Before delving into the world of promotional items, it’s important to know your ideal customer.

What may work for one business, may not work for yours. For example, yoga mats would be amazing for gyms to giveaway. Possibly not the best thing for restaurants though.

Select products that align best with your company’s image and values.

That said, there are items that work with the majority of people. The following items prove their popularity and effectiveness over and over again.

What are Promotional Items?

Also known as promotional products and ad specialties, promotional items are incredibly versatile. Promo items can be nearly anything, as long as it features a company’s logo or branding. For example, pens, koozies, lanyards, and stress balls are a few of them.

Companies typically give out free promotional products at shows and events. They’re also a great thank you gift for clients.

Prices for promo items can range from a few cents to well over $100/item. There’s always something to fit every business’ budget.

Holding a giveaway? Throw in some freebie promo products alongside the main prize.

Overall, it’s rare for people to turn down gifts, especially if they’re free (and useful).

1. Face Masks

Promotional Items: Face Masks

Face masks are undoubtedly the hottest and most popular promotional item on the market. Thanks to COVID-19, face masks quickly become a way of life.

Even though the mask mandate is lifting, face masks are still high in demand. People find comfort and safety in masks, and adopted them as a way to express their individuality and interests.

Businesses started giving away their branded face masks to customers for free. According to ASI, 57% of consumers would be more likely to do business with the advertiser who gave them a promo mask.

And over its lifetime, a promotional mask makes 4,235 impressions.

What’s an impression?

Impressions are the calculated amount time of how long someone owns a promotional product, and how many people come into contact with them when they’re using it. In a nutshell, it’s how many sets of eyes get a glimpse of your promo item.

The brand awareness that comes along with face masks is huge. It’s something people immediately pay attention to since we naturally gravitate to look at people’s faces.

2. Apparel

Promotional Items: Apparel

Apparel has, and always will be, a popular choice. From t-shirts, to polos, to coats, to hats, they all do an effective job of showcasing your brand.

Businesses from big to small invest in custom branded apparel. When it comes to clothing, outerwear (jackets/fleece/coats) are the most popular choice.

Branded apparel makes such a bold statement, and it’s an easy way to advertise. People effectively become walking billboards for your brand, doing all of the work for you.

When it comes to generating brand exposure and awareness, apparel offers an amazing way to do it.

3. Eco-Friendly Products

With the increasing need and demand for environmental sustainability, it’s no surprise that eco-friendly products are popular.

Nowadays, consumers are looking to decrease their carbon footprint, and choosing eco-friendly promo items.

In general, eco-friendly promo items are recyclable, include organic/recycled materials, biodegradable, or compostable.

A few examples include metal/paper straws, journals made with recycled paper, or tote bags made with plastic water bottles.

And even if an item doesn’t fit that criteria, it doesn’t mean they’re not eco-friendly.

Tote bags and tumblers are great examples of reduce and reuse. They’re both much better options than plastic bags and plastic water bottles.

4. Tote Bags

Promotional Items: Tote Bags

Piggy-backing on the eco-friendly products, tote bags are a huge push for sustainability. Especially in states where plastic shopping bags have stopped being available at stores.

Since the plastic bag ban in Connecticut, tote bags have increased in popularity. Stores have began carrying a wider variety to ensure everyone’s taken care of.

Tote bags are incredibly versatile, and you don’t only have to bring them to the grocery store. They’re a great option for school, work, and running errands.

A great thing about tote bags is that they have a large imprint area. This means you can get down to the nitty-gritty with what you want to advertise. There’s a ton of real estate, and you can include more than just your company’s logo.

5. Tech Items

Power banks and USBs are both a hot commodity. These items are a safe bet in the growing age of technology.

USBs make about 700 impressions and charging banks 900 impressions.

While they don’t make the largest amount of impressions, they’re great because people actively use and appreciate them.

USBs are incredibly useful and versatile, and charging banks are extremely handy to own.

Thankfully, USBs are cost-effective and great if you’re on a budget. If you feel like getting a little fancy, power banks make a statement with your customers.

6. Drinkware

Tumblers are something that I personally love, and will never say no to. I’ve used every tumbler I’ve ever received from a company that shows their logo.

Even if people aren’t familiar with a company, it doesn’t stop them from utilizing their promotional items. If an item is useful, there’s no reason to get rid of it.

They go hand-in-hand with the push for sustainability, and the average tumbler lasts for 12 months in someone’s household. Furthermore, tumblers generate about 1,400 impressions.

They’re popular because they’re typically great quality, and they keep your drinks hot (or cold) for hours. They’re easy to bring when you’re on the go.


Generally speaking, promotional products are a great marketing tool for any marketing campaign.

They’re incredibly cost-effective, and an amazing tool at generating exposure and prospects.

There are thousands of options, and if you’re not sure where to start, try implementing one of the six above.

PS. Did you know that we have a store for promotional products? You can check it out here!

Read more >> Why Promotional Products are Essential to Your Business

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