8 Unique Promotional Items Ideas That Are Great for Marketing

author-img By Mashum Mollah 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Promotional Items

One of the great things about attending conferences and trade shows is all the branded swag you can pick up–and the invaluable knowledge, of course.

But how many times have you been handed a pen and thought to yourself, “This is definitely getting left in the hotel”?

Promotional items certainly help to get your brand name out there. But to be a worthwhile expense, they need to be both memorable and useful.

Read on for inspiration on some unique promotional items ideas. (And for heaven’s sake, get rid of those pens already!)

8 Promotional Items Ideas People Will Actually Like

The most important thing when choosing your promo items is that they suit your business.

Sometimes we see a brand doing something really unique. But if it doesn’t match your product, then it’s not a helpful way to promote your brand.

Here are eight great ideas to get you started.

1. Reusable Lunch Bag :

People are more focused on environmentally friendly products than ever. A reusable lunch bag is a useful gift that people will use.

With more focus on healthy eating and saving money, people are also trying to be better about bringing lunch to work. When they receive a reusable lunch bag as a promo item, you can be pretty sure they’ll bring it home from the conference with them.

Print them in eye-catching patterns or bright colors to make them stand out. It’s better if the brand name is not too prominently displayed. Otherwise, people are less likely to use them on a daily basis.

2. Stress Ball :

Everyone needs a resilient stress ball. If you can make yours a bit whimsical, even better.

One marketing manager of a travel agent said they gave away stress balls designed as different planets. Their customers loved trying to collect the entire set.

Another company that worked in recruitment handed out ones they’d cheekily stamped with “Your Boss.”

These companies were successful with their promo items because they delivered their brand’s message in a way that was both humorous and memorable.

3. Kid-Friendly Products :

Kid-friendly products are sure to be a hit.

Consider this–more than 70% of American adults have children. Conferences and tradeshows often require travel, meaning that attendees are spending time away from their kids.

Parents are more likely to hold on to kid-friendly promo items like colored pencils, wooden 3D puzzles, and toy cars. If you can tie the product to your brand, all the better.

But even just having that promotional item at home will keep your brand name in their mind.

4. Matchbooks :

While about as far from kid-friendly as you can get, matchbooks can be a good promo item depending on your brand.

For startups or companies with a limited marketing budget, matchbooks are perfect because they’re inexpensive. Additionally, there’s super small and are suitable to give out at more casual venues as well.

The key with matchbooks is the design. If you have one with an eye-catching cover, you’re more likely to keep it and use it or show it to your colleagues.

5. Lanyards :

A classic option for conferences and trade shows, lanyards are a popular promotional item due to their high visibility.

Is your company running or sponsoring an event? Capitalize on the opportunity to give out branded lanyards to delegates with their name tags, the schedule of events, and other useful information.

Make sure your brand name is prominent and easy-to-read on your custom lanyards. Oftentimes, people wear these out to networking events, meaning that even more people in the community will see them.

Get more info on customized lanyards for your next corporate event.

6. Metal Straws :

Want another product that shows your brand’s commitment to the environment? Unique promotional items like metal straws look great with your brand printed on them–and they’re guaranteed to turn heads.

With more awareness about plastic and the dangers to the environment it poses, the movement against plastic has been growing. What started with stores charging for plastic bags has now transformed into brands committed to avoiding disposable plastic.

Metal straws also look and feel really luxurious, so people will want to take them back and use them when they’re sipping on drinks at home.

7. Sunglasses :

We’ve seen promotional sunglasses explode in popularity in recent years. The key to sunglasses being a successful tool for promoting your brand is going with a classic design, like the Wayfarer shape made popular by Rayban.

Not only are these great to give out at tradeshows to prospective customers, but you can give them to new employees during their onboarding process. It’s a fun way to get new employees excited about joining the team.

8. Travel Adapters :

Travel adapters aren’t as exciting as a stress ball that lets you pretend you’re crushing your boss’s head. However, they are one promo item that everyone not only holds on to but actually uses.

These are more expensive than some of the other options we’ve given. But travel adapters aren’t cheap when you buy them from the store, either.

By giving out something that has a practical use (and one that people often forget to pack), you’re positioning your brand as one that provides solutions.

Get Creative With Your Corporate Giveaways

Ultimately, the key to successful promotional items ideas is to leave your prospective customers wanting more.

Providing them with useful or clever reminders of your brand gives them a reason to look up your services when they get home.

Want to learn more? Find out about other unique ways that you can promote your brand name to local customers.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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