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Your Ultimate Guide To Promotional Merchandise

Promotional merchandise is a fantastic way to engage your customers and prospects. The low-cost of many branded products makes them great for increasing your brand exposure, without stretching your marketing budget.

Branded merchandise is still one of the most effective forms of marketing. 85% of people claim that promotional products have prompted them to go into business with the advertiser.

To help make thing simple and straightforward for you, we’ve put together this handy guide. Detailing everything you need to know about marketing merchandise: from choosing the right product to designing the right message to print on your branded items.


  1. What is branded merchandise?

  2. Who needs branded merchandise?

  3. The benefits of promotional merchandise

  4. How to choose the perfect branded product for your business.

  5. Top tips for designing your branded merchandise

  6. How to effectively distribute your promotional merchandise.

1. What is Branded Merchandise?

Promotional merchandise is inclusive of a wide range of products that are branded with your logo or other company visuals. Corporate merchandise can include anything from branded t-shirts and customised caps to branded confectionery and custom umbrellas.

It’s a great way to engage your customers and prospects, keeping your brand at the forefront of their mind for when they next need your services.

2. Who needs Branded Merchandise?

Branded merchandise can work for almost all types of business and industries. With more and more companies exploring promotional merchandise marketing strategies, every day.

Many companies opt to sell their company-branded merchandise on their online store. Whereas others, use it for promotional purposes and give their branded items away in direct mail campaigns or at trade shows.

3. The Benefits of Promotional Merchandise

Three customers putting their thumbs up.


Corporate branded products offer a fantastic return on investment.

With many promotional products having a unit cost of less than £1, they’re a great affordable marketing strategy.

What’s more, they can help you market your business for months on end. A single promotional mug or branded pen can be used repeatedly, providing consistent exposure for your business and a considerable return on investment.

Build customer loyalty

Brand loyalty is important for any business.

Using promotional gifts to thank loyal customers can increase your chances of repeat custom and can ensure they continue to choose you over your competitors.

By gifting quality promotional products to your clients, they are likely to associate these quality branded products with your company and thus are more likely to value your services.

Customer satisfaction

A satisfied customer is a loyal customer.

Clients love to receive something for nothing, and promotional merchandise is no exception. 83% of people have said that they love receiving branded gifts from companies.

Building a strong positive relationship with your clients is sure to benefit you in the long-run. A satisfied customer is much more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family, which can be very advantageous for your business in the future.


Custom merchandise that recipients find useful, is more likely to be kept and regularly used.

Branded pens, custom mugs and personalised corporate notebooks are likely to be utilised, in the recipient’s offices or meetings, daily. Ensuring that your brand is always in front of your clients and at the forefront of their mind.

Deep Reach

Branded merchandise makes an impression beyond the intended audience.

When your clients attend meetings with one of your branded notebooks or go shopping with the personalised tote bag you gifted them, your brand is being exposed to hundreds of prospective clients.

Moreover, research has found that 8 out of 10 people are likely to pass on a promotional product to somebody else if they don’t want to keep it themselves. This organically furthers your brand’s reach in a way that other forms of advertising cannot do.

4. How to choose the perfect branded product for your business

It’s vital to know which promotional product is right for your business, to ensure maximum return on investment.

Here we’ll take you through a couple of the ways that you can decide which one is right for you:

Know your audience

Just as in all elements of business, when choosing the right branded product, you must do your research and ensure you know your target audience.

Some important things to consider, when researching are:

- Is there a branded product that reflects your company’s product or service?

- What are your target audience’s hobbies?

- What kind of product would be useful for your audience?

- Which promotional products are your competitors utilising?

By ensuring you know exactly who your target audience is, you are much more likely to pick a promotional product that is accustom to their needs and therefore ensure maximum return on investment.

Consider the longevity of the product

A great promotional product is one that can be utilised over and over.

Branded pens, customised notebooks or corporate mugs are great for this. They can be kept in your prospect’s or client’s offices and are utilised daily. Ensuring that your brand is always at the forefront of their mind, for when they require your products or services.

Quantity or quality?

The main selling point for opting for quantity is that you can distribute more items for a lower price.

Although this can often be an effective distribution strategy, what does the quality of the product say about your brand?

Prospects frequently associate the quality of your branded merchandise, with the quality of your products and services.

Meaning that it is often better to invest in fewer, premium promotional products, that enhance your image and give a fantastic impression of your company.


When considering which promotional product you should choose, distribution is always an important factor to consider.

Where will your product be distributed? And who will it be for?

For example, if you’re running a direct mail campaign, you don’t want to be gifting bulky items. Branded items such as corporate calendars, personalised keyrings, branded USB Sticks and other flat-lightweight items are ideal for posting to your clients.

Likewise, if you’re sponsoring a sports event, branded rulers may not be the best option. However, a promotional football or drinks bottle may resonate more with the audience you are trying to target.

5. Top Tips for Designing your Branded Merchandise

Keep it simple

When it comes to promotional merchandise, simple designs are always the most effective.

Adding your website address, company address or telephone number could hinder your messaging, and make your design seem cluttered.

Instead, opt for your company logo, and maybe a visual or simple phrase. Creating a simple, but effective design will be sure to have the highest impact on receivers.

Stick to your branding

To increase your brand recognition, you’ll want your branded merchandise to be instantly recognisable as coming from you.

Using your company logo, company colours and other elements of your branding can help ensure that all of your collateral is consistent.

Think creatively

To ensure your branded merchandise is effective, you’ll have to think creatively.

As space is limited, it’s unlikely that they’ll be any room for your key contact details.

Utilising a QR code, on your branded merchandise, could be a great way for your prospects to get your contact details, without compromising on simplicity. Not only is this a great way to get your information across to your clients, but it also gives you an effective way to track the success of your campaign.

6. How to effectively distribute your promotional products

Crowd at a trade show

Promotional products are a tried and tested way to market your brand.

Once you’ve decided what products you will need, you will need to plan your distribution strategy.

Here are just a few ideas, to get you started:


A contest is a fantastic way to get the word out about your brand.

Holding a contest on social media can help you increase your brands reach and attract new customers to your business.

Gifting a premium promotional product to the winner of your contest, not only makes a fantastic prize but also provides great exposure for your company, without stretching your advertising budget.

After all, everybody loves winning a prize, right?

Trade Shows

Exhibitions and trade shows are one of the best places to give away promotional products.

There is a consistent footfall of potential customers who are likely to be interested in what your brand has to offer.

Having a unique branded item, that you can give away on your stand, can act as the perfect conversation starter and encourage more prospects to visit your exhibit.

Top Tip: When choosing the right promotional product to give away at your trade show, consider your target audience. What kind of product would be useful for them? For example, if you work in the automotive industry, a promotional ice scraper or branded key fob could be a great option.

Rewards Programme

Creating a customer rewards programme can help you encourage repeat custom.

Gifting your clients, a promotional item, once they have attained a certain target, is a great way to encourage customer loyalty.

For example, you could gift your clients a branded t-shirt after they have made a certain number of purchases, or gift them a customised water bottle, when they have spent a specific amount of money with you.

Want to know more?

At Soar Valley Press, we offer a wide range of branded merchandise. Our brochure includes over 175 pages of it! Including everything from promotional pens and mugs to customised t-shirts and corporate workwear. Ensuring that you have everything you need to get your brand in front of your clients.

Click here to get your free copy, today!

Any questions? Our team are always ready and willing to help. You can contact us on

0116 259 9955 or email We’re always ready to get the conversation started.


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