The best promo creates a connection with the recipient, and kits are a great way to provide an experience that sticks with your target audience. The best kits are built on thoughtful selection and combination of items, plus clever packaging and personalized messaging.

Promo suppliers have increased their offerings of pre-curated kits in recent years, but distributors who choose to design and assemble their own should start by asking clients the same key questions as any promo project:

  • What’s your budget?
  • How many recipients?
  • Who are they and what do they like?

“Those three things in our industry drive every question after, because that immediately is our filter to decide what supplier do we want to partner with on this opportunity and what items do we want to pitch to be inside the box,” says Trevor Hyssong, director of business development at Blink Marketing.

Don’t forget about messaging and packaging, he adds. “There always needs to be some type of messaging inside the box to really drive home whatever the point is,” says Hyssong, “… and a huge component of it is the custom packaging, which can be anything from a standard box with minimal decoration to something that’s 100% custom. But that really is that chef’s kiss at the end of it that says this is a sealed and delivered experience.”

No matter how they’re packaged, kits should create an experience with the goal of engagement, whether that’s a post on social media, a sale, increased employee satisfaction or all of the above.

In particular, brands can leverage the popularity of influencers with a carefully curated gift box, says Carolina Junghans, CAS, managing partner of Blink Marketing, one of Promo’s Greatest Companies To Work For In 2023. “We want it to feel like a gift experience,” she says. “If you allow them the opportunity to have an unboxing experience, you’ve provided some content for the influencers, too.”

A 2021 survey of 2,000 Americans found that nearly 3 out of 4 people would prefer a food gift over other things, so including something snackable in your kit is a smart strategy. Be sure that whatever you include is food-safe, won’t leak and has all the ingredients clearly listed, as about 20 million people in the U.S. alone have food allergies.

Here are some kit-worthy brandable items, as well as an example of a ready-made, supplier curated kit that includes both snacks and hard goods.

customized Stanley 40-oz. tumblers  

Drinkware is a popular kit item, and this must-have 40-oz. Stanley Quencher H2.O FlowState Tumbler is a great wow piece to anchor a welcome kit or appreciation gift. It’s available in charcoal (shown) or cream, and your client’s brand can be imprinted on the opposite side from the Stanley logo.

PCNA / PPAI 113079, S15

custom-wrapped peppermints and spearmints

For a super-simple kit or a sweet surprise within a larger gift box, stuff drinkware with customized candies like these Starlight Mints or Green Striped Spearmints, the perfect non-melt options for year-round shipping.

NC Custom / PPAI 111662, S7

kettle corn snack pack with custom label

Another great stuffer is a Kettle Corn Snack Pack with custom four-color label. This tender popcorn is the perfect combination of sweet and salty – and gluten free. Made in the USA.

Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165, S8  

Milk Bar crunchy cookie gift bag with custom imprint

Milk Bar Crunchies Pretzel-y Chocolate Chip Cookies have become a cult favorite, and now you can bundle this name-brand sweet treat with other items for added impact. The resealable cookie pouch is packaged in an eco-friendly reusable cotton gift bag ready for decoration.

Gemline / PPAI 113948, S11  

custom spiral notebook with pen

A notebook or journal and pen is a practical and useful gift for any welcome kit. This 5×7 Huntington Notebook with Pen includes70 wide-ruled sheets and a ballpoint pen with Glide-Write black ink. The front and back covers feature die-cut swooshes for added flair. Available in five colors (red shown).

Evans Manufacturing / PPAI 110747, S1  

tech tattoo custom sticker sheet

Include an interactive element with custom stickers like the Tech Tattoo Custom Size & Shapes Custom Sheet. Your own unique designs printed on white vinyl with strong-on, easy off, ultra-removable adhesive make it easy and fun for recipients to personalize their gifts.

Gill Studios / PPAI 114157, S11  

Act Natural snack kit with office essentials

The eco-conscious Act Natural Kit features reusable office essentials and upcycled, allergy-friendly snacks, plus a handwritten, personalized card at no additional charge, making it perfect for welcoming new employees or gifting ahead of a big meeting.

HPG (Batch & Bodega) / PPAI 110772, S11