Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

In today’s crowded corporate world it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Advertising goes back many millennia probably starting near the Roman times when billboards were used to promote gladiator matches and circuses. Billboards and posters probably remained the main form of advertising until the first newspaper was developed in the 1600’s which carried the first newspaper adverts.

Today, the first methods of advertising are still in use and are still effective at getting people ‘ s attention. What has changed is perhaps the complexity of the adverts and the graphics. Today, many other kinds of advertising have come in to fruition such as TV, radio and internet. TV perhaps being one of the most costly starting in the 1950’s. There is another area of advertising that perhaps had a slow start in the 1700’s with the start being in the election campaign of George Washington followed by a handful of people supplying promotional items to schools.

It was not until the 1970’s that the promotional items industry really took off. It was during this time that an increasing number of corporate companies saw the real benefits of using promotional items to promote a brand. Promotional product types were limited but in the 1980’s demand grew and catalogue services emerged connecting customers and manufacturers. It was the distributors who collated the catalogues and they still provide a key role in the promotional product industry today.

Since the development of the internet the physical catalogue has disappeared and it has been moved to the online world. What was a catalogue for promotional items has now led to a website. The internet also connected the whole world meaning the array of items that are available has also expanded and new products quickly come in to fruition. Now the promotional merchandise industry is bigger than before and there are literally thousands of items to choose from. Practically anything small and portable is available to be branded with a company logo, from pens to mouse mats, torches, to USB pens. The industry is filled with companies trying to promote the latest items that are likely to get the attention of the target audience.

What has made promotional items so successful is their longevity. The items are taken in to the home or the office of the candidate and then used. People love a freebie and this is the cheapest and easiest way to get in to the personal space of the target audience. The item will provide a constant source of advertising to the client every time it is in view. This makes the brand familiar to the client over time, so when they are approached again they may start to feel an element of trust which is vital for achieving new business.

There are all types of promotional merchandise available on the market for all budgets and all occasions and millions of companies around the world successfully utilise this form of advertising for brand promotion and to get new business.

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