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Pole Position

Poland’s promotional products market is developing fast. Anna Roszczak reveals how industry body PIAP is responding.

What is the PIAP and what do you do?

The Polish Chamber of Promotional Products (PIAP) is a business association which brings together producers, importers, advertising agencies, media and trade fair organisers of the promotional gifts industry.

The main aim of our partnership is the integration of the industry, thanks to which we can speak with one voice and fight for our rights. Furthermore, within PIAP, we can help each other, exchanging our experience and knowledge.

Another very important task of PIAP is to promote advertising gifts as important and cost-effective marketing tools. PIAP activity covers a number of areas. Its most important tasks are fulfilling statutory duties, representation, and protection of the economic dealings of the affiliated companies.

Comprehensive help in solving problems of running a business is also included. PIAP cooperates with experts in various fields, who reply to queries and provide basic advice on the website.

Training activity on the issues connected with the marketing products’ sector, is conducted by PIAP to raise the level of education of people working in the industry.

On the national scene, PIAP strives to raise awareness of marketing products as an important and effective marketing tool, to ensure that expenditure is considered a constant and crucial point in the budgets of companies. Moreover, it conducts brand and information campaigns in the pages of the opinion-forming media. It also takes part in the struggle for adapting Polish tax law to the needs related to running an efficient business. Furthermore, since 2012, PIAP has been a Member of the National Chamber of Commerce.

How big is the Polish promotional products market?

The Polish market is large but at the same time very competitive market for promotional items. Currently, we do not have reliable research showing the scale and rely on estimated data. However, PIAP is planning to carry out a qualitative study in the near future to better understand our growing market’s needs. The research titled ‘Perception of promotional gifts’, will include participation from decision maker marketers and customers, which will give a better understanding of the market and highlight potential areas of optimisation. Their search will start in the first quarter of 2018 and will be based primarily on qualitative research and, therefore, in-depth analysis and survey of individual groups of respondents.

What are the biggest challenges for distributors?

The main problem is operating in a dynamically changing market and in conditions of high economic uncertainty. Distributors have to react rapidly to changes in customer expectations, regarding not only products but also communication, marketing, customer service, and soon. The old ways of reaching a customer do not work anymore. We have seen that customer contact needs refreshment. A second issue is growing competition. In the era of the internet and global flow of information, the market has become even more competitive, which means that suppliers have to look for their own way of entering the market. Another important challenge is responsibility for manufactured products. We can already see that consumer awareness and expectations are growing. They want products of good quality, complying with legal standards, produced with respect for rights and the environment. The trend associated with manufacturing better quality gifts will be more visible and gifts will no longer be associated with a single-use item.

What have been some of biggest growth areas?

Popular areas are textiles, office supplies, mugs and practical gifts. However, recently we have noted the biggest growth in sales of gifts related to new technologies, such as power banks, loudspeakers, and products connected with an active and modern lifestyle.

Anna Roszczak is a member of the board of the Polish Chamber of Promotional Products, PIAP

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