Promotional Products As Marketing Strategies
Last Updated on Saturday, 9 October 2010 08:51 Written by Mollie Suzzaana Saturday, 9 October 2010 08:51
Generally being small or inexpensive, promotional products could be any number of items, such as, T-shirts, peak-caps, key rings or USB flash drives. Being marked with a logo or brand name the gift is promoted via a marketing campaign and communications platforms to be given away.
Usually a slogan, logo or name of a company would be incorporated in a branding strategy known as guerilla marketing. The corporate image and brand awareness is then highlighted at an event, conference, trade show or any other event where the company can be promoted.
The marketing industry dates back just over 200 years, with the first known promotional items being the commemorative buttons serving the presidential election of George Washington in 1789. From the early 1800′s there were a handful of items used for promotion, yet it was not until the 1900′s that an organized industry existed for the creation and distribution of promotional products.
A man named Jasper Meeks, said by many to be the father of this industry. Convincing a shoe store to print book bags with their name on it, and giving it to the local schools in Ohio, it was not long until Henry Beach, another local from Ohio, started the same idea.
It was only in 1904 that 12 manufacturing companies of promotional products established the first trade association of this industry. Only fifty years later, the industry was established as Corporate Marketing. Those 12 manufacturing companies are known today as the PPAI. Promotional Products Association International.
With the business world realizing the value that promo products hold, the industry started to expand in 1970. By promoting brand awareness, products and their corporate entities, the business world gained publicity reaching further than before, by giving away marketing gifts with their logo or brand name.
The industry has grown to be the leading global manufacturer and distributor of an ever-growing list of items used as promo products. Even now after the arrival of E-commerce and online trading, the U. K. And Ireland remain the center of the supply chain.
An organization would initiate a strategic and targeted marketing plan utilizing the promotional items to bring light to brand awareness as the most common used methodology. Often celebrities would be offered more valuable gifts to be seen with the promoted product at an event like a film festival. This being another strategy to gain publicity for the brand name.
Charities, churches along with schools also make use of similar marketing strategies for awareness raising campaigns and the like. The very familiar red ribbon symbolizing the fight against HIV AIDS being one such cause that is recognized worldwide. Wristbands and bright yellow bandanas for cancer, exhibiting exactly how powerful something potentially small, can be so significant.
The total value of the UK and Ireland promotional products industry was valued to be 850 million pounds at the end of 2008 and showing all signs of growth. At the end of 2009, the fastest growing product at the time was hand sanitizer.