The Power of Promo: How To Incorporate Promotional Products Into Your Business Plan

Marketing your small business is a full-time job. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your products and services are if you can’t attract customers. Nowadays, there are hundreds of ways to approach marketing – print advertising, digital assets, email and social media, just to name a few – and a well-rounded strategy should incorporate all of these.

However, no business plan is complete without one of the most effective forms of advertising: promotional products.

While other forms of advertising often represent a fleeting moment in time, promotional products have proven to make a lasting impression on recipients, with an average shelf life of over 1 year. The promotional products industry reached new heights in 2023, registering a whopping $26.1 billion in revenue – a boom that presents exciting opportunities for your business.

What are promotional products?

Promotional products are items branded with a logo and/or message and distributed to promote a brand at little or no cost. These serve as tangible reminders of a company and run the gamut in terms of pricing and popularity. Check out the most popular promo products of 2023, according to ASI’s State of the Industry:

  1. T-Shirts
  2. Drinkware
  3. Polos
  4. Caps/Headwear
  5. Bags
  6. Wearables (Non-Shirts)
  7. Writing Instruments
  8. Shirts – Other
  9. Flags/Banners
  10. Desk/Office/Business Accessories

The promotional products industry has grown every year since the pandemic, proving its resiliency and long-term viability. Promo products also offer an incredible 37% profit margin, making it an attractive venture for any business looking to diversify their offerings.

Identify your target audience.

As a business owner, you likely have a general idea of where your most reliable customer base lies. One of the first steps in your promo journey will be to analyze your existing client lists and determine which ones have a need for promo . Then, tailor your marketing efforts and outreach for these clients to include your newest offerings.
To enjoy continued success in the promotional products industry, it’s essential to expand into new markets. Luckily, offering promo products makes it easy to branch out, as the top markets are always in need of some of the most popular items (apparel, tech items, drinkware, etc.).

The opportunities are endless in these top markets:

  • Education – The #1 market in the industry has a diverse range of buyers, including colleges/universities, school districts, private institutions and athletic associations.
  • Healthcare – From hospitals and nursing homes to pharmacies and doctors’ offices, there’s a substantial market for promo in this space.
  • Construction – With a recent boom in building, development and home improvement, construction is one of the fastest-rising markets to target.
  • Nonprofit – As one of the more budget-conscious markets, nonprofits rely on the power of promo for fundraising efforts and raising awareness of their cause.
  • Manufacturing/Distribution – Buyers in this market include automotive companies, food service providers, electronics manufacturers and wholesalers.

By understanding the needs of each market, you can optimize your product offerings and marketing strategies to increase your chances of sales success.

Incorporate best practices.

If you want to reinvent your brand identity to position your business as a one-stop shop that can handle all promo needs, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Partner with the right suppliers – Gain insights into the latest industry trends, product features and market demands with trusted supplier partners.
  • Use product samples – Having physical samples of promotional products on display in your store or while you’re on the road allows prospects to have an invaluable, tangible experience (see, touch, evaluate the quality) before making a purchasing decision.
  • Update your assets to reflect promo capabilities – You’ll want your brand messaging to be up to date and consistent to build trust and credibility. Make sure your website, social media and all future print assets accurately represent your new promo ventures.
  • Identify upsell opportunities – Explore opportunities to offer complimentary items or services that enhance your customers’ experience.

Reap the rewards.

The final step in promo success is getting products into your customers’ hands, and the best way to accomplish this is by partnering with ASI.

ASI is your trusted partner for promo success, offering valuable resources and cutting-edge tools to empower your business. By offering industry-leading research, a user-friendly business platform (ESP+), world-class tools and a team of experts by your side every step of the way, ASI is committed to helping you navigate this dynamic market and achieve success beyond your wildest dreams.

Want to unlock even more secrets to promo success? Download our FREE e-book, Why Logoed Products Are a Big Business.