Small Business Brief


9 Unique and Fun Promotional Gift Ideas

Promotional marketing has changed fortunes for countless businesses over the years. Sometimes, those stories take surprising turns.

For example, did you know that the Wrigley gum company started out selling soap? The founder added a couple of packs of chewing gum as a promotional product attached to every sale. Soon, the company launched its chewing gum branch, and within decades, the brand was better-known for gum than soap.

Wondering which promotional gift ideas will make your business a smash hit? We’ve put together some of our most interesting marketing gifts here.

Keep reading to get inspired!

1. Food and Drink

Many brands shy away from food or drink as a promotional item. The worries about allergies and food preferences are understandable. But if you know your audience well, food and drink can make great promotional gift items.

Just think about what people might bring to a party as a hostess gift or give for Christmas to someone they don’t know well. Food and drink tops those lists almost every time. That’s because these gifts provide nourishment, which shows caring on a deep, primal level. And everyone has to eat, so in a way, they’re universal.

Make sure to do your research so you can pick the right consumable gifts for your customers, clients, or employees. Hot sauce or craft beer might go over well with a young, trendy crowd. Plant-based snacks might work well for an environmentally-conscious audience.

Kitchen-related accessories can also work nicely. Why not try a chic, branded bamboo cutting board, or a high-end bottle opener?

2. Trendy Pins

A well-designed set of enamel pins always looks cool on a denim jacket or messenger bag. Some people might not want the bold statement a branded tee makes but will be happy to sport a cool pin.

The classic round button shape works, but you’ll impress people even more with a chic, custom enamel design in an interesting shape. Try a set of three or four for a cool branded package.

3. Elevated Tote Bag

The standard tote bag is no longer as useful as it once was. With many mass grocery stores selling reusable bags, that branded tote bag will probably end up buried in a drawer because it’s never needed.

You can elevate your tote bag by making it classier or giving it a purpose. Instead of the standard fabric tote, why not try a nice vegan leather option that’s sturdy enough to hold a laptop? Trendy tote bags give people an incentive to use yours instead of the 99-cent bag from the local supermarket.

You can also make tote bags more appealing by making them more useful. For example, try an insulated tote bag that makes it easy to pack a lunch. It offers something most totes don’t, so it has an automatic added appeal.

4. Glassware 

Glassware, or certain dishware items, can also get people thinking about your brand in a different light.

Many people love collecting branded pint cups or even wine glasses. Avoid cheap plastic and make your branded glassware out of real, durable glass. Alternatively, you could try a nice ceramic coffee mug. Glassware accessories like high-end coasters work well too.

For some niche businesses like foodie companies, dishware, such as a cooking pan, might also work well. As mentioned above, everyone eats. Just consider what your target audience is most likely to eat and drink and provide them with a vessel for it. 

5. Blankets

A cozy throw blanket can find a place in any home. Who doesn’t love to cuddle up with a high-quality blanket when it’s cold (or anytime Netflix is playing)?

You can use all kinds of different designs to make your blankets memorable. Try a subtle embroidered logo or go bold with a photo blanket design like those from Custom Envy. These products strike the perfect balance between promotional and useful.

6. Beach Towels

Blankets are great, but the one drawback is they rarely leave the house. To make your products even more effective, try a branded beach towel that will make a summer trip or two. 

Beach towels are the place to use bright colors and bold graphics, so it’s easy to make an eye-catching design. When in doubt, just add popular beachy elements like palm trees or a radiant sun.

7. Temporary Tattoos

Few people want to sport the name of a brand every day for the rest of their lives, no matter how much they love it. But a temporary tattoo lets everyone sport their brand pride with no commitment involved.

Temporary tattoos are no longer just kid stuff. They became popular among the millennial festival-going set a few years back, so they can appeal to both youth and adult audiences. To stay on trend, use fun graphics and metallic colors.

8. Travel Set

Almost everyone takes the occasional trip, and shopping for luggage is never fun. A branded item that makes packing easier is sure to be loved by everyone who receives it.

To make a high-end statement, you could give a nice suitcase or even a luggage set. But smaller items like duffle bags, or even makeup bags for certain audiences, also work well. Just make sure the items are quality. No one wants a strap to break while they’re navigating the airport.

9. Planner or Notebook

In the age of the app, there’s just something nice about writing things by hand. People love a high-quality planner that will help them meet your goals.

Try to match the design to what your company offers. For example, if your brand has to do with finance, why not gift a budget planner? Of course, everyone can benefit from a regular day planner or notebook, so use those when you’re not sure what to try. 

Which Promotional Gift Ideas Will You Try?

When it comes to great promotional gift ideas, the sky’s really the limit. Use this list to jumpstart your creativity. You can also find inspiration all around you: just look through your house and imagine which items you could brand!

Looking for more creative ways to market your business? Don’t miss our guide to Instagram marketing!