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When you mention an object, most probably the first thing that comes to mind is a brand name or a trademark. For example, the mention of the word “breakfast" conjures images of newly brewed coffee, a plate of bacon and eggs, and your favorite brand of bagel.

Our world is bombarded with so much advertising that we connect objects with trademarks. These brands creep into our consciousness, the products of ambient advertising.

Such is the power of brand recall. Once a brand is embedded in our consciousness, it will be difficult to convince us otherwise.

Aside from public relations and advertising, one other means-and as effective, if not MORE effective-of brand building is the giving away of promotional items.

Surely you must have one of these customized objects on you. These products can range from logo-imprinted writing instruments to apparel, coffee mugs to key chains. Some of these are bundled with your purchase of, say, a box of cereals or a pouch of coffee beans. Others you probably got from a promo lady at the train station. Still others you must have received over the mail

Promotional items enable you to reach more people than the ones who'll know of your brand only through a television commercial or a print ad.

Another reason is that promotional items give you more mileage over the years than a television or print ad will. Day-old newspapers are set aside, thrown out, or-thankfully-recycled. Viewers will mentally tune out when your ad runs on television. But consumers will keep using your promotional items if they find these applicable to their everyday activities. They'll probably even share or pass on giveaways such as ballpoint pens, notepad, or sticky notes to a friend, a co-worker, or a stranger at the supermarket counter.

Still another compelling reason for promotional items is they cost less compared with traditional means of advertising. For example, $1,000 worth of promotional items can enable you to reach at least a thousand people while the amount is only equivalent to a 30-second spot in a big game televised nationwide.

Furthermore, there really are brands not suitable for television and are best marketed with promotional products and seen in full-color print. When comparing the cost of producing a video with that of having marketing products manufactured and imprinted with your corporate logo, and knowing that these promotional items will go to places that your video or print ad can't reach, surely nothing makes more sense that choosing the latter.

Another reason for using giveaway is that you get immediate feedback from your recipients-a smile, a thank-you, or a hard laugh especially for humorous promotional items. Nothing leaves a more favorable impression on a potential customer than promotional gifts or items that they can use every day, such as T-shirts, caps, mugs, maybe even a scarf, or a hand sanitizer. Similarly, it's encouraging for the company that's giving out promotional items when the act of giving is rewarded with a positive reaction.

About the Author: Celine Benjamin dispenses advice on promotional items , marketing, cheap promotional items, business, and new media. You can find her at http://blog. Visit Branders for more details.

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