Decoding the Jargon: What Exactly Are Promotional Items Called?

by Angelane Cervantes on Aug 16, 2023

Decoding the Jargon: What Exactly Are Promotional Items Called?

In the vast realm of marketing, a plethora of terms are used to describe essentially the same thing. Promotional items, those handy products brands give away to enhance their visibility, have an array of names, depending on who you're talking to or where you're located. This article seeks to unpack these terms, giving you a clearer understanding, whether you're a novice dipping your toes into the marketing pool or a seasoned professional revisiting the basics.

1. Swag:
Originating from the slang term "swagger", 'swag' typically refers to branded merchandise that's given away for free at events, conferences, or as part of promotional campaigns. Think of swag as the cool, more casual cousin in the promotional family. Companies, especially startups, love tossing out branded t-shirts, hats, or water bottles with a touch of 'swag'.

2. Giveaways:
As the name suggests, these are items given away as part of a promotion, contest, or event. The primary intent behind giveaways is to create a buzz around a brand or product, enticing potential customers to engage in some way, usually with the lure of getting something for free.

3. Premiums:
These are promotional items received after a purchase or as an incentive to make a purchase. Unlike a straightforward giveaway, there's often a direct relationship between the purchase and the premium. For instance, a skincare brand might offer a premium travel-sized lotion with every full-sized product purchased.

4. Freebies:
Similar to giveaways, 'freebies' are items given without any direct cost to the recipient. They're often used to introduce potential customers to a new product. A classic example would be food samples in a grocery store.

5. Branded Merchandise:
These are products that have been branded with a company logo or slogan and are used in the company's marketing strategy. The goal is to increase brand awareness among consumers. Items can range from pens and notebooks to more upscale products like branded tech gadgets.

6. Promotional Gifts:
Typically of higher value than your average giveaway, promotional gifts are given to appreciate clients, partners, or employees while simultaneously enhancing brand recall.

7. Ad Specialties:
Standing for 'advertising specialties', these are promotional items that bear a logo or other form of branding and are used as marketing tools. The terms 'ad specialties' and 'promotional products' are often used interchangeably.

Connecting it to 'Let Me Personalize':
While names and terminologies might change, the essence of promotional items remains consistent: enhancing brand visibility and fostering connections. Brands like 'Let Me Personalize' take this a step further. By specializing in personalized promotional products, they offer an intimate touch, transforming a generic giveaway into something more meaningful. When a promotional item is personalized, it resonates more deeply with its recipient, further strengthening the brand connection.

In Conclusion:
Promotional items, regardless of what they're termed, serve as valuable tools in a brand's marketing arsenal. They facilitate brand recall, foster connections, and in many instances, offer a functional utility to the recipient. So, the next time you're handed a 'freebie' or 'swag', remember the strategic thought that likely went into that item and the branding journey it represents.