It’s easy to remember things from years (or even decades) ago. There are many of us that can remember our grandparent’s home phone number, a classmate’s birthday or jingles from old commercials. Yet we can’t remember the lead story on last night’s national news broadcast, the names of people we met at last week’s networking event or the piece of random trivia we just looked up on Wikipedia. It may be more than our age – it could be the Internet age.

“When the amount of information entering our working memory exceeds our ability to process and store it, we have trouble retaining that information in our long-term memory or drawing connections with other memories,” says Lindsay Kolowich, author of Why Your Memory Sucks: The Science of Remembering In The Internet Age. “So while we still remember things, we remember different types of things.”

We’ve started outsourcing our memory to technology and the Internet. We don’t need to know the address to our next appointment; it’s in our Calendar app and we’ll get directions via our Maps app. The way we take in information has changed. Attention spans are much shorter and this is because we’re exposed to such massive amounts of information on a daily basis, that our minds have adapted to become more efficient on what it converts to important long-term memories.

So how can we apply this knowledge to marketing and branding?

Repetition. With all the distractions, interruptions and information overload our audiences are facing, we need to break through the clutter so customers and prospects not only notice us but also remember us. How? By using promotional products.


You can call it swag, branded merchandise, promotional products or logoed items but no matter the name, the items you hand out have the power to keep your brand in front of customers and prospects like no other advertising medium can. People love promotional products. So much so that according to a 2014 Promotional Products Association International Study, 58% of recipients keep them from one to four years. Not only are they kept, but they are used! 73% of people use logoed gifts at least once a week and 45% use them at least once per day.

Nothing else puts your brand in customers’ hands more often – literally, your brand is in their hands.

With these repeat exposures, it’s no wonder that, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute® 2016 Impressions Study, 85% of recipients of promotional products can identify the advertisers on the items they owned. This means that it is possible to overcome the digital overload and make your customers and prospects remember you with promotional products.