Promotional Merchandise: Hero of Brand Awareness

From brand recall to conversation starters to building relationships, promotional merchandise goes a long way in brand awareness.

21st May 2020
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What we give is not important, but how we give that, certainly is. Some folks won’t pay a heap, while some will take pain & give someone an experience. Primary requirement of any business is to attract clients to generate income. With the right marketing, we reach the right audience and, in the process, one appreciates the efforts and motivates the team & consumers.


Fortune 500 companies give merchandise as a gesture at various touch points. Every item is branded by their company logo. These act as silent brand ambassadors.


With time, promotional merchandise /corporate gifts have become an influential source to promote products and services. Executives find it helpful in curating and developing the relationship with existing and future clients.

The India scenario

1-2-1 marketing is being cited as a prominent strategy for business growth. Gifting depends on the need, the target audience and the event it will be distributed for. No one throws a gift, but flyers from an exhibition find a way to bin.


The gifts have a wide spectrum from Chinese imports to local manufacturing in New Delhi, Mumbai and tier-2 cities. Flexible terms, variety, customisation and small quantities have helped trade and corporates to promote themselves even on a shoe-string budget.


We’ve all witnessed an exhibition stall giving away a free carry-bag to attract more walk-ins, which means more data. Walk-ins become free mobile advertisers during the show and carry-bags can be used later at home. Innovation is key to increase the utility of the products getting manufactured in India.


Based on a dipstick, below pointers clearly ensure how promotional merchandise has made its place in employee engagement, motivations and gifting at marketing and trade events.

Building relationship & business

Advertising & promotions are an investment, not an expense. More the utility, better the usage. People remember a free gift and a silent yet visible relationship is built. A free shampoo pouch with Femina not only increases the sales of Femina but, a consumer is associated with the brand and the organisation both.

Conversation starters

A leave behind or a brand reminder always starts a conversation, while gifting or after a sales person has left. A starting point is like breaking the ice in a professional relationship. It helps both in growing the business as well as ensuring customer satisfaction.

Subtle marketing tool

More relevant give-away means more eyeballs and buzz around the brand is created. Corporates have understood this with time and they do a variety of it, depending on marketing activity. As an advertising tool, they capture a whole chunk of market while maintaining their image. Subtle marketing Eh!

Story telling

Facts tell, stories sell. Chaina Ram’s a renowned name in sweets in old Delhi. They launched a tin pack and started giving sweets in that tin pack, especially their marquee sweet Karachi Halwa. This Chaina Ram’s branded box had Ramayana’s or Krishna’s picture with a small description on it. People consumed sweets & kept the box. I bet thousands of us will still have it, all across India and may be abroad. Chaina Ram’s branding went from home to home and is telling a story till date. Needless to mention there is no one who doesn’t know them especially if they have been to old Delhi. Similarly, merchandise tells a story every now and then.

Brand recall

Promotional merchandise is the best way for brand recall. Imagine a capsule-shaped paper weight at a doctor’s table. Will the doctor forget the brand? He uses it daily and that particular company who gifted it to that particular doctor or to hundreds others... imagine the recall and business. I leave the maths to you.

(Edited by Apoorva Puranik)

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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