The Most Effective Business Promotional Products

Business Promotional Products

Everybody loves free stuff. That single, universal truth is the entire purpose behind promotional products. We pick up a free pen, even if we don’t need a pen, because it’s free. Most folks will happily take a free water bottle, tee shirt, coffee mug, or bottle opener – even if they have a corporate logo on them – because they’re free. As long as people love free stuff, promotional products will stick around.

At Indoff’s promotional products division, we’re true believers in the value of cost-effective giveaways. Here’s why:

  • Better than a Business Card. You can leave your business card – and you should always do that. But that business card alone isn’t enough to keep you at the forefront of someone’s mind. A better strategy is to leave your card and a useful, attractive promotional product. Now your name and business are linked to that product, and every time your customer reaches for it, the whole package comes to mind. That’s far more effective than a business card alone.
  • Cheap Marketing. Promotional products are a proven, low-cost marketing strategy that helps businesses of all sizes build name recognition. A significant goal of marketing is exposure and promotional products to get your name and logo in front of a lot of eyes and create interest. Sometimes an extensive, expansive, expensive marketing campaign is out of reach.
  • Name Recognition. Promotional items are one of the most effective ways to help your customers remember your business. When they see your logo every day on their coffee mug or notepad, that’s building name recognition. The more you can get your name and logo out there, the better.
  • Loyalty. Gift-giving builds relationships, and positive relationships foster loyalty. If you want loyal customers, vendors, and employees, gift-giving needs to be part of your plan.

But how do you get the most bang for the marketing bucks you spend on promotional products and corporate swag? Handing out pens to every customer, employee, and client is cheap and easy, but does it provide any real returns? Generic, poor-quality, useless items don’t move the needle and may even do more harm than good. Only the best swag will get the job done when you’re trying to generate good feelings and positive vibes.

Guiding Principles

When it comes to choosing promotional products, you can trust these guiding principles to steer you in the right direction:


You need to provide products that actually work and will work for a long time in order to get the brand recognition and loyalty you’re shooting for. If the pen you hand out only works a few times or the fleece blanket pills and comes unraveled after a handful of uses, you’ve wasted your marketing dollars.

Frequent Use

Most marketers follow the rule of thumb for promotional swag to give away items that can be used frequently, possibly even daily, to get the most impact. A package of premium coffee is great, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, a quality insulated coffee tumbler with your logo prominently displayed often earns a permanent place in your customer’s daily routine. Similarly, while novelty items are fun, they don’t typically get the regular use needed to build the brand recognition you’re aiming for.


The best results come from products that recipients can regularly use for many months. Seeing your swag daily keeps the people you’re trying to reach engaged with your brand. If one $5 coffee mug can get a customer to look at your logo every day for six months, that’s money well spent. To have longevity, your promotional products need to be of good quality and be useful.

Branded Products

Adding branded products to your promotional marketing mix when you can create buzz and excitement around your giveaways.


Pens, tee shirts, and water bottles are fine; these items have been around for a long time and are moderately effective, which is why they’re ubiquitous. But you’ll need to be creative to make a real impact and stand out from the crowd. The team at Indoff has unique and interesting ideas for promotional products that will make the most of your marketing dollars.


Keeping up with current trends is important with promotional products. In 2021, offering promotional face masks was all the rage, but in 2023, the value of a face mask will not be as great (we hope.) Offering popular or trendy items folks want today is a great way to reach people and generate excitement and engagement. This means your promotional product offerings need to be flexible and responsive to current trends. You can’t expect to bring the same old stuff to the table and get much attention.


Know your target audience. Promotional products are just like any other marketing efforts: you need to aim your efforts specifically at the folks you want to reach. For example, if you’re trying to reach tech-savvy millennials, you need to consider the types of products they are most likely to use every day.

Imprint Area

Lastly, the items you offer need to display your logo and info prominently. After all, that’s the goal.


With those guiding principles in mind, here are a few interesting and modern ideas for promotional products:

  • Swag Boxes. Boxes filled with a variety of mystery items are a significant trend at the moment. Give your employees or customers something to “unbox” with custom swag boxes.
  • Tech. Tech is totally on trend at the moment. Portable chargers are a highly useful item that everyone appreciates. Other ideas include wireless charging pads, phone mounts for cars, earbuds, and RFID protection devices.
  • Self-Care. Self-care is another buzzword at the moment. Any items that feel just a bit luxurious qualify, such as luscious lip balms, cozy blankets, or exercise equipment like mats, towels, or yoga blocks.

Are You Ready to Take Your Efforts to the Next Level?

If your promotional product offerings need an overhaul, it’s time to find a local Indoff representative to get you on the right track. We’ll help you make the most of your valuable marketing dollars with promotional products that will get your business the attention it needs to soar into the future.

Courtney Brazell

Courtney joined Indoff in 2010. She brings years of experience in project management and tech solutions and is responsible for supporting our Partners’ sales efforts.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1291

Josh Long

Josh joined Indoff in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Allied Appliance, a nationwide appliance distributor. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of our appliance division that is comprised of Allied Appliance and Absocold, a manufacturer of refrigerators and microwaves that Indoff acquired in 2017.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1107

Jim Malkus

Jim joined Indoff in 1988 after spending 5 years at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in audit and accounting for privately-held businesses. Jim is responsible for the day-to-day management of Indoff.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1203

John Ross

John’s background includes the start up and acquisition of several successful business ventures, and he provides strategic planning and overall corporate governance.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1201