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Company giveaways items are those little trinkets found at trade shows, conferences, seminars, fairs and other business-related events. These items can become the perfect promotional branding product that people can use in their everyday lives as it becomes a reminder of the products and services your business offers. The items can also become free advertising. Every time the person shows the item in public, other people are exposed to your company brand name. Yet selecting the right branded item to offer can be a confusing decision.

Popular yet passé branded giveaways

When it comes to branded giveaways, the most popular products should have a purpose so they will be used for a long time. Throughout the years, some items have become so popular that they have turned passé. When you have 30 businesses at a trade show offering the same items at their giveaways, the products can lose their branding purpose. People will actually begin passing by tables because it has the same items that they already have stowed away in purses and backpacks. Some of the popular items making the passé list:

  • pens/pencils
  • bookmarks
  • paperweights
  • key chains

Try to select items that are unique while still usable. You want to stand out from your competition in every way, and that includes the items you want to pass out at giveaways.

Popular items still trending

Some items are so popular as giveaway things that you might find people stuffing two to three things into their bags. Here are some items that you may want to select for your giveaway, as you are always sure that the person will find some use for it, or give it to a family member or friend to use.

  • umbrellas
  • reusable water bottles
  • mobile device chargers
  • tee shirts
  • seasonal items (beach towels, frisbees, sunglasses)

Always keep in mind the size of the item that you want to offer along with the price. Larger items can be too bulky while smaller items can be lost easily. Choose an item that fits into the type of business products and services that you offer, such as unique food items in fancy reusable containers if you are a caterer or small travel toys it you operate a creche.

Popular items on the maybe list

Lastly, we have those popular branded items that can either be a big hit or a big flop for giveaways. So proceed with caution when using them in your company branding campaign.

  • phone cases: The reason this item is on the maybe list is that while it is a practical item that a person should use every day, most people already have the cases they want. So the question is, why would a person want your branded phone case instead of the one that they purchased? Some people may take it as a backup case, but otherwise the item will just get stashed in a drawer to never see the light of day again.
  • backpacks and totes: While this may seem like a great idea, keep in mind that good quality backpacks and totes cost a lot. If you spring for a cheaper version of poor quality and construction, that item might not last too long. The last impression you want to have on a customer is that you invest in poor quality products as giveaway items.
  • portable USB flash drives: This item is definitely on the maybe list. While more people are using the cloud to save documents, music and photos, there are still people who like to have a physical backup of their photos and files. So they may love to get a portable USB flash drive.

Don’t be afraid to offer more than one item as a giveaway. Letting people have choices allows them to get the items they want the most, and guarantees that the item will be used more often. Check your budget and decide on the best giveaway item that captures the essence of your business.

Here at Big Red Cloud we’ve used a range of different giveaways over the years but when we won Sponsor for a Day we used water bottles as our giveaway seeing as it was a sporting event. The water bottle was a complimentary fit. Besides the company brand we also used the water bottle to present our key message for our online accounts software. There is no doubt that giveaways can be effective but take time to research and decide which are most suitable for your business.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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