Does Promotional Merchandise Work?

Deciding how to tackle your next marketing campaign can be an intimidating task. You have targets to meet, returns on investments to consider, and the ever-present question of “will this actually work?” You may have considered a campaign with promotional products, or tried one before, as a way of promoting your brand but wondered if it’s the way forward for your business.

Luckily, the promotional merchandise industry has been around for many years and has proven its success time and time again, for brands big and small. There’s research and data, as well as many successful campaigns, which show how merchandise drives sales and boosts brand recognition with a huge range of versatile products. Keep reading to find out facts and figures from industry research, and be inspired by other business’s promotions.

What's the Data?

79% of people who receives a promotional gift feel appreciated

It’s important to frequently monitor the effectiveness of marketing strategies in a world where trends quickly change and new technology is always developing. Research into the impact of promotional products on consumers and industry trends is regularly done, and it continues to show the positive effect branded merchandise has on businesses.

According to the BPMA, 79% of people who receive a promotional gift feel appreciated, giving you a great way to build the customer relationships that are vital to growing your business. Happy and impressed are the other predominant emotions felt when given a branded gift.

Promotional products are versatile and can be used for many reasons. The main four companies report using promotional products are trade shows, customer recognition, sales incentives and employee management. With this versatility, you can adapt your choice of products for any campaign or event in a way other advertising mediums may not allow.

Nearly 9 out of 10 recipients of a promotional product can remember the branding, and nearly 8 out of 10 will remember the message of the product, showing how merchandise can help you enforce your brand message. Plus, people who receive promotional products are more likely to do business with the company, and their impression of the brand is more positive.

Finally, when asked to rate the most effective advertising methods, all generations of people asked put promotional merchandise in the top spot, so it's no wonder so many companies choose to use promotional products to market their brand.

Promotional Products in Action

Nintendo Wii Remote Keyring

Even with such amazing data, it's also important to see how other companies use promotional products in order to further understand their benefits. Let’s start with the 2000’s, and the release of the Nintendo Wii. One of the best-selling games consoles of all time, the Wii is known for its wireless motion controller, the Wii Remote. Nintendo used this iconic piece of technology to increase subscriptions to their Nintendo Power Magazine by creating a keyring in the shape of the controller to be given away with every subscription.

The result? A spike in subscriptions and the shipment of 130,000 keyrings. Nintendo had a clear goal of increasing magazine subscriptions and understood the appeal of collectible items in the community they were aiming for, making for a very successful campaign.

Tony Hawk Twitter Scavenger Hunt

Tony Hawk’s Twitter scavenger hunt is a wonderful example of using social media in a promotional merchandise campaign. In 2014, packages were hidden across the world and clues were sent out on Tony Hawk's Twitter hinting at their location for people to find. Inside the packages was Tony Hawk branded products, such as t-shirts and skateboards, and fans and followers shared their search on Twitter using hashtags and photos.

The campaign provided Tony Hawk with the opportunity to connect with dedicated fans through the merchandise and the social media platform, showing that promoting your campaign in multiple ways is important, and being creative with how you give away your products can provide you with ways to build customer relationships.

Keep reading for more inspiration from real campaigns and for advice on using promotional products in your business.


Ashley Simpson

"The design and print quality of the posters and other items we have had designed for our gigs is absolutely awesome"

-Ashley Simpson
Daniel Humes

" I am delighted with the logo and leaflet the Go 4 Design team have created for my removals and courier business"

-Daniel Humes
Zoe Mitchell

"I love my business cards you guys have done a remarkable job. I will be using you again with future projects"

-Zoe Mitchell
Kath Potter

"Thank you so much for designing and printing my leaflets, they were fantastic value for money & look great "

-Kath Potter
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