Based on consumers’ insatiable appetite for promotional products, it’s safe to say that the industry has rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, industry sales reached a record-breaking $25 billion in 2022, according to PPAI data.
“Our Promotional products sales in Atlanta, Florida, New York and our European Clients certainly have contributed to this increase. ” Pamela Grossman, Owner of In The Present a boutique Promotional Product and Production Company.
End users believe in the value of branded merchandise. Nearly three quarters (74.6%) agree that promotional products are a good way to learn about sales and events, and 72% agree that they’re helpful for learning about new businesses in the area, according to PPAI’s 2023 Consumer Survey.
Furthermore, 78% of consumers enjoy receiving free stuff from companies and brands they love, and nearly 73% want to receive promo products more often.
The online survey captured insights from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 78. The data collected from the survey indicates the power of promo, highlighting its ability to create emotional attachments to brands and how consumers prefer branded merch to other forms of advertising. The data points to a continued upward trend of consumers who appreciate high-quality promotional products.
Also encouraging is the connection between consumers’ positive experiences with promo products and the high perceived value and quality that they associate with the corporate brand providing them. Advertising goals are being achieved via companies’ promotional products campaigns. Consumers want to engage more deeply with the company providing the product. And, they are willing to shift their spend to that company because they received the promotional item.
Changes Since COVID-19
It’s not surprising that in 2021 – with government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions still preventing in-person gatherings in many places across the country – consumers said the primary way (36%) that they had received promotional products was through the mail. Now that most businesses have resumed normal operations, that percentage has decreased nearly 10%, according to the survey. Conversely, traditional methods for receiving promo items have regained momentum.
Promo Engagement Increases
Consumers’ engagement with branded merch is also on the rise since the pandemic, as 60% now reference promo products for information, more than double that (24%) of two years ago.
More than half (52%) say their initial reaction upon receiving a promo product is to Google or look up the website of the company that gave it to them, which is up from 40% in 2021. Furthermore, nearly half (47%) say they’ve posted on social media about a promo item they’ve received, an increase from 36% in 2021.
Additionally, two-thirds (66%) of consumers say they can name the advertiser on a logoed product they’ve received in the past 12 months. Two years ago, only 28% said they could.