Corporate Promotional Gifts
Corporate promotional gifts had no particular significance as an organized form of advertising in the early days and only exploded into an industry in the 1970s. The first promotional gifts in the USA were in the form of commemorative buttons that were introduced in 1789 during the election of George Washington. Then in the early 1800s some wooden articles which took the form of useful items such as calendars and rulers were used as a form of advertising. With the development of the printing industry other items such as book bags, fan cases, caps, aprons, bags for marbles, hats and calendars among other items appeared as corporate promotional gifts.
The present day Promotional Products Association International with over 7500 members who are spread globally was first founded in 1904 when 12 manufacturers of promotional goods came together and formed the first Trade Association in the Industry. Presently, the association has under its wings over 22,000 worldwide distributors and about 4800 manufacturers producing corporate promotional gifts.
By the 1970s many companies increasingly felt the need of an effective marketing tool and realized the benefits that are gained by the use of corporate promotional gifts displaying their corporate logos and the sales effects that they had over a product or brand. This gave rise to promotional product catalogues in the early 1980s that were distributed among their corporate customers where sales could be made directly through these pages. By the 1990s this catalogue service developed into 'Catalogue Groups' with many new improved and important changes taking place.
Gift giving has been a practice throughout man's history. Gifts are given since known times for a variety of reasons. The effect and the message a gift no matter how insignificant it is, carries a warmth and appreciation of the act especially when it is given for a celebration. To a corporate client a subtle message is conveyed to feel a sense of obligation to patronize the company. It has now become an important and indispensible marketing tool, so much so that new industries have found it a lucrative source of income and have evolved from this concept as industries and corporate have found the way it can benefit to retain and increase their clientele. Corporate promotional gifts are popularly used worldwide to promote and launch corporate identity, brand name and products. They form the integral part at trade fairs and other events such as exhibitions and are used as giveaways at these events as any thing can be used to carry the company's logo and brand name for promotions. The more popular of which are items of wearable clothing such as tee shirts, caps and even items of common every day usage such as coffee mugs and key tags to name a few.