Price and Value: Two Sides of the Same Coin


Even the common pen can offer exceptional value, dependent on your client's goals.

There are many reasons for your client to purchase promotional products.  Sometimes they wish to advertise their products or services.  Other times they wish to convey gratitude or appreciation.  Still other times they're celebrating an event or milestone.  The reasons are nearly limitless, and the goals they hope to attain with the promotional products they purchase are just as varied.

In addition to determining their hoped-for response, your client usually has to contend with a budget.  Maybe they want to spend under $5 for each item, or $15, or $25.  It's your job as a promotional products distributor to help them meet their goal for the best return on their investment.

One way to ensure the best possible outcome is to understand the perceived value of promotional products.

According to current PPAI research, there seems to be a correlation between purchased value and recipient response.  Although recipients understood that lower-priced items were generally gifted with a different intention, they were "more favorably disposed toward the giver if they perceived the item they received to be higher priced".  In fact, 71% of recipients responded favorably to items perceived as having a cost of $25 or more, as opposed to only 33% of those receiving items perceived as having a cost of $5 or less.

This isn't to say that items costing $5 or less are without value.  In fact, when it comes to the retention of promotional products, the statistics at this price point are much the same as for items costing $25 or more, dependent primarily on the item's usefulness.  Other top factors contributing to the item's perceived value are the item's quality, attractiveness, and uniqueness.  Finding the perfect balance of these factors and your client's budget can be difficult, but well worth the effort!


Maple Ridge Farms has gifts to meet price points from $10 to $200, many that include keepsake items.

I mention budget, but in fact, according to the research, budget is not a top consideration in the purchase of promotional products.  Rather, the top consideration cited was the ability to purchase a promotional product that is appropriate to their intended audience, followed closely by their perception of how their audience will respond to the item.  To your client, the importance of the message they convey to the recipient far outweighs that of its purchase cost.

That message is the ultimate goal of your client, no matter their price point.  Fortunately, the buyer's purpose often closely matches the recipient's perception; it's understood that items costing $25 or more are more often intended as business gifts, while items costing $5 or less are more often intended as advertising.

Although buyers and recipients seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to the buyers' goals, there is a little bit of a disconnect between the purchases and recipient preferences.  Food gifts, for example, are ranked number one in desired items by recipients and number five by buyers, but they account for less than 2% of distributor sales.  Accommodating the preferences of both sides is certainly something to take into consideration to increase client satisfaction and even overall sales.

 Ultimately, "price and value are not synonymous".  Although perceived cost can certainly have an impact on the recipient's appreciation of the gift, less expensive items can serve their purpose just as well, getting your client's message out there.  Dissenters are found at every price point for various reasons, but overall buyers and recipients are on the same page, each appreciating the role that promotional products play in their business relationships.