact that a quality item can make. Especially ones that your target audience can actually use and benefit from.

Still skeptical? Check out these 3 myths you must know about investing in quality promotional products. (If you want the summary, click here!)

Myth #1: You have to purchase a name-brand or expensive promotional item in order to make a favorable impression.

In a PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) study entitled, "High End, Low End: Which Promotional Products Work Best?", the organization discovered something interesting. The majority of people surveyed felt "significantly more receptive to the company and its objective" when they received an item that was perceived as being worth at least $25. The key word here is "perceived". $25 is not necessarily being spent per item. Instead, the item simply has a high-perceived value. Conversely, just 2 out of 10 people had a positive impression with promotional products of a lesser value.

We also saw this firsthand when a Flywheel client requested a quote for ball caps. His primary goal was to increase general brand awareness, so he was looking for an inexpensive option that would allow him to purchase a larger quantity. After some discussion, we persuaded him to consider a trendy structured hat of a higher quality...and slightly higher price. He trusted our judgement but settled on a modest 100-piece order.

Shortly after the shipment was received, our client contacted us, sharing that their employees and customers were "knocking down the door" to get one! Everyone recognized the quality of the item, and were voluntarily advertising the brand by wearing the hat as an everyday accessory.

Consequently, our client placed an additional order for 1,000 more structured hats. They were working.

Because items from popular brands like Nike and Under Armour are sometimes used as promotional products, it could be assumed that these would be more preferable. However, PPAI also reports that 48% of those surveyed do not prefer a branded product to generic one, and 5% even said it does not matter at all.

The Myth-Busting Truth: The perception of quality is directly related to the perceived value and does not rest on the brand of the product.


Myth #2: Customers don't keep promotional items even if the product is of a higher quality.

Many companies are reluctant to invest in promotional product marketing because they don't expect potential customers to keep the item for very long. In the case of another Flywheel client, we witnessed the opposite.

Our client decided to wear the new Flywheel t-shirt we gave him while car shopping one Saturday. You see, when we purchased these tees, we opted for a tri-blend product (made of polyester, cotton, and rayon). Although it requires a little greater investment, the quality can't be beat. The fabric is breathable, super-soft and washes well, too! So, when he shared this story with us, we weren't surprised by his choice of attire. While at the dealership, he said he struck up a conversation with one of the sales reps. In the middle of discussing a model, the salesman changed the subject and asked our client about his t-shirt. He wanted to know where he could get the same quality product for his team!


Further supporting the effects of a t-shirt are the findings in the ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) 2016 Ad Impressions Study. It was found that t-shirts tend to stay with the recipient for an average of 6 months.

And in the case of products such as umbrellas, mobile power banks and calendars, ASI found that owners tend to keep the promotional product for 12 months or more. For those who are no longer interested in the product, it was found that they are 63% more likely to give it away than to toss it or put it in storage.

As an aside, PPAI also reported that having the imprint of your logo or slogan doesn't make much of a difference. In their study, 5 out of 10 respondents said they would keep an item that's worth $25 or more even if it's been decorated so long as it is useful. 30% actually said they would keep an item because the imprint information is valuable to them. Only 4% actually said that they were opposed to imprinted products and would not keep them.

The Myth-Busting Truth: Owners of your promotional products are quite likely to keep the item for some time, especially when it's of a higher quality and even more so when it is deemed useful.

Myth #3: Promotional products have little effect on brand recognition regardless of the item type or quality.

We were really overwhelmed to find that our tri-blend tees have been a home run. (And all we wanted was something that was comfortable to wear!) What sealed the deal was a testimonial from another client who took both his Flywheel tee and Flywheel structured hat with him on vacation. During a round of golf, his buddy asked him about the gear, commenting on the clean look and the quality. His friend was so impressed with the caliber of construction that he gave us a call and placed an order...for both items. The takeaways from this observation are immense:

  1. The golfing buddy noticed our Flywheel gear, not necessarily even because of our logo as much as the quality of the products.
  2. The friend recognized the huge marketing impact the shirt and hat made on him.
  3. The friend recalled our brand and products, and took action. He called us and placed an order for the same items with his company's logo so that his brand will experience the same marketing results.

In addition to being the most highly regarded form of advertising per ASI's Impressions Study, promotional products also clearly pack a punch with brand recognition. In fact, ASI found that "recall is highest for apparel items, as 85% recall the advertiser that gave them a shirt or hat."

Another factor to consider is whether the promotional product you are considering will resonate with your audience. For a wellness organization, for example, you may find that a high-quality water bottle will actually be kept longer than say a desk accessory, therefore also increasing brand awareness and recognition as well as product retention.

The Myth-Busting Truth: Brand recognition and conversions do result from using quality, imprinted promotional products in your marketing efforts.

Quantity most certainly can result in a high number of impressions. But if you're looking for those impressions to result in conversions--in new, loyal customers--then it may be wise to take Mr. Lasseter's advice. As we can attest, quality is the best kind of business strategy that money can buy.

OUR FINDINGS:

Myth #1: You have to purchase a name-brand or expensive promotional item in order to make a favorable impression.

The Myth-Busting Truth: The perception of quality is directly related to the perceived value and does not rest on the brand of the product.


Myth #2: Customers don't keep promotional items even if the product is of a higher quality.

The Myth-Busting Truth: Owners of your promotional products are quite likely to keep the item for some time, especially when it's of a higher quality and even more so when it is deemed useful.

Myth #3: Promotional products have little effect on brand recognition regardless of the item type or quality.

The Myth-Busting Truth: Brand recognition and conversions do result from using quality, imprinted promotional products in your marketing efforts.

RELATED ARTICLE: Recap of the Top Promo Product Picks for 2018



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