7 Creative Promotional Products That’ll Give Your Startup Some Oomph

Sometimes in business, you gotta give a little to get more back. 

That can be through giving a discount, running a contest, or holding a customer appreciation day. But in some cases, such as being a startup with a small customer base, it can mean giving items away for free to boost awareness about your brand. 

With the brand in mind, make sure your giveaways tell the customer something about your company. Whether you’re handing out merchandise at a trade show or as a reward for signing up for a newsletter, here are 7 creative promotional products that will have your name top of mind in a potential customer’s mind… 

1. Personalized Calendars

Almost everyone has a calendar on the wall, if not just for the pictures. You can personalize the calendar with your logo on each page and fill it with pictures that are worth hanging.

If you’re a company selling photography or printing, this is a great idea to showcase some of your talents with your amazing images. 

Make sure you include information about your company and how to contact them. Include all of the important holidays so people can see them coming at a glance without needing to set alerts on their phone. You can even include other fun dates like “national pizza day” that you won’t find on standard calendars. 

(For the record, a national pizza day actually exists and it’s on February 9). 

2. Stylus Pens

People like to write notes on paper, but many people rely on electronic gadgets to record pointers and reminders these days. With that in mind, you could give away a pen branded with your company logo that includes not only a pen tip but also a stylus that can be used with a tablet or phone. 

You can take it one step further by adding a mini flashlight in the pen for taking notes in low light, say at an on-screen presentation. Every time a person takes a note, they’ll take note of your company name, too. 

3. Glow Magnets

You have art that your kid brings home, and where does it end up? On the fridge. The problem is, your child keeps bringing home more “art” and you’re running out of magnets. 

That’s where glow in the dark magnets come into the picture. This makes a great giveaway because it’s not only practical (you can also stick upcoming bills and other important notes to the fridge) but can also show off your business. 

Say for example your company sells lightbulbs. A glow in the dark magnet in the shape of a bulb with your company info on it would be a bright idea. 

4. Customized Coasters

Using a coaster is a good way to avoid marking up your nice furniture at home. But it’s also a great way to help direct people at a trade show to your booth if you include it in an introduction package or a swag bag. 

No doubt people will be drinking cans of cold pop and other beverages at a trade show that benefit from having a coaster underneath them. And when other attendees see the coaster, they’ll ask where it’s from so they can have one too. Of course, your company name will be in large letters on the front (and back).

A wooden coaster might be a bit more expensive than a cardboard one, but it will last longer, and people will see it more as an item they want to keep. 

5. Branded Baseball Caps

This one may cost you a bit more than the others, but it will have people literally wearing your brand. Even if they just put it on for the duration of a trade show or conference, that’s a lot of free advertising being done on your behalf. 

Gauge your customer base when deciding what type of hat you want. If you’re selling to a blue-collar demographic, then perhaps an adjustable mesh hat with bright patriotic colors might do the trick. If you have a more upscale and fashion-conscious client target, then maybe a flat black fitted cap with a small, embroidered logo would work better.

6. Flashy Flash Drives

Who doesn’t love free storage? Especially when it comes to electronic data. The number of photos, videos, and other files can fill up a hard drive fast. 

A flash drive is a small, portable drive that can store a lot of information for its size – up to 128 GB or more. That’s a perfect way for people at a trade show or conference to store a copy of all of their photos and notes.

One trick you can use when handing out your company-branded flash drives is by including files about your company on it. When the person opens the drive, they’ll be able to access photos of your products or even a white paper. 

7. Personalized Playing Cards

Bridge, Poker, and Blackjack are ever popular in American homes. So why not stack the deck in your favor by giving out stacks of playing cards branded with your company logo?

You can get really creative and instead of a king or queen, you can use the likeness of your company partners or a celebrity. Whatever you do, make it something that distinguishes the cards from a standard deck so people are more likely to use it. 

Creative Promotional Products Create Business

Depending on what option you choose, it’s not too expensive to bulk order items that to give away that feature your company logo and contact info. It’s a win-win for you and the potential customer – they’re getting something of use for free, and you’re getting free advertising every time they use it. 

Creative promotional products are a great way to give people a taste of what your company sells or what it stands for. A well-thought-out promotional giveaway that people can hold in their hands is still an effective marketing tool in the digital age. 

In the meantime, be sure to check back on our site often for more small business related tips and tools. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.