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Choosing the Right Promotional Items

I work for a small company that provides browser widgets to individuals and businesses. As a member of the marketing department, I know that buying promotional items is always a challenge because we want something that will make us stand out, while giving us the greatest return on our investment. We want products that our customers will use, but that also tie well into our image and services. Coffee cups and tee shirts are great, but while they get our name out there, they don’t really get our customers thinking about what we actually do.

Also, when it comes to shipping these items, the weight and size of mugs especially, cost us a bunch for some silly little mugs we are just going to give away for free.

Office supplies like pens, mouse pads, and desk calendars are a little closer to the mark, but still don’t tie in as well as they could. However, I have found that flash drives give us a great return on our investment, and here’s why:


Flash drives are just a small storage chip inside a plastic case, and you can make that case look any way you want. You can also change up the design from year to year to keep things fresh. We’ve been sending out flash drives for five years now.  Our first was designed to look like a pen; this year’s design is a classic business card looking design. We make sure that all of our designs tie in well with our brand, and remind people of our services. You can get custom flash drives in so many different places online.


Even in the age of cloud servers and email, people still use flash drives. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable forwarding them through email, or they don’t want to go through the hassle of getting online to access the cloud, or they just prefer carrying the document with them on a physical drive. Plus once you put something important on a flash drive the chances of losing it are slim and tossing it into the trash is zero. They are little things you keep in sight and in use once they have something valuable stored on them.


Flash drives are small, light, and durable, which makes them excellent for sending through the mail. We send ours out during the holidays attached to a greeting card with a clever message.  Thanks to their size and weight, and the deal we get on bulk postage rates, we can send out twice as many flash drives as we did tee shirts or mugs. Flash drives are also more likely to arrive at their destination in one piece; when we were sending out mugs they would sometimes arrive chipped, cracked, or broken.


Our clients know that we send out flash drives every year, and they have come to expect them. It helps that we try to be as creative, clever, and amusing as possible with the design, and with the accompanying card. It keeps our clients on their toes because they never know what to expect, and they actually start looking for promotional packages so they can see for themselves what we’ve come up with from year to year.

No matter what you are going to encounter promotional items in some form or another. Whether its the pen in your drawer from the Karate Studio near your home or a water bottle with the name and logo of your old University on it, they will be around. From a recipient's point of view the best way to make these things "stick" is to make them useful! Having a useful item will create more impressions on the consumer and less t-shirts inside Goodwill that people have donated because they have an outdated design or just don't fit. Give the gift of usefulness, just don't forget to put your company's name all over it!