Tag Archives: Staples Promotional Products

Promotional Products Do Work – A Modern Approach to Practical, Useful, Thoughtful “Conference Swag”

As a trusted leader in the promotional products industry, it is our responsibility to advocate for our members and to deliver to others the essential knowledge they need to understand the inner workings of our medium. I have been reminded today after reading the Fast Company piece that there still remains an excess of misconceptions and doubts about our industry—ones I would like to take this opportunity to address. I will be responding to Fast Company on behalf of the Association, our members and this amazing industry.

The influence of promotional products cannot be underestimated, with more than 65 percent of advertisers citing promotional products as highly effective in reaching consumers and contributing to brand recall, and 88 percent of marketers recommending promotional products. Unlike the article suggests, promotional products are not toss away items—in fact, more than 80 percent of promotional products are used for more than a year. Eighty-three percent of consumers have a more favorable impression of the advertiser, and that increases to 88 percent for Millennials. Additionally, eight out of 10 consumers pass along promotional products versus carelessly throwing them in the trash. These are only a handful of the statistics we have proving promotional products are a strategic and influential medium that resonate with our audiences. Promotional products are welcome in places and spaces no other advertising medium can touch and deliver pass-along rates that are the envy of the advertising industry.

Our industry has evolved and grown over time, and consumer preferences and behaviors have also changed. We have pioneered many studies as an industry, and at PPAI, to ensure we keep up with our end-users and to understand the role promotional products can play within their current lifestyles. Most modern promotional products are designed to be useful, practical and enjoyable—their shelf life is far more extensive than meets the eye. For example, the “flimsy totes” we receive at conferences have become more and more useful with the adoption of plastic bag bans that are rolling out in states across the U.S. Many consumers have made them an essential part of their everyday lives. Our industry has also connected to consumers’ tech-savvy side by integrating technologies such as AR and Near Field Communication, which will only continue to advance in the future.

We also want to address one of the reporter’s main points: the environmental footprint of promotional products. As the leading voice for the promotional products industry, PPAI is committed to making a positive impact on the global environmental crisis. We have identified environmental responsibility as a core pillar, with mandatory product responsibility education and the ongoing development and sharing of best practices with our members and industry partners so they can recognize and address the impacts of their operations and supply chain on the environment. This is not restricted to emissions reduction or lowering the impact of manufacturing, but also encompasses a larger set of affirmative protocols that promote human rights, and worker health and safety. With the right resources and tools, promotional products organizations have been adopting policies to offer more environmentally-conscious assurances for their customers and employees. From green and compostable products to sustainable textiles, the promotional products industry has taken a proactive stance (including a “green” pavilion at our annual exposition) in bringing to market products that make the consumers’ experience more enjoyable and better for the environment.

As we always say, promotional products are truly the only advertising medium that reaches all five senses, plus a sixth—the sense of ownership for consumers. We do not want to deprive the majority of consumers (83 percent) who enjoy and are inspired to take action upon receiving a promotional product. Rather, we want to grow and evolve along with them so both brands and their audiences can continue to see this as a positive advertising medium in all aspects of their lives.

Demand For #SXSW Promotional Products Captures Event Headlines; Positive Proof Promotional Products Work!

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals offer a variety of events for anyone interested in music, film and interactive technologies. Year after year, this huge trendsetting event serves as a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings providing buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning; business activity thrives at the trade shows and global networking opportunities abound.

Austin’s relaxed atmosphere serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders sparks new ideas and carves the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

So, you can see why promotional products are the perfect marketing tool for SXSW creators and marketers to share strategically crafted branded products with this highly sought-after target audience.

I wanted take this opportunity to share with you our thoughts on the news and goings on at Austin’s SXSW event this week.

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Promotional Products Association International has issued a statement from President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, regarding screened luggage at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport during SXSW and his rebuttal of the claim by a Palo Alto tech firm that “most of the (SXSW) freebies end up in the attic, if not the trash.

“It turns out the news reports of delays at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport were due to the fact that SXSW event goers were actually taking their promotional products home and not trashing them.

The TSA has since issued this travel tip recommending that airline passengers leaving SXSW with lots of freebies should take them in their carry-on luggage so they can get through security faster.

Regarding the Palo Alto tech firm’s claim that ‘most of the SXSW freebies end up in the attic or trash,’ Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the promotional products industry wholly support the donation of unused promotional products to help those in need, and are glad the Austin-based Foundation for the Homeless is the beneficiary of the generosity and compassion of South by Southwest (#SXSW) attendees and its marketers.

Working with promotional products professionals, savvy marketers design and produce strategically branded promotional campaigns to reach and appeal to a highly targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner. Promotional products are used to educate, support worthy causes, recognize and reward employee achievements, support legislation and inspire action. In cases where promotional products are not needed, consumers report a pass-along rate of 36 percent—a lucrative benefit for marketers.

Promotional Products Fact Sheet

Promotional Products Fact Sheet

PPAI’s more than 40 years of industry research supports the fact that promotional products are one of, if not the most valued of all advertising media. In fact, eight in 10 consumers own promotional products, keeping them for more than a year in their kitchen (91%), workspace (74%), bedroom (55%) and in pockets or purses (24%) because they are useful. For marketers, the efficacy of promotional products provides the best ROI in the business, delivering an 88-percent brand recall and driving 85 percent of recipients to do business with the brand after receiving a branded product.

Whether through research or anecdotal evidence, it is clear promotional products have value to everyone, otherwise, they would not be distributed to both their intended audiences and to unintended, but equally valued, audiences—audiences who will find their original purpose to be just as useful and for which they are equally appreciative.

This appreciation of the function, form and fit of promotional products is why we, as an industry, strive to ensure unused products make their way into the hands of those who can use them most—teacher resource centers, animal shelters, community outreach organizations and, yes, homeless shelters.

The promotional products industry donates, contributes and volunteers in support of the communities it serves every day with literally thousands of products, millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours supporting worthy causes, schools and organizations, such as the Kids In Need Foundation, Merced Rescue Mission, Community Health Charities Minnesota, Richmond State School for Success and many more.”

Spread the word, promotional products work!

Paul

A Love Letter

It goes without saying that I am a big fan of PPAI.  I get excited to come to work each day and I fully embrace my role at the industry’s international nonprofit trade association.  Each day, the PPAI staff works hard to grow the viability, visibility, credibility and community of the promotional products industry, our member companies and hundreds of thousands of industry practitioners.

The fact that PPAI owns and produces The PPAI Expo – our industry’s largest, longest running and most successful tradeshow – is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in that it, along with revenue generated through membership dues and media sales, provides the funding to do all the non-revenue generating activities the association must provide.  Activities such as awards, public affairs, government relations, product safety, research, professional development, regional support, strategic partnerships and buyer outreach – while all integral to building the viability, visibility, credibility and community of our industry – are not in themselves self-sustaining.

It is a curse, only in a matter of speaking, because The PPAI Expo is so dominant, some industry practitioners think it’s all we do.  But, it is truly the sum of the parts that sustain us and produce the growth we’ve enjoyed over the past 109 years.

I am pleased to share the attached “love letter” with you. It speaks specifically to PPAI’s value to the industry and why we’re so much more than a tradeshow.

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