The New York Times Reports on the Power of Promotional Products

News | Aug 1, 2011

Printa Systems found this latest promotional product news through Mueller of the New York Times. Mueller relates the story of looking through his grandparent's estate and finding a rather unusual letter opener.

The opener contained, in a clear acrylic handle, a miniature uterus with pills in place of ovaries, along with the name of the drug Hormonin. The letter opener was given to Muller's grandfather, who was a doctor, as a marketing technique, but the grandfather had clearly prized the opener solely for pragmatic purposes.

Twenty billion dollars are spent every year giving away promotional items ranging from letter openers to calendars. The success of this practice lies largely in the innate desire to reciprocate kind actions, such as the giving of a gift. For instance, Hare Krishna Society members were observed giving air travelers paper flowers, and those that took the flowers were far more likely to donate money to the society. A more statistically compelling example comes from the Disabled Veterans of America. When this group solicits donations without any gift, the response rate is approximately 18%, however, when personalized labels are included, the response rate nearly doubles to 35%. Taking advantage of this human response is essential when considering a marketing campaign and the successful business carefully considers all aspects of promotional products.

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