Q: What Are Promotional Products?

Answer: Promotional products—usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message—include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are utilized in marketing and communication programs. Imprinted products that are distributed free are called advertising specialties. Imprinted items given as an incentive for a specific action are known as premiums. Business gifts, awards and commemoratives are also considered promotional products.

Q: How Is The Promotional Products Industry Organized?

Answer: Supplier firms produce or process products offered for sale through promotional products distributors. There are more than 3,500 supplier companies in the promotional products industry.

Distributors act as independent agents and sell products to their clients. There are more than 20,000 distributor firms in the industry.

More than 8,000 distributors and suppliers are members of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Promo Rescue is a member of PPAI.

Q: What Is A Supplier?

Answer: A promotional products company that manufactures, imports, converts, imprints or otherwise produces or processes promotional products offered for sale through promotional products distributors, like Promo Rescue.

Q: What Is A Distributor?

Answer: In the promotional products industry, a distributor develops ideas for using promotional products in a marketing or promotional campaign, buys the items from the supplier and sells them to end buyers.

Q: How Are Promotional Products Used In Marketing?

Answer: Since promotional products can be used alone, or integrated with other media, there are virtually limitless ways to use them. Popular programs cited most often by industry counselors (called distributors) are business gifts, employee recognition and reward, orientation programs, corporate communications, and at tradeshows to generate booth traffic. They’re also effective for dealer/distribution programs, co-op programs, company stores, generating new customers or new accounts, nonprofit fundraising, public awareness campaigns and for promotion of brand awareness and brand loyalty. Other uses include employee incentive programs, new product or service introduction and marketing research for survey and focus group participants.

Q: What Kinds Of Promotional Products Are Available?

Answer: There are tens of thousands of different types and styles of promotional products. In many cases, it’s even possible to obtain custom items that aren’t found in any catalog. Examples of common items include: pens, calendars, t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, calculators, key chains, desk accessories and bumper stickers.

Q: What Products Are The Most Popular?

Answer: Of the $15.6 billion spent in 2009 on promotional products, the most popular was wearables/apparel.

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