by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
British consumers have become freebie hunters, with a recent survey finding that a third of them have switched from their regular brand in order to receive a promotional product.
Other items that can persuade consumers to change brand include fizzy drink branded glasses (39%), a cuddly toy, such as the puppy associated with a well-known toilet roll brand (34%), the meerkat toy (34%), a cosmetic purse or tote bag (30%) and the monkey toy associated with a familiar tea brand (28%).
Men are most likely to switch their brand for a coffee mug, while women would switch their brand for cooking accessories.
The survey of 1,000 consumers was commissioned by Promotional Products Week, which has been organized by the British Promotional Marketing Association.
Of the promotional products that consumers have and use, 62% stated they have a pen, 35% a mug, 33% a keyring, 25% a t-shirt or sweatshirt and 25% a drinking glass. Other items of merchandise kept and used including USB sticks, bags, caps and notepads.
82% of consumers said they keep promotional products because they are useful, 24% because they are relevant and 20% because they are good quality. Interestingly, over a quarter (26%) keep them because they are a novelty.
I must say that I do tend to keep most of the stuff from shows and such that I end up being given and have USB drives almost coming out of my ears and the same goes for mugs. Gimme hats are also very welcome with me as I almost exclusively wear baseball hats and one can never have enough and free is always a good cost here.
Consumers have picked up or expect to be able to pick up promotional products at exhibitions (80%), roadshows (60%), hotel rooms (49%), banks (38%), hotel receptions (32%) and car dealers/garages (31%).
Looking at branding on promotional products, nearly half of the consumer surveyed (47%) said that ‘significant’ branding was acceptable, whereas a third (33%) stated that branding should be ‘subtle.’
As far as I am concerned the advertising on the freebies does not bother me in the least, unless I do not support the company. Otherwise I rather have a brand such as that on show than the Nike or whatever other clothing brand logo that I may not support.
In the current economic difficulties nearly three-fifths of consumers said they are more likely to keep freebies than before the recession. What’s more, one in 10 consumers said they would give a free branded product as a gift to a friend or family member, again showing how product choice can help to raise brand awareness among not only the direct recipient, but among wider friends and family as well.
But, in these economic times brand awareness is not what anyone is interested in when it comes to branded merchandise and it was not in the old days either when you could collect all manner of useful things for home and kitchen via grocery store brands, be that drinking glasses, mustard pots, or even cutlery, etc.
Everyone loves a freebie, including cuddly toys, and that even more so in an economic downturn.