The Psychology of Free: Why Promo Products Work

The psychology of free: a loudspeakers with the words "free stuff" coming out.

When looking for ways to attract people to do business with your brand, there’s no better branding solution than promotional products. Mostly, this involves giving away free items with your branding attached when they visit, place product orders, or complete any other transaction with your company. Since this requires an initial investment, you might be wondering why this works. We’re here to discuss the psychology of free, and why promo products are your best bet for increased brand recognition.

The Psychology of Free

A Kind Gesture

First and foremost, the moment you give something away for free the recipient will feel the need to reciprocate in whatever way they can. If by giving customers a free t-shirt, they’re more likely to appreciate your brand, recommend you to friends, and do business with you again. As long as the free promo product is high-quality and useful, this natural tendency to give back will help your business no end.

In addition to this, the psychology of free entails that everybody loves to receive gifts. No matter how old, no matter how young, we all love to get something for free because it exudes generosity and kindness. The minute you hand over a promo product, potential customers form positive associations about your brand, and you instantly go above and beyond other companies who don’t use promotional products.

Branded Products

Regardless of whether you choose custom drinkware or a free bag, more people see the branded bag than just the recipient. If we use a bag as an example, everybody walking past your customer will pay attention to your logo. Their friends/family members will also see it when they socialize with your customers. If you choose a promo product with a practical function, research shows that a significant number of people usually keep these items for years to come, extending the reach of your brand, long-term.

If your customer holds onto the product and uses it often, it also reminds them of the positive experience they had with your business. As a restaurant, hairdresser, or even a children’s daycare center, seeing your logo on a daily basis reminds them to return soon, converting them into loyal patrons. After all, that’s what all businesses shoot for, right?

The psychology of free: chalkboard text reading "free stuff."
The Psychology of Free: promotional products allow your business to benefit from the thing customers love the most – free stuff.

Speaking Volumes for Your Business

Furthering the psychology of free, handing over free products tells your customers and potential customers one thing: you care about your customers. These days, businesses exist in an increasingly competitive environment, so often they’re looking to cut costs wherever possible. When customers see you’re making an effort to break the mold by giving back, you’ll leave a lasting impression on them.

Even if the promo product is small and inexpensive, the thought of wanting to give back goes a long way. If you’re looking to position yourself as a family-oriented business, for example, handing out free branded balloons to children is a superb way to grab the attention of families.

Promo Product Rules

For these three reasons, promo products work: they breed reciprocity in business, they provide longevity and long-term interaction with customers, and they create a positive image for your brand. However, there are some rules you need to follow when offering promotional products to your target market.

Firstly, they should contain your logo and branding wherever appropriate. With clothing, apparel choices may vary, but the most important detail is your logo since it’s what enables everybody to recognize your brand. It’s important to keep your logo design consistent across the board since that’s the foundation of brand recognition.

Secondly, the products you give away will reflect on your company’s values and reputation. High-quality promo products are always a failsafe way to highlight your company’s brand.

Thirdly, it’s a good idea to choose promo items that are related to your product/service niche. For example, a children’s facility might give away a fun toy or drinking cup, or a doctor’s office might give away branded hand sanitizers or custom pill boxes.

People love free stuff, and promotional products benefit from “the psychology of free.” We hope that you’ve gained some insight into kickstarting your promotional products campaign.