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The act of giving and receiving is a tradition that runs deep in our heritage dating back thousands of years. If we take a look into the past at why gifting became a way of life for our ancestors, then we can see how that has developed into the act of giving and receiving we all participate in today. With more companies endorsing promotional merchandise each year it’s no surprise that it has become a £1 billion-pound industry in the UK and Ireland alone. Thus, making it an extremely effective means to reach out to new networks and create new business partnerships. 
As social and emotional creatures we feel compelled to belong, whether this is part of a family unit or to a specific group that shares similar interests or beliefs, the underlying principle is the same, which is to connect and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our family relations and friendship circles are the backbone of society that require acts of consideration and kindness to strengthen the bonds, hence the importance of gifting. 
 
This seemingly humble act has passed over into our business relationships with the emergence of promotional merchandise becoming the driving force behind many successful business partnerships with boundless opportunities. A huge 96% of respondents believe that promotional products increase brand awareness with a further 83% naming a brand or company featured on a promotional item they had received. 
First and foremost a gift is an act of respect that strengthens bonds between twoparties. Instead of sealing your friendship/partnership with a kiss you are in effect sealing it with a gift. Gifting in today’s society can sometimes be overlooked but the connotations and subliminal messages attached to promotional merchandise can’t be denied. Receiving a gift, no matter how big or small is always appreciated and accepted with a smile. The British Promotional Merchandise Association research has found that recipients of promotional merchandise are almost six times more likely to feel appreciated than other mediums of print, web. Direct mail or TV. 
 
A promotional gift delivers its full impact when the recipient finds it useful with desk items scoring the highest in this category; Pens, notepads, calendars and mugs were all reported as the most useful promotional gifts. The added benefit of these particular products is that they allow your brand to be seen on a daily basis. They are essential components of an office environment that can be carried and shared giving unlimited exposure to your brand or message. If the item offers an extra element of thought such as humour or personalisation then that can leave a lasting impression unlike no other marketing avenue and significantly prolong its shelf life. 
Promotional products are clever in that they motivate your customers to get in touch with you. In fact, 82% of respondents reported that they’d purchased products or services from a company that had given them a promotional gift. With over 50% believing that the gift had given them the incentive to do so. 
 
By offering a promotional gift to potential customers you are in effect sowing the seeds for a future partnership with respect at its foundation. They might not require your services in the present moment but when the time is right, your company will no doubt be the first port of call as the gift reinforces the idea that an allegiance has already been established. After all your name has been part of the office furniture long before the order is placed. 
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