have many different applications within the marketing mix, including generating trade show traffic, encouraging customer goodwill and referrals, rewarding and motivating employees, or generating leads and increasing sales.

One of their prime functions is to raise brand awareness, enhance brand image and encourage brand loyalty. Brand image reflects the way a brand is perceived in the marketplace, and extends much further than the actual product or service a firm provides. Astute businesses will therefore seek ways to continually enhance their brand image.Promotional products can have a significant impact on a company and its brand image. This has been proven by a recent study* in the US, which was conducted by students at Georgia Southern University and published by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). The experiment’s objective was to determine both the immediate impact promotional products have on recipients and their long-term effect.

By comparing people who received a promotional product from a company with others who did not, the research found that recipients of promotional products have a more positive overall image and perception of the business, are more likely to recommend it to others and are more likely to become a customer themselves.

It is important to remember that a quality brand should only be supported by quality merchandise as anything less will risk devaluing the brand. The promotional products chosen should therefore be in keeping with the current or desired image in the marketplace.

Promotional products are successfully used by many companies and organisations for branding purposes.

* Source: 2005 study titled Promotional Products Impact On Brand/Company Image.