What do you think of when I say “promotional products”? Let me guess: pens that stop writing after ten minutes, itchy t-shirts made from cheap materials, tote bags that rip at the seams as soon as you add any weight to them…right? Promo materials don’t have to be super cheap, though. These ten popular names from the entertainment, business, fashion and food worlds have all offered excellent products that both promoted their brand and proved useful to consumers.
1. Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday Laptop Case
Buyers of Nicki Minaj’s fragrance line received a Pink Friday laptop case. Appropriately named, the case was in fact pink, along with gold embellishments. The freebie was aimed at teenagers, who tend to bring their laptops with them everywhere.
Take note: unique gifts that are a cut above don’t just help you stand out from the crowd, but they also help gain consumer respect. Also, when a customer has to purchase an item in order to get the free gift, both sales and brand exposure get a boost.
2. Canon’s Lens-Shaped Travel Coffee Mug
What’s even smarter than a regular promotional coffee mug? One that you’ll bring with you whenever you head out. Why? A lot of people are going to see your travel mug – and the business’ name – throughout the day.
3. Dolce & Gabbana’s Compact Mirror
The design of Dolce & Gabbana’s giveaway compact mirror was striking. It looked expensive, which is quite the opposite of many promotional items. Women use a mirror multiple times a day, which makes it highly functional. Pop quiz: Next time you need high fashion, who’s line are you going to shop? Dolce & Gabbana’s, because you’ve seen their name on your compact every day for the past six months.
4. Ingrid Millet’s Umbrella
Personally, I never think you can have too many umbrellas. Two at home, one in the office, one in the car..who’s counting? Ingrid Millet’s umbrella was, of course, super chic and stylish, and it also had the company name plastered across it for the world to see. Genius. For those of you not in the beauty niche, Ingrid Millet is an uber popular French institute that specializes in skin care and body treatments.
5. Kellogg’s Exercise Mat
Every woman should have an exercise mat in her closet, even if she doesn’t go to weekly yoga classes yet. The smartest part about this giveaway was that Kellogg’s also put a workout guide on their website to help beginners learn mat exercises.
6. Valvoline’s Watches
We all know why watches are useful. Even if the Valvoline logo doesn’t go with your wardrobe, most people like to have a watch for when they’re doing yard work or running on the treadmill.
7. The Economist’s USB Flash Drive
Students and business professionals get a ton of use out of a flash drive and one is usually never enough. The Economist knows that backing up your important documents is serious business.
8. Time Magazine’s Backpack
Time magazine gave away a backpack for free with every new subscription. Just like USB drives and umbrellas, can you ever really have too many backpacks? I don’t think so.
9. Coca-Cola’s Heat-Proof Mat for the Kitchen
Coca-Cola’s heat-proof countertop mat is one of the most unique and useful promotional items I’ve come across. The mat provides a surface for hot pans or kettles when extra room is needed on the stove. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner just got a little easier to handle.
10. Pandora’s Christmas Ornament
Pandora’s tree ornament may not be useful in the traditional sense (it’s not going to keep you dry when it rains or help you burn extra calories at the gym), but if you love Christmas, an extra ornament is like a gift in itself.