How To Use Promotional Products To Lure Millennials

So in my last article, I wrote about how you should get to millennials, but I missed out on another important strategy, promotional products.

I’m dedicating a whole blog to tell you the importance of using promotional products as a marketing tool for your company.

As I shared before, there are 87.5 million American millennials, so you have some leeway on testing different promotional products.

But do millennials like promotional products?

According to PPAI Research, promotional products were regarded as most effective advertising channel by all generations.

Millennials mostly take action when given a promotional product, and least likely to take action from print advertisements.

Okay, so we know that all generations like promotional products,right? But why do millennials like promotional products?

Because they like free stuff!

When Splashthat surveyed 785 million millennials across the globe, 47% of millennials said the main reason they chose to attend a brand event is for free stuff or swag.

But not only that, good swag is memorable.

19% of millennials remember the free stuff they received.

If a person is offering you something for free, you would take it, right?

FREE has a meaningful context to every consumer, and majority of the time there’s a reason behind the word.

Although, when you’re offering something free, you’ll probably upset consumers who don’t receive your free product.

Let me give you an example of what Sunny Co Clothing did in May. They’re a small clothing company based in southern California, and their initial marketing plan was to make their brand known.

So they offered their Pamela Sunny Suit free for 24 hours to anyone who reposted the image and tagged the company.

That’s it. That was their plan.

Well, they definitely made their brand name known.

More than 3,000 people reposted the bathing suit on their personal Instagram accounts.

And I may be jumping into conclusions, but I could assume most of those who were reposting were millennials.

According to Sunny Co Clothing’s Instagram stats, on May 1 they had around 7,000 followers, and by May 4th their account went up to 750,000 followers.

Sunny Co clothing had to release another post stating “due to the viral volume of participants, we reserve the right to cap the promotion if deemed necessary.”

A week later, Sunny Co Clothing had to hire a public relation representative stating they were fulfilling all the orders, but also stated:

“For any customers who inadvertently paid full price for the Pamela swimsuit since the promotion’s inception, customers can file a claim for a refund.  Thus far, the company has issued nearly $73,000 in refunds. Per the Promo Rules, all sales were final for customers who paid shipping and handling.”

So it worked in their favor to receive publicity and followers, but also made the situation much more dramatic than what could have been avoided.

Some of their customers were upset they didn’t receive the bathing suit.

When using this marketing technique, ALWAYS be specific in your disclaimer. You never know if your freebie offer could go viral!

But why do free promotional products attract millennials?

Because promotional products offer something that nothing else in the advertising channel does. They are personal, thoughtful and they create a relationship between brand and consumer.

Once a millennial receives a promotional product, they are likely to remember the brand.

As a millennial, I remember a lot of the promotional products I receive.

In 2014, I participated in the 2014 ENACTUS United States National Exposition in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I can tell you right now which promotional product stood out to me! Home Depot was giving away a bundle bag loaded with goodies inside.

Out of all the promotional products inside the bag, there’s a pen that I still have.

Much like the one below, I like it because of its stylus feature.

Although, I use this pen more for my Nintendo DS than my phone. (Don’t judge me, sometimes I have a little time for Super Mario Kart)

Why not?

You don’t find millennials only at trade shows, but places you know they will likely be at. For instance, college fairs, college events, concerts, county fairs, malls, are some places that millennials like to spend their time at.

But here’s another fun technique, do you ever think about giving promotional products to your new employee?

Millennials feel engaged with the company once they receive a welcome gift.

On my first day at AnyPromo, my manager gave me a welcome kit filled with fun items that I have used.

It made me feel welcomed and part of the team.

Aside from my drawstring bag, power bank, and charging cable I received, I was given this water bottle and owl pen.

It was very personal to me to receive these promotional products on my first day of work.

When the promotional product is personal, it can definitely work in your favor more than the average product being advertised.

Millennials are more likely to make a purchase driven by purpose rather than by a persuasive advertisement.

Promotional products gives a purpose that attracts the most largest generation in history.

48% of millennials said they kept promotional products because it fit their style and/or personality.

But also, 31% of millennials said they kept promotional products because it implemented a personally relatable message.

When it comes to promotional products, you have to relate to millennials. They are most likely going to keep the product if it is relevant to their life.

Studies found that 8 in 10 millennials will keep their promotional product longer than one year.

With millennials, your promotional product will be a better bet than any other traditional advertisement.

You have a long range of exposure

Although, you may be concerned about the millennials who don’t engage with your promotional product, right?

Let me give you a positive perspective here.

8 in 10 millennials re-gift their promotional product, which helps further your brand’s reach.

So yes, if they don’t like your promotional product then they pass it on.

This statistic defines the purpose of a promotional product, and that is to help your brand grow.

Not only that, but 1 in 3 millennials will donate their promotional product after it is used.

So even if your promotional product plummets with millennials, know that most of them will pass on your promotional product with your brand name.

So what do they like?

Millennials love to receive promotional products that benefit them.

Let’s dig into the giveaways this generation enjoys receiving.


With 83% of millennials owning a smartphone, you know they’ll like anything that has to do with their smartphone.

This day in age you can see almost anyone with a phone.

You’ll see phones out at concerts, trade shows, parks, beaches, and anything else that is Instagram worthy.

As a millennial, this irks me a bit. We tend to feel that life is only enjoyable if we record it on social media.

Though, that’s another topic.

We grew up in a tech world which allowed us to adjust our daily lifestyle differently than our predecessors.

I mean, 79% of millennials sleep with their phones by their beds and over half wake up to check it at least once per night.

What does that say to you?

It’s saying that a millennial’s phone is always with them! (Even in the bathroom, can we say unsanitary?)

I’m a millennial, and I agree with taking my phone just about everywhere.

Promotional tech items will allow your target millennial to advertise your company everywhere their phone goes.

It’s a millennial’s worst nightmare if their smartphone’s battery drains.

#FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – It’s actually a thing!

So what’s going to help a millennial’s FOMO?

Promotional power banks.

Do you realize how popular power banks are?

I always see power banks in use when I go to amusement parks. As parkgoers are in line for a ride, they are constantly on their phone! Power Banks allow them to keep their phone running all day!

The Jolt 2,200 mAh Power Bank is an excellent example. The 5V/1A USB output ensures similar charge rate than most wall chargers.

Have millennials stay fully charged throughout their day.

Okay, so we covered a main necessity that’ll guarantee popularity (and avoid FOMO) with millennials.

But here’s another high tech item that millennials enjoy having.

Bluetooth speakers.

Especially portable Bluetooth speakers.

You’ll see them in homes, hotel rooms, offices, dorms, parties, and more!

Millennials love their music.

Whether it’s playing in the background while cleaning, barbecuing, studying, or working, music plays a significant role in a millennial’s life.

Millennials listen to 75.1% more music on a daily basis than their 55+ cohorts.

The Custom Disco Lights Bluetooth Speaker is the perfect giveaway when aiming your millennial’s music side.

Oh la la!

Test it for yourself. Connect this bad boy to your phone with wireless Bluetooth® technology, and you’ll be listening to your favorite tunes in no time.


Millennials take their health & wellness very seriously.

With 75.6% of millennials staying active from a healthy level to a low/med calorie level, fitness and wellness stays important to them.

They exercise more than any other generation, except Generation Z. In all favor though, those kids are all probably playing high school sports, so they don’t count yet.

I’m not biased because I’m a millennial, I just know this because I played two different sports in high school, and I had to attend practices or else I’d get no playing time.

When I got out of high school, I had to motivate myself to exercise.

It was more difficult than I thought.

So I’ll let the 15-20 year old kids claim the throne, for now.

Staying hydrated is important for anyone who exercises.

Give millennials the water bottle they need to stay hydrated.

The 16 oz Double Wall Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottle is a great example of a popular water bottle I constantly see at the gym.

Try this bottle for yourself!

Your drink will stay cold in this bottle for 24 hours! You may not exercise at the gym that long, but it’s guaranteed your drink will stay cold during your gym time.

One of the the top three aspirations for 39% of millennials is to stay fit and healthy.

So know that millennials are in it for the long run.

Target them with health and fitness promotional products that they can use for a long time.

It will benefit your customer and your company!

When it comes to promotional products, always think about your customer and how they can use it in their daily lifestyle.

With that said, when millennials go to the gym or out for a run, they take along a towel with them to wipe off their sweat.

The Very Kool Cooling Towel is a great marketing tool for millennials.

This towel has provided a new “stays cool” feature. Once it’s wet, the towel stays cool.

It’s pretty neat, and I’ve seen some of these in the hands of my fellow gym members.

This is also great to take when hiking or running outdoors in the hot and sunny states.

I’ve been in the scorching summer dry heat of Arizona, to the wet and humid heat of Louisiana.

This Very Kool Cooling Towel is the solution to stay nice and cool!

Speaking of traveling, that’s my next category for millennials.


Yes, they love to travel.

Millennials prioritize travel over buying a home or paying off debt.

They even set aside money for a travel fund versus purchasing a car.

Give them the promotional products that encourage them to travel more.

A simple carry-on bag like the PolyCanvas Excel Deluxe Duffel Bag 20″ will get them interested!

I have a carry-on bag ready to go whenever I have a travel itch. It soothes my soul to travel.

This promotional duffel bag will influence your millennial consumer to travel more.

But you know what will encourage them more, if you include our Vinyl Mod Luggage Tag along with the duffel bag.

It’s the perfect trap to attract millennials.

Carry-on + Luggage Tag= Travel Bait

Create a perfect promotional travel bundle that will promote new experiences for millennials.

The Sky Is NOT The Limit

Many like to say “The sky’s the limit”.

But you never want to limit yourself.

There’s much more beyond the sky.

Targeting millennials with promotional products ties into that philosophy.

You can stay safe with the tips & tools I insisted, or try a different strategy that could also work.

Millennials are known to be unpredictable for marketers.

But…everything I list above is backed up by millennial data to ensure that your promotional products are a success with this generation.

As a millennial, I agree with 100% of what has been stated. 😉

Have you succeeded with a certain promotional product to target millennials?

About Tanya V 42 Articles
Tanya doesn't like to write much about herself, because she's still figuring herself out. Although, if she is to pick a vegetable that describes her it would be an onion. Peel away the layers and she can make you cry...from laughter, that is. Actually maybe she's not an onion, because she smells wonderfully. So yea, she's still figuring herself out. ✌

1 Comment

  1. “79% of millennials sleep with their phones by their beds and over half wake up to check it at least once per night.” Wow! I would have never thought! Nice article, Tanya. Very informative!

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