How to choose the right promotional product: The Magic Triangle

August 1, 2012 at 21:02

When thinking about which promotional products you should buy, the main focus should always be the person who will receive it: the potential customer!

With so many items to choose from how does one start to decide?

Advertising theory states that the more people see something the more likely they are to remember it (it´s no surprise for example that in the USA the biggest selling beer is Budweiser which is also the beer which is advertised the most!).

Since most business’ can’t afford to give out promotional items every week to the same clients to ensure they remember the company, the key to buying the right promotional item is longevity; and the key to achieving this can be found in the “magic triangle” of promotional items.

the magic triangle

The PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) conducted a study of 1000 people who had received promotional items in the past 2 years and asked them to say what they most looked for in an item. Answered ranged from educational (3%), unique (14%), high value (7%) however the top three answers were telling:

1)     Useful (94%)

2)     Desirable (30%)

3)     Attractive (29%)

Let´s analyse this a little more.

Usefulness: if a product is useful then, simply put, people will keep it rather than dispose of it meaning greater exposure to your company´s name or logo. We know this works since 94% of people in the same PPAI study could recall a product that they had received and the company who gave it to them. The longer they keep your product, the more likely they are to use your company. Conversely if a product has no use, most likely it will be discarded.

promotional mug with spoon

Desirability: think what your particular customers are looking for; it must be something that they would want to own. A pooper-scooper may be great for a pet company, but not as a corporate business gift for bank users for example. It must be the kind of thing that someone would desire in your particular sector. Put yourself in your clients shoes and think, “what would I need?”.

luxurious promotional watch

Attractiveness: even if a promotional item is both useful and desirable, without being attractive it will have more chance of being discarded. A perfect example would be a mug (one of the top 10 selling items). Mugs are innately useful items and in most sectors people desire to have them. However if you give someone a bright orange mug with a fluorescent green and brown logo most likely they won´t keep it. Design is important as people will often keep these things on their desks or close at hand. No-one wants to look at an ugly product all day. Simply put, the more attractive a product is with the logo, the more likely people are to keep it – especially if they receive a similar product (i.e. a mug) from competitors.

design promotional notebook

So next time you think about which item to buy, try using the “magic triangle” to ensure success. And if you still have doubts, don’t hesitate to ask your promotional products provider for advice. It is also clever to ask for a virtual sample so you can better imagine the final product.