Go, on, have a guess. It shouldn’t be too hard because it’s been the same product for years. No, as much as we might like it to have been, it’s not a USB stick but a pen! Yep, that’s right a pen! Who writes letters anymore? Thinking of it, who writes cheques, birthday card sales are declining and at work and school there have never been so much work done using a keyboard and/or screen! So what exactly are people doing with the 150 million pens that were being given away in the UK last year?
Well, whatever they use them for it seems that they are still the “must have” promotional giveaway with over 91% of companies that buy promotional products admitting that they have bought pens with their logo on the last 12 months. Surely the dominance of the pen will, like the diary before it, succumb to the march of technology.
If you’re sceptical about the potential demise of the pen then look no further than the second best selling promotional product – Sales of “Electronics” accounted for 66% of all promotional products bought in the last 12 months.
The source for this data is the BPMA (the British Promotional Merchandise Association) and they surveyed their members and asked about how much they spend, what they spend it on and why they spend it.
The big figure is £1 billion – that’s the staggering amount that companies in the UK are now spending on promotional give-aways in the UK every year.
The top 5 sellers are:
- Pens (all types)
- Electronic gift (including USB sticks and power banks)
- Bags – not including those we now pay 5p each for at the supermarket!
- Clothing (T-Shirts, caps etc.)
The primary reason or justification for the spend on promotional giveaways is to build Brand Awareness (74% state this is why they buy their promotional gifts) but lots are also purchased for seminars and conferences.
If you’re a business and you’re looking to buy some promotional pens then why not think about getting some USB pens and combining all the benefits of giving away a historic writing instrument with a slightly more modern and arguably more useful USB memory stick.
With a USB pen you still give the recipient to ability to jot down their notes or rattle off a few poems on a paper bag but you’ll also give them Gigabytes of information about your company pre-loaded onto the memory of the built in USB stick. That’s storage that they can also take advantage of themselves to save their own digital work to.
Perhaps USB pens will top the list next year. Let’s hope so!