Promotional Products 101

Promotional products (also called advertising specialties and identity products) are usually, but not always, imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. They include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are used in marketing, educational, and communication programs. Most anything that can be imprinted is imprinted.

There are four categories of promotional products:
• Imprinted products that are given away for free are called advertising specialties.
• Imprinted products that are sold at cost are sometimes called loss leaders. They can provide free advertising.
• Imprinted items that are given as an incentive for some action are known as premiums.
• Business gifts, awards, and commemoratives are also considered to be promotional products.

Product Uses

Promotional products have a variety of uses. They can be used alone or integrated with other media in a variety of interesting and effective ways. Popular uses include: Business gifts, employee relations, orientation programs, corporate communications, incentives (for work, safety programs, and purchasing), and trade show handouts. They excel at encouraging specific actions like responding to a survey, filling out a form, etc.

Other effective uses include:
• Sales or distribution programs
• Company stores
• Co-op programs
• Generating new customers or new accounts
• Nonprofit fundraising
• Public awareness campaigns
• Promotion of brand awareness
• Encouraging brand loyalty
• New product or service introductions
• Incentive programs
• Marketing research

Available Products

There are literally tens of thousands of different types and styles of promotional products. If you would like a list of product categories, contact our office or visit our web site. Examples of common items include: pens, calendars, T-shirts, caps, cups, mugs, napkins, calculators, key chains, desk and computer accessories, bags, totes, bumper stickers, yard signs, labels, decals, etc.

Why promotional products?

Promotional products marketing fits easily into any advertising budget. Promotional products complement and actually increase the effectiveness of other advertising media. They can be directed to selected audiences, which dramatically increases their effectiveness. And they remain in use for long periods of time to repeat the advertising message each time the product is used, without extra cost per exposure. People like to receive them. And since the items are useful and appealing, they are effective as incentives and motivators. Because there are so many products available, there is a lot of flexibility in planning a successful promotion.

How does the industry work?

Supplier factories import, manufacture, convert, imprint or otherwise produce or process products offered for sale only through promotional products distributors. There are more than 5,000 supplier companies in the promotional products industry. Most distributors act as independent agents and sell products, and sometimes promotional programs, to their clients. Some distributors represent factories or franchise distributorships. There are over 20,000 distributor firms in the industry.

Double River Advertising is a member of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), and the Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI), and an independent promotional products distributor, with a variety of special arrangements with many factories and other promotional products companies that have been structured to provide great prices and great service.

Call (620) 442-8080 today for help with your next promotion.


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