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A Global View of Promo Products

(June 2015) posted on Tue Jun 09, 2015

ASI study reveals international patterns.


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By Dawn Marie

Rich Fairfield travels to international trade shows and client meetings so often that he’s racked up over 800,000 frequent flyer miles. Whether he’s in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, or New Delhi, he’s always on the lookout for breakout trends in promotional products.

“This year, it’s wearable tech – everything from smart watches to smart diapers,” says Fairfield, publisher and chief revenue officer of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). At April’s Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair, which attracted over 50,000 buyers from around the world, Fairfield saw it all. “There were caps you can wear jogging that allow you to change music with the tap of a finger, along with tons of selfie sticks and power banks.”

Today, with an increasing number of companies viewing borders as bridges instead of barriers, understanding the worldwide promotional-products marketplace is more critical than ever.



While Asian manufacturers continue to dominate the industry, countries like India, Vietnam, and Mexico, where wages are cheaper, are coming into their own. Further, says Fairfield, the China-to-China market – the selling of Chinese-made logoed products to Chinese people – is stronger than ever. “In the past six years, it’s gotten bigger as the Chinese middle class has grown,” he says.

Since so much business is conducted in the global economy, every year ASI interviews thousands of consumers worldwide to provide the industry with a cost analysis of promotional products versus other advertising media. For its past two studies, ASI researchers have surveyed buyers in key cities across North America, Europe, and Australia, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tampa, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Denver, and San Diego, along with Paris, Montreal, Sydney, Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Mexico City.

Results show that whether they sip espresso in Paris cafes or eat Philly cheesesteaks at ballgames, buyers consistently remember the advertisers on their logoed items. Their recall of the companies advertising on those items is commanding, at a worldwide average of 85 percent. Further, these consumers feel good about the brands on promo products they use day in and day out, with most people owning about 10 items that they keep for an average of seven months.


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