Promotional Products To Avoid

Written by | Promotional Products

We all love swag, and marketers love their merchandise. Used well, branded promotional products can be effective at making a lasting impression with a prospect. The trick is to make sure that impression is a positive one!

Below are a few promotion items that might be a bit too personal or just plain inappropriate for most companies to use as giveaways. Use caution and a healthy dose of common sense before putting your logo on any of the following items.

Personal Hygiene Products

If you’re a dentist, then by all means, branded toothbrushes are fine. Same goes for stylists and branded hairbrushes. But most marketers should stay out of the bathroom and avoid potty humor. Notable exceptions to this rule would include businesses such as a smell-good plumber or cleverly named bathroom air freshener.

Religious Icons

Even non-profit organizations centered around a particular faith should use discretion when offering any type religious item as a promotion product. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to cause unintended offense or create an unintentional controversy.

Political Gags

Like religion, politics is another one of those topics that is best avoided unless the goal is to stir up debate. In the right hands, political issues can be comedy gold, but for marketing campaigns they can be poison. Unless your organization’s goal is to promote a particular cause or party, political topics can end up alienating half of your prospective audience. Save yourself a lot of grief and leave the political gags to the late night comics.

Anything That Breaks Easily

This should probably be first on the list: If you’re going to put your name on something, make sure it works! Otherwise, your hard-earned brand equity and reputation could be damaged by an unreliable or malfunctioning tchotchke. Also be careful not to inadvertently annoy prospects with something that makes a lot of loud obnoxious noise (unless you’re in the music business).

Bottom line? Choose useful promotional items that relate to your brand and mission. And before putting your name on something, make sure it reinforces your marketing message and is built to last.

Last modified: July 17, 2017

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