Gift with Purchase

  • Mar 19, 2020

By Tom Gudekunst


For years top brands have used a promotional gift with purchase to woo new customers, and appreciate loyal clients.  These can be small and inexpensive, or the kind of thing that’s saved up for.  Participation in promotional programs increases loyalty and positive feelings toward a favorite brand.

Here are some great ideas to consider when looking to achieve higher point-of-purchase sales.

Do you remember the thrill of getting to the bottom of the cereal box and finding a coveted whistle toy?

Or saving your wrappers to send into the Kool-Aid man himself for your very own pitcher and mugs set? I still use mine frequently and my kids love it too. The cute plastic mugs are kid-friendly and don’t break when they are dropped.

Think of how many toys McDonald's gives away every year in happy meals… says it’s 1.5 billion annually, worldwide.   That’s a lot of gifts with purchase. I used to love all of the prizes that could be found and received.

Gifts with Purchase are appealing

For instance, on a recent trip to the liquor store, I had a more mature gift with a purchase scenario.  My favorite bottle in the whole store was on special, and it came in a gift box.  Inside was a custom-molded and decorated flask, sporting my favorite spiced rum’s logo.

“This would go great with a pirate costume”, I thought, but I did feel a little ridiculous buying myself a gift box.   When I bought it I had the anticipation of getting to open and enjoy my new gift with purchase. Instead, my wife encouraged me to store it under the bed, wrapped for my birthday celebration.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I wasn’t even in the store for Rum. The visit was made for a different product but because I saw the nifty gift with purchase I spent more money and increased the rum company’s profits. Additionally, I left feeling happier with my purchase because I was excited about the special item and my favorite brand.  Since my parents know I love that brand they bought me the same gift box. Now I have two gifts with purchase.  One for me and one for my first mate!

Ways we can help

In January 2020, the state of Oregon banned plastic bags and one of our clients added recyclable fabric bags to their in-store inventory. Phasing out anything other than their new bags, our client offered a discount to their customers, who returned with the reused bag in hand.  This action encouraged eco-friendly activity, satisfied new state laws, and created an opportunity for our store owner friends to endear themselves to their customers. They also got a little advertising out of the deal too. The bags walking around town got noticed and at least one new customer came in mentioning that she had seen the cute logo on a shopping tote.

Gifts with purchase work for me and I love to make the suggestions to my clients. Many of our retail clients use promotional items in this fashion because it makes their product more favorable. It’s even better when we can help them earn a higher margin on what they currently have available.

These branded goods encourage higher spending, have a positive emotional effect on the buyer and help them to remember the brand they love.  Ask a qualified MARCO Ideas Unlimited representative about how you can use a gift with purchase for your brand.


Tom Gudekunst has helped organizations purchase promotional products since 2005.  He achieved his Certified Advertising Specialist designation in 2012.  He enjoys spending time with his family, including two cats, two chickens, two children, and his wife.


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