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Decoding Promotional Products Industry .pdf



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Decoding
the

Promotional Products
Industry

Promotional Products Logo Apparel
Business Gifts Marketing Materials

www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

Index
1. Promotional Products: A Genesis
2. Promotional Products Association
International (PPAI)
3. How does the promotional industry work?
4. What are promotional products used for?
5. Who buys promotional products?
6. Tips for choosing a promotional product
7. Why business owners prefer promotional
products over other advertising media?
8. When should you give away promotional
9. The most successful product categories products?
10. The items customers love to receive!
11. Conclusion
12. References
www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

Promotional Products: A Genesis

Barack Obama's 2012 Presidential Campaign deployed an arsenal
of promotional products to get his message across to American citizens. Car magnets, stickers, bands and t-shirts are some of the promotional products that were used to highlight his campaign. A dedicated site (https://store.barackobama.com) allowed visitors to
bbrowse
rowse aand purchase political merchandise.

he fifirst
rstt P
residentt too use promotional prodObama, however, wasn’t th
the
President
ucts. The reliance on promotional giveaways is a practice that dates
back to the first American President – close to 300 years ago. In
1789, supporters of George Washington – the Father of the Nation –
handed out attractive commemorative brass buttons when he was
successfully elected as President. The buttons displayed the message:
“GW: Long Live The President”.
These buttons caught the fancy of several entrepreneurs – they realized that products could be customized and deployed as marketing
tools for business growth. As a result, the 1800s witnessed the introduction of advertising calendars, wooden specialties and the Farm-

www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

Jasper Meeks: The Revolutionary
Jasper Meeks is regarded by many to be the Father of the modern
promotional industry. In the late 1800s, he convinced a local shoe
store to imprint their name on school bags and supply them to needy
children. This triggered a promotional frenzy and several other businesses started imprinting their names on anything they could lay
their hands on – calendars, caps, fans and even aprons!
Thus, the late 1800s became the launching pad for the promotional
industry as it is known today.

www.promodirect.com info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

Promotional Products Association
International (PPAI)

By 1903, America was host to a number of promotional products

manufacturers. But they lived in difficult times and business was
mostly unpredictable. They needed a common platform to boost the
perceived value of promotional products to achieve buyers' objectives.

On November 20, 1903, a group of 12 manufacturers got together to
form the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI).
Ever since its inception, PPAI has been highlighting the use of promotional products as an advertising medium across the world and
especially in the United States.

Some interesting facts about PPAI:
Since 1903, PPAI has undertaken more research and surveys than
any other entity in the promotional industry. PPAI Research is
renowned for its valuable insights and surveys on the industry

PPAI regularly felicitates the industry’s top performers with awards

for categories such as customer service, creativity and ingenuity

PPAI is responsible for the PPAI Expo, the industry’s biggest and

most relevant tradeshow that attracts thousands of people from the
USA and across the globe
www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

PPAI Publications serves as the leading communication

network for the promotional industry. PPAI is behind several renowned magazines such as Promotional Consultant
Today and PPB Newslink

www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

How does the promotional industry work?

The promotional products industry is powered by an efficient

supply chain that has the manufacturer as the starting point and the
buyer at the end. Sandwiched between these two are the industry’s
most important entities – the Suppliers and the Distributors.
The Suppliers source the promotional products from the manufacturers and make them available to Distributors. The distributors, in
turn, offer these products to business owners or individuals.
The arrival of Internet several decades ago resulted in a fierce battle
online between Distributors for customer supremacy. As a result,
several websites offer fabulous deals and discounts on products and
shipping.
Today, an individual can place a bulk order for promotional products
from the comforts of home itself with the products being delivered to
their doorsteps.

1
Buyer

3

2
Distributor

Supplier

1. The buyer visits the Distributor's website and places an order for a product.
He provides a logo and/or message for imprint on the product.
2. The Distributor gets the artwork ready and provides it to the
supplier who imprints it on the product.
3. The order is finally shipped out from the supplier's warehouse.

www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

What are promotional products used for?

Promotional products are primarily used to highlight a product,

service, cause or an individual. This is achieved by giving away business gifts, awards, prizes, commemoratives and other imprinted or
decorated items.
The 2009 PPAI Program Category Study lists the following as the
Top 10 Uses for promotional products:
1.

Brand Awareness

2.

Tradeshows

3.

New Customer/Account Generation

4.

Dealer/Distributor Programs

5.

Public Relations

6.

Employee Relations & Events

7.

Not-For-Profit Programs

8.

New Product/Service Introduction

9.

Employee Service Awards

10.

Customer Referrals
www.promodirect.com, info@promodirect.com
Call: 1-800-748-6150

Who buys promotional products?

Hundreds of American firms and institutions place bulk orders for

personalized products each day. They imprint their logo or message
on products and distribute them among their target audience,
whether its customers, students, employees or the general public.

A 2007 survey by PPAI sheds some light on the Top 10 buyers of
promotional products:
1.

Education: Schools, Colleges, Universities

2.

Financial: Banks, Savings & Loan Companies, Credit Unions

3.

Not-for-Profit Organizations

4.

Health Care: Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Clinics

5.

Construction: Building Trades, Building Supplies

6.

Trade, Professional Associations and Civic Clubs

7.

Real Estate: Agents, Title Companies, Appraisers

8.

Government: Public Offices, Agencies, Political Candidates

9.

Professional: Doctors, Lawyers, CPAs, Architects

10.

Restaurants and bars

Which sector do you belong to?

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Call: 1-800-748-6150


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