Ken Leslie
Imagen Inc.
PPAI 427416, Silver
Glendora, California

Ken Leslie, president of Imagen Inc. agency

Leslie says the best product he’s used for self-promo lately has been a timeless ceramic coffee mug.

“It’s a classic, well-loved style, and the thick walls and handle are more durable than most ceramic mugs, so they withstand shipping really well,” he adds. “Plus, they have a great backstory that many people don’t know – they were created for use on U.S. Navy ships during World War II – which we included on a printed card in each mug’s shipment.”

custom decorated diner mug

Glossy inside and out, this 10-oz. ceramic Diner Mug features a slight hourglass shape and comes in natural, white or black (shown). Leslie says the mix of a quality product with a great design and a compelling story has made the mugs a successful self-promo, with enthusiastic responses from recipients like, “It’s my new favorite mug!” and “It’s always on my desk!”

ETS Express / PPAI 135148, Platinum

Leslie wants to try custom socks.

“Custom socks have been on my list for a while, and we just haven’t done them yet,” he says. “I love the idea of comfortable and fun socks, because they are popular and create a very personal connection between your brand and the person who puts on those socks.”

custom socks for Potbelly restaurants

Sock it to ’em in style with Custom Knitted Dress Socks, crafted of 80% cotton with a nylon/spandex blend for stretch on 200-point needle count machines. Full customization options and PMS color matching available to match team colors, brand identity or an event theme. Custom packaging available for an additional fee.

SOCK101 / PPAI 625402, Silver

Leslie says a good self-promo pick must be unique to each business and high-quality to make a good impression. “Ultimately, great self-promo is something that reflects the uniqueness of the distributor, so my best advice on self-promo is to always offer something that both reflects your personal style and is best in class. It doesn’t need to be expensive – it just needs to be the best version of that particular product.”

That said, Leslie would suggest a high-quality microfiber cloth as a great self-promo option. “Literally everyone can use one, but so many out there are cheap and don’t last long,” he adds. “Choose one with an all-over, full-color imprint and you’ve got complete design freedom to make sure the messaging perfectly matches your own unique style.”

custom printed microfiber cloth with pouch

Recipients can keep eyeglasses and tech screens squeaky clean with this 12-by-8-inch Microfiber Cloth, ideal for removing smudges and fingerprints without leaving any scratches. The full-bleed imprint area provides ample branding space for full-color dye sublimation. Protective pouch available for an additional fee.

Tekweld / PPAI 266346, Standard-Plus


Brandy Mason
VP of Sales Operations
Bob Lilly Promotions
PPAI 208474, Silver
Garland, Texas

Brandy Mason, VP of Sales Operations for Bob Lilly Promotions

Mason says her favorite product for self-promo is a super-practical small tool kit. “My team and clients loved them, as they could have a handy kit in the house without all the bulkiness,” she adds.

26-Piece Deluxe Tool Kit in branded case

This 26-Piece Deluxe Tool Kit includes six precision screwdrivers, an extension rod, a bit driver with a plastic handle, 10 screwdriver bits in a holder, needle-nose pliers, diagonal wire cutters, four wrench sockets and a pair of tweezers – all in a heavy-duty tri-fold case with a snap closure and 2-by-3.5-inch imprint area on the lid.

PCNA / PPAI 113079, Platinum

Mason would like to try the Energizer Tire Pump as recognition for high-value clients.

“I actually bought a different one about a month ago and have had to use it already,” she says. “Every time the temperature changes, the tire light comes on, and it’s a lot handier than finding change for the air machine at the gas station.”

portable Energizer Tire Pump with logo

The portable and rechargeable Energizer Tire Pump features an easy-to-read LED display and five inflation modes for automotive, motorcycle and bicycle tires, as well as a setting for sports balls. This handheld tool also functions as a power bank with a USB output port, and an attachable air hose and Type-C cable for recharging are included in the retail packaging. (AC wall adapter not included.)

Twintech Industry / PPAI 261545, Silver

“Sensory items are big,” says Mason, so consider a fidget item for a less pricey option.

neon green silicone Push Pop Bouncing Ball fidget toy with logo

Perfect for reducing stress and boredom, this new silicone Push Pop Bouncing Ball invites users to press in the bubbles, as well as squeeze or bounce it. Suitable for ages 3 and up, it’s CPSIA compliant and comes in black, blue, red or lime green.

Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, Platinum

Mason suggests an assortment of kitchen items for self-promo with staying power.

“People never throw them away – cutting boards, spoons, pizza cutter, trivets, etc.,” she says. “People will keep them even if they have those items at home already. It keeps your brand in front of them for years. I have picked up similar items at trade shows and still use them.”

Baltique Mumbai Collection 4-Piece Cooking Utensil Set crafted from brightly colored birch wood

Add a splash of color – and your logo – to recipients’ kitchens with the Baltique Mumbai Collection Four-Piece Utensil Set crafted from layers of brightly colored birch wood. Safe for use on nonstick coatings, each includes a hanging hole for easy storage and display. Hand wash only.

Totally Bamboo / PPAI 408801, Standard-Base

8-Inch 2-Tone Bamboo Cutting Board with laser engraved logo

This 8-Inch Two-Tone Cutting Board is perfect for quickly slicing lemons, limes and other garnishes. Made of Moso bamboo, a highly durable and renewable material, the board is lightweight but tough enough to withstand knife blades. Its beautiful two-tone design features light end caps (laser engraving included) with a caramelized center section. Hand wash only.

Totally Bamboo / PPAI 408801, Standard-Base

Bambino Pizza Cutter with a brandable bamboo handle and blade cover

This handy Bambino Pizza Cutter features a brandable ergonomic bamboo handle for maximum control, and a bamboo blade cover protects the stainless steel blade for safe storage. Hand wash recommended.

Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, Platinum

Compliments Ceramic Trivet with cork backing and full-color branding

Get edge-to-edge, full-color branding with the Compliments Ceramic Trivet. Its cork backing provides a sturdy, nonslip surface to prevent any accidents, and its compact size (roughly 6 by 9 inches) and hole for hanging make it easy to store and access.

HPG / PPAI 110772, Platinum