It’s no secret that promotional products are everywhere, after all it is a multi-billion-dollar industry! Whether you have a couple free t-shirts in your closet or a hoard of pens you’ve gathered through the years, chances are you haven’t stopped to think about how effective these branded items can be.

There are a lot of unknown facts and crazy stats about the promotional products industry, and 50 of the most surprising are gathered here. Who knows, you might end up using your newfound knowledge to encourage your boss to give promo products a try!

Brand Recall Facts

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1. 90% of people who receive a promotional product can recall the name of the brand. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

2. 89% of consumers can recall the brand on a promotional product they received in the last 2 years. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

3. A single promotional item averages 344 impressions per month. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

4. 80% of people can recall the messaging of a brand after receiving a promotional product. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

5. 80% of people have an immediate reaction when they receive a promo from companies they’ve never heard of. (Source: PPAI)

6. 82% of people have a more favorable impression of a brand after receiving a promotional product. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

7. 70% of brands consider promotional products mostly or always effective in achieving marketing goals. (Source:  PPAI)

8. 53% of the time, a promotional product creates a more favorable impression of the advertiser. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

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9. The first promotional product trade show was held in 1941 with 32 exhibitors. (Source: Sage Blog)

10. The promotional product industry consists of 40,546 companies, and 489,064 industry jobs. (Source: PPAI)

11. Promotional products are ranked the most effective form of advertising across all generations. ( Source: PPAI)

12. The promotional product industry has an estimated value of $23.3 billion. (Source: Brandon Gaille Small Business and Marketing Advice)

13. The Midwest has the largest number of promotional product firms in the top 50 in the U.S. (Source: ASI Central)

14. The first company to make promotional products opened in 1886. (Source: Inkwell Global Marketing)

15. Jasper Meek, deemed “The Father of Promotional Products” started using burlap bags to promote small businesses in 1886.  

Consumer Facts

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16. 63% of consumers pass along a promotional product they don’t want anymore. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

17. Nearly 100% of consumers say they are willing to go out of their way to get a promotional product. (Source: PPAI)

18. 60% of consumers keep a promotional product for two years. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

19. 53% of people use a promotional product at least once a week. (Source: Sage Blog)

20. 72% of consumers believe that the quality of a promotional product is directly related to the reputation of the company. (Source: PPAI)

21. 48% of consumers would like to receive promotional products more often. (Source: Sage Blog)

22. 69% of consumers would pick up a promotional product if they thought it was useful. (Source: Sage Blog)

23. 96% of people want to know ahead of time when companies offer promotional products. (Source: PPAI)

24. Consumers under the age of 55 prefer promotional products when asked what types of advertising they like best. (Source: ASI Central)

25. Business services, education, and financial industries are the most common buyers of promotional products. (Source: PPAI)

26. 59% of employees who receive a promotional product from their employer have a more favorable impression of their workplace afterwards. (Source: Brandon Gaille Small Business and Marketing Advice)

Facts about Specific Products

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27. 31% of consumers own a promotional bag. (Source: Sage Blog)

28. 84% of baby boomers report owning a promotional bag. (Source: ASI Central)

29. Brand recall is highest for apparel items, with 85% of people remembering the advertiser. (Source: ASI Central)

30. The first known promotional products were commemorative buttons from 1789 when George Washington was president. (Source: Sage Blog)

31. Health, safety, technology, and writing products were deemed most useful by consumers. (Source: STML Print and Marketing)

32. Bags generate the most impressions of any other product with nearly 6,000 over the time the item is used. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

33. 20% of consumers own more than 10 promo writing instruments. (Source: ASI Central)

34. Wearables are the most popular product category, followed by writing instruments, bags, calendars, and drinkware. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

35. Bags and writing instruments tie for the lowest cost per impression at one-tenth of a cent. (Source: Sage Blog)

36. 63% of people keep promotional hats because they are attractive. (Source: ASI Central)

37. Promotional mugs are more effective than radio advertising with 57% of people recalling the advertiser on the mug, and only 28% able to recall the advertiser on T.V. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

38. 90% of consumers report owning branded drinkware. (Source: ASI Central)

39. 15% of people in the Midwest own an article of promotional outerwear. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

40. 47% of consumers keep a promotional t-shirt for 2 years or longer. (Source: ASI Central)

41. 91% of people have a promotional product in their kitchen. (Source: Sage Blog)

42. A promotional calendar will generate around 850 impressions over its lifetime. (Source: ASI Central)

Success Rate Facts

43. 85% of people who received a promotional product did business with that company. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

44. Consumers are 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products over internet advertising. (Source: ASI Central)

45. Promotional products draw up to 500% more referrals than just a review. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

46. 53% of people have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product was made in the USA. (Source: ASI Central)

47. 52% of trade show attendees are more likely to enter an exhibit with giveaways. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

48. Adding a promotional product to social media ads increases the effectiveness by up to 44%. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

49. 42% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product was environmentally-friendly. (Source: ASI Central)

50. Only 20% of people will throw away an unwanted promotional product. (Source: PROmotion Marketing, LLC)

And there you have it! If your mind is blown, don’t worry you’re not alone. Use these facts to shock your friends with random knowledge, or to get inspired to purchase branded items yourself. The promotional product industry is truly impressive and can be effective for all kinds of businesses and organizations.


Roycraft, Emily. (2013, September 24). A Brief History of Promotional Products. Retrieved December 10, 2019, from

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