The Worst Promo Products (And What To Order Instead)

83% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a promotional product. But with 89% of people receiving at least one promotional product in the past 6 months, you have quite a bit of competition.

Luckily, you can help your brand stand out by choosing the right giveaways. Ideally, you want a product that’s useful and long-lasting to really help make an impact.

Do you need help deciding what to buy and what to avoid? Keep reading to discover the best and worst promo products on the market today.

What to Avoid

Not all giveaways are worth your money. If your product is impractical, potential customers will likely toss it in the trash or throw it in a drawer never to be seen again. At best, they’ll just forget about your company, but at worse, they may view your business as being out of touch.

But you can dodge this bullet by avoiding the following bad promo products.


More and more businesses are opting to exchange information through technology. Email and document sharing software enables offices to limit the amount of paper they use or even go completely paperless.

With less paper to deal with, most people have no need for a paperweight. Let’s face it—unless they’re next to a fan or just so happen to be seated under a powerful air conditioning vent, the papers that are on their desk aren’t exactly flying away. So that paperweight all of a sudden becomes a random piece of décor further cluttering their desk.

Snacks and Candy

Snacks and candy seem like a great giveaway at first glance. Everyone loves free food, so it’s sure to draw people to your table.

However, your potential customers will eat their snack and throw the logoed wrapper right in the trash. With nothing to remember your company with, you’ll end up spending tons on a product that doesn’t make a long-lasting impact.

Phone Cases

Phone cases are another giveaway that may seem like a great idea. They’re useful and your company is sure to appear modern.

However, this can be a huge waste of money. There are many different smartphones on the market, and one case won’t fit them all. This means that you’ll be spending money on a giveaway that a lot of people won’t even be able to use.

Plus, people often buy durable phone cases with extensive warranties or cases that reflect their personalities. So many of those who could use your phone case will likely be unwilling to do so.


Who doesn’t need pencils? Well, as it turns out, most people.

Pens are the more popular choice as they’re more comfortable and don’t require a sharpener. If you’re giving out traditional wood pencils, they’ll be completely useless unless they’re already sharpened or there’s a sharpener nearby. And even then, those pencils will need to be sharpened time and time again.

This can be a real hassle, especially for those who don’t have a pencil sharpener at their desk. And those who do sharpen it will end up sharpening away your company’s name over time.

What to Order

To get the most out of your product, be sure to choose something that is long-lasting and beneficial to everyone. Below are a few of the most effective promotional products you can order.


T-shirts may seem played out, but they’re still a great investment. In fact, a whopping 85% of people remember a company who give them a promotional shirt.

Even if your potential customers only wear your shirt when going to bed or lounging around the house, they’ll still be exposed to your logo regularly. And if they happen to wear it out to run errands, tons of people will also catch a glimpse of your logo.

Embroidered Polo with Sample icon Logo Design True Tech Computer Solutions


It seems like you can never have enough pens. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, they just inevitably disappear sooner or later.

But this is actually a good thing.

It means that your potential customer will have your pen and be exposed to your logo regularly. Then, when they “lose it”, it’s likely because someone else used it and accidentally took it with them.

Presto! Your pen has now been passed on to someone else who will be exposed to your logo.

Pen with sample Initial logo design for Pinnacle Consulting


Who doesn’t enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning? When your potential customers like to spend a few minutes drinking coffee before they hit the office, they’ll likely glance down at their mug more than once. And if that mug has your company’s logo on it, they’ll be sure to remember it.

Mug with sample icon logo design for New Town Auto


While more and more work is done online, there is still a need for notebooks. Potential customers may need to jot down quick notes at their weekly company meeting or compile their grocery list at home.

This is where your promotional notebooks come in handy. When it sits on their desk or kitchen counter, it’s sure to make an impact.

custom notebook

Your Guide to the Best and Worst Promo Products

Don’t waste your money on a promotional product that won’t bring in new customers. Instead, use our guide to the best and worst promo products to learn what you should be investing in. From classic t-shirts to quality mugs, there are plenty of options that are sure to grab the attention of your potential customers.

Are you ready to purchase effective promo products? Then check out our online store today!

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