Yeti, Apple, Nike, Under Armour. Brand names carry weight. In the promotional products industry, there is a strong trend toward businesses of all sizes aligning with powerful brands such as these. The days of low quality, generic giveaways are waning. Now, marketers and business owners are opting for products that represent quality, reliability, value and strength. In the new age of promotional products, businesses are aligning their brands with the best-of-the-best.

This shift seems to be related to the fact that the perception, purpose and objective of promotional products is quickly changing. In the past, marketers may have ordered 1,000 tchotchkes to keep around the office as giveaways, simply because that is what they’ve always done. They may have switched up the product every now and then, but they just needed a low-cost item to hand out to their customers or associates.

Now, these giveaway-type items are looked at more like a marketing investment than an obligatory hand out. With the expanding and evolving products available in the advertising specialties industry, there are more options than ever before to select high-impact promotional giveaways, giving buyers the opportunity to make promotional products a key component of their marketing strategy.

This is where the power of brand alliance comes in. Major retail brands are starting to forge exclusive partnerships with distributors, allowing companies to start branding high-end products. The reputation and high perceived value of the promotional product then transfers to brand name printed on it. Because of these exclusive partnerships, it is not only becoming possible to imprint your brand on these products, but it’s also becoming affordable for small to mid-size companies as well.

While it may not be feasible to hand out a North Face jacket, GoPro or Samsonite luggage to everyone who walks through your door, these high end pieces can be selectively given to top prospects and serve as memorable thank you gifts to major clients. As these partnerships continue to develop, you should expect to see more products in a wider range of price points become available to fill every level of marketing need.