This morning I found myself feeling like a hummingbird. Not in a good way. Darting from task to task, my mind flitting like the beat of those tiny wings. So much to get done that I was frenetically checking things off my list while forgetting to breathe and find the joy in the day.

I think sometimes buying promotional merchandise can be that way. So much is on your plate that it becomes another chore to be completed, a decision to be quickly made. Because after all, you need something to hand out at the next event, awards ceremony, safety meeting, product launch, sales kick-off, trade show, training session, or fill-in-the-blank.

Stop. Breathe. Slow down my little hummingbird. I’m here to calm those panicked wings.

What’s the most important question to ask? It’s the same one you always think to ask yourself when you’re at your gift-buying best:

“How can I show them they matter?”

That you care. That you’ve missed seeing them these past couple of years. That they mean the world to you.

That they make a difference. That you’d be lost without their hard work. That you’re so honored that they are on your team.

The world is craving connection. Meaningful connection. We want to be understood and appreciated. When you hand someone promotional merchandise, you have the power to offer it as a gift.

No matter your budget, no matter the occasion, no matter your audience, the perfect thing is out there. It requires the same creativity, consideration, and effort you’d spend on your dearest friend.

The perfect thing is seldom as quick as spinning a Walmart gift card rack. Sometimes it’s found at a smaller boutique supplier instead of an industry Goliath. Sometimes it’s offering a choice among several elegant retail-inspired gifts, then delivering them with a hand-written note direct to their doorstep. Sometimes it’s something completely different and magical and will be conjured just for you.

Turn to your promotional products partner for guidance. Share what you hope to accomplish, who you want to connect with, and how you want them to feel. They’ll hear your dreams and goals, bring insight into unique product ideas (did you know you can get a logo’d Segway?), have case studies of what has worked for others, and provide custom platforms and fulfillment capabilities to make it all easy.

If you’ve ever worked with a personal shopper, you know the magic of standing in a dressing room surrounded by treasures that, without their insight and suggestions, you would never have considered!

With the right people taking care of you and your projects, the expertise and personalized creativity they bring will guide you to the perfect choice and make you a resounding success.

And maybe best of all, when you find that perfect gift, you’re tickled and delighted and can hardly wait to see the expression on their face when they open it. That’s exactly how to choose the branded merchandise that will fulfill your vision and touch your recipients’ hearts and minds.

Far in the distance a single bird soars, up and away, flying solo, finding its way to something new and as yet undiscovered.


Laura Martin, CAS is the president of Red Rover Promotions, a branded merchandise agency (, and can be reached at