Promotional Products that Never Die

Every day thousands of products break, become unfashionable, or simply are replaced by superior versions.  Products becoming worn and outdated can cause a lot of frustration, anger and sometimes even devastation, possibly ending what could’ve otherwise been an everlasting Brand Love moment.

Recently during a Lunch & Learn with one of our supplier partners, I was struck by a notion about products and how some of them can truly last forever, and how valuable that is in the promotional products space.  In the meeting, the supplier said, “Take a look at this piece right here, because this item will never die” as he held up a cutting board in the shape of Texas.  As we passed the cutting board around I could feel the weight of it and instantly knew it was high quality and durable – and I remember thinking – he might actually be on to something.  If you can provide a customer with a durable, and timeless branded piece, you can spark a connection that will last a lifetime.


Raise your hand if you have a product at home that has been with you forever.

Did anything in particular come to mind? Maybe you have an old college sweatshirt in the back of your closet, but most likely the product you pictured wasn’t a promotional product. I mean, what’s the lifespan of your average promotional item? According to ASI’s 2016 study, 7 months is the average time a branded product is kept. And although there are plenty of products produced by our industry that are throwaways, that absolutely doesn’t mean everlasting promotional products don’t exist. I mean my first and last meal living at my parent’s house were “sponsored” by a Tetra Pak branded kitchen knife given to my mom before I was born. And there’s plenty more where that came from.  Business Insider recently published an article titled, “22 Products That Really Do Last a Lifetime” that gathered quotes from a Reddit thread about products that can never be replaced. These quotes are what Brand Love is all about:

“My black north face jacket. It will never die. Almost 10 years and it looks like it did the day I bought it.”

“My Nalgene [water bottle]. 15 years old. Thing is bulletproof.”

“I have a Leatherman [multi-tool] that’s been through hell and is still kicking.”

When you think of products that have staying power, retail brand names usually come to mind.  But with more and more retail brands entering the promotional product space, you have the opportunity to create Brand Love that can last a lifetime… and can even be passed down to future generations.

As already established, the average time we tend to keep a promotional product is 7 months, but the range varies based on product categories. Calendars, for example, tend to be kept for 12 months, versus some health and safety products, which have the shortest product lifespan of about 6 months. These numbers show that the average promotional product doesn’t always go the distance. But then again, when creatively sourced, promotional products can be far from average.

Referring back to above-mentioned study the number one key factor that determines how long we keep a promotional product is – usefulness.  When a product can save you time, or make your life easier the perceived value skyrockets.  The attractiveness and design appeal of a product takes second place on why people keep promo products, followed by being enjoyable to use and being educational. Maybe that’s why products like household appliances seem to last forever. They keep being useful for us.

Now I am not saying that everlasting promotional products are always the right choice, some products like temporary tattoos or food products are examples of great promotional products with a one-time use.  But one thing is clear- products that are designed and built to last, the ones that never die, are unforgettable. A “give it once” promotional product is the perfect way for your brand to create that everlasting Brand Love moment.

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