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Every small business is looking for a way to stand out from the crowd.  To be successful at this, you’re up against not only your direct business competitors, but also thousands of other distractions that compete for the modern person’s attention every day.  One way to give yourself an edge is to give your customers something tangible, something that they can tuck in their pockets and take home with them.

You can use promotional items. Promotional materials are one of the most effective, low-cost ways to market your business. They are a great way to attract attention to your business and create a sense of reciprocity that the customer feels when doing business with you. One of the best things about promotional products is that they can serve as an ongoing advertisement tool long after the customer has forgotten about the free item.

In fact, a 2017 consumer study conducted by Promotional Products Association International revealed that 89% of consumers received a promotional item in the past six months. A stunning 90% of those people remembered the brand of the item. Even if you are working with a limited marketing budget, you can find a few valuable promotional materials that will give your brand a boost.

Don’t have any ideas on how to use promotional items for your small items? Here are four great ideas to get you inspired.

Humble Livestock Show and Rodeo Promotional ItemsBuild Brand Awareness with Corporate Apparel

Your employees interact with your potential customers every day in various places, including trade shows, social events, and the workplace. These interactions present an opportunity for your staff members to build brand awareness with branded apparel.

The apparel doesn’t have to be sophisticated and expensive. A simple T-shirt bearing your business logo can work just great.  Here are some valuable tips to help you get started with branded apparel:

  • Be sure the apparel radiates the theme of your company. If your employees are out in the field, go for quality materials that can withstand heavy use.
  • Dress your employees to impress.  If they are corporate staff who meet with clients, they should wear branded apparel that looks appropriate for business meetings, such as collared shirts.
  • Size and style your logo. You want something that looks great on the apparel and can hold up to washing and wearing. A logo that looks fantastic on a screen may look completely different on a piece of clothing. Consider getting samples and evaluating the difference in printing styles before choosing the best.

Make a Great First Impression at Trade Shows

Trade shows attract hundreds of potential customers. There’s no better way to make a fantastic first impression on these customers than with promotional items.

The trick is to find something attractive but cost-effective. You might be tempted to offer pens because they are incredibly cheap, but a pen may not leave a lasting impression on a customer. It’ll soon run out of ink and end up in the trash can.

There are several other low-cost items you can use which offer great value to customers. They include:

  • Rechargeable power banks
  • High-quality reusable water bottles
  • Microfiber cloths for screens
  • Notebooks and other stationery

Whatever promotional materials you choose, you should focus on addressing the interests of your brand and your target customers. You want to offer items that are useful to your audience and related to your industry. This ensures that when potential customers use the promotional product, they can remember to get in touch with you.

Solidify Relationships with Client Gifts

Client gifts are effective in creating lasting relationships. A simple but quality gift that bears a “thank you” message to clients is not only thoughtful; it can also leave a lasting impression. When it comes to a client gift, you should go beyond the standard gifts and offer something personalized. These gifts should not be limited to only when closing a deal.

You can send gifts to your clients at various other times. This can be on their birthday if you know the date or the end-of-year holiday period. For a corporate client, you can recognize milestone business achievements, corporate events, and major holidays.

While putting your logo on the gift, don’t forget to put the client’s name. Even if you don’t include your logo, a client is sure to remember where the gift came from if it has their name beautifully engraved on it. Such gifts can also help drive referrals from family and friends.

Rise Above the Standard Swag and Get Creative

Logomark Fidget SpinnerMost small businesses are all about saving costs. That’s why they will normally spring for cut-rate promotional materials like cheap T-shirts and pens. They will avoid well-made products as they usually are more cost-intensive.

You should realize, however, that customers in today’s business world are more informed. They know so much about brand awareness and other business buzzwords. To ensure your brand stands out and captures the attention of the new generation customers, you should think beyond the standard products.

You want to make a good impression with something that immediately tells your brand’s story. You want to market your business in a way that is engaging, succinct, thought-provoking, and relatable.

You need to get creative. It is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression on your prospective customers and ensure that your brand message sticks. Also, giving out fewer items that are a little bit more expensive can do the trick and make a lasting impression.


Promotional items have much to offer small businesses that want to connect with customers in an expressive and lasting way. They deliver great returns for a small investment. Even if you are working with a tight budget, finding a few valuable promotional materials will give your brand a great boost.

It is advisable to select the items carefully. You want them to match your target audience and reflect the quality and value your business offers. This is a surefire way to attract and keep loyal customers. Also, going beyond the standard swag like T-shirts and hats, as well as giving your gifts a personal touch, can give you the best return for your marketing budget.