20 Random (And True) Facts about Promo Products


Borrowed from an industry website…the fun facts below really do statistically reinforce the power of the promotional product and how it can impact and elevate both your brand and your customer experience.   Particularly in the blood industry, where budgets can direct virtually every decision, the lasting effect of promotional advertising is a way to maximize donor recruitment and minimize spending.  The FCI Promos team has more than 30 years of combined blood banking experience, and we will work with you to develop cost effective, goal driven, targeted marketing campaigns that will take your brand awareness to the next level utilizing promotional products, collateral materials, and communication strategies focused on donor frequency and retention.

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  1. Eight in 10 people own between one and 10 promotional products.
  2. 53 percent of these people use a promotional product at least once a week.
  3. Six in 10 of them keep promotional products for up to two years.
  4. Only one in five people will trash an unwanted promotional product.
  5. Before receiving a promotional product, 55 percent of people had done business with the company.  After receiving a promotional product, 85 percent of people did business with the company.
  6. 31percent of U.S. consumers own a promotional bag.
  7. The first known promotional products – commemorative buttons – trace back to 1789 when George Washington was elected president.
  8. 53 percent of the time, promotional products create a more favorable impression of the company.
  9. 48 percent of consumers would like to receive promotional products more often.
  10. 69 percent of consumers would pick up a promotional product if they deemed it useful.
  11. 63 percent of consumers pass along the promotional products they no longer wish to keep.
  12. 89 percent of consumers can recall the company of a promotional product they’d received in the last two years.
  13. 91 percent of consumers have at least one promotional product in their kitchen, 74 percent have at least one in their workspace, 55 percent have at least one in their bedroom.
  14. 77 percent of consumers say a promotional product’s usefulness is the number-one reason to keep it, with health and safety products, computer products and writing instruments ranked as the most useful.
  15. Wearables are the top product category, followed by writing instruments, bags, calendars and drinkware.
  16. T-shirts receive an average of 2253 impressions and are kept a minimum of 5 years.
  17. Women are more likely to have bags, writing instruments and calendars, whereas men are more likely to own shirts and caps.
  18. Ownership of logoed outerwear is highest in the Midwest, with 15 percent of people owning an item.
  19. Logoed mugs in particular are more effective advertising than radio and television spots; 57 percent of people were able to recall the advertiser on a mug, versus 32 percent of radio and 28 percent of T.V.
  20. Adding a promotional product to the media mix increases the effectiveness of other media by up to 44 percent.


Why We’re Different

3d photorealistic rendering of many apples on a white plane.

In today’s world, we are all inundated by a giant sea of options and choices. “Hulu or Netflix?” “Iphone or Android?” “Ford or Chevy?” “Move or renovate?” “Should I tweet it or Instagram it?” Nothing seems to stop moving at a fast pace, and well, most of us remain in a state of overwhelm.

When it comes to what we do, we hope your choice is a little clearer. For over 20 years, we’ve been lucky to be your loyal provider of thousands of promotional products. And in the current landscape of “Do More with Less,” we thought it might be a good idea to share how we are different from just your average screen printer…and how that difference could help your center’s goals. To many, we are a mini-extension of their marketing and recruitment departments,helping build meaningful strategy that achieves that important Return on Investment.  No additional cost.

If you haven’t utilized us for these added value services yet…give us a try. We’d love to help.





Fresh Ideas–Squeezin’ for a Reason!

NWPA Platelet Donor Squeeze1

We are not sure you know this about us, but we are obsessive about some things. Mostly really good things, like helping our customers surpass their goals, a stable blood supply, attention to detail, pizza, cute dogs…the list goes on. The thing that really makes our whole team excited is new ideas. We live for them and we live for sharing them with you!

Having been around the block a couple of times, we often hear requests for similar phrasing and concepts from centers across the nation. Sometimes, though, a fresh phrase pops up. For example, we recently worked on a concept with the cool people over at the Community Blood Bank of NWPA and WNY and asked if we could pass on the fun to you, blog followers, to illustrate the path from idea to complete campaign.

NWPA Platelet Donor Squeeze1It is a pretty common goal to increase and optimize platelet donations while keeping this unique group of donors engaged in giving often. Community Blood Bank staff were brainstorming and thought of developing a Squeezie Club with custom stress relievers and t-shirts for each high-achieving donor.  What started as a request for “design of a hand squeezing something related to donating….and the words “squeezing for a reason” included with the design somehow” along with a little back and forth about Jimmy Buffet grew into one of our favorite shirt designs of the year so far. Our (incredible) artist worked to keep it colorful, yet affordable and adaptable for future year spin-offs.

The message we want you to hear is, you don’t always have to know what you want in order for us to help you! When you work with us, we can share best practices from customers all over and from our own team backgrounds working in blood centers. You can tell us exactly what you want…or you can tell us what you want to achieve and ask for new ideas. We know not everyone has a giant marketing staff or a creative agency on retainer…and that is exactly why we offer tons of value-added services with orders to everyone without tacking on fees and charges.

Check in to how we can be incredibly enthusiastic about your goals, and we may even tell you about our dogs in the process.

Tervis Tumbler Partnership Announcement


FCI-TervisThe FCI Promos team is thrilled to share the news that we have recently been awarded Premier Status as an Official Authorized Tervis Distributor, based on our long-term partnership with this outstanding company who is leading the way in quality drinkware production.

“We value our long term partnership and are committed to providing you and your customers with white glove service through our dedicated premium account specialists team. Congratulations!”   Tervis America

Tervis Tumblers offer a perceived value unlike any other donor product. With fully customizable wraps and patches, the design possibilities and customization options are endless. Consider thanking your valued platelet donors with an authentic Tervis Tumbler with messaging catered just to them with  a bright gold lid…or gifting your O negative donors with a type specific tumbler. This items is simply perfect for all seasons from summer to fall football or the holidays.

We could not be more excited by this new and evolving partnership and look forward to bringing you the very best products available on the market today to entice your blood and platelet donors to give during your most challenging times. Being awarded this status by such an established and respected company is an honor and a privilege for our entire team. It demonstrates our shared commitment to customer service and our commitment to ensuring that our blood centers have access to the best quality products that act as both innovative and creative donor incentives that produce results. We cannot wait to work hand in hand with you to create your custom designed Tervis Tumbler that is sure to make an impact on your collections this year!


Vendor vs. Partner (does it really matter?)


Customer partnerships is a topic our team finds ourselves discussing often. With some blood centers facing the reality of less staff, less money, and increased focus on collecting the right types at the right time, it’s important to regularly evaluate all areas that impact business. It’s very likely that a big chunk of your budget dollars are dedicated to recruitment, marketing, and driving donor behavior. How can you know you are working with the right promotional products vendor?

The opposite of a partner is a vendor, and here is how we differentiate the two. A partner is a relationship that is valued. A vendor is someone waiting to take your order. A partner evaluates your project and determines where they can provide added value and expertise. A vendor does what you ask, nothing more, and sends an invoice. Vendors fear conflict and won’t push boundaries. Partners engage you and challenge you to think differently about projects.

While working in my blood center, I often thought about how many “yes people” there were in the business, people who feared change in an industry that was constantly changing. I felt the same about our vendors. Where were the new concepts? Where was the innovation? Where were your programs that could contribute to us being better? Certainly not the job of a vendor…but definitely the job of a true partner.

So how can you determine where you stand with your vendors…and if a more layered relationship is something that could benefit your center? Here are 3 tips to help you learn if your supplier is as invested in your goals as you are.


Above and Beyond, Dedicated Customer Service Assigned to Each Client

You shouldn’t have to work with a hundred different people for one project. Understanding the importance of a lead person as the primary point of contact is paramount for a supplier. And this person should be available and have in-depth knowledge of your industry. And timely response? Extremely critical in today’s world. And if something happens that wasn’t planned? We will do whatever it takes to make it right.

Added Value and Supporting Services

Does your supplier offer more than just the product they are trying to sell? Is there a bigger picture view of your donor programs and goals? What products could have the biggest impact on your target audience? With decades of experience, our team works with you to develop strategies and campaigns to help you get the biggest returns on marketing ROI.

No Hidden Fees

Is your quote from your current supplier always different from the invoice? A solid partner will be upfront and honest. There won’t be additional fees tacked on…like art charges, setup, or screen charges.


Our team reminds each other every day of the value of our clients. Without you, we are zero. And in some ways, we hope we’ve started a revolution in the way “vendors” should treat their customers. Take control of your current vendor relationship….drive the agenda. It takes a while, but eventually, you will reach the stage where you will be very happy with the result.


Boot-ya…Quench your donor’s thirst with amazing drinkware!


When I was about 7 years old, our family would go to a certain restaurant on very special occasions. At this restaurant, kids could have their beverage served in a glass boot. A GLASS BOOT! How exciting was that? Very. It was very exciting. I am sure we visited other restaurants when I was a kid, yet, I have a very strong memory of the glass boot at K-Bob’s Steakhouse.This has to be where my (slight) obsession with drinkware began. I wish we could road-trip across America together and randomly survey people about the cups and mugs in their cabinets, in their car cup holders and on their desks. I am convinced that everyone has some favorites that they use often and even carry everywhere.

Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. About 83 percent of adults drink some kind of coffee in the U.S. Look around any time of the day and someone is drinking coffee, tea, water, soda….something! So, of course, we are always on the lookout for new ideas in drinkware. We know that one sure way to get your logo in the hands (literally) of scores of supporters of your mission is to brand these cups while giving them a cool and eco-friendly way to drink up. We understand that some people even get emotionally attached to what they use to hold their beverage of choice, as noted in this article from Telegraph.


Currently there is a lot of buzz around stainless steel cups with a lining that keeps ice cold for hours and hours…even days. These also keep drinks piping hot for a very long time…way longer than a commute, football game or campfire. The excellent news is that though there is a name brand of this type of cup that can be more pricey, now there are very affordable and really nice looking alternatives with the same longevity. And if this is not exactly what you are looking for, a simple search on our Promo Store site brings up over 1000 options (including a few glass boots, just saying). Drinkware can be adapted to work with any campaign or project and it is universally useful. Why not give your supporters, employees or volunteers their next favorite cup or mug?


Promotional Recall & Exposure…Latest Statistics!


The Promotional Products Association, the guiding organization that drives the industry, recently released interesting results that many of us with blood center and non profit backgrounds already realize. Donor incentives not only work, but they can be used to drive key metrics…at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising channels.


With a higher advertising recall than television, print, and online ads…promotional products can and do keep your brand top of mind with your valuable blood donors. And as we work with many centers to focus efforts on increasing donor frequency (the right type at the right time), we are seeing a re-emerging trend of collectible series initiatives gaining popularity.

Contact our team at any time or continue to watch our blog as we feature the most successful Best Practices around the country!

Let’s Get Together More Often…Increasing Your Donor Frequency

Frequency Matters Grunge

Around here, we get really, really excited about fresh ideas and new products. While you focus on the crucial work of recruiting, marketing, collecting, processing and distributing blood, we are relentlessly brainstorming ways to help you meet your goals.
So, we wanted to take a minute to chat about a couple of campaigns that have proven very successful to increase frequency for several blood centers.

Have you ever collected anything? There is a reason that retail stores and other companies have collectible items in a series…because people feel compelled to come back or do whatever is required to have the whole set or win the prize at the end.  From Beanie Babies and baseball cards to Pokémon, the next big thing is just around the corner. Get ahead of the Black Friday ads by making the next big thing saving lives!

Donors tend to gravitate towards campaigns that tie into current events, and we love this very current project:  The Platelet Olympics.

platelet olympics

This center set a specific timeframe for the promotion (that just happens to be in the summer when collections can be a struggle) and asked their platelet donors to set a goal of 6 donations in that time period.  They used very cost-effective car cling stickers for the bronze, silver, and gold awards combined with various gift cards depending on whether the donor achieved 4, 5 or 6 donations in the promotion time period. This is already boosting collections for the summer as this center encourages donors to Go for the Gold!

Chances are you are already thinking about the next tough collection period right this very second. It is no secret that holidays and summer can be a challenge. We worked with another center to focus a series of incentives from Memorial Day to Labor Day and they had a banner year.  The incentives, including a shirt, beach towel and a folding chair, were promoted as Limited Edition (who doesn’t want the limited edition, right?) in the Donor-rita-Ville tropical themed campaign. At the end, the donors who responded were entered to win a cruise. This project increased overall donations, as frequency rates skyrocketed by more than 20% over the previous summer!

When it comes to the holiday season, you can pull back in the donors who responded to a summer campaign like these above with a final piece or you can run a new stand-alone promotion that continues to build their loyalty.  We know that each center or region is different in their specific needs, goals, resources and donor base so, we can adapt to fit very targeted campaigns.

These are just a sampling of the buildable projects we have developed with blood centers – let us know how we can help construct your next goal-busting plan. It is part of our passion to make your life and work easier so you can concentrate on the big picture!

The T-shirt. Your Ultimate Brand Ambassador.


The popularity of the blood donor t-shirt can be mystifying to those of us who have been in the industry a few years. I used to find that it was blood center staff who grew tired of the monthly t-shirt…and not donors. Because the reality is that blood donors love those t-shirt gifts because they are a means to not only express their pride in being a lifesaving donor, but also to ignite conversation and, ultimately, recruit more people to give blood. They are WALKING BILLBOARDS…and recently, I got a glimpse into just how well they do their job!







I walked into gymnastics practice to pick up my son a few weeks ago here in Chesapeake, Virginia, and I noticed a fellow parent wearing a 9/11 blood donor t-shirt with the Coastal Bend Blood Center logo on it! I know the amazing team in Coastal Bend, so this, of course, peaked my interest. I asked him if he was from Corpus Christie…and we shared our stories. I talked to him about working in a blood center on that fateful day. And he talked to me about his military service, donating after the tragedy and still being a committed blood donor to this day. It got me thinking about how just seeing this shirt sparked a conversation about saving lives and about the longevity of the branding power of the t-shirt.

When you think about it, no other advertising medium has the ability to promote your brand and mission the way a t-shirt does. Nearly 15 years after this man received this gift, he was STILL wearing it and talking about it. That t-shirt is still doing its job of promoting the ongoing need for blood. What was probably less than a $2 investment at the time, has likely been seen by thousands of people who then thought about donating blood themselves.

We have all seen these tees…either while walking on the treadmill at the gym, perusing the aisles of our local supermarket, psyching ourselves up to get on that roller coaster, or tuning into our favorite news broadcast, when we have spotted it. That shirt…that one we remember ordering …designing…giving out to donors…or wearing ourselves. Just seeing it on someone reminds us instantly that we need to go give blood! Your donors are your brand ambassadors.

The take away here? When you invest in t-shirts, you are investing in your brand, in your blood center and in your mission to save lives not just for that campaign or blood drive….but for years to come. In an age when it’s easy to become numb to online banners, pop up ads, and text messages….what other advertising medium gives you that much bang for your buck?

We are a full service promotional products vendor, offering a million different imprinted products. But in the blood industry, the best way to get your message walking around town…continues to be….that brand new, crisp donor t-shirt.