Does Perceived Price Matter with Promotional Items?

Does Perceived Price Matter for Promotional Products? Cheap or ExpensiveA promotional pen that costs less than a pound or an £82 watch?

This is the type of question business owners face when deciding what type of promotional product to use to market their brand.

When marketing your company, promotional products can be highly effective tools for attracting new clients, increasing brand awareness, and growing your business. But when it comes to choosing the type of product you will use to promote your business, does price—or at the very least, perceived price—matter?

To compare the effectiveness of high-end and low-end products, researchers from Promotional Products Association International conducted a comprehensive study on consumers’ impressions and preferences for promotional products in four different price ranges. The researchers talked to more than 736 consumers, asking them to recall and answer questions about different promotional items they had received.

We’ve highlighted some of the key findings of their study below:

Recipients respond most positively to products they perceived as higher priced. No surprises here—by and large, consumers responded most positively to products they believed came with a higher price tag. The majority of recipients agreed that a high-end promotional product would cost between $25 (£16.23) and $50 (£32.47). Items that were commonly perceived as higher priced included watches, jackets, gift cards, and t-shirts. On the other end of the spectrum, pens, notebooks, and calendars were commonly perceived as lower priced.

Recipients tend to prefer food items. 58 percent of recipients preferred promotional products that could be consumed, such as treats and confectionery. Other top preferences included clothing (50 percent), technology products (46 percent), and luggage items such as bags, backpacks, and brief cases (46 percent).

Usefulness matters. While consumers tended to react favourably towards items they perceived as more expensive, it was the usefulness of the item that tended to determine how long the recipient would keep the promotional product – 7 in 10 recipients said usefulness was most important to them. The majority of recipients agreed that they would keep a useful item for a long time even if it prominently displayed the giver’s logo. Common items that recipients considered to be useful included clothing, bags, backpacks, computer mouse pads, flash drives, and other items associated with technology. Following usefulness was quality and attractiveness.

Recipients appreciate less expensive products, too. While recipients responded most favourably to products they perceived as high end, they also appreciated less expensive items, as long as those items were useful.

Brand names don’t trump generics. While some recipients believed that brand suggests quality, a comparable number of recipients said generic promotional products were of the same quality. However, about 60 percent of consumers agreed they would feel more positively about the giver if the product was a familiar brand, since a brand name costs more and suggests the giver is willing to invest more in the recipient.

What can we learn from the study? Essentially, promotional products that are useful and of high quality can be excellent marketing tools that can keep your company name in front of past and potential customers for years to come. The money your business invests in high-end products may be returned to you many times over.

If you need guidance on selecting an appropriate promotional product for your company, reach out to the team here at Calver. We’re here to help!

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