The most purchased promotional items are writing utensils. When you walk through a trade show or convention, promotional pens and pads are on a majority of the tables. If they’re not handed out to people as they walk by they are included in swag bags. Business offices have jars or cups of pens at a reception desk, with boxes more ready to be given away.
I was talking to a friend recently went to a job fair. He told me that a majority of the tables had pencils or pens with a company logo. By the time he had walked through the fair, he had a bag full of pencils, pens, notepads, lanyards, and candy. He ended up throwing most of what was in the bag away, as it was stuff that he didn’t need or want. He said that of any of the stalls he visited, none had made a great impression on him.
We are going to SAAC this August. We figured that as promotional pens are easily lost or forgettable, we wanted to do something more unique. Instead of promotional pens, we looked for a more memorable item. We are taking promotional laser engraved bottle openers. (shown below) By taking a unique item, we are hoping to make a good impression with those we contact. Some clients that use us have ordered personalized bottle openers as their business card. It’s a unique gift that stands out, as well as being a useful product that current or potential clients can use at home.
With the cost of promotional pens being as low as $0.02 per pen, it is easy to buy them in bulk without worrying about running out. But your company’s pen gets lost in the mix with other company’s pens, it becomes easier and easier to forget about an individual company. Giving a unique item may be what your company needs to stand out from the crowd, make a great impression, and potentially gain another customer.
In a report by the PPAI consumers tend to be happier with promotional items that seem to have a higher value. Pens may be cheap to purchase and easy to carry around/give out, but they also seem to be cheap items. There are exceptions, as pens can range in quality and cost, both literally and in appearance, but many of the pens that look expensive normally are. Add that to the fact that pens are the most widely purchase promo item, it may be time to look into more different, and maybe unique, swag.