General Question

jaytkay's avatar

Do you use promotional pens, mugs, etc for your business?

Asked by jaytkay (25767points) June 3rd, 2010

A friend is thinking of buying promotional items to leave with clients.

My thought it nice pens, he is also thinking about mugs or post-it notes, with his name, address and phone.

Have you had success as a business owner with things like that?
As a customer, do you like receiving them?

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18 Answers

downtide's avatar

I don’t own a business but the company I work for uses them. As a customer, I generally like receiving them. Especially if it’s pens. I can never find a pen when I need one..

aprilsimnel's avatar

Pens and mugs!

The corporate multimedia production company I once worked for didn’t use them themselves, but we would design such things for the clients.

silverfly's avatar

We don’t, but I knew a company that created shot glasses with their logo. On the shot glass it said, “Give us a shot”.

marinelife's avatar

I used them with great success for many years. There are so many cool promotional items that you can go well beyond pens and mugs these days.

Cruiser's avatar

We have these little squeeze flashlights that have decent room for company info on them and it is kinda fun to have customers come up every year to get a replacement. They are a big hit for us. These pressalites are the ones and for us they cost about a buck each.

Mitchell_Lewis's avatar

As a graphic designer, I highly recommend creating something specific to your company.

I’m going to be brutally honest here:
A branded mug or pen says absolutely nothing about your business. It says you went to a website, uploaded some text, uploaded a logo, paid some money, and got a promotional item. It’s tacky, it’s cheap, and everyone is doing it.

Tell your friend to think about what his company does for people, and create his/her own useful product that is easy and economical to produce based on that. It takes more time, but leaves a much better impact with clients.

chyna's avatar

@Mitchell_Lewis put it better than I could’ve.
I was going to mention that if your friend was going with the pens, do not get the cheap ones that barely write. I’ve actully considered chaning insurance companies over their cheap pens as I’m trying to write a check and the ink isn’t flowing. ;-)

eden2eve's avatar

An item I was given that I really appreciated was a chap stick in a little neoprene holder that you can attach to your key chain or belt. They were called Leashables. I found some here. Oh, it looks like they have some other interesting looking things too. But I really liked the chap stick. I wish I’d seen these when I was responsible for purchasing promotional items.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Lately, with all the volunteering I’ve done this year, I’ve gotten a lot of keychain scissors, keychain flashlights, keychain levels, keychain tape measures, keychain flash drives, keychain whistles, and keychains.

So keychains are “no.”

drClaw's avatar

I often hate the branded crap that I get when going to conferences, meeting, etc. However when someone gives me something that really stands out it does help in building the relationship and remembering the brand in general.

A good example is recently my company was shopping for a specific service and as usual being overwhelmed with logo’d shirts (which can be cool sometimes), bouncy balls, and other nic-nacs that for he most part no one wanted. Finally the last candidate came in with really nice jackets that had been embroidered with their logo and though it didn’t necessarily influence our final decision I can’t say that it didn’t help “grease the wheels” so to speak.

majorrich's avatar

I prefer shirts, but will take pens, screwdrivers and flashlights and those bouncy balls with the lights in them.

lilikoi's avatar

I freaking HATE things like that. When someone tries to give me promotional crap-made-in-China-out-of-cheap-plastic-that’ll-clutter-the-landfill-tomorrow, I run.

If I had a business, I’d make promotional cupcakes.

YARNLADY's avatar

The most useful promotional items I have received are: coffee mugs, refrigerator magnet calendar, credit card size magnifier, pens and note pads, and a small glove compartment flashlight. I love getting free stuff.

PacificToast's avatar

I don’t have a company that does that, but in my experience, unless there’s a clever slogan, it doesn’t work.

YARNLADY's avatar

@PacificToast It works quite well with me. My housekeeping service gave me a refrigerator magnet/calendar, and every time I need a cleaning service, I just go to the refrigerator door, and there it is.

DrBill's avatar

I use magnet-calendars and key-chains. Everyone who rents from me will get keys, attached to one of my key-chains.

PacificToast's avatar

@YARNLADY I can see how such services like that can work.

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