Research shows Britain still loves a free pen

Lucy Colenutt demonstrates a love of pens
Lucy Colenutt demonstrates a love of pens

Research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) has revealed that the British still loves a free pen, despite the high tech world we live in.

The BPMA carried out the research to find the most popular promotional products for companies trying to get their brand or message out to the widest audience possible.

The total amount spent by companies on promotional merchandise in the UK last year was approaching £1bn and firms are happy to spend an average of up to £5 an item to get their marketing message across to consumers.

The top ten products the British public like to take home as freebies are:

1. The promotional pen.

2. Branded bags.

3. Electronic items (such as branded memory sticks and power banks).

4. Branded or personalised mugs.

5. Promotional clothing such as T shirts.

6. Note pads.

7. Mints/sweets.

8. Stress balls.

9. Mouse mats.

10. Stationery.

The BPMA found that some more unusual branded items are also being given away, such as ice cream, plants, shoe polish and screen cloths.

The approaching Rugby World Cup has sparked a new demand for branded promotional items, with sponsors and brands hoping that the euphoria of the event will allow them to engage with their customers on a very personal level, trying to give them mementoes of the event that they will keep for years.

Gordon Glenister, director general of the BPMA says that branded  products have a proven marketing and economic value for companies, who are actually looking for high quality products that stand out, are useful and memorable or have a high perceived value.

He added: “Many of our members are using technology now to personalise the promotional merchandise with people’s names alongside the brand.

“This makes the merchandise even more valuable to the recipient and increases the probability that the company name will be visible for longer. This is why everyone from hotels to technology companies like to have their names on products like pens.”

The research was published to support Promotional Products Week which begins today and ends on Friday.

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