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They find it to be a very high-class item as they are relatively new and perhaps not an item that most people would purchase for themselves.
Some of it depends on your budget too. An ipod would be cool, but more than likely way past what you're looking to spend... maybe... ;)
*I thought about doing a tricky marketing plan where I would go to some local driving ranges, buy a bucket of balls and add a few of my imprinted balls to the bunch that I hit. Then they would go into the mix when they were picked up. Never tried it though, it seemed too desperate. ;o)
The print quality is only 'good', so I wouldn't use one of these services for fortune 500 companies or anything, but the response has been positive.
PS: to the OP - a coffee cup is right under someone's nose :)
Flash drives need to be at least 256 MB to increase the possibility that yours will be kept after the client gets a couple of smaller ones from others.
Pens need to be expensive and engraved with the recipient's name if you want them to be used. Gimmicky ones with flashing LEDs are more likely to be snaffled by family members.
"Containers/wrappers" are more likely to be used longer than "contents", e.g. my gimmicky pens live briefly in a perspex beer mug from the defunct Hayes company issued in 1992. More pens live in a Micrografx Chili Cookoff glass with red LEDs in its base since 1997. I have never used an Acer laptop, but several of my laptops have lived in a leather-edged Acer bag that is a little classier than the base model Targus clones.
Yes, we had some custom chocolates made in the shape of Hayes modems. My kids cornered a lot of those. :)
Some of the branding giveaways will last longer if they are indirectly aimed at the recipient's family. e.g. backpacks, balls, etc
If you want them to use 'your' mousemat/ coffee mug/ penholder etc for the longer term - it has to be a good one - to be used in the first place, and then to be kept in the face of future competition!.
Typically, I'd get a small number of high quality items (really good coffee mugs - the pottery types, or mousepad with inbuilt calculator etc) printed for the 'best' contacts.
I'd also then get a larger quantity of average/ midrange items made (eg pens or coasters or beer coolers/ stubby holders etc) - so everyone gets something in your important accounts.
Promotional items actually costs very little in the whole scheme of things....
I have a neat calculator from a real estate agent - pop a button, it rises up as it unfolds. But it would be a bad promotion gift for us - they might use it to figure out how much things are costing. Fine for figuring mortgages on a house, though.
After talks, I offered it as a freebie takeaway. Never had any left 10 minutes later.