Promotional merchandise is a great way to spread your company name as well as a brilliant way to win friends and loyalty as the recipients are touched by the free gift. In essence, the promotional merchandise is a Trojan horse – disguised as a gift, once inside your customers’ homes it will spread the message of your company and your brand to everyone who sees it, and be a constant reminder for those who live there meaning more profit for your business.
Different companies do this more skilfully than others and use both promotional merchandise and branding on their actually products and services to different effects. Coke-a-Cola, McDonalds, Apple, Nike and Google are some examples of some highly recognisable brands that are next to genius in their effectiveness. The king of branding however must surely be Richard Branson. His company Virgin indeed, is nothing if not a brand. Each of the disparate companies within Virgin are far removed from each other and the only real unifying element is the brand on each of them and presumably the set of values and quality that that brand represents (this is one view of what a brand is – a stamp of authenticity and promise of quality/consistency).