Promotional Gifts Keep Giving

Promotional Gifts Keep Giving
May 19, 2017 Andrea Stoll
Promotional gifts are more than just keepsakes. These items have the great potential of turning customers into brand ambassadors. Yet, while giving and receiving might be easy, it is an intricate business to choose the ‘right’ gift that has the ability to make your business go a long way.

According to 2017 consumer study by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), “promotional products were ranked highest by consumers across all generations as the most effective advertising vehicle”.

Another key highlight of the study showed that roughly eight in 10 admit to looking up the brand after receiving a promotional product, and 83% said they are more likely to do business with brands they’ve received promotional products from, than brands they have not received promotional products from.

This is good news for the promotions industry.

So what are the must-have products this season? Craig Kourie, vice chairman of Resellers of South Africa (ROSA), talks us through some of the latest corporate gifting trends.


2017 is all about touching – with print and customisation going 3D as well as a variety of materials and textures to make your fingers all tingly. Products that invite people to touch them also encourage them not only to get to know your brand but also to have a tactile relationship with your brand. Notebooks and pens are leading the way.

(c) baranq -

(c) baranq –

Sophisticated customization

Bespoke shapes, new printing techniques and the opportunity to mix and match materials are an increasing trend, as factories are producing items that can truly wow clients. Using the new branding techniques allows you to create a completely unique product – not just in imprint but in shape too. This includes, for instance, customised pens, as well as a variety of colours in products, where for instance power banks can be printed in full colour, giving you an opportunity to create something special with your brand. There are also the options of laser edging on clothing and digital branding techniques.

Virtual reality glasses and tech products

Virtual reality glasses are the ‘in thing’ at the moment. And, cardboard material used in these offers great branding opportunities – without breaking the bank.


Companies are moving towards giving clients items that they can use outside of work and in their leisure time. These gifts are appreciated as they help people to enjoy their time outside of work. By giving away lifestyle corporate gifts, you are able to create a closer bond with your clients by developing associations between your brand and activities that they enjoy doing.

“Promotional items follow the trends we are seeing in other industries, most notably the focus on customer experience,” adds Nick Sarnadas, event director at Specialised Exhibitions, the organiser of Madex and Markex 2017.

“Increasing the value of a product so that it is preserved and adds to the perceived importance of the brand is essential. Careful and innovative packaging can play a great role in this, as well as personalisation of the gift. It should blend with the age-old saying that ‘people might have forgotten what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel’.

“The days of a promotional gift being a quick afterthought swiftly packed a few minutes before an event to hand out, are long gone. Today’s corporate promotional gifts require much more strategic planning, quality, purpose, creativity and thought. You need to leave a lasting impression.”

Markex 2017 takes place 7-8 June 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, co-located with Markex.