Blogging: 5 Clever Ways to Repurpose Promotional Items


Promotional products are a pillar of modern marketing efforts. They have the unique ability to extend an organisation’s brand, create a tangible marketing message, and are often a pleasant and useful gift for recipients. However, what happens when the glint and glee of a promotional push begin to fade, and you're left with an excess stock of branded items? Whether you’re a small business owner, an event planner, or a marketer, the question of how to recapture value from these products after their initial use is a pressing one. It’s time to explore not only the recycling or re-gifting but the creative routes to giving promotional products a second life.

For corporate clients and prospective customers alike, the need for digital marketing collateral that aligns with the company's brand message is crucial. From captivating print materials to engaging digital assets, every touchpoint should reinforce the corporate identity and leave a lasting impression.


A world beyond mere disposability is one where the lifecycle of promotional products is extended, and fruitless waste is averted. The benefits are bountiful: cost savings, enhanced brand loyalty, and even a touch of corporate social responsibility.

Before we roll up our sleeves, it's crucial to understand the weight of your content marketing strategy and collateral beyond the conference room or gift bag. Each item is an investment in brand recognition, and each interaction with said item is an opportunity for your brand to shine. Now, let's transform these assets from one-hit wonders to enduring, value-adding tools.

1. Creative Giveaways

Once your event wraps or your campaign winds down, the next question is often what to do with the remaining stock of promotional products? One innovative answer is to repurpose these items into creative giveaways. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:

Online Contests

Running an online contest or sweepstake can breathe new life into your leftover items. You can use social media platforms to engage your audience and offer your promotional products as prizes. This not only clears your inventory but also fosters a sense of community and excitement around your brand.

Partnering with Charities

Collaborate with non-profits to launch joint campaigns where donors are rewarded with your surplus promotional gift items. It’s a win-win: you contribute to a good cause while also finding a purpose for what would have been excess stock.

Influencer Marketing

Leverage influencers on social media platforms to expand your brand's reach. Ask them to include your products in their posts, offering a limited number to followers. This influencer partnership can resonate strongly with their audience and lead to increased brand awareness.

2. Employee Rewards

Your employees are the backbone of your business, and recognizing their hard work with a small token can go a long way. Why not use surplus promotional items for this purpose?

Milestone Achievement Gifts

Celebrate significant milestones, such as work anniversaries or project completions, by offering branded merchandise. Not only does this act as a corporate gift and a reminder of their achievement, but it also instils a sense of recognition and belonging.

Internal Competitions and Prizes

Create fun and friendly competitions in the workplace and use your repurposed promotional products as rewards. This is a cost-effective way to build team spirit and camaraderie.

Boost Morale

A surprise giveaway or ‘appreciation week’ where team members receive some branded gifts or items can be just the boost your employees need. It’s a simple gesture that acknowledges their value and can enhance workplace morale.

3. Customer Appreciation

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Show them some love by finding new and thoughtful ways to use promotional products.

Holidays and Special Occasions

Send out care packages that include your repurposed promotional products during the holiday season or to celebrate customer birthdays. This not only builds customer loyalty but also personalise the customer-brand relationship.

Customer Referral Program Gifts

Encourage customer referrals with a program that rewards participants with branded products. This will help attract new customers while also strengthening your relationship with existing ones.

Thank You with a Tangible Touch

A handwritten thank-you note with a thoughtful branded gift enclosed can make a lasting impression. It’s a tangible demonstration of gratitude that can set you apart from your competitors.

4. Trade Show Booth Enhancements

Trade shows are a significant investment for any business, and often lead to a surplus of branded merchandise. Here's how to maximise its impact:

Interactive Engagements

Incorporate your promotional products into interactive booth activities that engage and entertain visitors. For example, use them as props for photo booths or as part of a larger game or challenge.

Upscaled Branding

Use your surplus items to create larger and more eye-catching displays. Build decorative walls, pillars, or archways out of your products. It not only looks impressive but also encourages visitors to take a closer look, potentially converting into sales.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

Offer your surplus promotional items to other trade show participants or organisers. This not only helps you clear stock but also allows for cross-promotion, opening up new opportunities for your brand to connect with a wider audience.

5. Donation and Charity

The greatest joy in business can often be found in giving back. A thoughtful approach to donating your promotional items and corporate gifts can create a powerful bond with your customers, community, and charitable organisations.

Local Communities

Reach out to local schools, charities, or community groups and offer branded products that could be used in their activities or as part of their day-to-day operations.

Disaster Relief

During times of disaster, donations are critical. Your promotional items could provide practical help—think printed tote bags for supplies, or survival kits packaged in your branded gear.

Cause-Based Tie-Ins

If your company supports specific causes or charities, consider donating surplus items corporate clothing as part of a campaign. This ensures your promotional products resonate with a cause, turning every donation into a brand statement.


Testimonials from businesses provide valuable insights into how effectively repurposing surplus promotional products can lead to tangible benefits. Here are a few examples:

Tech Company's Innovative Giveaway Strategy:

"At our tech startup, we found ourselves with excess branded merchandise after a conference. Instead of letting it collect dust, we decided to get creative. We ran an online contest on social media, offering our surplus items as prizes. The response was phenomenal! Not only did it clear our inventory, but it also generated buzz around our brand. Our audience loved the opportunity to win exclusive tech gear, and the contest significantly boosted our online engagement and brand visibility." - Sarah, Marketing Manager, Tech Startup.

Retailer's Charitable Collaboration:

"As a retail business, we understand the importance of giving back to the community. When we found ourselves with surplus promotional clothing products, we saw an opportunity to make a difference.

We partnered with local charities and donated our excess items to support their fundraising efforts. Not only did this initiative help us clear our inventory, but it also allowed us to contribute to meaningful causes. Our customers appreciated our commitment to social responsibility, and it strengthened their loyalty to our brand." - Michael, Owner, Retail Store.

Consulting Firm's Employee Recognition:

"Recognizing the hard work and dedication of our employees is a top priority for our consulting firm. When we had leftover branded merchandise from a client event, we decided to repurpose it as employee rewards.

We created milestone achievement gifts for our team members, celebrating their work anniversaries and project successes with branded merchandise. The gesture was well-received, and it boosted morale across the company. Our employees appreciated the acknowledgment of their efforts, and it reinforced our company culture of appreciation and recognition." - Emily, HR Manager, Consulting Firm.

Event Planner's Trade Show Enhancement:

"As an event planning company, trade shows are a significant part of our business. We often find ourselves with surplus promotional items after these events. Instead of letting them go to waste, we use them to enhance our trade show booths.

We incorporate our branded merchandise into interactive engagements and upscaled displays, attracting more visitors and creating memorable experiences. Not only does this strategy help us stand out at trade shows, but it also reinforces our brand presence and generates leads for future business." - Mark, Event Planner, Event Management Company.

These testimonials highlight the diverse ways in which businesses have successfully repurposed their surplus promotional products, from engaging their audience online to supporting charitable causes, recognizing employees, and enhancing trade show experiences.

These real-life examples demonstrate the effectiveness of strategic repurposing in driving brand awareness, fostering customer loyalty, and making a positive impact on the community.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a collateral in marketing?

In marketing, collateral refers to the collection of materials and assets used to support the sales and promotion of a product or service. These materials typically include brochures, flyers, presentations, product catalogues, and other printed or digital items designed to inform and persuade potential and existing customers about.

Collateral plays a crucial role in communicating key messages, highlighting product features and benefits, and reinforcing brand identity throughout the customer journey.

What is the difference between marketing materials and collateral?

While the terms "marketing materials" and "collaterals" are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle distinction between the two. Marketing materials encompass a broader range of assets used in promotional activities, including advertisements, social media content, website copy, and more.

On the other hand, collaterals specifically refer to tangible or digital items directly related to sales enablement, such as brochures, presentations, and product sheets. Essentially, collaterals serve as tools to support the sales process and provide detailed information about products or services.

What are branding collaterals?

Branding collaterals are marketing materials specifically designed to reinforce and promote a company's brand identity. These collaterals play a crucial role in shaping perceptions, building recognition, and establishing consistency across all customer touchpoints. Examples of branding collaterals include logos, brand guidelines, stationery, signage, packaging, and promotional materials. By ensuring that all collaterals align with the brand's visual and messaging standards, companies can strengthen their brand equity and enhance brand recall among consumers.

What is the best marketing collateral?

The best marketing collateral is one that effectively communicates the value proposition of a product or service while resonating with the target audience. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the effectiveness of collateral depends on various factors such as the nature of the business, the target market, and the marketing team' objectives. However, successful marketing collaterals often share common traits, including clear and compelling messaging, visually appealing design, user-friendly layout, and relevance to the audience's needs and interests. Ultimately, the best marketing collateral is one that drives engagement, generates leads, and contributes to the overall success of the marketing campaign.

What are promotional products?

Promotional products, also known as swag or giveaways, are tangible items imprinted with a company's logo or message and distributed to customers, prospects, or employees as part of a marketing or branding initiative. These products serve as tangible reminders of the brand and can range from everyday items like pens, tote bags, and drinkware to more unique or high-end promotional gifts, such as tech gadgets, apparel, or accessories. Promotional products are commonly used to increase brand visibility, foster customer loyalty, and generate goodwill among recipients. When chosen thoughtfully and aligned with the target audience's preferences, promotional products can serve as powerful marketing tools that leave a lasting impression.


Exploring the avenues of creating marketing collateral giveaway innovation, employee recognition, customer appreciation, trade show 'pzazz', and charitable giving can turn the overlooked into the impactful. By choosing to repurpose your promotional products, you not only extend the utility of these marketing assets but also weave deeper threads of connection between your corporate market and your audience.

Strategic and thoughtful repurposing doesn't just save on wastage; it also provides fresh channels to amplify your brand’s message. In a world craving sustainability and authentic connections, such practices are the hallmarks of a conscious and effective marketing strategy.

Start with these five clever ways to repurpose promotional products and watch as your branding message stretches further and lasts longer than you thought possible. Your creativity is the only limit to where these branded items can go. Take the leap, and discover the wealth of opportunities awaiting those who look at promotional products with a repurposing mindset. The result is a sustainable, engaging, and enduring impression that resonates long after the initial giveaway.

Remember, the true value of a promotional product is not just in what it says about your brand on the day it’s handed out, but how it continues to represent your company long after it leaves your hands. It’s time to turn the page on marketing tradition and start a new chapter—one where everything has a purpose, even after the last page of your event has been turned.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published