Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Choosing Promotional Products: 10 Articles to Help You Get Started

Shopping for promotional products seems like tons of fun until you realize you have no clue what would actually be best for your brand. Should you go with traditional staples like logo pens or personalized tote bags, or is it best to think outside of the norm with edgy or trendy products?

The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer. You have to determine which items would be the best fit for your audience. Whoopee cushions probably wouldn’t make the best freebies for upscale fundraiser dinners, just like higher-end leather padfolios wouldn’t be ideal for casual company picnics. However, you can get a bit more creative with your promotions if you know your recipients’ tastes.

We pride ourselves in our extensive selection of products, but we also understand that the variety we offer can lead to puzzled expressions and indecisiveness if you don’t know exactly what you want. Even if you choose a popular giveaway like a water bottle or a promotional pen, you still have to find the one that best suits your audience and budget. As an extra precaution, you may want to check out these valuable articles before choosing promotional items for your events and giveaways:

1. Promotional Water Bottles: Which One is Right for Your Brand?: There are more than 550 different water bottles on our site. Which one’s for you? This article details the difference between metal water bottles, plastic sports bottles, acrylic tumblers, and polycarbonate bottles to help you find the best fit for your needs.
2. Imprint Processes: Which is Best for Your Promotional Items?: Jargon isn’t absent from the advertising specialty industry, unfortunately. Which imprint process works the best on the products you’ve chosen: Screen Printing, Digital Printing, Heat Transfer, Laser Engraving, Debossing/Embossing, or Embroidery? Find out everything you need to know right here.

3. Are You Choosing the Right Promotional Pen for Your Company’s Image?: Logo pens are the most commonly-used promo items for a good reason — they’re practical, customizable, and generally inexpensive. But which type of pen reflects your brand’s image the way it should? Don’t guess your way through the selection process…read about it!

4. How Many Brand Impressions Do Promotional Products Actually Get? [INFOGRAPHIC]: If cold, hard facts are more your speed, then you’ll enjoy this article. How many brand impressions can you get from giveaway items like tote bags, glassware, writing instruments, or t-shirts compared to traditional advertising like billboards or radio spots? We’ve used Bubba to convey the stats!

5. How Promotional Product Samples Benefit Your Business: Are you torn between two products? Do you like to hold and examine potential purchases without making a commitment? Consider ordering samples from us to help you decide. Find out how product samples can aid your tough promo advertising decisions.

6. How to Successfully Self-Market Your Band or Business: Interview with Nickolas Blazina from ‘State and Madison’: This article features an interview with a successful local band that uses promo items to promote their music and keep fans interested. It provides some excellent information regarding how to engage your audience once you receive the products you’ve chosen.

7. Promotional Products in Action: An Interview with Caroline Krause, Assistant Director of Security at Elmhurst College: Read an interview with a real Quality Logo Products® customer and learn how to plan your giveaways around the message you’re trying to convey. Caroline also reveals how she gets the best deal on the materials she orders.

8. How Not to Use Promotional Products: Lessons from Tom Haverford of ‘Parks and Recreation’: You’ll gain plenty of knowledge from this article whether you watch NBC’s Parks and Recreation or not! One of the main characters, Tom, loves promo items but isn’t entirely sure how to use them properly. Luckily for you, there’s a lot to learn from his mistakes.

9. Promotional Products in Action: Achieve Beyond Therapy Services: Another real Quality Logo Products customer dishes on giveaway item successes at trade shows, including which items vanished the fastest and how they provided an advantage over competitors. There are several valuable tips here for inexperienced and experienced users alike!

10. Picking a Perfect Promo: Advice from a Printed Product Professional: Read about a Quality Logo Products® client who used promo products to effectively reach her audience at a recent event at the House of Blues in Chicago. How did she decide on the freebies her company gave away? You’ll have to click to find out.

As an added bonus, I’d like to point out two more articles that may assist you on your quest for the perfect promo products. First, we have one called 9 Envelope-Ready Giveaways for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign, which recommends a few items for direct mailings. Second, we also have one called 7 Ways to Use QR Codes on Your Logo Items (and 7 Items to Use Them On); this one highlights the QR code craze and suggests a few giveaways that would look the best with said codes printed on them.

See, choosing promotional products doesn’t have to be a tedious experience! Rest assured that you’re not the only one who may be confused or frustrated. When you have seemingly unlimited choices, it’s not easy to narrow them down. We’re here for you whenever you need us, though, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a few product suggestions!

What’s the most challenging part about choosing products for your logo? Do you have any more advice for stumped individuals?


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Jenna Markowski

    This is a great resource, Jill! I know I would be totally overwhelmed by my first order of promotional products, so I’m sure this run-down would be a great place to start! I especially think that the posts that give a run-down of different products or processes would be helpful. 🙂

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks, Jenna! It’s very overwhelming when you’re trying to decide between several different products. Hopefully these posts will help (so that advertisers don’t end up on your next “offensive campaigns” list)! 😉

  2. Joseph Giorgi

    “…higher-end leather padfolios wouldn’t be ideal for casual company picnics.”

    I disagree, Jill. Padfolios are ALWAYS ideal. 😉

    Seriously though, these are the cream-of-the-crop of promo posts. Nice picks!

    • Jill Tooley

      Terribly sorry, Joe! I didn’t mean to trod on your love of personalized padfolios! Haha…

      Thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  3. Jen

    Great Post Jill! This will be so helpful for anyone looking for the perfect promotional item for their business or event. You’ve really highlight some of our best product information blogs.

  4. Rachel

    What a fantastic resource! We’ve got lots of great articles about promo products and how to use them, and rounding them up like this is super helpful. Thanks, Jill!

    • Jill Tooley

      Thank you, Rachel! I didn’t realize quite how many there were on the subject until I started combing through them again. Hopefully this will assist people who may be rattled by all the choices we have! 😀

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    Holy comprehensive resource, Batman! Thanks for throwing these together, Jill! I know that wading through our website – and sometimes even our blog – can be an daunting task. Since picking and designing a promo product should also be fun, reading these will help you be much more confident in your selection.

    • Jill Tooley

      Haha, thanks! Several of your posts made the list, so thank YOU for the spiffy content, too! 🙂

  6. david k waltz

    Having just gotten back from a big conference, over the last 4 days I think I have seen all those products you have mentioned! I only picked up one pen, no water bottles or padfolios. It can be really difficult to make something stand out at those things, so the articles are a great resource to help get a plan together.

    • Jill Tooley

      You have a much greater restraint than I, David…I could have all the promo pens I wanted right here at work but I STILL pick them up at conferences! You never know when you’re going to need them, like at the bank or post office, where pens seem to be scarce 24/7. 😉

      Thanks for reading, I’m so glad you enjoyed this resource!

  7. Max Jones

    I think that having some custom logoed promotional items to help advertising is a great idea for businesses! I love when I get promotional items from businesses, and I usually tend to be more familiar with that business. If I was ever put in charge of marketing, I would want to look into getting custom logoed promotional products to build the brand!

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