Consumers are having a mad love affair with chotchkies

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Quick, when you think of your top tool for branding, what is it? Now, how many of you said my supply of chotchkies aka promotional products?

Admittedly, I’ve not been a big fan. I don’t like getting them. They’re next to impossible to keep in stock for a sales team. And discovering the latest and greatest “it” chotchkie is an endless task.

I recently read an American Marketing Association article entitled, “Tipping the Scale: How Promotional Products Compete in a New Era of Advertising” by Moumita Das. And I’m a changed brand babe.

Let’s talk marketing reach

In order for consumers to see advertising across various channels, Das asks you to consider the following when defining consumer reach. Broadcast needs consumers to be in the right place at the right time. Print relies on access, mobile apps on downloads and online ads require browser loads. However, promotional products are measured by ownership.

Think about that in our brand universe: ownership. It’s not chance, timing or a hoped for action. The product – and therefore brand – is already in your customer’s hands. Promotional products are also the most welcomed form of advertising by all generations, per PPAI Research.

An infographic demonstrating the preference of millennials, gen Xers and baby boomers for chotchkies aka promotional products, broadcast, online, mobile and print advertising.

2017 Consumer Study; PPAI Research

Engagement and extension

Did you know promotional products are used daily and 83% of consumers use them more than once a day? True statement according to Das.

Now, think of your own brand. What engagement rate are you aiming for? How often would you like your customers to interact with your brand? In my mind, 83% is an amazing rate and one I would not typically equate with chotchkies. Social media, yes. A pen or huggie, no.

Here’s another interesting data point. If consumers decide they no longer want their promoptional product, a whopping eight out of ten give it to someone else. Again, I have to ask – can your brand claim this pass-along rate?

“Because of their extended shelf life and their ability to be used in everyday activities, promotional products allow consumers an opportunity to absorb the content at the pace and time they choose,” says Das.

In this cluttered and frentic world, this statement speaks volumes. Consumers absorbing your brand when they want, as they want, is the ideal pursuit, right? Perhaps it’s time to rethink the value of a chotchkie simply for its longetivity and practicality when it comes to brand engagement.

A score for brand recall

An infographic demonstrating that 9/10 consumers remember the brand when it comes to chotchkies aka promotional products.

Source: 2017 Mapping out the Modern Consumer, PPAI Research

We’re constantly looking for new pathways to provide our customers with a meaningful brand interaction. Citing PPAI Research, nine out ten of consumers recall the branding on promotional products. This ratio is 67% greater than broadcast and 78% greater than online, print and mobile.

Do the math ya’ll. If a single marketing tool can deliver an 83% engagement rate and a 90% recall rate, buy enough product to stock your library and share every chance you get. And then repeat.

Growing customer engagement

Truth be told, I remain wholeheartedly dedicated and committed to storytelling as the prime way to grow customer engagement. That said, I’m also rethinking the marketing mix. Given the reach, recall and engagement rates, promotional products can be a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.

I welcome your chotchkie experiences. Please chime in and weigh in!



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Helen · at

I have thousands of chotchkies. It started with my Miller days when, if we couldn’t give out beer samples, we gave away promo items. People loved them. One always needs to be careful, even with freebies. When Miller High Life was using “Made In America” tagline we gave all employees a goodie bag with several MHL Made In America items. One was a lighter, at the end of the lighter it was stamped with made in Japan. Our union officials had a field day with it (rightly so) and I got to talk to the media about the mistake, A LOT. Thank God social media didn’t exist or it would have gone viral………….ugh.

Debbie · at

Obviously, that was a rather diffcult time to navigate. Honesty and ownership are the way to go I believe. And you are correct, social media would have spread the buzz quite quickly and invited additional commentary. I appreciate you sharing your experience and lessons learned Helen!

Steve · at

Wallet calendars. No one does them anymore, and I wish they’d make a comeback.

    Debbie · at

    Nice throw back item Steve! I presume with calendars right on our phones, the need for wallet calendars diminished.

Allison · at

I mostly hate them. Occasionally you come across a promotional product that doesn’t break/fall apart right away I’m way more likely to like whatever it is. I totally get why they’re made inexpensively, but when that also means poor quality it’s annoying…I feel wasteful throwing them out.

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