Christmas is the season of giving. Naturally loved ones, relatives and friends are primary recipients but for companies also, the gift to a loyal customer can secure that person's business for years to come.
A little something to keep customers happy
Sometimes it is the little thing that counts. You return to the car dealer to pick up your car and a fruitcake is lying on the front seat. Or maybe a screwdriver set. The pallet of promotional items ranges from ashtrays to wine. Golf balls or totes. You name it and it is probably a promotional product.
Over 50,000 employees work for over 4,000 companies that produce promotional items. Pens, leather goods, desktop items, food and drink and of course, the calendar, make up the top five presents. And the odd gift does have its place in the promotional gift market, according to Peter Hammann, a marketing expert from the University of Bochum.
"It can be bizarre, or adventurous, as long as it's funny to the recipient," he said.
No promo gift, no business
Markteting researchers from the University of Bochum found out that 70 percent of all Germans expect a calendar from the companies they have been loyal to. One in two companies uses promotional items to keep their customers coming back.
A Classic promotional gift: Calendars
"Usually it is one of the classic promotional items like a ballpoint pen or a calendar," Hamman said.
Should it be something of greater value, then it is usually something to eat or drink. Whether it be common or unique, the promo gift market is not small. Annually, companies dish out a total of around €4 billion ($5.3 billion) on promotional items. That comes to 10 percent of the money spent on advertising.
Whatever a company decides on, it should not take the decision lightly, Hammann said: Promotional items deserve the same amount of attention as incentives or advertising in general.