It’s fascinating to realise that many people will judge your company or business by the promotional items you give away.

There are two forms of judgement – rational and emotional.

1.    The first is when people decide if your post-it pads are cheap and nasty or smart and useful, whether your brand-printed baseball caps are stylish or tacky. It’s largely value-free and based on facts.
2.    The second kind of judgment happens when they use their emotional intelligence to estimate your company by nature of the promotional items. For example, do they feel flattered or insulted by your offering?

This is particularly important when opening new business contacts and relationships – if you give them a mug with your business details on it, are you saying they are the kind of person you expect to be always stuck in the office? Alternatively, does a vest imply that they are sporty and maybe slack off work to go running or to the gym? Does the screen-printed bag you gave them suggest they are a valued customer or are you saying that you think they are the kind of person who walks around with a rubbishy plastic bag they should replace with your gift?

When picking out the perfect promotional product for a certain occasion, you need to consider the emotional intelligence that your clients will bring to bear. Some items: key rings, pens and calendars, sweatshirts, and memory sticks, are emotionally neutral while others: intimate garments, literature, cosmetics etc are very personal and may carry a heavy emotional load.

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