The next promotion you run needs to be as memorable as the last. But does it need to be different? Your choice of advertising gifts is clearly the crux on which the promotion rests – otherwise you wouldn’t be using promotional items at all.

So there is a sense in which getting advice from the supplier is a good idea. Provided of course that you have already identified the kind of promotion you will be running.

Advertising Gifts

Because the advertising gifts you use don’t have to bear much, indeed any, relationship to the business you run or the products you normally sell. What they need to do instead, is to capture the imagination or affection of their recipients, so that positive emotion is linked with the branding you have had printed on the items in question.

There is a difference between advertising gifts and promotional items, some of which are simply branded things used by your company. Or upsell cards.

A promotional item directs the attention of a person to your business in a one of a number of specific ways. While, an advertising gift is specifically a present given to your customers, by you, which advertises your company in some way.

So take advice from your supplier at the point where you have identified the kind of thing you want to supply to your customers. Unless of course you have a particularly close relationship with your supplier and can trust them to advise not only on the right model of your chosen advertising gift, but on the gifts themselves most suited to your purposes.

In some cases, the advertising gifts you choose can be dictated simply by a certain trend or time of year. BBQ season, for instance, means giving away aprons, chef’s hats, flip flops, bottle openers – anything that can be used during an afternoon’s cooking out.

And you hope that your company identity becomes temporarily aligned with fun and relaxation, which is why the best suited businesses for providing seasonal merchandise like this are often food and drinks companies.

As I’ve noted in other posts, though, the things your company does and the advertising gifts you give don’t really have to marry up. For instance, anything technological can be turned to your commercial advantage, because a massive segment of most markets has become tech savvy.

From a novelty USB to devices intended to make touch screen phones and tablets easier to use, there’s a big crossover in all technology gifts that makes them suitable for branding by just about anyone.

The key to choosing your advertising gifts is picking stuff that suits the theme of the promotion, rather than the theme of your business. In other words – design your campaign first, in a way that makes sense given the business or the product you are trying to promote.

Then develop a picture of the right advertising gifts for that promotion, by looking closely at the kinds of things you can use to bring it to life.

It is at this point that your Association contacts will be most useful. Delivering informed advice at the crux of your campaign.