Imagine if you could persuade 30% of your competitor’s customers to try your product…

We live in a world where brand is everything. Whatever line of business you are in, your business is as strong as your brand; it’s what sets you apart from your competitors and what communicates your business message.

Developing your brand therefore is key; but it is difficult sometimes to focus just on how to do that, with so many different options available. Promotional items are one of the oldest ways of developing your brand, and according to a new survey from the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association), it’s the most effective too. Here are some key findings from the report, along with some ideas as to how these can be utilised to build your brand.

Free gifts can persuade people to change their brand

People like to stick with what they know. Even if they know that another brand may be better/cheaper/more suitable, people tend to carry on purchasing what they always have done. This can be through a certain amount of loyalty to a brand, but is usually more to do with fear, fear of trying something new. This lethargy is one of the hardest obstacles marketers have to overcome.

Promotional advertising can be a key tool in fighting this lethargy. The survey found that 3 out of 10 people have decided to change the brand that they regularly buy in order that they can receive a free gift. This shows the power of promotional advertising.

The promotional items consumers want

There were some hugely useful findings in the part of the study that looked at the most popular types of promotional items and how likely that by receiving one of these would persuade them to change their brand. The top results were as follows:


48% would swap their current brand for cooking accessories

42% would swap their current brand for a coffee mug

39% would swap their current brand for a branded fizzy drinks glass

Again, these results show the power of promotional advertising, and it is a type of advertising that keeps on advertising, because all of those items above are useful and are used again and again.

What promotional products do people own?

Pen – 62%

Mug – 35%

Keyring – 33%

T-Shirt – 25%

Drinking Glass -25%


The results of this question show the longevity of different types of promotional advertising. No other form of advertising can compete with these sort of figures. 62% of people who received a promotional pen kept it for over a year, yet the cost of a pen is literally a few pence, emphasising how powerful and cost-effective promotional products can be.

In the modern world, we are bombarded as business with the message that potential customers have to ‘experience’ your brand and its message several times before a level of recognition and reaction is achieved. It can be seen from the results of the survey above, that promotional products provide and ongoing promotion of your brand, whilst also serving a useful function when the need arises.