Survey Says: Consumers Crave Clever Promo Products

A recent consumer study reveals that Americans increasingly want, engage with and value promotional products.


Consumers believe in the value of branded merchandise. Nearly three quarters (74.6%) of those surveyed in 2023 agree that promotional products are a good way to learn about sales and events, and 72% agree that they’re helpful for learning about new businesses. Furthermore, 78% of consumers enjoy receiving free stuff from companies and brands they love, and nearly 73% want to receive promo products more often.


All these numbers add up to branded merchandise providing an advertising medium that has great reach and incredible impact.


The online survey, conducted by the Promotional Products Association International, captured insights from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 78. The data collected highlights the power of promo, its ability to create emotional attachments to brands and how consumers prefer branded merch to other forms of advertising.


For example, three-quarters or more of survey respondents said they would rather receive a promotional product than a telemarketing or sales call, a promotional email or ads in the mail (flyers, letters, etc.). Further, 70% of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if they’ve received a promotional product they really like from a company they haven’t done business with before.


The numbers point to the connection between consumers’ positive experiences with promo products and the high perceived value and quality that they associate with the brand providing them. Consumers want to engage more deeply with the company providing the product and are even willing to shift their spending to the company that gave them the promotional item.


More than half (52%) say their initial reaction upon receiving a promo product is to look up the company that gave it to them – and nearly half (47%) say they’ve posted on social media about a promo item they’ve received.


The data also spotlights how effective the marriage between high-quality promotional products and beloved brands can be. Case in point: 70% of consumers tend to equate the quality of the promo product they’ve received with the reputation of the company that gave it to them. Simply put, people like receiving nice things and often view the experience as a sign of how the giver feels about them.