Promotional products—usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message—include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are utilized in marketing and communication programs. Imprinted products that are distributed free are called advertising specialties. Imprinted items given as an incentive for a specific action are known as premiums. Business gifts, awards, and commemoratives are also considered promotional products.
Since promotional products can be used alone, or integrated with other media, there are virtually limitless ways to use them. Popular programs cited most often by industry counselors (called distributors) are business gifts, employee recognition and reward, orientation programs, corporate communications, and at tradeshows to generate booth traffic. They’re also effective for dealer/distribution programs, co-op programs, company stores, generating new customers or new accounts, nonprofit fundraising, public awareness campaigns and for the promotion of brand awareness and brand loyalty. Other uses include employee incentive programs, new product or service introduction, and marketing research for survey and focus group participants.