Promotional merchandise is an important strand of the marketing strategy for any business, and it can have a significant impact on your outcomes and your business development if done well. A recent study by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) explored the way in which businesses choose and use their promotional merchandise, and identified the sort of promotional merchandise that engages the customers of today.


Here at Connect Promotions, we believe that every business deserves to get its promotional marketing right, and we pride ourselves on offering an excellent range of products that can be personalised to send out the right message about you and your brand. Read on to find out exactly what your customers want right now, and how we can help you to create this.


Why Do Businesses Use Promotional Merchandise?

Respondents to the BPMA survey included managers within accounts and business development, marketing executives, digital marketing professionals, CEOs and managing directors, reflecting the real applications of promotional merchandise across all levels of business. The study found that 32% of businesses use promotional merchandise for trade show giveaways, while 26% identify customer engagement as their main reason for using it. 23% say that it functions as a sales incentive within their business, and 13% say that they use promotional merchandise for employee engagement.


Products are created to fit with a business or a brand, and most companies carry out research into the type of product that will be suitable before they purchase. This provides the opportunity to find out what customers want, and what the benefits of different promotional items may be, and this is also a great way to ensure that your investment will work for your business.



What Type of Promotional Merchandise is Popular Right Now?

 Most of the respondents to the study by the BPMA agreed that they would expect or appreciate creative input from their promotional merchandise provider, and this is what we aim to provide for every business we work in partnership with. We know the promotional merchandise industry inside out, and we can help you to make the most effective and innovative decisions for your business.


Many businesses report that they have continued to use successful promotional products for a long period of time, and the most popular of these is chargers, closely followed by USB sticks. Notebooks, cups and pens followed these, and cuddly toys and phone holders were at the bottom end of the list. However, the business world we are working within is changing, and concerns about the environmental impact of plastics is influencing the behaviour of consumers. 58% of respondents said that their future decisions have been influenced by the increasing awareness of climate change, and those who have not already begun to reassess their promotional merchandise may be wise to do so.


Until now, environmental concerns have been lower on the list of important factors that influence promotional merchandising decisions, but this is set to become the driving force behind many business decisions, and it seems that those organisations that do not prioritise it will be left behind by competitors.


What do You Want From Your Promotional Merchandise?

As the world changes at a remarkable pace, wise businesses are reflecting this in the decisions that they make about their marketing. Where technological gadgets have been leading the way in the promotional marketing industry for the last decade, a move towards better quality, more sustainable and more environmentally conscious products is emerging.


We can work in partnership with you to define your priorities and create a promotional merchandise range to fit with these, and we suggest considering the following carefully:


  1. Your budget for promotional merchandise will form part of your marketing budget and this is unique to every business. Of the respondents to the study by BPMA, 10% said that their company spent more than £50K on promotional merchandise and 13% between 20 and 50K. The majority spend less than this, with 40.5% spending 5-20K, and 36.5% spending up to 5K. Whatever your budget, we can help you to make the best decisions around it and maximise your investment.


  1. Successful promotional merchandise will be memorable because it is relevant, both to your business and to your customers. Merchandise that is useful and necessary to your customers will improve your brand reach and encourage customers to feel more positive about your business, and being relevant to your business means that you will connect your customers with your ethos and build a relationship with them.


  1. Environmental impact. Businesses that fail to attend to their environmental impact will forfeit their connection with their customers and fall behind competitors who rise to this 21st century challenge. Promotional merchandise that is sustainable and environmentally aware stands to connect with an entire generation of awakened professionals who are likely to influence the businesses of the future more than any other group.


  1. Promotional merchandise is an excellent opportunity to communicate information about your business to a wider audience. Your promotional products should be instantly identifiable and send a positive message about your business and your brand to the customers you want to connect with. Designing a product range that is as unique as your business is a process with which we can help, from creative conception to delivery of your perfect promotional merchandise range.


  1. Although it is not as commanding as other concerns, the practicality and convenience of your promotional merchandise matters. How the product is manufactured will impact on the lead time, and the ease with which it makes its way to you and your customers. You should also think about the way in which a product is designed to be convenient to your target audience, as this will influence the way that they feel about it, and about your business.



The Future of Promotional Merchandise

If environmental awareness is sure to be informing business decisions in the future, the specific preferences that are emerging are likely to become more important too. In the BPMA study, respondents were asked what sort of alternative product they would be looking for, and 32% identified recyclable products as key. 29% stated that products classed as Eco/Environmentally friendly would be their first choice, while 10% wanted biodegradable options, 10% suggested wood, 8% wanted reusable products, 6% ideally wanted card/paper products and 5% identified non-plastic as their preferred option. These are all important considerations to bear in mind, and it is helpful to think about how your brand identifies with climate change and environmental issues, and whether you intend to be a leader in your field or follow behind those who have acted more decisively to connect with this key issue for the future.


Promotional Merchandise Designed To Build Your Brand

Work in partnership with Connect Promotions to enhance your brand reach with your promotional merchandise. We are on hand every step of the way, from developing ideas and strategies, to sourcing the best products from our reliable partners and suppliers and delivering them to you or to your corporate events worldwide.


Partnering with Connect Promotions means that you can focus on your area of expertise and know that your promotional merchandise is being taken care of in a professional and effective way. You can call us on 021 4345980, or contact us online to discuss your needs.