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Promotional Products Defined: Part 1

Posted December 29, 2009  |  written by  |  Promotional Products

Promotional Products.

Ad Specialties.




Whenever I tell people that I work for an online Promotional Products Distributor, the response is usually a blank stare. No one’s ever nodded and said, “Oh, right. I’ve heard of those!”

I generally follow up with, “You know. Promo Pens and Wholesale Coffee Mugs imprinted with your business name!” While that at least gives a basic idea of what a promotional product is, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available or possible within our field. This will be the first installment in a two-part series designed to help clear some of the confusion and mystery regarding promotional products: what they are, how they’re used, and why they matter.

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) defines a promotional product as a “useful or interesting article of merchandise usually carrying an imprinted advertising or promotional message.”  To put it more simply, promotional products are items that have been imprinted with a logo or text—and they aren’t just handouts designed to drum up new business (though that’s often a pleasant side effect). Sure, there are free pens at the bank. But where did the tellers get those Custom Oxford Shirts embroidered with their logo? Have you ever received a branded gift-with-purchase? How about a free calendar from a charity as a thank you gift for your donation? The champagne flute you took home as a favor from your cousin’s wedding, the magnet on the back of your car featuring the school mascot, the tiny bottles of shampoo when you stay in a hotel…the list goes on and on!

These are all Custom Promotional Products, and they are all a part of what we do here at InkHead!

Now that you have a broader concept of what can be classified as a promotional product, our next installment will focus on how promotional products are commonly used. Stay tuned!

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  1. Comment by HFB Advertising on January 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for defining a promotional product. Good job.

  2. Comment by Werbemittel on January 7, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I agree that pens and mugs are only part of what makes up “promotional items”. However, in my experience that have proven to be the best examples (taking cost into account). Keep up the great blog!

  3. Comment by Andrea Boyd on January 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for reading, HFB!

    Agreed, Werbemittel…You can’t beat pens and mugs for staying power. That’s something that will be explored in part 2 later today!

  4. Comment by Cornelia on October 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    This a very comprehensive definition of a promotional item, that will help a lot of people to understand that business. I’m also working in that branch, therefore I also know the reactions like “what’s that” etc… :) Thanks for this great post!

  5. Comment by Michael Ollinger on November 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback, Cornelia. Glad to hear you enjoyed the post. =)

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