Are you attending a special event or want to show off your new branding? Then you might just be in the market for some cheap giveaway ideas.
While branded promotional items that you give away are a great way to market your chamber, you may be concerned about the impact of that on your budget.
But you don’t want to skimp too much on the promo item because you don’t get any return on investment if people don’t want to hold onto it. If you’ve ever been thrifting, you know there are plenty of branded items on the shelves and wracks at these stores.
You don’t want your chamber tchotchke to end up there so how do you pick a swag item that is affordable for you and still appreciated and useful for the recipient?
We have some ideas from chambers that have had successful promotional giveaways and we’re sharing these cheap giveaway ideas with you below.
First, a few things to consider:
Quantity Versus Trendiness
Promotional items are trendy in the same way that technology is. What’s hot today may die on the vine tomorrow so you don’t want to over-order. On the other hand, you get better pricing with the larger quantity.
So it’s a fine line between ordering for the best price and getting stuck with items no one wants.
Target Audience Versus Visible
Some companies give out really adorable giveaways. A South Dakota tourism group gave out little bison stuffed animals at an association conference I attended years ago. While I really wanted one–they were adorable–I really only wanted it because it was something that would’ve put a smile on my 5-year-old’s face, not because I would’ve held onto it.
And I’m pretty sure my son was not their target audience.
So while I may have appreciated those kind folks saving me from buying an overpriced toy at the airport for him, I don’t think their marketing dollars would’ve been well spent with another stuffed animal under my son’s bed. (Then again, I am still talking about it. But notice I only remember the state, not the organization itself. Hey, it could’ve been Montana upon closer recollection.) And for those of you who are curious, in the end, I didn’t take the bison because I didn’t want to waste their marketing dollars.
However, there are promotional items and cheap giveaway ideas that get a lot of visibility (like well-designed t-shirts) and transfer hands (like pens). When you’re thinking about your chamber marketing strategy, choose an item that will be in your target market’s hands, not that of their kids.
Desk Items Versus Temporary Joy
Most marketers will tell you something branded that sits on a desk right under someone’s nose every day provides a good return on investment because it is next to impossible to forget something you’re staring at for eight hours a day.
On the other hand, some items provide momentary joy, which can be quite memorable in the moment but not so much later on. Think of a candy bar wrapped in a clever marketing slogan.
It makes an impression when you receive it and eat it but will the recipient remember it later? If it’s given as an appreciation gift, perhaps. If it’s something given to a hungry conference attendee, they might not even remember your name once the wrapper is in the receptacle.
Finally, when considering branded promotional items for your chamber, it’s important to think of your target audience and where they spend their day, now, in 2022.
It’s probable that they did sit at a desk in an office building for those 8 hours a day.
Is that still the case? Or are they now working from home?
Maybe they never worked in an office space. Perhaps your community is largely agriculture-based. If that’s the case, you don’t want to give them items for their desk. They don’t sit at one.
When you’re thinking about promotional items and cheap giveaway ideas think about who’s going to get them.
- What do those people do?
- Where do they live and work?
- How do they spend most of their time?
- What do they need most?
- What is handy to them?
- Which things do they enjoy?
Answering those questions will help you find something that they’ll be more likely to hold on to.
Now let’s uncover some fun, affordable, and appreciated promotional items for your chamber.
6 Cheap Giveaway Ideas and Promotional Items That People Will Love
The following ideas are from chamber pros who experienced great success and feedback on these items. However, keep in mind that their target audience may not be the same as yours.
- Laptop webcam covers.
There are all kinds of concerns over privacy and cybersecurity. Anyone who has a computer with a webcam can appreciate this giveaway. This cheap giveaway idea can be branded and people will be looking at your name or logo all day. The one con is that there is no space for contact information on this tiny promotional item.
- Silicone wristbands.
These come in a variety of colors plus your name, logo, website, and/or contact info can be placed on them. One size fits most. Three Rivers Business Alliance found them to be a very popular giveaway.
Con: you need an audience that enjoys wearing them for them to be worth it for you from a branding perspective. You may instead want to use them for your young professionals group or your leadership group as they may be more in tune with their preferences.
- Eyeglass cloths.
With all of our screens and glasses, eyeglass cloths come in really handy and they’re easy to brand. Even if your members or potential members don’t wear glasses, these cloths can be used to clean all sorts of screens, cameras, devices, and sunglasses.
- Flash drives.
These are very handy as most people run out of space in their cloud drives and flash drives provide some sense of security over potential cybercrime. You can place a name and logo on them easily The Dark County Chamber of Commerce found that flash drives are always a hit with their audience.
Con: These aren’t the most cheap giveaway idea and it may be hard to get an address or phone number printed, plus many people are cloud-based these days.
Coasters are great now that people are working at home. Their home office may need a little more protection than the regular office furniture does. The cardboard version (think about the last time you were at a pub) is a great-looking but cheap giveaway idea that won’t make you cringe if they’re used and tossed.
Another option are branded coasters for car cup holders. This can make clean up much easier on those morning commutes.
- Stemless wine glasses.
While this may seem like an unusual giveaway, wine glasses can be quite popular. In addition to your chamber branding, you can brand them to an event so that people will remember the chamber happening. Even non wine drinkers will enjoy them as a juice glass. There are almost as many varieties in glasses as there are in wines. Materials include glass, plastic, insulated, etc. You might be surprised at how affordable they can be, especially when you think about how long they will be used.
Con: glass ones are fragile so you don’t want to give them out to people who will be traveling by plane.
Want to get more cheap giveaway ideas from other chambers who are using them for marketing? Be part of the discussion.