Promotional products, corporate gift Los Angeles.

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The Power of Promotional Products for Business Growth

Promotional products have long been an effective tool in the business world, but with the ever-changing corporate gifting and marketing in our industry, strategies to effectively utilize these products have become more nuanced. Successful brands recognize the potential of using promotional items not just as SWAG (stuff we all get), but as tools to solidify relationships, establish their brand as an industry leader, and retain clientele.

In this article, we will explain 4 main ways promotional products can help your business grow: 

  • Impactful Customer Retention and Onboarding Experiences
  • Utilizing Promotional Products for Strategic Referrals
  • Encourage User-Generated Content
  • VIP Treatment and Tiered Gifting Strategies

Impactful Customer Retention and Onboarding Experiences

customer onboard kit
Custom mailer box

Customer onboarding kit with UV sanitizer, tumbler and desktop vacuum
Customer onboarding kit with UV sanitizer, tumbler and desktop vacuum

Building lasting relationships with clients is an often overlooked aspect of business growth. The emphasis is frequently on lead generation and acquiring new customers, but the true cost-effectiveness lies in retaining existing ones. When the initial sale is made, creating an unforgettable experience for the customer can lead to increased retention and further sales opportunities.

Recognizing your top clients or customers over the past few years is a critical step. These individuals often contribute the lion’s share to a company’s revenue, so maintaining a strong relationship with them is key. Proactive communication is a strategy to keep these relationships warm and ongoing. Reaching out during the holidays with branded holiday gifts, sharing updates about new services at trade shows and events, or proposing ideas for upcoming projects by sending a corporate kit are ways to stay top of mind with your most valuable clients.

Utilizing Promotional Products for Strategic Referrals

custom plant kit
This planting kit includes a biodegradable pot and soil wafer. A printed cardstock wrap with a seed paper medallion that will grow into wildflowers.

It’s not the act of gifting that makes promotional products effective, but to give the recipients a taste of the actual experience working with your company. A simple branded gift and a follow-up call after a service or product delivery, can provide invaluable insights and open a dialogue that may lead to referrals. Case in point: A client had ordered branded planting kits and would mail one to each client as projects are completed. Then the account representative would follow up with a call to ensure the gift was received.  Inquiring about the customer’s satisfaction and asking for their feedback solidifies the relationship and sets up an organic introduction to potential new clients, how can a good review and client testimonial help your business grow?

Directly asking satisfied customers if they know someone who could benefit from a company’s offerings can be far more fruitful than broader, less targeted approaches. This personalized interaction creates a platform where the right promotional product can remind customer of the company’s care and service, encouraging them to spread the word and further solidify the brand in their network.



Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)

branded bike giveaway
Branded bike giveaway

Everyone is on social media these days and people can often be seen showing off their latest purchase, or merchandise they got from events or shows. Set up challenges by inviting customers to actively use the products or services of your company, such as branded bike giveaway. Offer branded merchandise to those who complete the challenges so they can show them off proudly. This happiness and pride can prompt them to share their experience with others, leading to user-generated content. Additionally, the act of completing a challenge or task associated with the promotional product can also drive users to post regularly about their progress or accomplishments.

This not only increases brand visibility but also results in user-generated content that can be shared across social media platforms, further enriching the brand’s digital footprint.

VIP Treatment and Tiered Gifting Strategies

Each year a technology client of ours would gift their customers holiday gifts, in addition, they will have tiered level gifts and each tier with several options to choose from. Our job was to help them curate a selection for each gifting tier. The results were overwhelmingly positive since everyone has a chance to choose a gift that fits their lifestyles, needs and wants.

Implementing a VIP strategy and creating tiers of gifts according to client status helps maintain their loyalty and appreciation. Consistently touching base and recognizing their importance with well-thought-out gifts and experiences strengthens the relationship and reinforces their importance to the business. Companies should communicate and understand their VIPs’ needs, acting as more of a trusted partner than just another service provider. Regular outreach with the intent of offering assistance or appreciation, rather than making a sale, will contribute positively to client retention and satisfaction. Client engagement should not be left to chance, particularly in competitive markets. Companies must strategically reach out to their clients, ensuring they understand their value and feel appreciated. Making that phone call, even if it leads to a voicemail, is an investment in the relationship. It’s about being the first point of call when the client needs the services that you provide. 


For businesses looking to make a lasting impression and to foster genuine relationships with their clients, promotional products can be more than just swag; they can be key tools in a comprehensive business growth strategy. By tapping into the unique preferences of your target audience, focusing on retention as much as acquisition, and utilizing traditional yet effective products, like custom printed calendars, businesses can develop a promotional strategy that truly delivers.

Are you looking to create a gift campaign to grow your business? Contact us today to get started!

About the Author

Swire Ho

Swire migrated to Los Angeles in 1996. He is a proud Chinese American who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English. He trained as a sound engineer, working at recording studios and entertainment agencies before starting his own firm, Hellman Production, Inc, 2003 in Los Angeles. Swire and his team successfully produced attractive, personalized DVD and CD cases and custom merchandise like T-shirts, earning a Score award in 2009, for small business success. His business eventually grew so popular, he decided to sell Hellman Production in 2013 to focus exclusively on the promotional product industry.

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