I participated in the promotional products business field in my dismay over an article published by “Fast Company” magazine, which unfairly portrayed ad specialties as “cheap conference swag” and went so far as to call for getting rid of promos altogether.
On the contrary, the writer started out by stating what all of us in the industry would agree on: “I love a good promotional tote bag, especially if it’s from a brand I love. I have an NPR tote I got from a pledge drive. I confess that I canceled and re-subscribed to the New Yorker just so that I could get a new version of the tote that comes with membership.”
Every year, ASI publishes the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, the result of thousands of consumer surveys taken worldwide. The study properly concludes that promotional products are the most highly regarded form of advertising and that 85% of people can recall the advertiser that gave them a logoed item.
What’s more, our study shows, the average American owns 10 promo products. And, the cost per impression of promotional merchandise can be as low as 1/10 of one cent, lower than nearly any other advertising medium, making it a great opportunity for smaller businesses who lack million-dollar advertising budgets.
Along with widely distributing our annual study, which we inspire distributors to cite when helping end-buyers publicize their brand with logos, event or cause through promo products, ASI went to Times Square to interview people from all over about their swag. In a subsequent video, we showcased a ton of positive consumer testimonials about the attractiveness, effectiveness and of logoed products. The testimonials were just a small part of the millions in positive PR the industry and its products have generated over the years.
As the bottom line says ASI will keep on beating the drum for promotional products. But it’s up to all of us in the industry to spread the word as well, wherever and whenever we can. ASI will also continue to encourage end-buyers to work with legitimate distributors to find cheap corporate gifts that people will use, keep and appreciate for years to come.
Actually, according to ASI’s research, all over the world, more than half of consumers report that they’ll give away a promo product they’re finished with rather than throw it out or file it away. Besides, about 80% of distributors in the swag industry are smaller or family-owned businesses or start-ups. Lots of those co’s have become more socially conscious in recent years, distributing more eco-friendly and American-made goods – while employing more people in their community.