20 frequently asked questions about promotional products

1 – Why do businesses use printed promotional gifts in their marketing?

A – Businesses use printed promotional gifts in their marketing for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that they serve as a tangible reminder of a company or brand. Printed promotional gifts, such as pens, mugs, and T-shirts, can be used daily, which keeps the company or brand at the forefront of the recipient’s mind. Additionally, promotional gifts can also be used to thank customers or to reward loyal customers. They can also be used to increase brand awareness among potential customers. A long-lived business gift also has the chance of being to hand when a buying need arises with the recipient, enhancing the chances of a contact back to the supplying company.

2 – What are the most popular business gifts that companies use?

A – Popularity of business gifts can vary depending on the industry, company size and budget, but some common categories include:

a. Branded merchandise such as pens, mugs, and clothing with the company logo.
b. Food and drink items like chocolates, wine, and hampers.
c. Technology gifts like smartphones, tablets, and headphones.
d. Desk accessories such as mouse pads, organizers, and notepads.
e. Personal care items like skincare, candles or nail files.

These are just some examples and there are many other types of gift that can be given.

3 – What print and branding techniques are used to create promotional poducts?

A – Promotional products can be printed and branded using a variety of techniques. Some common techniques include:

a. Screen printing: This is a widely used technique for printing on promotional products such as T-shirts, tote bags, and pens. It involves using stencils to apply ink to the product.
b. Embroidery: This is a technique that involves sewing a design onto a product using thread. It is commonly used for branding items such as hats and polo shirts.
c. Heat transfer: This technique involves printing a design onto a special heat-sensitive material and then applying it to the product using heat and pressure. It is commonly used for branding items such as T-shirts and bags.
d. Pad printing: A method that uses a silicone pad to transfer ink onto an object. This can be used for irregularly shaped products, such as a pen or USB drives.
e. Laser engraving: This technique uses a laser beam to etch a design or text onto the surface of a product. Commonly used for branding on items such as metal pens and keychains.
f. Direct Digital Printing: A newer technique that uses digital printing technology to print directly onto the product. This is used for items such as ceramic mugs, phone cases and can do small quantity prints.
g. Block Printing and Embossing: Also known as foil blocking or blind embossing. A metal template is created to press a design into soft surface materials such as leather and hard backed books. Commonly used for diaries, notepads, conference folders wallets

4 – What is dye-sublimation printing?

A – Dye-sublimation printing is a type of digital printing that uses heat to transfer dye onto a variety of materials, including fabrics, ceramics, metals, and plastics. The process involves printing an image onto special transfer paper, which is then pressed onto the substrate using heat and pressure. The heat causes the dye to vaporize and become a gas, which then permeates the fibres of the substrate and solidifies into a high-resolution image. This type of printing is often used for producing high-quality, full-color images on a variety of products such as clothing, mugs, and signs.

5 – What were the earliest known promotional gifts?

A – This first promotional gift (according to the BPMA) was a commemorative stamped metal button for George Washington’s election, celebrating the new president and this historical event. These buttons became so popular that further promotional products were made in the early and mid-1800’s such as advertising calendars and other wooden items. But it was only in the late 19th century that promotional merchandise became a big hit with large quantities being developed and marketed. The earliest promotional business gifts still in common use are thought to be simple items such as pens or keychains with a company’s name or logo on them. These types of items are still widely used as promotional gifts today. Other examples of early promotional gifts might include pencils, notepads, and other inexpensive items that can be easily distributed to potential customers or clients.

6 – How long does it take to supply business gifts?

A – The time it takes to supply business gifts can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the quantity of gifts needed, the type of gifts being purchased, and the location of the supplier. In general, it is advisable to plan ahead and allow sufficient time for the gifts to be produced, delivered, and possibly customised. Some suppliers may offer rush production or expedited shipping options, but they may come at an additional cost. In other cases it could be fast as a next day delivery services or even a same day delivery. It would be best to check with the supplier for an estimate of the delivery time based on your specific needs. At BusinessGiftUK.com, most items can be supplied within 1 to 2 weeks. Always let your supplier know if there is a specific deadline for delivery.

7 – What are origination charges when ordering promotional gifts?

A – Origination charges are fees that are charged by a company for creating the artwork or designs used on promotional gifts, such as custom printing or embroidery. These charges may include fees for creating the artwork, setting up the machinery used to print or embroider the gifts, and any other costs associated with getting the gifts ready for production. Origination charges can vary depending on the complexity of the design, the quantity of gifts being ordered, and the company that is providing the promotional gifts. Typical examples are the cost of custom screens for screen printing, pads for pad printing, jacquards for embroidery and blocks for embossing.

8 – How are promotional gifts used by charitable organisations?

A – Promotional gifts can be used by charitable organisations in a variety of ways to raise awareness and funds for their cause. Some examples include:

a. As fundraising incentives: Charitable organizations may offer promotional gifts as a thank-you for donations of a certain amount. These gifts can range from small items like pins or keychains to more substantial gifts like t-shirts or tote bags.
b. As part of a charity event: Charitable organisations might also use promotional gifts as part of a charity event, such as a walk, run, or gala. These gifts could be handed out to participants or used as prizes.
c. To raise awareness: Promotional gifts can also be used to raise awareness about a particular cause or charity. Charitable organisations might distribute items like bracelets, stickers, or magnets with their logo or message to help promote their cause.
d. For Sponsorship: Charitable organisations may also use promotional gifts to attract sponsors by providing gifts to them as a way to show appreciation for their support.

9 – Why do companies give away business gifts at exhibitions and trade shows?

A – Companies give away business gifts at exhibitions and trade shows as a marketing strategy. These gifts can help to promote brand awareness and create a positive association with the company in the minds of potential customers. Additionally, business gifts can serve as a reminder of the company and its products or services, increasing the likelihood that the recipient will think of the company when they are in need of those products or services. Business gifts can also help to establish and maintain relationships with current customers and partners. Finally, business gifts can be used as a way to generate leads and gather contact information from potential customers. Staff manning a trade stand can use a gift to help start a conversation with a passer by at an event.

10 – Can a company claim tax relief when purchasing promotional gifts?

A – In many countries, companies can claim tax relief when purchasing promotional gifts as a part of their business expenses. However, the rules and regulations regarding tax relief for business expenses, including promotional gifts, can vary depending on the country and the specific circumstances. In general, the gifts need to be deemed as a business expense, which usually implies that the gifts were given to current or potential clients with the aim of promoting or furthering business. It is always recommend to consult with your tax advisor or accountant to ensure that you are aware of the specific tax laws and regulations in your country, and how they apply to your business expenses, including promotional gifts. In the UK, business promotional gifts, that carry a clear advertisement for the business and cost less than £50, can be business tax allowable. The gifts however cannot be a voucher, food, tobacco, drink or alcohol to be tax deductible. Non-promotional gifts, or larger value gifts, are classed as entertaining and are not tax-deductible as an expense.

11 – What types of promotional gifts are most effective for my business?

A – The type of promotional gift that is most effective for your business will depend on your target audience, your budget, and the goals of your campaign. Some popular types of promotional gifts include:

a. Customised Apparels: such as T-shirts, caps, polo shirts, jacket, etc.
b. Writing instruments: pens, pencils, markers, etc. are common gifts.
c. Drinkware: such as mugs, water bottles, and travel cups.
d. Office Supplies: such as custom notepads, keychains, mousepads, and stress balls.
e. Bags: Promotional backpacks, tote bags, and reusable shopping bags.
f. Technology gifts: USB drives, power banks, wireless chargers, and other tech items.
g. Food, sweets and chocolate are popular choices as well.
h. Health and wellness-related gifts: like sanitizers, masks, and etc.

It is important to keep in mind that the best way to get the most out of your promotional gift campaign is to choose items that will be useful and valued by your target audience. Additionally, consider personalising your gifts with your company name, logo or message. It’s also important to keep budget in mind and make sure the gifts you choose will provide you with the most value for your investment. To help make your business memorable, choose gift this relevant and related to any message you wish the target client to remember.

12 – How do I distribute promotional gifts to my target audience effectively?

A – There are several ways to effectively distribute promotional gifts to your target audience, including:

a. Direct mail: Send promotional gifts directly to your target audience’s mailing address. This is a good option if you have a specific list of individuals you are trying to reach.
b. Trade shows and events: Attend trade shows or events where your target audience is likely to be in attendance, and hand out promotional gifts at your booth.
c. Online giveaways: Use social media or your website to host an online giveaway of your promotional gifts. This is a good option if you want to reach a wider audience.
d. In-store promotions: If you have a bricks and mortar location, offer promotional gifts as part of an in-store promotion or as a thank-you for making a purchase.
e. Partner with influencer or brand Ambassadors : You can tie up with social media influencers or brand ambassadors to promote your product and give gifts as a part of partnership deal.
f. Networking and meetings: Carry a gift branded with your name and contact details as a unique “business card”. Create a great first impressions and leave something with a longer, useful life than a standard card.

It’s important to keep in mind your target audience’s interests and preferences when choosing promotional gifts, and to make sure that the gifts align with your brand image and message.

13 – How much should I budget for promotional gifts?

A – The amount you should budget for promotional gifts will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of gifts you plan to give away, the quantity of gifts you need, and your overall marketing budget.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to set aside at least 1-2% of your annual revenue for marketing expenses, which can include promotional gifts. This means that if your annual revenue is £1,000,000, you should budget between £10,000 and £20,000 for marketing and promotional gifts.

However, the budget can be adjusted based on what type of promotional gifts you want to give away. For example, if you want to give away high-end, branded items such as customised electronics, you’ll likely need to budget more than if you’re giving away simpler, less expensive items like pens or keychains.

It’s also a good idea to shop around and compare prices for different types of gifts to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.
It’s always recommended that you also consider factors such as the audience and the value that the gift will offer to them and not just your budget to evaluate overall effectiveness of your campaign.

14 – What is the lifespan of a promotional gift?

A – The lifespan of a promotional gift can vary greatly depending on the type of product and its intended use. Some items, such as clothing or bags, may have a longer lifespan and be used for several years, while others, such as food or drink items, may have a shorter lifespan and be consumed quickly. Additionally, factors such as the quality of the product and the frequency of use can also affect the lifespan of a promotional gift. In general, it’s hard to give a specific lifespan that applies to all promotional gifts. At BusinessGiftUK.com we are aware of products still un use well over a decade after being distributed. These include branded mouse mats, coasters, mugs, bags and ice-scrapers.

15 – How can I measure the ROI (Return On Investment) of my promotional gift campaign?

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your promotional gift campaign can be challenging, as it can be difficult to directly attribute sales or other business outcomes to the distribution of a promotional gift. However, there are several ways to estimate the ROI of your campaign:

a. Track the cost per gift gift distributed: Keep a record of the number of gifts you distribute, as well as the cost of each gift and the cost of distribution. Divide the total costs by the number of gifts to calculate the cost per gift.
b. Track redemption rate: If you are giving out a coupons or discounts as a part of your promotional gift, you can track redemption rate of those coupons to track how many people took an action from receiving the gift.
c. Survey your customers: Conduct a survey of your customers to gather information about how they learned about your business and whether the promotional gift played a role in their decision to make a purchase.
d. Track the sales from new customer: Keep track of the sales coming from new customers which got your business card or a promotional gift from you.
e. Monitor Brand mentions: Monitor your brand mentions in social media, online reviews, and web forums to see if people are mentioning your gift or the promotion after they’ve received it.
It’s also important to keep in mind that promotional gifts can have longer-term benefits, such as building brand loyalty and awareness, which can be difficult to quantify in terms of immediate ROI.

It is also a good idea to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. While you will never have an exact number, you can use your best estimate, by comparing the cost of the campaign to the benefits (sales, new customers, brand awareness) that you believe it generated. This will help you understand how your investment in promotional gifts is impacting your overall business outcomes.

16 – How often should I give out promotional gifts?

A – The frequency of your promotional gift campaigns will depend on your business goals, budget, and target audience. Here are some general guidelines for how often to give out promotional gifts:

a. Special events and holidays: Consider giving out promotional gifts to coincide with special events and holidays, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. This can help increase brand visibility and build goodwill with customers.
b. Limited-time promotions: Consider using promotional gifts as part of a limited-time promotion, such as a summer sale or end-of-year clearance event.
c. Regular intervals: Consider setting up a regular schedule for distributing promotional gifts. For example, you might give out gifts to new customers every quarter, or offer a gift with every purchase over a certain amount.
d. Product launch: Whenever you launch a new product, you can leverage the opportunity by giving out promotional gifts with the purchase of that new product.
e. Relationship building: If you are looking to build relationships with your customers, you can create a loyalty program where customers can accumulate points and redeem them for gifts or prizes.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should not overuse the promotional gifts, as too frequent gifts might devalue your gifts and may lead to less effectiveness over time. It’s always a good idea to use promotional gifts as a part of a bigger marketing strategy, which will help you to maximize your ROI and reach your desired audience.

17 – How can I ensure that my promotional gifts are ethically and sustainably sourced?

A – Ensuring that your promotional gifts are ethically and sustainably sourced is an important aspect of responsible corporate social responsibility. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your promotional gifts are ethically and sustainably sourced:

a. Research suppliers: Research the suppliers of your promotional gifts to ensure that they have a history of ethical and sustainable practices. Look for suppliers who have certifications for sustainability and labor practices.
b. Know your materials: Know what materials are used to make your promotional gifts. Avoid materials that are known to be unsustainable, such as plastics, and opt for more sustainable materials such as recycled or biodegradable alternatives.
c. Choose Local suppliers: Choose local suppliers when possible. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and support local economies.
d. Be transparent: Be transparent about the sourcing of your promotional gifts. Provide detailed information on the materials and suppliers used, and be prepared to share this information with customers and stakeholders.
e. Audit your suppliers: Audit your suppliers to ensure that they comply with all the relevant laws, standards and regulations. This way you can ensure that your products are not made in a sweatshop or involve child labor.
f. Consider the life cycle of the product: Consider the entire life cycle of the product, from sourcing to disposal. This includes how long the product lasts, how easy it is to recycle or dispose of, and what happens to it when it reaches the end of its life.

It’s also worth noting that being socially and environmentally responsible and being transparent about it can also help you attract and retain customers who are more mindful of sustainability and ethics when they make their purchasing decisions. Here are some examples of promotional gifts with ethical credentials from BusinessGiftUK.com/eco

18 – How can I stand out from competitors when giving out promotional gifts?

A – When giving out promotional gifts, it’s important to stand out from your competitors in order to make a lasting impression on your target audience. Here are some ways you can do this:

a. Personalise the gifts: Personalised gifts are more likely to be used and kept, and they also show that you’ve taken the time to think about the recipient. You can add an individual name or initials, or include a message or logo.
b. Make them useful: Choose gifts that are useful and they will be used frequently by the recipients. A gift that can be used in everyday life will be more likely to be kept, rather than something that is unlikely to be used.
c. Be creative: Be creative in your gift selection and presentation. Look for unique, creative gifts that will stand out from the typical promotional items like pens or mugs. You can also customize the packaging and presentation of the gifts to make them more memorable.
d. Align with your brand: Make sure your gifts align with your brand and communicate the message you want to send. For example, if you have an eco-friendly brand, consider giving out sustainable gifts.
e. Add value: Consider adding value to the gift by including a discount code or a free service. This can make the gift more attractive to the recipient and encourage them to make a purchase.
f. Make it exclusive: Creating a sense of exclusivity can make your gift more desirable. You can do this by limiting the number of gifts available or by making the gift available only to a select group of people.
g. Measure and iterate: Always measure the effectiveness of your gift campaign and make adjustments based on the results. This will help you to improve your campaign over time and stand out from your competitors.

Ultimately, by taking the time to think about what makes your gift unique, memorable, and valuable to your target audience, you can ensure that your promotional gifts stand out from the competition.

19 – Are there any restrictions or regulations regarding the distribution of promotional gifts?

A – Yes, there are a number of restrictions and regulations that may apply to the distribution of promotional gifts. These regulations can vary depending on your location and the nature of your business, but here are a few examples:

a. Consumer protection laws: Consumer protection laws may prohibit certain types of marketing and sales practices, such as false or misleading claims about the gifts. It’s important to be truthful and accurate when describing the gifts and to avoid any deceptive or unfair practices.
b. Product safety regulations: If your gifts are considered consumer products, they may be subject to product safety regulations that set standards for the materials, construction, and labelling of the gifts.
c. Gift card and gift certificate laws: Some jurisdictions have specific laws governing the sale and redemption of gift cards and certificates. These laws may place restrictions on expiration dates, fees, and other terms and conditions of the gifts.
d. Sweepstakes and contests regulations: If you are giving out promotional gifts as part of a sweepstakes or contest, there may be regulations that you need to follow. For example, you may be required to disclose the odds of winning, provide official rules, and obtain the appropriate permits.
e. Tax laws: Giving away gifts can also be subject to tax laws, especially if the gifts are being given as part of a promotion. It’s important to check with local authorities to understand the tax implications of giving away gifts.
f. Customs and import laws: If you are importing gifts, you must comply with the customs and import laws of the country in which the goods will be received. You should also make sure that the gifts are not restricted or banned by local laws and regulations.
g. In the UK, gifts must not exceed £50 in value and cannot be a voucher, food, tobacco, drink or alcohol to be tax deductible.
h. Carriage restrictions: special handing of restricted goods may apply to cigarette or BBQ lighters and any items containing batteries. Check with your carrier.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the regulations that apply to your business and ensure that you are in compliance. If you have any doubts, it’s always best to consult a legal professional before distributing promotional gifts.

20 – Why should I give branded uniforms or garments to my staff?

A – Branded uniforms or garments for your staff can provide a number of benefits for your business, such as:

a. Professionalism: Providing uniforms or garments that are branded with your company logo or name can help to create a sense of professionalism and cohesion among your staff. This can make your staff more presentable and increase customer confidence in your company.
b. Brand awareness: Branded uniforms or garments can serve as a form of advertising, helping to increase brand awareness and visibility for your company.
c. Sense of belonging: Providing uniforms or garments can create a sense of belonging among your staff and make them feel more invested in the company and the work they are doing.
d. Simplicity: Providing uniforms or garments eliminates the need for staff members to spend time and money on finding appropriate clothing for work, it also ensures that the staff is always in compliance with the dress code, making it easier for them to focus on their work.
e. Reduced Costs: When staff members buy their own clothes for work, it may lead to inappropriate dress or different clothing styles that may not be aligned with the company’s image. This can be avoided by providing uniforms or garments which can also reduce the overall cost.
f. Safety: Providing uniforms or garments may also be necessary for safety reasons, especially if you operate in a hazardous or industrial environment.

It’s worth to note that when providing uniforms or garments, it’s important to select high-quality clothing that is comfortable, durable and easy to care for, and also to consider the preferences of your staff.