A printing machine is displayed printing off signs and marketing material.
Embark on a journey to refresh & reenergize your branding strategy this year

A new year has begun, and for many businesses, it is a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf on brand strategy. Like many looking to leap ahead, you begin by brainstorming, workshopping and strategizing concepts with your teams on cutting-edge ways to stand out and make an innovative marketing splash. But the question remains: Which strategies and products are most effective for enhancing brand visibility and fostering strong relationships with customers, especially in the highly competitive, ever-evolving landscape of the propane industry?

A propane sign warns of the container's flammable contents.The answer? While there may not be a “one approach fits all” solution, the good news is we live in a rapidly growing world of print and promotional marketing that can curate a solution to precisely fit the needs of your business. While digital marketing strategies have gained prominence over the years, the timeless appeal of tangible print and promotional items continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the growth of brands within the propane sector.

In 2023, the energy sector ranked 17th overall in a list of industries that demand print products and services for their marketing efforts. Of the top 20 industries in this study, one industry reigned supreme in year-over-year growth with an increase of 32%, and that’s the energy industry. The bottom line: Companies in the energy sector and propane industry are, more than ever before, shifting to tangible, custom print marketing opportunities to help grow their brands.


There is no doubt that at the core of an effective marketing strategy in the propane industry, and critical to any businesses operation, are the essential vinyl decals and signage to ensure safety messaging is upheld, tanks and vehicles are identified with the business’s logo, and cages are effectively branded. When it comes to differentiating and leveling up the brand strategy, however, promotional products are a unique, ever-advancing refresh to rapidly expand and generate new, residual value and lasting impressions with customers.

5 Reasons to Incorporate Promotional Products Into Branding

Here are the top five reasons to include promotional products in your branding in 2024:

  1. Promotional products are a low-cost, effective marketing tool
  2. Instant, yet lasting brand recognition
  3. Impressions — the gift that keeps on giving
  4. A business card — but modern!
  5. Increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value

In an economic environment where the cost of raw materials is rising rapidly, promotional items offer a cost-effective marketing solution, especially for those small- to medium-sized businesses looking to minimize their marketing expenses while maximizing their brand exposure. Compared to alternative digital advertising methods, promotional products span a wide array of item classes, making them an attractive opportunity for businesses to select the solution that best strikes the balance between cost and effective mass brand exposure. Additionally, these items have a longer shelf life, providing extended visibility at a fraction of the cost of traditional or ongoing digital campaigns.

According to the 2019 Consumer Study published by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), it is reported that of every 10 consumers in the United States, 80% have between one and 10 promotional products they use. When you look at the number of people who actively use promotional products, the instantaneous effect these marketing tools provide is an incredibly powerful one for businesses. Even more powerful than the instant benefits a promotional giveaway can yield, however, is their staying power in the marketplace.

According to a study performed by PPAI, of the consumers who received a promotional product from one of their current or prospective vendors, 94% reported being able to recall where they received the gift. Perhaps more eye-opening, the businesses polled in the same study reported drawing 500% more referrals from customers who classified as being happy with the product they received. Even when a promotional product falls short of its intended goal or purpose, 63% of consumers end up regifting their promotional item to another consumer (and potential buyer), rather than throwing it away.

The concept of staying power and instant, yet lasting brand recognition is one of the most powerful and effective ways in which a promotional product can level up your brand strategy and ensure your customer keeps recalling your brand for their needs.

It is said that first impressions are the key to the start of any relationship, especially those in business. With branding, long after the first impression, it is this lasting impression that leads to an increase in customer retention and lifetime value. Take a product class like bags — tote bags, gift bags, coolers, backpacks and luggage. It is estimated that a promotional bag can generate as many as 6,000 impressions over its life span, more than any other promotional product in the U.S. (PPAI’s study states that 31% of U.S. consumers own a promotional bag of some sort.)

Purple Frog Graphics products are displayed.Nearly 89% of consumers who receive a promotional product — whether as a gift, from a trade show giveaway or as a leave-behind from a vendor visit — can recall the brand for as long as two years following. This tangible, consistent and everyday useful exposure to a branded product is crucial for building recognition and recall while increasing the likelihood of repeat business.

Traditional print items like business cards or brochures have been a staple for many businesses’ marketing strategies for decades, and for good reason! These products help introduce your company and provide insightful details about your core business, mission and vision to prospective customers.

Much like these traditional forms of print media, promotional products can be an excellent introduction into what you do. Strategically curating an item that integrates with your or your customers’ core operation can serve to introduce your business to prospective new clients in a tangible, useful fashion. Just like business cards or pamphlet handouts, your product design should include elements like brand logo, company name, main contact phone number and email address.

To give your brand and distributed product a leg up on the competition, think about incorporating a QR code into your product design and custom imprint. A QR code is a machine-readable code, typically used to store website URLs or other digital information for reading by a camera on a smartphone. Incorporating QR codes into your product offering is an excellent, innovative way to leverage the tangible impression of a promotional product while playing to the modern, mobile nature of consumer behavior in today’s marketplace. Although QR codes are mainly being used today to redirect consumers to your corporate website, you can also have codes created to redirect to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or any additional online platform as the growth of social media continues to be used as an influential business branding tool.

Perhaps the most important components of incorporating promotional products into your branding strategy are the little things you do to retain and ultimately grow customer loyalty. There is no greater way to show your customer you care than to select products of high quality that you intend to provide as a giveaway. Clients want to do business with partners they trust to deliver quality solutions with exceptional customer service. Many times, a giveaway will accompany your first impression with a prospective client. Long after your meeting, the product they’ve left with will speak for your brand.

Durable, premium quality and, ideally, name brand products are an excellent way to ensure your lasting impression is one that exudes a level of service and quality that would match that of your core business offering to the potential new customer. Whether it is an embossed logo notebook, premium brand apparel wearable or a well-thought-out, strategic gadget the customer can use in their daily operation, think about pairing your next new customer visit with a custom-written thank-you letter to boost loyalty and kickstart lifetime customer value with your prospective clients.

For the refresh your brand needs this new year, think about leveraging promotional products as an addition to your mix of tank and vehicle decals, safety and cage signage, business cards, and print media and digital campaigns. Your giveaway should be uniquely designed with colors that pop and chosen based on its unique ability to tell your business’s story. A cleverly planned promotional product selection, paired with traditional approaches, will complement each other and create an impact that is far greater on your target market audience. Not to mention, existing and potential customers alike (and your employees, as well!) will view your brand synonymously with premium quality, durability and exceptional service as a growth partner.

Every business has a marketing and branding strategy that is optimal for their operation, goals, budget and target customer base. Often, these strategies are built on a bedrock of traditional, yet imperative materials, products and concepts that are truly essential to daily operations. As you embark on this journey to refresh and reenergize your branding strategy this year, look no further than promotional products to make a low-cost, lasting impression — a unique tool to level up your brand and take it to the next tier. If not your own team, it is your customer receiving a neat and useful new gift who, above all, will be thanking you the most.

Sean Osgood is the director of operations at Purple Frog Graphics. Purple Frog Graphics is a premier, one-stop custom print solutions shop specializing in providing the propane gas and fuel oil industry with the highest-quality decals, signage and promotional items. Purple Frog Graphics prides itself on creating brand value for its clients with cutting-edge products at industry-competitive prices, and views providing an exceptional level of customer service as its core value. Contact Osgood at sean@purplefroggraphics.com or call 203-253-9325. Visit purplefroggraphics.com.


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