Marketing products are items that display the name and/or logo of something that a company wants to promote. They are known under many different terms, including marketing items, promotional items, promos, and marketing freebies. These items are usually either given away freely, supplied at a discounted price, or traded to consumers in exchange for some minor service. There are literally no limits as to what can be a marketing product; if there is space for a logo or name on something, it can be used as a marketing product.
The purpose of marketing products is to increase interest in the company or product being marketed. This occurs in many different ways. Initially, the consumer thinks positively of the company or product because the he is getting the promotional item either for free or at a discounted price. Next, the consumer thinks of the company or product when using the item because he sees the logo or name displayed on it. Finally, those around the consumer may see the logo or name displayed when the product is in use, so it is advertised again.
This series of events hinges on the consumer thinking positively of the marketing product and using it. If the marketing product is viewed negatively by the consumer or is discarded, the marketing product has failed and is worthless. A failed marketing product even has the potential to damage the product or company which it represents because it can create negative views and feelings about the product, though such responses are rare.
The most common type of marketing product is a wearable. Wearables can be anything from accessories such as sunglasses to clothing like t-shirts. Wearables make excellent marketing products because they are in demand from consumers, they are reusable, and the logo/marketing name can usually be seen by all of those around the wearer.
Drinkware and writing instruments are two other large categories of common marketing products. Coffee cups with corporate logos, pens with the names and phone numbers of lawyers, and travel mugs with company sayings are all examples of these items.
Marketing items can also be uncommon and unique items. These marketing items have the advantage of being more distinctly remembered by the consumer, but are also less likely to have broad appeal. A few examples of uncommon and unique marketing items include: temporary tattoos of the corporate logo, real tattoos, dog tags with the consumers name and a logo on them, awards, stress-relievers shaped like logos, and figurines. Uncommon and unique promotional items often become collectibles, gaining a new level of both cultural and marketing status.
Promotional items are often given away to celebrities. This amplifies the effect of a traditional promotional item – not only is the logo or name now being seen by those around the consumer, but it is associated with the popular figure as well. Those attempting to emulate the celebrity may purchase or use the services of the company the promotional item was created for, making the promotional item an extreme success.
Marketing products are not limited to corporate use. Political campaigns make use of such items on a regular basis in order to promote a candidate or law. Marketing products are also used to promote awareness of a plight or struggle. Ribbon campaigns that promote everything from supporting the U.S. troops to breast cancer awareness are well-known.