The World of Promotional Products

One of the more interesting questions I get is from people who ask to see promotional products online in which case I respond how much time do you have? There are over 800,000 promotional products on the market.

Today I want to give you a quick look into the World of Promotional products. There are two main organizations. They are ASI and PPAI. ASI stands for “Advertising Specialty Institute.” ASI is an industry network, connecting individual promotional product manufacturers with a national sales force of certified independent distributors.  The other group – PPAI stands for “Promotional Products Association International” and is the industry trade association.  PPAI sponsors industry events and trade shows, publishes industry news, and creates standards and resources.

Exhibit Edge is a member of PPAI and therefore has full access to a great resource which is their on-line data base of these 800,000 products.  We can put in the word “pen” and instantly be connected to hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of different styles. We can compare by price, color, and a host of other options to narrow down a search.

Her are a few statistics about the industry.

1.  The industry reached its peak in sales volume in 2007 at almost 20 billion dollars that year.

2.  The top 6 selling items which account for almost 70 percent of total sales  – in order –  are:

  • Wearables like hats, shirts and jackets
  • Writing instruments
  • Bags
  • Drinkwear
  • Desk/Office /Business items
  • And Calendars

Trade Shows account for about 10 percent of all promotional products sales. Many university studies have shown the value of promotional products. There is a unique term used to measure the effectiveness of these products. It is called CPI or (cost per impression), the greater the frequency of exposure the lower the cost of impression. Bottom line – these products can expose potential customers to your brand many times without any additional cost to you.

Here are a couple of quick thoughts for using promotional products that are supported by these studies.

  1. People were significantly more likely to recommend companies that they receive products from then those who received nothing.
  2. Over 70 percent of business travelers in one study reported receiving a promotional item within the last 12 months and 33 percent of the same group had the item on them.
  3. Choose higher quality items when getting things like pens and flashlights to make a more favorable impression with the potential customer.
  4. Combine preshow mailers with products like magnets or offer a special item to be given out at the trade show that is mentioned in the mailer. This will increase booth traffic significantly.  Well, let’s stop there for today.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.