Corporate branding through promotional products and corporate merchandise, once a cottage industry, has grown to over an $18 billion a year industry with numerous applications.
When I first entered the industry in 1977 with a sportswear screen-printing and embroidery business, my future mother-in-law questioned the longevity of my chosen career, stating “tee shirts are just a fad.” At the time few people realized that the tee shirt, and related sportswear items, would become such a powerful branding tool, with individuals of every age sometimes paying to wear your company’s corporate logo and brand on their chest.
According to a study commissioned by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) in 1998, 95% of the 839 businesses surveyed used promotional products. Today, companies in every industry and of every size use promotional products to launch and promote new products, reward employees for their accomplishments and build customer loyalty.
The use of promotional products as a brand building tool has become a staple for many companies and organizations. It has become as important to their advertising budgets as their print, radio and television campaigns. The key to their success is the creativeness of the product and how it ties into their long-term goals and what the measurable return on their investment is. Just think of how many impressions your corporate logo on a tee shirt receives over the course of its life.
There are hundreds of applications for corporate merchandise and promotional products in today’s business world. The key is to come up with a product that fits your company’s image in a creative and effective manner. Your promotional products distributor should offer suggestions that reflect the image of the company, perpetuate your firm’s brand and contribute to annual marketing goals.