So you have decided that as part of your marketing and brand awareness activities you would like to commission some branded promotional products – great! But where do you start to make sure you choose the right item?

Firstly, consider the following points:

  1. Who is the target audience? If you’re going to be giving away items to attendees of a trade show or exhibition you may choose a different product to when you’re wanting to thank your top 20 clients for their business.
  2. What do you want to achieve? Is the aim to raise general brand awareness, or does the product need to tie in with a particular campaign? A clear Call to Action should be included as part of the artwork so you will need to decide whether you want people to head to your website, call you or email you. Consider your corporate identity; is your business known for being creative and a bit ‘different’ or would a more traditional approach be received better?
  3. What’s the benefit to the recipient? For maximum impact and to ensure that the product doesn’t end up in the bin, make sure it is actually of benefit to the recipient. Quite often, people are more inclined to use subtly branded items in their everyday lives, rather than overtly branded ones.
  4. When do you want to use the promotional items? Consider seasonality and time of year when planning promotional items – a pair of sunglasses would work well in the spring/summer time, whereas an ice scraper is only of use during the winter months. Also think about where your target audience is in terms of their business year; is there an important deadline such as the end of the tax year coming up that you could tie it in with? Is their contract up for renewal?

Once you have answered the above questions you will have a concise brief to give to your supplier, but it’s also worth considering the below trends:


These days, consumers are spoilt when it comes to promotional items and they are fed up with cheap knick-knacks. Poor quality items will reflect badly on your brand, so go for good quality items that will last and actually be of use to the recipient. Quality does come at a cost though, so if the budget doesn’t allow for it, why not refine your target audience so you’re only giving the items to a select group?


With technology developing at a rapid pace you need to consider what use the promotional item will be to your clients or prospects in their everyday life. USB sticks for example are no longer used as widely due to the arrival of cloud based software. Items such as wireless speakers, chargers or power banks serve a variety of purposes in the recipients’ private and professional lives and can be easily customised to reinforce your brand.


Culturally, there’s a definitive trend towards sustainability, and eco-friendly promotional products are gaining in popularity as a result. All-time favourites such as bags, pens, notebooks or even lanyards can now be sourced from ethical sources with recycled or biodegradable parts.


Consortium work closely with our clients to ensure their promotional products are targeted and relevant, so if we can help you plan your next campaign please do get in touch on 01903 530787 or


You may also like to read a guest blog by Shirley Price of Yes Promo ‘Branded Merchandise – Should We or Shouldn’t We?


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