Page 1 516-349-9047


















Giving Swag? Upscale Promotions Can Get BIG Results

Editor’s note



Ten Tips on using Promotional

Products in Your Business

Cost Efectiveness of

Promotional Products

26 10



25 Insane Facts About

Promotional Products


made from Plastic Waste



The Surprising Power of

Promotional Products

Top Ten products for

College Campuses




In this issue we present many articles that are extremely relevant to your job as a Promotional Products Buyer. Here are some highlights. One of our Editors wanted to write about “25 Insane Facts About Promotional Products”. We tried to convince him otherwise, but I am sure you will find his article interesting just the same. Now is the hot time to market to College Students. Students are zeroing in on graduation in May or finishing yet another year. That’s why we wrote about marketing to College Students. The “Top Ten Products for College Campuses” covers the HOT 12


products that will influence college students to wear and carry your brand. In the “Eco Evolution: Sunglasses Made from Plastic Waste”

our editors discuss why its important to think about buying recycled promotional products and its impact on our blue marble. There are a

ton of products you can buy that are recycled but these sunglasses are amazingly good quality. One of the best articles is: “Giving Swag? Upscale Promotions Can Get Big Results”. What we note in this article is true... giving away inexpensive items all the time because you want to reach thousands instead of your core group may cause you to rethink your promotions. In this case you’ll be getting the best clients you can. Thanks for spending the time reading IdentityEdge. We hope you enjoy it as much as we love writing and producing it.




On Using Promotional Products in Your Business

1. Wearables Make a Walking Billboard Our readers have called them “freebies, tchotchkes, swag, or promotional giveaways”… but investing in custom branded or personalized items is one of the most well-received, cost effective, and high ROI marketing strategies you can employ to promote your business. The ten tips we’ll discuss here will reinforce your brand identity and make new customers for you. Your customers love free stuff; doesn’t everyone? Having your company logo on something that your customers are wearing or carrying is a personal endorsement. Wearing it over and over again will repeatedly remind them and people who see your brand who you are. There are about 700,000 different promotional products available today. Having your Distributor help you sort them out will benefit you. They’re trained to know what are the currently hot products and trends. IdentityEdge.Promo serves a big community—over 800,000 Promotional Products Buyers and their Distributors. Ta-da!!! Here’s our top ten: 14


Times are changing and Promo Buyers IdentityEdge.Promo surveyed what fashionable items are best for wearables programs. Yeah, t-shirts will always be the “staple” of wearables, but why not increase your advertising time by selecting a hot looking promotional wearable? Fashionable items will always score bigger than just a plain t-shirt. Even a trucker would probably prefer a muscle shirt that looks cool over a plain t-shirt. So look at different forms or variations of common promotional wearables.

for that space, there are plenty of really cool ideas to help you secure part of that real estate. It’s not easy making your stainless-steel mug your customer’s favorite drink-ware, but your Distributor probably has the right one that will score big in their sample room. 3. Advertise All Year Round

2. Desktop Products Desktop product rewards stay with your consumers for a long time. And while there’s a lot of competition

For the most part Promotional Products are inexpensive, far less expensive than national TV or other electronic media. Keep your customers wanting your next hot promotional product. It’s a great way to keep them coming back into your place of business. Target your marketing campaigns locally… you’ll get a great return. While that

might be a lot of work for a state wide or national campaign, it’s well worth the effort. There are plenty of demographics available on line to help you target each promotion.

of all its super inexpensive.

4. Gift Quality Items that Have Staying Power

Think about this…instead of a flimsy paper business card why not have your sales force, customer service department or other staff give out a promotional product on first meeting their potential or existing customers? Pretty impressive eh? Be sure to include all your contact info. Get an item that allows you to put a slogan or catchy phrase on it. There’s also some very unique business card options out there that are far better than just paper.

IdentityEdge.Promo isn’t advocating that you spend big dollars for each promotional product you do— although a $100 brief case will certainly turn some heads your way—but rather that you take the time to research your promotional products buys with your Distributor. Find quality gifts that will stay around…even if it only costs a buck. Impossible you say? Believe it or not there are a lot of clever things out there you can use in the $1-$3 price range.

6. Promotional Products Can Be Super Powerful Business Cards

7. Think “Give Incentives” Have your promotional marketing campaigns serve as a prize for subscribing to your e-mail, newsletter, event, or receiving one of your company’s services/products. Challenge your customer to upgrade with incentives. 5. Advertise on the Go If you’ve got a fleet, a catchy slogan, or a cool idea for a magnetic bumper sticker, you’d be pretty surprised how much free advertising you can get from your customers on the go. Best

will appreciate and use is the next level to think about…and then with hundreds of thousands of products to choose from things can seem like they will never come together. But fear not your Promotional Products Distributors will ALWAYS find the right product for your marketing campaign. For example, medical offices can use hand sanitizers, pill containers, first aid kits or ice packs. 9. Find Everyday Products & When You Can Recycled Items The everyday use products are items that your customers use each and every day. You want them to think

8. Customized for Your Industry Finding items that relate to your industry can be easy or very difficult, all depends on what your brand is. Finding items that your recipient IdentityEdge.Promo


of your company when they are using them. From desktop items to wearables, think “everyday use” You’ll get the most out of your promotional campaign in terms of advertising impressions. Recycled items are also super popular. Anytime a product can be reused is saving our planet. 10. Catering to the Seasons You can not only cater to the seasons but to your client’s seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter can all have themes that you can apply to your company and will get you noticed. But then add to that your client has

seasonal activities that you can piggy back your message on. People are extremely grateful when you support their campaigns with promotional products. Think outside the box whilwe still catering to the box your customers and clients fit into. Look for unique ways to promote your company while optimizing your purchase with items your customers will glady use daily. 16








Cost Effectiveness of Promotional Products It’s All About the Bottom Line, Cost Per Impression (CPI).

According to Media Post, “The

average cost per impression of a promotional product is $.004”. Wow!

That low price

and high reach makes promotional products part of an elite group. For sure promotional products have one of the least expensive “cost per impressions” (CPI) versus other media. Here’s further proof--according to Nielsen Media Data--the cost for a national ad is $.003, and a newspaper is $.0129. Other “average cost per impressions”: Prime time TV is $.019; cable TV $.007, and a radio spot is $.005. There are other categories not mentioned here that are on par with these numbers relating to the internet.

That clearly puts promotional

products in the top advertising CPI category; especially when either local or national promotion campaigns have the same impact. But to fully understand how great promotional products perform, you have to know what “cost per thousand impressions” is…it’s strictly about the number of impressions or being seen. So as food for thought, make some conclusions from this data on your own: 20


An ad on TV or radio is seen and

listened to, but not being watched or listened to because the person on the receiving end may not be where the impression is occurring. That’s like having the TV on in the room and really not paying attention to it or using it as background sound. A newspaper or internet ad may splash across a page, but miss the target. Unless the consumer has a want, need, or desire for the product and its impressions, otherwise they will not watch or listen. It’s just like playing dodge ball, you might hit someone, but you might not.


products succeed in targeted and segmented populations of consumers, B2B or B2C environments because people carry them and this offers a personal endorsement of your brand. Quick summary: Promotional products have:

A high return to cost Are very affordable for small to large businesses Allow promotional products buyers to target very specific audiences Remain low cost Are always cost effective With virtually any size budget you can produce a great promotional product for your brand, just ask your Promotional Products Distributor for help. They’ve got access to 700,000+ products. IdentityEdge.Promo



Inspired. Delivered. Inspired.Engineered. Engineered. Delivered.

RADIUM X™ Bluetooth Headset

Private Eyes™ Lens Cover Snap-IN™ XL Cord Organizer

PROTON™ Wireless Earbud

SORIN™ Solar Panel




Inspired. Delivered. Inspired.Engineered. Engineered. Delivered.

FastMount™ PRO

Coconut™ Bluetooth Speaker KANGA™ Folio

Glitter Putty™ FastMount™ Phone Mount

Clip-IT™ Dashtop







f you’ve ever doubted using promotional products, here are 25 reasons to use them. 1. Eight in 10 consumers own

between one and 10 promotional products.

2. Fifty-three percent of these people use a promotional product at least once a week.

3. Six in 10 of them keep promotional products for up to two years.

4. Only one in five people will trash an unwanted promotional product.

5. Before receiving a

promotional product, 55 percent



of people had done business with the advertiser. After receiving a promotional product, 85 percent of people did business with the advertiser.

6. With nearly six thousand

impressions, bags generate more impressions than any other promotional product in the U.S.

7. Thirty-one percent of U.S.

consumers own a promotional bag.

8. At one-tenth of a cent, bags tie

with writing instruments for the lowest cost per impression of any promotional product in the U.S.

9. The first known promotional

products – commemorative buttons – trace back to 1789 when George Washington was elected president.

10. Fifty-three percent of the time,

promotional products create a more favorable impression of the advertiser.

11. Forty-eight percent of

consumers would like to receive promotional products more often.

12. Consumers hang on to

promotional products for an average of 6.6 months.

products are clients in education, finance, not-for-profit, healthcare, and construction.

13. Sixty-nine percent of consumers

19. Wearables are the top product

would pick up a promotional product if they deemed it useful.

category, followed by writing instruments, bags, calendars and drinkware.

14. Sixty-three percent of consumers

22. Ownership of logoed outerwear

is highest in the Midwest, with 15 percent of people owning an item.

more effective advertising than radio and television spots; 57 percent of people were able to recall the advertiser on a mug, versus 32 percent of radio and 28 percent of T.V.

15. Eighty-nine percent of consumers

can recall the advertiser of a promotional product they’d received in the last two years.

24. Adding a promotional

16. Ninety-one percent of

product to the media mix increases the effectiveness of other media by up to 44 percent.

consumers have at least one promotional product in their kitchen, 74 percent have at least one in their workspace, 55 percent have at least one in their bedroom.

25. Promotional products draw as

17. Seventy-seven percent of

18. The top five buyers of

have bags, writing instruments and calendars, whereas men are more likely to own shirts and caps.

23. Logoed mugs in particular are

pass along the promotional products they no longer wish to keep.

consumers say a promotional product’s usefulness is the numberone reason to keep it, with health and safety products, computer products and writing instruments ranked as the most useful.

21. Women are more likely to

many as 500 percent more referrals from satisfied customers than an appeal letter alone.

20. The first promotional product

tradeshow was held in 1914 – there were 32 exhibitors.








Special Features:

Padded shoulder straps • Front zipper pockets • Loop handle • Mesh 30


NEW 2018 backpack Style #BP1808

h pocket IdentityEdge.Promo






Eco Evolution: Sunglass Made from Plastic Waste


hen fishing vessels head out off the coast of Catalonia, dozens of fishing vessels from 22 ports bring back two catches—fish and tons of plastic waste. The plastic is then used as a raw material to make designer sunglasses for a Barcelona, Spain based company. More than 90 percent of the material collected can be recycled into plastic beads which can be melted and used to make the sunglasses.



This is also happening in Antwerp and other countries. In fact the fishermen are proud partners in this process because they too have been accused of being polluters when their nets outlive their use and they are discarded into the sea. No more. While it takes about 10kg of waste to make each pair of eyewear, what’s left over is recycled and used in other ways.

So if you are concerned about the ocean and want to make an impact, order sunglasses from your local Promotional Products Distributor that are recycled from ocean plastic. Eyewear is a $120 billion dollar business and while the recycled glasses will not be cheap, they will help you do your part in recycling on a grand scale.

Play Video












romotional products are-some say--the oldest form of advertising. American businesses spend $80 billion a year giving away products with logos; clearly evidence that it works. The effectiveness of promotional products revolves around the Law of Reciprocity. If you give something, the recipient is honor bound to give something back. Humans are hard wired to respond if they get something they will want to do something nice for the company/ person giving it to them.


re people really that easy? When you get that survey in the mail with a crisp dollar bill attached, do you fill the survey out or pocket the money and relegate the envelope’s contents to the circular file? How 40


many times have you received a free item at a sports game or a trade show and thought to yourself, “This is so cool!” That satisfied feeling, the novelty, and all of the positive emotions that go with it can go a long way toward enhancing your brand image and creating raving customers.


o, what is it about promotional products that we love so much? According to psychologists, a big part of it is rooted in the Law of Reciprocity. Humans are hard-wired to feel good when we receive a gift and—this is important—to do something nice in return. This is something anthropologists have

found to be true across cultures and continents, and it goes back as far as recorded history.


romotional products use a similar strategy that binds tribes together and creates a sense of goodwill. Showing value, promotional products spreads positive emotion between people and it’s a two-way transaction. When we receive something for free, it disarms us and opens us up to whoever gives us that thing. This positive response to gifts is literally hard-coded in our DNA.

desktop so your company can be top of mind when they make decisions. Golf-related items are exceptions because lots of business happens on the golf course. • Have it underscore your marketing message and differentiate your company •Personalize the products as

much as you can. While we are fond of our company logos, customers really like to use items that have their names on them. • Skip products that will be quickly used and tossed. Make your promotional products investment something that your customer will like, want to keep and use.


romotional products aren’t just a short-term strategy, either, annual promotional campaigns work best. Obviously, with any company, more customers are the goal—but lifelong customers are a touchdown, and promotional items can help create the sense of brand enthusiasm that creates fans for life. Here are some great ideas.

• Give items that members of your target audience will use in the environment where they make decisions about using your product or service. If you go after executives in corporations, give them something they will use in their offices, around their IdentityEdge.Promo


















Sling Grip

hen we did the research for this article we found about 100 products that fit our criteria for being a top promotional product for colleges. It was tough narrowing the list down to ten, but these are the most outstanding products for sure. But before we begin, let’s talk about why giveaways are the perfect opportunity to communication your brand and message to your local college. Students love cool and useful swag, not just some cheap pens that will be thrown away or misplaced. These promotional products are proven to attract students and leave a memorable, lasting impression. From banks to diners, businesses surrounding college campuses have a big reason to market to college students.

Petite Loop Lanyard

Again smartphones are always attached to students. The Sling Grip provides another way of promoting your brands. It attaches to the back of any phone or phone case with a removable adhesive to prevent you from dropping your phone while you use it. It’s secure, lasts a long time and truly makes it easier to talk on the phone.

Super Durable Woven Poly Key Chain with Metal Bottle Opener Look, we’re not promoting drinking, but the reality is college kids do drink and quite a few want to have that bottle opener ready! This type of key chain will last for years. The polyester key chain manages to have a large imprint area and is super comfortable worn around the wrist. The sturdy metal clip secures keys or ID card sleeves and is sewn into the key chain. Yes, it includes a convenient bottle opener detail. Quality construction and a handy dual purpose will keep this branded key-chain within reach of college students.

Every student carries a smartphone. The petite loop lanyard prevents students from accidentally dropping their phones and the product is a trendy smartphone accessory. The satin ribbon screen-printed with your logo rests between the actual smartphone and the case, creating a secure loop for smartphone users to hold on to and advertise your brand. 50


PopSockets…What this Craze All About? Here's another giveaway that capitalizes on the popularity— well necessity--of smartphones. Like the Sling Grip, the Pop Socket directly attaches to the back of any mobile device with a washable gel. The PopSocket has a multitude of functions: It’s a media stand, a photo or texting grip and a place to wrap/secure your headphones. Students will love the convenience of this productit can be raised or lowered depending on the grip needed. Great logoing area too.

Highlighter Stylus Pen

Smart Wallets Clip On Smartphones College kids in particular want promotional giveaways that are actually useful to them, otherwise those products get trashed. But with college kids it’s even more important to give them “a better product” because they more closely associate the giveway’s quality to the quality service they will get from the company that’s providing the promo products. That's why this multi-function writing instrument will impress students - the Highlighter Stylus pen is a highlighter and pen. Smart wallets are really up there in terms of popularity with college kids. The branded Smart Wallet attaches to the outside of any mobile device and is perfect for storing driver’s license, credit cards, gift cards, and cash. With a huge imprint area its certain your brand will be seen thousands of times for just pennies on the dollar. IdentityEdge.Promo


Auto/Truck Vent Phone Holder

Again, and again we find products that are mobile related for college students. The Vent Phone Holder not only promotes safe driving, but it’s a convenient item that students will use. The vent phone holder clips to car or four wheeling truck vents to make for hands free GPS navigation. This device is compatible with any type of smartphone that features a GPS system. Your logo will appear on the holder right next to where the phone is positioned, so your brand will be top of mind during this product's use and for all passengers to see.

Cord Organizers Organizing a Messy Situation There’s not a single day that college students are disconnected from their data devices. They carry their tech with them all day, and charging cords easily get tangled as they get pulled out of bags for each class or lecture. The Snap-In Cord Organizer is the perfect solution for keeping computer, phone or tablet charging cords tangle-free. Simply coil the cord, insert the coil into the silicone ring, and snap the ring closed. Cords remain organized and easy to access. Add your logo to the snap on the ring, and remind students of your brand every time they reach to charge their device.

Recycled Plastic Sunglasses

Back Packs Backpacks are a “10” when it comes to college giveaways. While it’s a little more pricey than the items we featured above, we think backpacks are about as popular as t-shirts on college campuses. This backpack is part of a special program called Basecamp. Every sale of Basecamp products supports the Warrior Spirit Retreat, a place where Wounded Warriors learn to heal. 52


College students are environmentalists for the most part so when you offer them recycled plastic sunglasses that have that Wayfarer or Ray Band look, you are sure to have a great hit. EIGHT MILLION metric tons of plastic enter the oceans annually. 80% comes from land based sources. It takes 400 years for most plastics to break down…and 95% of plastic is only used once. Do your job as a promotional products buyer to help avoid this catastrophic trend… buy recycled plastic sunglasses… and other products. The great thing about promotional sunglasses is that they're not just a toy, they're a quality product made for consistent use. These sunglasses are FDA approved and provide UVA and UVB protection from the sun.







Upscale Promotions Get Big Results If you’ve got the budget, nothing else will make your customers come your way better than by providing a high priced swag giveaway or incentive. Seriously, wouldn’t you pay attention to a program offering a $100 backpack (that you really needed because your old one looks pretty worn out) versus a $3.50 mug? That’s a pretty drastic comparison but swag items ALWAYS makes a big impression and influences your customers. So let’s take a look at the current market for swag products. The sector is in the midst of a massive shift that is bringing new opportunities for brands to interact with customers, building strong bonds that will help them stand out in the market.

1. Quality First, then Design There are many marketing



success stories from top companies that invested heavily in powerful customer experiences keeping their fans coming back. Promotional products play a significant role in this mix while the customer is increasingly hard to impress. Low-quality or ill-conceived gifts don’t thrive. Instead, unique design and highquality incentives are doing a fantastic job.

consider a smart Bluetooth finder to keep track of items such as your keys. The key ring should bear your logo.

Want to harness this trend? Invest in high-end and unique ideas that hold the attention of customers, which will naturally lead to increased mind and market share for your brand.

2. Mobile Apps are Changing the Way People and Companies use Promo Gifts Smartphone apps and high-quality promotional gifts will be increasingly bundled together. The crux of this trend is the opportunity for brands to use engaging and useful content to interact with customers long after the point of product giveaway and secure contact info for further sales efforts. Promo products with mobile app extensions will gain hundreds of opportunities to interact with target customers at the time of the promotion and later. As an example,

3. Intelligent Promo Products are Taking Off NOW The number of people who use smart devices--fitness trackers, smart speakers, connected gadgets for the home, work and pets--has grown dramatically. The majority of customers will soon (or may already) prefer smart gadgets as gifts. This trend is finally becoming affordable enough from a production point of view to be a viable gift at less than $20 per piece. To make your next brand campaign a real success, invest in smart devices to win your modern

customer’s health while also winning over their hearts. In the January issue of IdentityEdge.Promo we featured an article on Artificial Intelligence in the promotional products industry, well worth reading.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is NOT Right Around the Corner It’s Here! At this point AR and VR have broken into the day-to-day life of modern customers and advertisers. As marketers, it’s time you take advantage of these technologies to arrange truly impressive promo campaigns.

5. Consider Creating Promo Products from Scratch to Highlight Your Brand The best way to communicate the essence of a brand is to create a promo product from scratch. There are plenty of Promotional Products Distributors that have this capability. This level of personalized produces is unique and a better user experience with deeper engagement. Top Brands are unafraid to create gifts that differ significantly from the generic products that customers are quick to discard. IdentityEdge.Promo


















Sj marketing identity edge feb 2018 issue  
Sj marketing identity edge feb 2018 issue