Merchandise has lasting impact

Research shows merchandise is being kept for longer than ever before

Number of months merchandise is typically kept. Research released January 2019 – ©Copyright

Research has shown that useful promotional merchandise have a longer lifespan bringing an increased level of exposure. Did you know 50% of people carry promotional products around with them? This means your brand and marketing messages are becoming a functional part of their lifestyle, willingly. Surely the sheer repetition of your brand and marketing message will leave an indelible impression! Merchandise will not only reach the target audience, but it also constantly reinforces the branding and messaging with ongoing repetition to both the recipient and their colleagues.

12 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional powerbanks
brand impressions generated by promotional powerbanks during their typical 12-month lifespan
brand impressions generated by promotional jackets during their typical 16‑month lifespan
16 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional jackets
of women wear their promotional jackets on a weekly basis
brand impressions generated by promotional drinkware during their typical 12-month lifespan
12 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional drinkware
of consumers own promotional polo shirts
brand impressions generated by promotional polo shirts during their typical 13-month lifespan
13 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional polo shirts
of consumers keep a promotional USB drive for 2 years or longer
brand impressions generated by promotional USB's during their lifespan
of consumers own promotional writing instruments
brand impressions generated by promotional writing instruments during their typical 9-month lifespan
9 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional writing instruments
of consumers report that the quality of the umbrella is the number one reason they keep it
brand impressions generated by promotional umbrellas during their lifespan
brand impressions generated by promotional headwear during their typical 10-month lifespan
10 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional headwear
of men wear their promotional hat on a weekly basis
11 months
is the typical lifespan of promotional bags
brand impressions generated by promotional bags during their typical 11-month lifespan
of consumers own a promotional bag

Reducing cost while achieving greater exposure is the ideal scenario we all aim for, but rarely do these two factors work together. The good news is that useful promotional products are different, they have a constantly reducing ‘cost per impression’ over their long lifespan.

Longer Lifespan of Merchandise = Greater Exposure
Length of Exposure

The longer promotional merchandise is kept, the more impressions it makes on the recipient and anyone else who is exposed to the recipient using the product.
The majority of consumers keep promotional merchandise between one and five years.

Merchandise Improves Recall
Impact of the Message

Branding has everything to do with identity; who you are and what kind of products and services you represent. Successful messaging creates a voice for brands to connect with their target audiences and create a memorable consumer experience. The call to action then directs recipients to take action, thus enabling brands to directly interact and engage with consumers, capturing a response rate and measuring quantifiable results.
Promotional merchandise effectively delivers high recall between all three strategic advertising objectives.

So what type of ‘call’ best resonates with each generation?
Millennials best recalled social media.
Generation Xers best recalled directional calls to action, or statements with definitive instructions.
Baby Boomers best recalled points of reference such as website domains or contact information.

5 Reasons to Keep Merchandise
5 Reasons Recipients Keep Promotional Merchandise

Understanding why people choose to keep promotional merchandise provides key insight into which features are most valued by recipients. Unlike traditional advertising vehicles whose sole purpose is to communicate a message, promotional merchandise not only bring value to brands by effectively connecting with recipients, they also play a functional role within consumer lifestyles.

Promotional merchandise prominently displays advertising messages, but they are also found to be useful to most consumers, including a stunning 92% of the Silent Generation.
Among Millennials, 48% said they kept promotional merchandise because the design suited their style and/or personality.
Both Generation X (42%) and Baby Boomers (48%) said the product was enjoyable to have.

Merchandise Stays Close
Staying Power of Merchandise

Merchandise allows brands to directly affect consumer lifestyles and maximize recall by organically integrating into everyday routines at work, home or play. Where promotional merchandise is kept also indicates emerging product trends for brands to consider.
Promotional merchandise used in the kitchen and carried on one’s person are ideal for promoting to a general audience. However, if the target audience is gender-specific, one might consider particular product categories within that segment. For example, promotional merchandise used in vehicles for men (e.g. car charger) versus a product generally kept in the bathroom for women (e.g. nail file).

Find more about this exclusive PPAI Research by visiting

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