Birrell explains the value of giving on BBC show

Jon Birrell, the BPMA CEO, recently took part in a. BBC World Service radio programme called The Why Factor. The programme, which is to be broadcast later in the year examined the complexities around giving presents. As an industry expert, Birrell was invited to talk about promotional gifts having the ability to trigger an emotional reaction, resulting in a smile and a ‘thank you’ from the recipient. “Companies are very happy to create this level of positive feelings associated with their brands,” he said. “Compare this reaction to other forms of media that are here today and gone tomorrow.

Promotional gifts deliver one of the most effective ‘cost per impression’ ratios.” The programme touched on recent trends such as the fidget spinner and spikes in demand, for example around World Cup-related items. It also looked at the current trend for a rapidly increasing demand for reusable water bottles, coffee cups and drinkware to combat single-use plastics. “Brands love these products as they deliver a positive message about sustainability at a time when consumers are becoming more environmentally aware,” he said. Asked what makes a good promotional gift, Birrell said that it depends on the reason why a promotional item is being used, but in most cases, an item that is functional and useful will be kept. “The traditional best sellers are bags, pens and mugs. All of these items will be used regularly, generating many logo impressions every time they are seen,” he said. “It is important, however, that the selected product is appropriate for the message and also the target market. The product needs to reflect the brand values, so giving a low-cost pen to a valued and loyal VIP customer will portray the wrong message, whereas a higher end branded pen, gift set or hamper would be more appropriate.”

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