Research proves the staggering power of promotional business gifts. Over 1000 consumers were surveyed in a 2009 study by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Results show that the advertising medium offers a greater ROI:
· 94% recalled gifts received in the past 2 years
· 83% liked to receive business gifts
· 69% keep them
· 48% want more
· 14.7% contacted the advertiser (3 times more than any other medium)
Earlier studies by the organisation confirmed that promotional business gifts can achieve better results than TV advertising. 310 students rated a free fridge magnet and calendar better than a TV message in terms of:
ü positive attitude toward the ad - 41% vs. 18%
ü positivity towards the product - 20% vs. 16%
ü message credibility - 54% vs. 33%
ü purchase intent - 25% vs. 17%
ü referral value - 26% vs. 16%
Similar results demonstrating that promotional gifts increase and maintain brand awareness have been obtained many times over. Exactly why is the medium so effective? Well, the main reason is due to the higher frequency of exposure. The more we’re exposed to a message, the more likely we are to remember it.
As an example, a tabloid report named plumbers as the UK’s most prolific tea drinkers by profession, averaging 4-5 cups per day. If your name’s on the mug, that’s 100 times per month (based on a 5 day week, 4 week month). This doesn't include the number of times they see it in the kitchen, while washing-up, or how many other people see it: colleagues, clients, relatives and friends. Office workers drink at least 2 cups of a day, so they’ll see your message 40 times per month (minimum).
Certain business gifts will achieve a better return. The top 5 most popular items are:
2. MP3 players
4. Digital picture frames
However, mugs, USB sticks and pens tend to be kept the longest.
The reason promotional business gifts generate a greater ROI can be explained by a well-documented psychological phenomenon known as the law of reciprocity. In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini explains 6 key principles of influence. One of these is reciprocity, we are compelled to reciprocate.
"There's not a single human society that does not teach its children the rule of reciprocity - the idea that you must not take without then giving in return.”
It is deeply engrained in human nature to reciprocate. In a 1971 experiment, participants were asked to complete a task, at the end of the session a researcher tried to sell them raffle tickets. Each time, the researcher would leave the room for refreshments. In the control group, he returned with two cans of Coca-Cola, offering one to the unsuspecting participant. Those who received the cold drink bought twice as many raffle tickets than those who did not. That’s double the return.
"It may not happen the next day, but you've basically put money in the bank."
Unlike a national television campaign, the purchase of promotional business gifts is within reach of every business. You can harness the power of promotional products, no matter what size your business or budget. If you’re looking to buy gifts for your potential customers, here’s our list of do’s and don’ts:
ü Choose something practical to keep your name in the frame – useful items will always be kept longer.
ü Be unique to make your business stand out and increase memorability.
ü Buy quality, the product will be a reflection of your business brand - you don’t want it to say cheap.
ü Consider how you’ll distribute your products – via mail, in-store, at a tradeshow, in a competition.
ü Use a trusted, reputable supplier to ensure a good service.
o Choose a retailer or distributor based on price alone, quality varies immensely.
o Ignore your target audience - ask yourself, what would they like to receive?
o Forget to include your website, if possible.
o Make it seasonal e.g. you want a promotional business gift given at Christmas to be used all year.
o Order without seeing a sample, even if you’ve used the company in the past.