Are Promotional Products Going Too Far?
Lately, I swear it’s the new black to send terrible promotional products. As if the new strategy was too make it so bad, that people will feel motivated to call you just to understand that bad decision.
But when this promotional product is there to represent your brand, is it the right move? Or am I just a terrible judge of what constitutes “good” or “unique.”
I’ve been supporting the sales and marketing function for a good decade now, so I’ve seen my fair share of innovative and creative products. So maybe that’s why these new ideas have left me scratching my head. And to a point, I felt the need to write about it!
Let me know what you think! Am I an overly harsh critic, or do these products just miss the mark? Either way, check ou the end of the article for new and upcoming promotional product trends for 2020.
Here are a couple of examples of over-thought promotional products:
Rusty truck that looks like it’s been pulled out of storage after ten years of rusting, and repainted with your logo, done. Let’s send that baby out!
A sealable, waterproof bag that doesn’t seal – I’ve got one of those too.
Thumb drives? I’ve got 8,000 of them. I’ll pass.
Beer koozies, do people even use these things anymore?
Letter opener? Hey, 1980’s called, and they want it back. Let’s give it to them.
Free socks with a logo or your face? I just find this odd.
What are you trying to say by giving me a lunch bag or cooler?
Pens, pencils, or markers? Sure, I don’t get those at work for free, either.
A rubric cube that is a monochromatic color on all sides? I’m still not sure what this is used for aside a paperweight.
Neon colors? No thanks, I lived through day-glow attire and the 80s. They also give me raging headaches.
Fun Promotional Products
We’ve all seen terrible products, but not necessarily promotional products since they represent your brand.
So it makes me wonder, is the new strategy even bad press is press – the go-to for promo products? On the flip side, I’ve seen some innovative ideas that have me pretty stoked, so I thought I would share.
One of the most thoughtful ones I have had was before a conference. They sent a ‘kit’ for those of us in sourcing whose RFPs were giving us a headache. Cute, useable, and great concept. Here are a few more:
Color changing straws, cups, or other items? Technology has been around for decades, but people barely take advantage of it.
A 3oz TSA approved carrier for alcohol? Yes, I’ll take three and save myself 35 bucks!
Eco-friendly products, yes, please. Just make sure they are durable.
Nice notebooks? Yes, I’m obsessed, and I’ll take everyone you have.
Bags to carry my groceries in so I don’t get charged? How many can I take?
An entire swag pack? Where do I sign up?
The collapsible cup you can take anywhere? Good one, Scout.
Sunglasses, always lovely to have a cheap pair around when living in California.
Power banks? You can never have enough of these around.
Trends to Watch out For in 2020
LED-Lit Personalized Logos
Millennial focus (tech products)
Co-branding with high-quality retail brands
Check out what was hot at the PPAI Expo
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