Case study: promotional gifts

Sam Beattie of Progress Housing Group has been a customer of for over five years, regularly ordering a range of personalised promotional gifts to build awareness of the housing association’s services.

Who is Progress Housing Group?

Progress Housing Group, based in Lancashire, is a housing association that provides affordable housing and services that benefit tenants, home buyers and the wider community. The vision of Progress Housing Group is to, “Have a positive impact on people and communities by providing high quality homes, supporting independence and creating opportunities”.
Not only does the group provide affordable homes, it also manages its own Community Investment Fund that was set up in 2009. The fund is managed by a panel of tenants and board members to help get local initiatives off the ground. In 2022, Progress Housing Group also launched its Progress Futures portal, aimed at supporting people to find the right career path. Through Progress Futures, tenants and families can access volunteering, training and education to improve their employment prospects.
Progress Housing Group can be found at

The brief

Sam Beattie wanted to build awareness around all of the services that Progress Housing Group is involved in, which extend beyond providing affordable housing.
The branded promotional gifts are required for handing out at events as an introduction and to instigate conversation. They are also given to tenants, property services staff who support tenants, and other stakeholders and friends of the association. Sam also wanted to use promotional gifts at Community Investment Fund and Progress Futures events to build rapport with both potential facilitators and users of projects.
Sam initially chose for promotional gifts due to the way in which the company supports local communities. Sam met Director of, Steve Ward, at a monthly business networking event. Both keen advocates of apprenticeships and supporting local people and businesses, Sam came to trust Steve’s instinct for promotional gifts and what works best in particular circumstances.

The solution

Over the past five years, have recommended different branded promotional gifts for specific Progress Housing Group events or campaigns. These include pens, notepads, bags, stickers and mugs, all branded with the Progress Housing Group logo and a range of messages depending on what is being promoted. Examples include 25th anniversary pens and bright pink Soup Dragon pens that stand out to attract attention.
Progress Housing Group have often ordered a specific number of branded promotional gifts for one-off events to reach a more targeted audience.
Most recently, have sourced a 4ft Soup Dragon to promote the ‘Soup Dragon’s Den’ funding. This unique promotional item was designed to be eye-catching, fun and Instagrammable. People are attracted to the Soup Dragon and keen to take photos with it to post on social media, which builds extensive brand awareness.

Client testimonial

Sam Beattie told us that she will continue to use branded products to promote Progress Housing Group, and reflects on how her choices have evolved over the years from pens to Soup Dragons and jellyfish power cables. She knows that when she comes up with an unusual request, the team never say no!
Sam said: “We always find everybody at so helpful, supportive and obliging, despite our random requests. The only aspect of the service that could improve is Steve’s jokes!”
For Sam, branded promotional gifts are the ideal way to make people aware that they provide less-known services, in addition to affordable housing, that support local communities.

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