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Big, Advertising Specialties, Dallas, TX

Why I Still Have This Pen…

by Amber L. Burden on September 28, 2016

What makes a consumer fall in love with a product? So many aspects of a promotional item can not only draw in customers, but also encourage them to keep it – which, in the long run, increases the likelihood of business. If you know what these key things are, you can practically ensure that your promotional product is utilized for all of its intended purposes. According to a research study done in 2011 by PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) Research, there is one key attribute that will determine how long a consumer will keep merchandise: usefulness. Personally, I have received a paperweight from a company as a promotional item – unfortunately (for the company), I didn’t have a desk at that time. Why would I need a paperweight? I do, however, still have a pen that I got ages ago at a bridal tradeshow. How this pen still has ink, I’m not sure. But I have no reason to get rid of it until it runs dry.


Making sure that a consumer views an object as useful will greatly depend on your target audience. Does a stay-at-home mom have much use for a paperweight? Probably not. However, if you’re trying to draw in a swarm of CPAs, paperweights might be a good idea. That, or a calculator. It’s all about knowing who you’re selling to.

Based on PPAI’s research, the top three attributes that contribute to the quality of a product – increasing the likelihood of product retention – are usefulness, attractiveness, and quality. Uniqueness was also high on the list. In other words, choose something that can be utilized regularly, make it look good, and don’t sell/give anything that will break, tear, or fall apart after a few months. And for bonus points, think outside of the box. Figure out how you can make your brand stand out from the other 1,000 products that are similar to it.

PPAI gives several reasons why a promotion can fail. Ultimately, it boils down to a company not paying attention to the consumers’ needs. A few of the reasons are:

  • The product is the same as others that the person has received in large quantities
  • The recipient has no need for any promotional product at all
  • The presentation of the goods leaves the recipient feeling undervalued

With this in mind, you can avoid the promotion turning into a bust by knowing your audience. What is your goal behind the promotion? What would your target customers honestly consider useful?


Put some genuine thought into your merchandise before trying to convince someone as to why they need it. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to convince a consumer that they need the product; it should speak for itself. Ask yourself, “If I were a [insert target demographic here], would I need and use this myself?” Secondly, take some time to really brainstorm. Your first idea shouldn’t be your last. Finally, discover the best way to present the items. Don’t try to shove it in someone’s face. People don’t like that. Make sure that the consumer will feel valued and appreciated. Otherwise, they will have no desire to return to you. You want a potential customer to not only come to you for their first order, but also keep coming back for every order in the future.

Use your product to show why someone should choose you – it may be your only opportunity!


“High End, Low End: Which Promotional Products Work Best? A Study of Consumer and Buyer Reactions”

PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) Research, © 2011


Color Me Informed: The Use of Colors in Advertising

by Amber L. Burden on August 15, 2016

When you’re looking at an advertisement, what are the first few things you notice? A good advertisement will strike your interest, usually by a logo or tagline. An excellent advertisement is recognizable and memorable. It draws our attention and we instantly relate the logo to said product or company. A perfect example is that of the following logos. Can you name these brands?







McDonald’s and Facebook both utilize a simple letter in their logos. Starbucks is one the most recognized brands in the country from their famous siren. Target uses the iconic target symbol, and even tends to plaster their cute mascot on everything! One of the most noticeable things about each logo, though, is their color scheme. After all, when my four-year-old gets hungry on a road trip, I tell her to look for “the golden arches” – and she notices them every time.

The first thing that we experience in anything is the visual aspect. In other words, characteristics such as fonts, symbols, and colors are the first things that we notice. Color sets a mood; studies have even shown that painting the walls of a student’s bedroom can help influence how well they study. So it’s no wonder that the color of your advertising can have such a huge impact on whether or not a prospective costumer will use your product or service. In fact, there is an entire field of research devoted to “color psychology.” It’s basically a bunch of people who sat around and figured out how color affects a person’s emotions, including things such as impulse control, how long a person will browse in a store, and triggers of hunger. Check out this chart for a simple way to see how colors can affect an individual’s purchasing decisions.

Color gives power to an advertisement, giving subtle suggestions to customers. Red portrays energy and quickly catches the eye. Blue displays emotion and connection. Green typically represents an eco-friendly product or company. By focusing on what your company stands for and the ideas that it wants to exude, you can choose the best colors to use in your marketing.

Simple is usually best. If you want to project professionalism while letting clients know that you’re still a driven company, a sleek product with a pop of color may be the best way for you to go.

xm keychain

Figure out what works best for you. Discover the vibe of your company, utilize your resources, and draw in your customers. Do this and you will always make an impression!


Back to School

August 1, 2016

As summer quickly comes to an end, we are all anticipating the back to school hustle and bustle. Teachers are finalizing lesson plans, kids are trying to get in their last few weeks of freedom, and parents are anxiously awaiting the day for the kids to get out of their hair again. Other than lesson […]

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Adult Coloring Books Let Us Unplug, Unwind, Create.

January 27, 2016

There’s a prediction from ASI this week that the next big thing in promotional products will be adult coloring books. Yes, you read that right. Coloring books with amazingly intricate patterns intended for adults. The kind that call for fine tipped markers or colored pencils. Maybe you’ve noticed them yourself. Over the holidays, stores reported […]

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