When you start the process of having promotional products made up for your company, it can feel impossible to know where to start. No matter the reason – an upcoming trade show, giveaway, or even a job fair – there are hundreds and hundreds of options to choose from. Even after you narrow it down to a particular type of item, there is still a mountain of options before you.

When it comes to making an investment into promotional products, it is an investment that will directly impact your business. So, the choice you end up making needs to be a wise one, leaving no room for guesswork.

Over the years of working with customers across different industries looking for promotional products for purposes of all kinds, we have developed a three-step process for choosing the promotional product that best fits your needs.

Answering each one of these questions will get you thinking critically about your audience and how one item may have the ability to drive your message or results more effectively than another. No matter your business or the occasion, this process can help you find the best products.

1. Who is your audience?

Step one will require the most critical thinking of the process which will entail taking a close look at who the item is going to be distributed to. The primary goal of this question is to get you thinking about who the people you are connecting are, what their interests are, and what common problem they have that you can help them solve. Answering this question will help you clarify what item and what message is going to make the strongest emotional connection.

2. Where are they using the product?

When it comes to the products or services that you provide, in addition to who your audience is you must consider where they are when they’re using that product or service. For the most part, it’s going to boil down to three places: in their home, their office, or in their car. By understanding where they are and understanding their environment, you can narrow down the options that make the most sense for your particular project, mission, or message.

3. How can you effectively share your message?

When the need for your services arises, you want the product to effectively share your marketing message that will help solve their problem. Where is that going to be? You may never know when the call might come. Depending on your industry, seasonality, product, or your unique sales cycle, the need may come when you least expect it. No matter when it may come, you want a promotional product that will help you stay top of mind with your audience without being obnoxious.

Once you have answered all of these questions and taken the time to weight all options and factors, you’ll have the information you need to narrow your promotional product decisions down to a few extremely effective options.

Interested in seeing the process in action? Fuel Merchandise Group founder, Dean Kapsalis, recently appeared on the marketing podcast More Than a Few Words to talk about the three-step process. He walked through the process of selecting the most impactful promotional product for any event and shared a great real-life example of the process in action. Check out his interview here!