Usefulness Ranks High Among Recipients of Promotional Items

The Promotional Products Advertising Industry, (PPAI) did a study in 2011, named High End, Low End, Which Promotional Products Work Best? A Study of Consumer and Buyer Reactions, that examined consumers (recipients of promotional products) and promotion buyers (usually managers or business owners) regarding their impressions of and preferences for promotional products in four representative price ranges.

The most surprising thing from this study is that cost was not the highest ranking factor when it comes to how long and how much promotional items are used.  In fact, their survey found that recipients polled ranked usefulness as the #1 factor in how long they kept a promotional item after receiving it.

This is important because for many firms, cost has become a major issue as companies trim their advertising budgets.  Among many managers there is a sense of doing more with less that presents a big temptation to use lower quality items in an effort to save money.

With this information in mind, it’s easy to see that recipients would also value quality, since it is closely related to usefulness.  The more useful the item is, the more it’s used, the longer it holds up, and the more advertising impressions the item will deliver.  Conversely, if a giveaway or gift item is of low quality, it may be thrown away as soon as the recipient gets home.  It may stop working or wear out, only to be thrown away before it’s normal useful life, giving fewer impressions for your advertising message.  With the knowledge that usefulness ranks high among recipients, it’s important for managers and business owners to let quality and practicality guide their buying decisions.

Keep in mind that when buying apparel, quality affects the fit, durability and feel of shirts, jackets and other items. Most consumers, (customers) can spot a cheap shirt a mile away.  For example, when you hold a t-shirt up to the light, do you want to see through it? When your employees or customers put the shirt on, do you want their unmentionables to show underneath because the shirt is so thin? Of course there are fabrics that provide a “burn out” or sheer texture, and that’s fine if you are purposefully buying an item made of those materials. But it’s probably not a good sign if recipients have to retire your shirt to the “rag bag” before a reasonable time period has passed because it has torn up, shrunk or become otherwise not wearable.  Additionally, if you’re giving the lower quality items to customers and prospects, your company image may be affected as well.  Yes, you save money, but where does that get you in the long run?


Another set of problems will exist when you give lower quality items to your employees.  Poorly fitting items may impact morale, because if employees don’t feel comfortable, well-groomed and adequately outfitted by your company, they may be slighted. Consider how you want your employees to look when they meet with customers or interact in the community.

It’s great to that you can research and compare pricing online, especially when buying items for personal use.  But when buying items for your company, you should consider how the purchase will affect employees, customers and prospects. If you use price alone as your criteria for buying promotional items, especially branded apparel you may miss the mark with customers and employees.  The goal should be to do your research for a healthy balance between price, quality and usefulness.

We will work to bring quality, name brand items to your door from holiday gifts, branded apparel and custom office items.  We have a network of knowledgeable salespeople, resources and suppliers who will work to make the process flow smoothly. We use our network to shop around for the best deals to help you in your search for quality over price.