I know this seems like a fairly controversial stance coming from a company that makes promotional products, but as a journalist, it is my ethical responsibility to inform my readers that promotional products are a really bad idea. Seriously. Don’t touch these things.
Loss of privacy
According to a study done by the Advertising Specialties Institute in 2012, 87% of people who receive a customized product in the United States recall the advertiser, which is the highest of any country evaluated. In addition, a whopping 97% of customers who received a piece of outwear clothing as a promotional gift remembered the advertiser. With statistics like these, it will be difficult to hide your brand from potential customers. Whereas before your Facebook page only had a handful of likes (and that’s counting your mom), you’ll be tracked down far and wide, and the number of fans who follow you on social media, seeking you out after receiving an awesome imprinted goodie, will skyrocket. Good luck trying to hide from your customers anymore!
Pressure to commit
According to the same study discussed above, you’d better hightail it away from promotional products if you have commitment issues. The average promotional product stays with its recipient for almost 6 months, which means the days of fleeting impressions and short-term connections with consumers has gone extinct. Customers these days are treating these promotional gifts as prized possessions, providing as many as 5,732 impressions PER ITEM, with personalized tote bags and customized hats leading the way. If you’re worried that customer loyalty will make you feel smothered, you might want to consider investing in a flashy banner ad on a Geocities site.
Promotional products are widely popular when it comes to awareness campaigns. From raising money for medical research to reducing texting and driving-related crashes, imprinted goods from the classic personalized silicone bracelet to unique custom sunscreen contribute toward public health and safety.
The Community Preventative Services Task Force is an “independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts whose members are appointed by the Director of the [Center for Disease Control].” A recent systematic review finding by this Task Force is that health awareness campaigns are most effective when combining public health messages through the media AND distributing free or discount health-related products. If you’re worried about overpopulation, definitely keep your logo off things like customized pill containers and imprinted pedometers.
So if you have any kind of personal hang-ups about commitment and privacy or are socially conscious of the world’s overpopulation, make sure your company stays away from promotional products!