Best Custom Promotional Products & Corporate Gifts

July 28, 2021

On the hunt for unique promotional products to up your customer engagement or foster....

When it comes to brainstorming promotional products ideas, it’s important to know that the items you choose will reflect on your company’s branding—whether you like it or not. This is because your logo, which can be placed almost anywhere on a promotional item, is different from your company’s branding. While your logo is part of your company's branding, the branding is more about the how your company or brand is perceived. In essence, it’s a feeling. 

While many people use the terms logo and branding interchangeably, they are a very different thing. After all, you have control over your logo. You can pick the font, the size, the exact hue or colors—even how and where it’s used. However, you cannot control how people feel or what they think of when they see your branding. And no matter how awesome your logo might be, it’s all about what the logo stands for that matters. 

So, are you wondering, how does your branding effect your hunt for business custom promotional products? Well the products you choose to display your logo on are going to have a vibe all of their own. And, it’s worth your time and energy to ensure they reflect what’s important to the image you want for your company. Just as you would not collaborate with a company known for its bad service, sell a product or offer a service that is sub par at best, or partner with a supplier that doesn’t value it’s employees safety or working conditions, you should not place your logo on a product of any kind that doesn’t mesh with your company’s standards. 

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.”  Jeff Bezoz, Founder and CEO 

Don’t worry! While that may seem like an incredible investment of time and resources, the swag experts (or swag-perts) at Gemnote, have done the heavy lifting for you! From finding brands you can trust to the best promotional items, here are some custom printed promotional products you can feel good about putting your company’s name on! Plus, there’s a price point for every budget, so these also make excellent small business promotional items.  

9 Best Custom Promotional Products & Corporate Gifts

1. Reusable Bags & Totes

As we continue to reduce our carbon footprint and consumption of plastic and other foam containers, the popularity of recyclable bags and totes continue to rise. In fact, according to the Institute of Energy Research, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont have already banned the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and other businesses. And while COVID may have delayed some of these going into effect immediately, other states, like Colorado are following suit. 

By investing in bulk custom promotional products like bags from Baggu and Baron Figs you're helping to reduce the trash entering our landfills. For more great swags ideas, check out these sustainable gifts ideas.  

Baggu Reusable Bags + Baron Figs Tote

Fun colors, funky prints, and plenty of space… who wouldn’t love a best selling Baggu bag on their next outing? Plus, being a small company didn’t stop Baggu from focusing on sustainability. Not only is their product made to help your recipient reduce waste, but the bags themselves are 100% vegan and made up of 65% recycled nylon and canvas. 

For an upgraded reusable tote, Baron Figs has you covered. With sleek lines that favor minimalistic charm, this bag offers a spacious interior, magnetic snaps, and is water resistant. It’s the perfect grab for work, the gym, lunch, and all your daily commutes. For custom imprinted promotional products, it’s a great choice! See how Baron Figs is giving back by planting trees.  


2. Cool Hip Packs & Backpacks 

If your swag budget allows for it, hip packs and backpacks are a great upgrade from cheap custom promotional products. Not only are they sustainable, but they offer secure storage space while on the go! While small in comparison, the Herschel Hip pack offers space for the essentials you want to keep close at hand and offers a versatile style that can be worn around the waist or more like a cross body across your shoulders. 

Not to be outdone, the custom Timbuk2 backpack offers ample space in the main compartment for a lap top, extra clothes, and more. 

Herschel Hip Pack +  Custom Timbuk2 Backpacks

Wondering if these brands stack up to your company’s image? Just check out Timbuk2’s Give A Damn page for deets on how they are keeping sustainability top of mind. For example, since 2014 they’ve kept all of their bags out of landfills and have repaired or repurposed thousands.  

3. Innovative Drinkware 

In case you haven’t heard, single use plastic cups and straws suck BIG time. They’re bad for the ocean, marine life and more and have been banned in certain hotels, cities and restaurants. Luckily, innovative drinkware—you know the kid that keeps hot liquids super hot and cold liquids, well nice and chilly—are all the rage! Want to upgrade your swag to elite status? Throw in reusable straws they can use again and again.

ETS Express Petal and h2go silo tumblers + Miir Wide Mouth 

There’s a ton of reusable cups on the market, but these are some of the best of the best. Like the Petal 20.9 tumbler with push-on lid and the 16.9 oz h2go silo tumbler with insulated lid. From ETS Express, both tumblers feature double wall exterior, copper vacuum insulation, are available in multiple colors and include a gift box! 

Not to be left out, the Miir Wide Mouth (in your choice of colors) features double wall vacuum insulation and keeps your fave beverage hot or cold for hours on end. Miir is also all about giving back and funds trackable projects. GIve custom promotional products for holidays or any day, and your recipient will receive a code they can use to see the story behind the purchase of their product.    

4. Yummy Snacks

Whoever dubbed the saying, “I’m just here for the snacks” was onto something. Because we all know nothing good comes from being hungry. Kids throw tantrums. Adults get hangry. It’s just bad. Luckily, you have the power to turn it all around— with great business custom promotional products in the form of excellent treats! 

Kikis Salted Caramels + Candy Club Sour Bites +  Compartes Chocolate + Spiced Apple Cider +  Reborn Coffee Pour Over + 

Who wouldn't want salted caramels by Kika’s Treats which were voted best caramels at the 2011 San Francisco Chocolate Salon? Made of coconut palm sugar, covered in chocolate, and finished off with the sea salt flakes. 

The Compartes Chocolate (which by the way has a perfect 5 star rating) and is made of their proprietary blend of white and dark chocolate that is handmade in their LA kitchen. 

Blue Razz Sour Belts from Candy Club are described as “a berry-rific  mix of sweet and tart bliss…” Plus, you can’t go wrong with the fun packaging! 

Reborn Coffee Pour Over Pack Variety Sampler is always a fave, because who doesn’t need a cup of coffee at some point in the day? With a variety pack of single origins and house blend, they can enjoy the Valencia House Blend, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Guatemala flavors. 

Last but not least, Spiced Apple Pie Caramels by Little Apple Treats. These award-winning candies are said to offer a slice of caramel apple pie in every bite! With apples grown from their Sonoma County organic farm, they’re proud winners of both the Good Food and SOFI Awards! 

5. Tee shirts

While Beyonce may have coined the phrase “If you love it, put a ring on it,” we’re here to assure you if it’s the best promotional items you’re after, if you love them, gift them a customized tee. And don’t worry, we’ve got the best picks for every price range. 

Bella Canvas Slim Fit +  North Face Henley Tee +  Nike Legend Tee

If you’re looking for cheap custom promotional products, look at Bella Canvas. While their pricing is great for small business promotional items, they didn’t skimp on the style or quality. We’re loving their fitted but you can also find standard fits and unisex styles that are perfect for bulk custom promotional products. Plus, this green company is 100% sweatshop free and platinum wrap certified. 

For more luxe swag or special bulk custom promotional products for your VIPs and best employees, you cannot go wrong with The North Face henley. Not only will you get superior quality by a coveted brand, you can know it’s going to withstand their adventure. 

For promotional products with custom logo the Nike legend tee is also a fan favorite. With Dri-FIT technology that kicks sweat to the curb so you stay dry, you’ll be proud to add your company’s logo to it. 

6. Fun Surprise

Custom printed promotional products are essentially S.W.A.G. (aka stands for Stuff We All Get). So while your promotional products and corporate gifts may not be a complete surprise, you can still delight your recipient by making it super-fun!

Everyday Adventures + The Family Game + Bananagrams + Areaware Puzzle

The Everyday Adventures game brings discovery to your recipient. With fun adventures that are easy to achieve and don’t take a lot of time or money to accomplish, new experiences are just waiting to be revealed! 

The best relationships happen around conversation. The Family Game brings family, friends, (or basically anyone) together to help them reconnect and learn new things about others. Go ahead and give it as swag, just don’t forget to keep one for yourself. 

—what’s not to love? On the outside it’s a cheerful banana. On the inside a collection of letters just waiting to come together for a fast-paced game of speedy spelling. Think scrabble but without the board or need to keep score. 

While puzzles may have found renewed fame during lockdown, these Areaware puzzles are true gems thanks to their unexpected designs and lovely colors. 

7. Office Goods 

Let’s be honest, unless you’re actually in your office, sometimes finding a pen and paper on the fly can be like having a scavenger hunt in your kitchen’s junk drawer.  So it should come as no surprise that office goods make some of the most needed custom promotional products for employees and clients alike. 

Pocketo Sticky Tabs  + Appointed Pen + Public Supply Notebook + Sticker Mule Stickers

News alert, sticky tabs don’t have to be boring! Your customers, employees, and event attendees will love a little “wow” in their office tool box and these colorful sticky tabs by Pocketo deliver! They are also the perfect little “extra” for adding to swag baskets and new hire onboarding kits. 

When you think of free giveaways, you probably think of cheap pens that only work when you don’t want them to. Well, pens have come a long way, but the Appointed Le Pen pen is the cream of the crop thanks to being lightweight, sleek, and boasting superb writing precision. No wonder it’s an industry best seller! 

Public Supply’s soft covered notebook comes with your choice of dotted or lined paper and can be embossed with your company’s logo for the ultimate win in personalization. Ask your Gemnote rep for personalization ideas and how to get custom promotional products no minimum. 

Before you snub stickers, it’s probably worth noting that they are TRENDING HARD right now. From personalizing laptop cases, tumblers, notebooks and just about anything else they can stick to… they’re a fun way to personalize your things. Just add your logo and see where your marketing sticks. 

8. Travel & Organizing:

Can giving travel and organization be the equivalent of giving zen and extra time? We think so! When it comes to custom promotional products for clients let them remember your company the next time they skip untangling a cord or can pack light and save money on checking an extra bag. 

Kiko Mac Cord Wrap + Topo Drop Kit  + Kiko Leather Cord Wrap

We love everything Apple, which is why we’re attached to our iPhones and rocking out to our AirPods on repeat. But charging a laptop? The laptop extension cord is always in the way. Luckily, the Kiko Mac cord wrap is the innovative solution we never knew we had to have! 

Another travel friendly fave by Kiko is their leather corp wrap. Not only a boss for keeping things nice and tidy, it’s got the lux look (and butter-soft cowhide) we’re itching to show off. For bonus points, ask a Gemnote expert how you can best display your logo. 

Don’t let the small, triangular design fool you. This travel-friendly (and light) toiletry Dopp Kit from Topo Designs packs a punch. It’s fully lined for easy clean up, features heavy-duty YKK zipper, webbing pull tabs, a paracord hook loop & zipper pull, and webbing wrist strap/handle loop for easy grab go. The perfect travel accessory for customizing and gifining! 

9. Plant & Home Life

You’ve probably heard of the benefits of self care, but gifting it? That’s an absolute yes! While the term peaked during the stress of the pandemic, it’s become a mainstay in everyday conversation. Need to recharge? Self Care. Need to rest? Self Care? You get the idea. But like anything, it snowballed into something bigger and grander—like expensive trips to relax and luxe splurges. And while it’s personal for everyone, these gifts will help get them on their way! 

PF Candle + Modern Sprout Eco Planter

The art of self care is relaxing, and if you’re concerned that your scented candle is leaving you with more toxins than zen, well that’s just counterproductive on all levels. Luckily, Swell's 10 ounce candles are made with 100% domestically-grown soy wax and have no parabens or phthalates. Not to mention they smell great, look just as cool and are ready for gifting. 

On the outside, it’s spiffy design offers instant decor to the kitchen, but on the inside, it’s a lean, green, growing machine thanks to the hydroponic system that gets the air, water and nutrients just right. Best of all, your recipient is left with fresh herbs to zest up their recipes or top their take out. 

For more custom promotional products wholesale that are unique and from reputable brands that you’ll be proud to put your logo on, talk to a representative at Gemnote. In addition to sharing a collection of swag items to suit your budget, they’ll help you with all of the logistics along the way like shipping and inventory. And, if you want to up your swag game, they can even help you create your own swag store for even more marketing power.

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