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What is Branded Merchandise?

So, you’re looking for branded merchandise? Overwhelmed by all the options available and not sure where to start? Totally Branded have got you covered!  

We are an experienced branded merchandise company based in Swaffham, Norfolk. Here we have a solid team of account managers, designers and production operatives, who all work hard to produce top quality promotional merchandise for all of our customers.  

Promotional Products - What are They?

A promotional product is a product or physical item that is branded with your business logo and information to help spread your business’s message; and to attract more customers.
These products can be almost anything, from t-shirts and bags to kitchen utensils or sports gear. The products you choose will depend on what kind of business you have and your target audience.
Usually, companies will use promotional products as free giveaways at trade shows or in-store to help their business stand out to potential consumers and aid in customer retention and brand awareness. 

Why is Branded Merchandise Important for my Business?

We briefly mentioned how promotional products can help attract more customers to your business, but we want to go more in depth about the importance of branded merchandise and explain all the benefits of using this marketing medium within your business.  

  1. Branded merchandise can increase general brand awareness of your organisation, which in turn aids your business’s growth. The more your logo can be seen by consumers, the more awareness of your brand there will be.
    Imagine you’re offering the “world’s
    best cookie”, you’re going to want to shout about it, aren’t you? This is where promotional products come in!
    Imagine this: you offer a free branded
    tote bag to a customer with their purchase. The bag reads “World’s Best Cookie” with your amazing logo and brand name. As they go about their day, everyone sees the bag filled with the best cookies in the world and they just have to try them!
    According to the British Promotional Merchandise Association’s Insight Report from 2021, customers who received branded merchandise can help increase brand awareness by a staggering 94%

    Branded merch can increase brand awareness by up to 94%!

  2. Branded Merchandise is a great way for an employer to connect with their employees, and wearable merchandise (such as uniforms and lanyards) make employees more recognisable to customers.  
    Employees will feel more connected to the company they work for if they feel like they belong there, things like an inclusive uniform or high-quality merchandise to utilise while at work can go a long way in helping people feel part of a team. To name a few products, company branded notebooks, water bottles and pens would be a great way to show your employees that you appreciate them. Internal staff merch is also commonly referred to as company logo swag.
  3. Free branded merch can also help keep your audience engaged and loyal to your company, and returning customers are great because it not only shows you that the service you provide is unmatched, it also shows new or potential customers this too.  
    Service with a smile and a free promotional item can be the difference between a customer having a good experience with your business or not. Handing out a useful but thoughtful promotional item could potentially create customers for life. 
    Information gathered by the BPMA says that customers who received branded merchandise are 75% more likely to buy from you again.  

5 Things to Consider Before you Buy Branded Merchandise

  1. Useful / Functional 
    If the promotional item that you choose is useful, it will be more likely to be kept by the consumer. Leaflets and business cards will only go so far before they end up in the recycling. If your product is engaging to look at and has a function that will assist your customers, they will be more inclined to hold on to it. 81% of people retain promotional products for more than a year, which means your brand on these will get repeated and consistent impressions without any extra effort or investment.
  2. Relevance to Audience 
    Is the product relevant? Your target audience are the kinds of people you are trying to draw in to use your business. Let’s say you own a bakery, you want to bring in people who enjoy baked goods, but it might be pertinent to draw in the crowd of people who like baking! A giveaway with a branded wooden spoon or branded whisk would be ideal because the product is relevant to your business, will promote a good relationship with customers and make their shopping experience more personal.
  3. Will it Last? 
    The longer a product lasts, the more impressions it will receive in its lifetime. While the BPMA suggests that 30% of customers are actively seeking food and drink as promotional products, they don’t last long. Once consumed, the box, bottle or can the product comes in will be thrown away, along with your branding. So, while consumers love food and drink as a giveaway item, why not offer a budget friendly, non-perishable item alongside it? You can appeal to their tummies first which will give them an automatic good impression of you, and then appeal to their natural love of receiving fun yet practical things. Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt? According the Global Ad Impressions Study of 2020 by the Advertising Speciality Institute, Items like promotional t-shirts are kept for an average of 14 months, perhaps even longer!

  4. Is it Environmentally Friendly? 
    It is becoming more important to consumers where their products come from, and what they are made of. People don’t want to own products made from single use plastic and they are becoming more conscious of the quality of some of the products on the market, in comparison to some of the greener products that are available. Eco-friendly products are also a great way to connect with your customers, do your bit for the planet and still spread your business message. In research conducted by the ASI, 46% of consumers have a more favourable opinion of an advertiser or business if their free item is environmentally friendly.
  5. Is it Inclusive? 
    If you are going to do a promotional giveaway using clothing like t-shirts and jackets, it would be a good idea to make sure they are size inclusive or come in a wider range of sizes, so that all of your customers will feel accepted and comfortable in their promotional item. Some outerwear jackets or fleeces come in XS – 3XL or more – the more inclusive your brand is the more likely you are to gain customers who will have a high opinion of you. 67% of consumers own promotional outerwear, which on average will generate 6,100 impressions per item for your business.

Branded Merchandise Examples and How to Make them Work for You!

We scoured the internet to find out what consumers want the most right now, so that you don’t have to. Here’s the top 5 branded merchandise products that consumers want, and where to find them! 

Environmentally friendly products have been gaining popularity over the last few years. The ASI found that the trend of sustainability continues to dominate consumer behaviour. In 2020, nearly a third of women purchased more sustainable items than they did the year before. Not only this, but Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (Born between 1997 and 2012) place more value on companies that take on socio-political issues, such as the environment. Gen Z is fast becoming the largest working generation as the older members begin to enter the workforce and ultimately, companies with stronger moral compasses will thrive with a mainly Millennial and Gen Z consumer base.  
We stock a wide range of eco-friendly products, click here to view our selection, or alternatively take a look below at our suggestions.

In 2020, nearly a third of women purchased more sustainable items than they did the year before
Branded Skeye pen
Senator Skeye Bio Ball Pen
Branded Recycled Plastic Square Coaster - White
Recycled Plastic Square Coaster
Smart Eco-Straw
Smart Eco Straws

Technology is advancing every day, which is a good thing for efficiency and time management in the work place. The world is becoming more and more reliant on technology, with a lot of companies are working towards a more paperless system. While a paperless system is a great move forwards for sustainability, our technology cannot always get things right. That is why items like USB drives are a must have product for anyone who works in an office or keeps files on a computer. Data finds 58% of consumers own a promotional USB, and 56% of consumers would choose a USB drive over a power bank. 

Eco friendly usb
Eco Twister USB Stick
Lego USB
Lego USB
USB Lanyard
USB Lanyard

Promotional Outerwear, like waterproof jackets or lightweight fleeces are brilliant for the customers who travel or spend time outside. Regardless of weather, these products are great for advertising your business, and ideal in changing climates when travelling due to their material. They are perfect for layering up in for winter explorers or to just keep the rain or wind off in a summer shower. Waterproof jackets fold up small which makes them easy to transport, and no bother when a customer wants to take it off and pack it away in their bag. People want outerwear that reflects their busy lifestyle so it’s important to pick products that your client-base would want to wear. Consider these three things: Utility, aesthetic, and convenience. Did you know that promotional outerwear is kept for an average of 16 months or more? This could give your business thousands of impressions! 

Branded Falcon recycled fleece
Falcon Recycled Polyester Fleece
Embroidered SOL's Unisex Surf Windbreaker Jacket
SOL’s Unisex Surf Wind Breaker Jacket
Branded Shetland Bodywarmer
Shetland Body Warmer

Promotional Tote Bags, or other reusable bags go hand in hand with the sustainability trend. They’re better for the environment than single use bags, and can help prevent more plastic going into to circulation. They’re often made of cotton or jute so are made in a sustainable way with tough durable fabric, so consumers can do all their shopping and not worry their bag will split halfway home. These are great giveaways for the more conscious consumer and because they tend to have a large branding area there is plenty of chance to have your logo seen by lots of people! Most promotional tote bags are owned over an average of 11 months! This could potentially give your brand 3,300 impressions or more!

Promotional tote bags can give you 3,300 impressions over 11 months!
Organic Cotton Shopping Bag
Organic Cotton Shopping Bag
No Minimum Order Quantity Printed Tote Bags printed full colour
No Minimum Order Quantity Printed Tote Bag – Coloured
Campo De Fiori Jute Bag
Campo de Fiori Jute Bag

Promotional Drinkware is rising in popularity. As we see the topic of sustainability continue to influence consumer buying trends, the issue of single use drinkware has become more of a focal point. Take-out coffee companies switched to more environmentally friendly options like cardboard and bio-degradable lids, paper straws etc. However, this still creates waste and consumers are becoming more and more aware of the effects of waste on the environment, with the banning of single use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in October 2020 highlighting this even further. That’s why insulated cups and tumblers, and water bottles have become a very popular promotional item. There are many options to choose from which help reduce plastic waste and also help keep your customers hydrated, while simultaneously gaining your brand impressions. 
A whopping 78% of people own promotional drinkware, so why not join them? 

Glass Coffee Cup with Cork Band - Kiato Cup
Glass Coffee Cup with Cork Band
Tide Insulated Vacuum Bottles
Promotional Cambridge Mugs - Totally Branded
Cambridge Mugs - White

Totally Branded are Here for You

Here at Totally Branded, we understand that not everyone lives and breathes branded merchandise like we do; and as a growing family run business we also know how important all our customers are to us. We always try to work alongside our customers (new or returning) to ensure you get the right promotional product, with the best possible service!  
So, we made this page to explain the ins and outs of branded merchandise, why they’re important for your business, what you need to consider before you buy, what is important to consumers and what products are “in” right now. If you’re still not sure on what to do, you can call us on: 02031502818, email us at: [email protected] or check out the FAQ’s below! 

Branded merchandise is the name for products printed with your business’s logo and branding. They tend to be budget friendly but useful products that can be given away to promote your business and help you gain customers and brand awareness. 

Some of the many pros of branded merchandise are: it builds brand awareness and improves consumer brand recall. It also helps with staff retention as they will feel more connected to the company owning their own company branded items. Both of these things will help improve customer relations as the more your customers see your branding, the more reliable you will seem, and if they see that your employees are happy too, this will further improve their opinion of your business. 

The few cons don’t outweigh the pros, but you could run into issues should your business decide to rebrand or change your logos drastically as it would potentially waste existing merch, or confuse customers. It’s also difficult to choose the best product for your business and should you get it wrong you might feel that you have wasted money, to prevent this: Speak to us! We are here to help! 

Thanks to studies conducted by the ASI, we know that branded merch collects many impressions over their individual lifespans, and the more impressions your branded product gains means the more potential return on investment. Branded merch has the power to influence people in real time to purchase from you. 

To put it simply: The more your brand is seen by people, the more reliable your business seems and the more likely they are to want to become customers. 

We have lots of great products, but our top 3 most popular products are:

1. Balloons 
3. Tote Bags

We know that it does! So does the BPMA, who suggest that 79% consumers are more likely to do business with a brand after receiving a promotional giveaway from them. 

Promotional items that have been trending are sustainable products, technology-based products and some classics that never go out of style: pens, tote bags, and drinkware’s

We are “Totally Branded” so we call it “Branded Merchandise but you don’t have to! You might know it as merch, swag, freebies, promotional merch, corporate gifts, or giveaway products / items. 

We can help you with everything from start to finish with your order – we have a really helpful sales team and some brilliant in-house designers that are always on hand to make sure your online digital proofs are up to the highest standards. After you’ve purchased your order, our in-house production operatives will make sure that your order is produced to your specifications and shipped to you in good time! Check out our “How it Works” page for more information.