Think Outside The Brand

When you’re ordering promotional products, you’re ordering them because you’re branding.  You want your name, your logo, or your contact information to stick with the people that receive your products.  Your brand should be walking around on a t-shirt for promotion, or you want your pen to be the one people make sure to steal because it’s great.  But if you’re a new brand, a brand that doesn’t yet have many enthusiasts, or even if you’re a longstanding brand that’s just needing to stay relevant with your current customers and target customers…why would someone pick up, and more importantly continue to use, your promo item or giveaway?

The first answer is the obvious one…pick a cool product.  Pick something unique that not everyone has been giving away for years.  Now you may say that means pens are out, right?  No.  If it’s a good pen, it’s going to get noticed.  And yes we know you want that budget white mug with the one-color logo because it saves you money, but what money is saved if your message only sees the inside of someone’s cabinet?  The promotional products company is trying to sell the more expensive items, that’s shocking!  We promise, we aren’t coming from a selfish place with this advice.  While we will be order takers when you need us to be, at Williams Advertising we really pride ourselves in bringing you new, fresh ideas for your promotions and events.


As far as pens go, the Dart is one of our best sellers. It’s an inexpensive pen, but one that works well and has many color options for every brand.

We’re members of ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) and PPAMS (Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South), two of our industry associations.  In part because of our memberships and involvement in the industry, we’re in tune with all of the hottest items, the newest products, and we get inside information as to what works best!  All the better to arm you with great ideas for your next event.  Stay tuned for blog posts and watch our social media in the coming weeks for live posts from our industry tradeshow, where we pick up all kinds of new ideas for ad specialties and test out the latest and greatest in gifts and giveaways.

The second answer is to think outside your brand.  Mix it up a little.  Give people an item with a tie to something they are enthusiastic about already, that turns them in to YOUR brand enthusiast.  “Remember that cool cup I got with Kentucky on it?  The bank was giving those out!” that’s what you want, because they tie positive association to your brand.  This doesn’t work in all cases, nor should it be used in every situation, but consider it when the situation is appropriate.  For a Hopkinsville company, for example, a t-shirt with something Hoptown or a building that represents something very Hopkinsville, put that on the front of your tee and stick your logo on the back or on a sleeve.  Not only does it keep your brand walking around, it may lead to a longer lifespan for that item, meaning more exposure for your brand.  We’re working on some co-branded tumblers that celebrate a school alongside a corporation.  The parent at a school may be more likely to use a tumbler from the child’s school, or maybe the graduate from their alma mater if you tie it to something they’re already enthusiastic about.  Maybe it’s a cute saying.  “Keep Calm & Move Atlas” bags the moving company Atlas Van Lines used at a tradeshow were a big hit.  Another time, using a pop culture tie in with a movie was a favorite item.

Every time you have the opportunity to think about having a little fun with your brand, do it.  And if it’s not feasible to co-brand or to otherwise tie your brand in with something else, we can talk about different imprint technologies for apparel, or etching that drinkware instead of screening.  Either way, let’s make sure that your promotional products dollars are making the most impact.


What’s the shelf life of promotional products? According to this study, an average of just over 7 months.  While that’s really good as far as marketing dollars and brand awareness efforts go, let’s try for longer by having more fun with your brand!