How to select the Best Promotional Products
branded gifts

Promotional merchandise and giveaways are popular marketing tools for businesses of all sizes, but the success of these campaigns can vary greatly depending on which products you choose. How do you know if your products will be effective? The best way to determine what items to include in your promotion is to consider the purpose behind it, along with your potential customers’ needs and interests.

The Extra Step has learned from experience that nothing is better than a small idea that turns into an unforgettable campaign idea. We always carry an inventory of special and unusual items so your customer can’t resist them – these include:
• Silicon bike lights for a Road Safety Campaign.
• Mini Touch Kitchen Timers for the elderly and hard of hearing. These had to be a certain pitch and tone to be heard.

Here are some predictions we’re anticipating this year – what new items do you foresee coming out? Start planning now with us!

Eco and Sustainable Choices

In our most recent survey, 81% of respondents said they plan to make sustainable decisions in their branded merchandise and clothing selections for 2022. Consumers are becoming more educated about this issue than ever before which is reflected in the number of choices available; there are more eco-friendly alternatives now than ever before.

Branded eco-friendly products are made of recycled, biodegradable, sustainable, organic or Fairtrade materials. These can be one of a kind and help your brand stand out in 2022. Purchasing eco-friendly promotional products will help you achieve corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals.

'Bamboo Haddon' GREY 50/50 Bamboo/PP 330ml tumbler with ROYAL BLUE lid

There are many companies now looking to Buy British and support the local economy. For example, if you’re a UK manufacturer considering starting up your own marketing campaign, visiting clients or attending an exhibition; what better promotional gift to hand out than one that is also made in the UK and branded with your logo, for example:
• Bio water bottles
• Coasters
 Travel mug / Take away coffee cup
• Edible goodies such as cupcakes, cookies or biscuits
• Promotional paper products – post-it notes, desk pads or notebooks

What’s popular in 2022

Pandemic or no pandemic, people are still drinking water from various sources. This has led to an upsurge in the use of drinkware made from different materials like metal containers, plastic alternatives, glasses, and ceramic mugs. These items are highly functional for those who would want them in their workplaces, homes or when they’re on the go. They are easy to clean and dishwasher safe, making it even more practical for quick clean-ups while doing other things. Most importantly, they also make great gifts as you can customise these items with your company’s logo or slogan and a person’s name – because nothing says I care better than personalised presents!

'LOTTIE' 750ml Translucent PURPLE PET drinks bottle.

Branded Tech Gifts

Technology is forever evolving and will always be a trending item among brands. With WFH or remote working, people love to show off their dedication with branded gadgets and accessories. Recently, we received feedback from one of our clients saying how much their employees loved the branded power cables and wireless chargers we gave them – these items were included in the ‘welcome packages’ or ‘WFH Kits’. These items continued to be popular throughout 2021 before taking a break in 2022 – but don’t worry! They’re coming back this year! If you want to thank your team members who continue to work remotely, send them some goodies including branded notebooks, pens, mugs or water bottles; sweets; plus, an option for those teams who like Zoom meetings: branded polos.

Case Study

One of these is an old traditional brewery that offers tours of the facility, as well as opportunities to purchase bottles and pint glasses before leaving.

When we first began working with them nine years ago, they had just a few t-shirts and umbrellas for sale. We decided on a line of clothing that appealed to beer drinkers – especially those from out of town – and carried out research into other breweries’ gift shops for inspiration. 

The most successful product so far? Rugby shirts! These are traditionally navy with a white collar, navy-striped sleeves, and embroidered logos (which are totally different now than they used to be). Other popular items include polo shirts, t-shirts, and hoodies.

Trial & Error

I always recommend buying a few pieces of every product when starting out – it really helps gauge the market and figure out what your customer likes. This saves money and time in the long run because if you find something that works well you can order more without taking any risk. And if it doesn’t do well, then there’s no worry about wasting money on extra stock!


We’ve been working with one of our clients on a rebrand. We knew it was going to be an exciting project from start to finish. One thing they really wanted was materials that were made here in the UK while also supporting small businesses and local causes. As a company, they committed themselves to sustainable practices such as making sure all items are eco-friendly and providing notebooks and pens made from recycled paper or bamboo. Working together with your team on a rebrand requires lots of hard work but it will really pay off! Plus, it’s important to remember that every decision needs top management and board approval before proceeding ahead. 

Summing up purchasing your Promotional Merchandise

There is never a single-purpose product when it comes to a marketing and endorsement strategy. Your chosen product must convey multiple things at once: business values, brand identity, the message behind the campaign, and even Corporate Social Responsibility.

Get this right, and your clients and staff will love their Promotional Gifts.

Contact us today on 01234 344317 or email [email protected]