The Power of Promotional Products

“Promotional products are imprinted or decorated items that are used by businesses and organizations to promote products, services, or company programs.  Effective use of promotional products can enhance name and brand recognition, multiply sales, intensify client loyalty, and motive employees.” (Carson, 2009, p. 1)

Some of the most common uses of promotional products include:

  • Business Gifts
  • Dealer/Distributor Programs
  • Trade Shows
  • Brand Awareness Improvement Campaigns
  • Public Relations
  • New Product and Service Introductions
  • New customer recognition
  • Account Generation
  • Not-for-profit Programs
  • Marketing Research Incentives
  • Internal Promotions
  • Employee Relations and Events
  • Employee Service Awards
  • Safety and Educational Incentives

The top 10 best-selling individual promotional products are:

  • Pens
  • Mugs and Cups
  • Golf and Polo Shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Caps and Hats
  • Calendars
  • Jackets
  • Key Tags and Rings
  • Tote Bags
  • Mouse Pads

(Carson, 2009, p. 2-3)

“Giving out promotional products is also a very effective way of starting a conversation with a potential customer.  Handing something over allows you to “break the ice” and engage that person in conversation and because you gave them something, he or she is likely to listen to what you have to say.” (Conversation Starters Increase Brand Recognition, n.d., para. 1)

So what am I trying to get at?  Promotional items create conversation, conversation increases awareness, and awareness increases understanding.

During Therapeutic Recreation month a few classmates and I were permitted to set up a TR booth in the main lobby of our campus.  We set up this booth on two separate days in hopes of increasing awareness of TR.  The school was so good to allow us to utilize their program banners and provide us with a giveaway prize.  ATRA not only lent us their promotional banners but provided us with a bunch of ATRA swag to hand out (yes, promotional products)!

It was an incredible experience, to be honest.  One that I would actually recommend being a required part of the TR program.  Approaching complete strangers and finding ways to connect was really challenging.  Whether it was for a brief moment to deliver my elevator speech or a meaningful conversation with someone who had some sort of a connection with TR in their lives.  it was such an honour to promote our profession; to have the opportunity to increase awareness, to clarify our roles, and to highlight the many benefits of leisure and recreation.


Carson, M. (2009). The Silent Salesman: Guaranteed Strategies for Increasing and Profits Using Promotional Products. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Conversation Starters Increase Brand Recognition. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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