Promotional products are an intrinsic part of consumers’ lives, a truth further supported by a recent PPAI Research study that gathered data on how consumers receive, keep, engage with and value promotional products. The results showed the impact that promotional products can have and the long-lasting connections they can forge between consumers and brands.

There are numerous ways a person can come into possession of a promotional product, and PPAI’s survey sought to identify exactly how they did so. It found that 47.2 percent of respondents said they had received branded products by mail from a business—a calendar magnet from a Realtor®, a sticker from a retail store, etc.—and 45.9 percent have taken branded products that were offered by a hotel, bank, restaurant, etc. Other leading answers among survey respondents—they could select all that applied—included receiving company-branded products with a purchase (32 percent), receiving branded products being handed out to attendees or visitors at a social event or gathering (28.2 percent), and being given company-branded products by employers or organizations (26.9 percent).

The survey also asked respondents about the types of promotional products they have acquired in their lifetime. The most common promotional products respondents received were writing instruments—pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, erasers, etc.—at 72.8 percent followed by magnets at 68.4 percent; office supplies at 57.6 percent; cards, including gift cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, key cards and tags, etc., at 53.1 percent; dated products, such as clocks, wall calendars, planners, etc., at 53 percent; and food and beverages, including condiments, spices, candy, mints, bottled water, gift baskets and tins, food containers and jars, etc., at 52.3 percent.

The survey found that almost half of respondents (48.7 percent) kept promotional products for longer than five years. As for why they keep them, the most common reason cited, by a significant margin, is that the product is useful (75.4 percent). Other reasons were that the product reminds them of an event or an experience (38.3 percent), the product is fun to have (34.8 percent), they like the design of the product (34.1 percent), and they wanted or needed the product at the time they received it (32.9 percent).

A total of 5,674 end users in the U.S. and Canada participated in the survey. More key findings and the full survey results are available to PPAI members at; a member login is required.