Promotional items
driven by consumer insights

Monitor Insight Series > June 9th, 2014

ROI or Landfill?

Will your next promo item be a keeper or get tossed in the landfill?  In a recent poll of Monitor’s Quick-Check™ Panelists, we gained valuable feedback from 18-35 year olds about their promotional product preferences and how they impact the fate of promo items once they’re in the hands of the consumer.  Here are some key findings to help brands get the most return on their promotional item investment:

Make it Useful

When handed an item that a consumer likes or has use for: 90% think positively about the brand, 76% are inclined to talk about the company with friends, 69% are inclined to purchase from the company and 58% distinctly recall the branding on the promotional item.


But watch out for missing the mark. Items that were not functional were likely to end up in the landfill, donation bin or bottom of a drawer.  Almost 70% of respondents throw away promo items that they have little to no use for and nearly 60% do not recall the branding on the item they threw away.

Quality Matters:

70% of respondents listed ‘good quality’ as the reason they will keep an item and over half listed ‘poor quality’ as reason why items get tossed. One participant shares:

If the quality of the product being offered is great I will be more likely to purchase from that company because as a customer I know they make quality products. If  you’re giving away a quality premium then I could only imagine that your offerings are going to be of a better quality.”

Make it Relevant

Products that are deemed relevant or authentic lead to brand trust and increase the likelihood of the consumer to purchase from your company. And what happens after the give represents an opportunity to leave a lasting impression…

“Try to tailor the items you hand out at events to the people, have a selection of things for them to choose from so they don’t just wind up throwing it away.”

“Make sure the free item ties back to the company and/or its purpose in some meaningful way. That way people will be more likely to use the item after an event and talk about the brand with friends. You want your brand to continue entering conversations and have visibility. Most importantly I would recommend that the company create a conversation on social media around the item and the event so people can join the conversation the day of the event but also extend that communication to a wider audience going forward.”

“It’s not just about the product, but about the conversations you have with people. Relating to people and having real discussions is way different than just trying to pitch a company or sell a product.”

The Wrong Item Won’t Sink You, But It’s A Missed Opportunity 

“They provided me with a free gift that I didn’t like. That doesn’t impact my interest/support of the company/product. I purchased from the company because I like their product. How the company uses their marketing dollars does no influence my approval of the product that I already like.”

While “useless” types of promo items do not damage the majority of consumers’ perception of a brand overall, almost 1 in 3 say they are not inclined to recommend or purchase from that company.

This suggests a brand has some leeway when chosen the wrong promotional item, but “getting it right” has greater capacity to improve consumers’ perception of the brand and influence purchasing behavior – and to make every dollar spent go farther.

With our free Consumer Insights tool, Monitor can help you verify which items will have the most impact and align with your target audience’s preference. Contact us for help on your next promotional item program.


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