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How do I find a reputable promotional product provider?

You can find a list of promotional product professionals on APPA. Member information includes the best contact person, website links and company profiles. APPA members are promotional product specialists who can offer expert advice for incorporating promotional products into your marketing campaigns.

Finding promotional products through other means like online searching is fraught with pitfalls and uncertainty. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP is verifying you are buying from an APPA Member BEFORE you buy! 90% of all complaints received by APPA are made by consumers who have bought from NON-MEMBERS. It is crucial to protect your business by purchasing  from reputable and professional companies.

Many web searches for promotional products include companies who have either been rejected or expelled from APPA for unethical business practices. It is also important to remember that not all products or companies that look alike, ARE alike! Beware of buying solely on price without inspecting the product and make sure you ask informed questions from your promotional products professional. . AVOID companies who claim to be '#1' or 'The Best' APPA doesn't rank members and unsubstantiated claims like that are irresponsible. APPA Members are bound by our Code of Conduct and Constitution. They are respected professionals who work to provide the highest quality of products and the creativity to make all their clients promotional campaigns successful. APPA members are responsible for the creation of some of the best promotional campaigns and most innovative products supplied in the Australasian region.

You can find an accredited promotional product specialist here.

You can verify your current promotional product provider is an APPA member here.

APPA has so many members, how do I choose the right member for us?

Start by looking for a member close to your location by searching by city or postcode or search our Awards for Promotional Excellence to find industry leaders in creativity and supply. It's advised to meet with prospective promotional providers to understand their business and discuss your specific promotional requirements. You can also contact APPA (1300 GO APPA) to discuss your requirements and be provided recommendations.

If I am sourcing a certain type of product, how do I know which APPA member to contact?

Most APPA members specialise in supplying a full range of promotional products and offer the best branding advice to enhance your logo or brand identity. But, you can also use the definitive product search engine in the industry (APPA Search). Search by product type, ideas, key words, colour and more. Once you have located products which inspire you, add them to our quote system and send them to members to receive pricing and delivery deadlines.

Is it acceptable to contact more than one member when sourcing a quote for products?

Yes, cross quoting is becoming more commonplace in today's competitive market. But be careful not to simply go with the cheapest price. Remember that not all products which look alike function alike. It’s your company’s logo (and reputation) that is branded on the promotional products you provide. Research shows that recipients of faulty promotional products equate that experience to the brand itself. What does it say about your company if the products you provide fall apart? Your time will be better spent building a good working relationship with an APPA member and getting samples of the products to find the correct fit for your brand.

Who do I contact when something goes wrong?

The best person to contact is your promotional product specialist (the member), as they may be

able to offer a good solution or an alternative to resolve the problem. APPA also assists

consumers with information. Find out more by emailing - info@appa.com.au


What is the best format to supply my logo and artwork designs?

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) in a vector format is considered the best choice of graphics format for high resolution printing of illustrations. This allows our members to produce your logo on a pen or a billboard without loosing clarify.

Does APPA have any examples of how other companies have incorporated promotional products into their marketing campaigns?

Yes, there are many reference case studies online; refer to the winning entries of the annual APPA Awards for Promotional Excellence. The APPA Awards section includes detailed case studies, promotion achievements and photography for each of the listed winning entries.

You can view the previous winners of the APPA Awards for Promotional Excellence here.

Our companies head office is located in Australia but we have offices all over the world, can APPA assist in finding a promotional products provider outside of Australasia?

Yes, refer to the International Directory section and the map showing the International Associations contact details. You can also contact APPA for advice on info@appa.com.au

You can find the International Associations map here.

Is the current businesses climate affecting the promotional products industry?

It is, in both good and bad ways. From a positive perspective, as marketing budgets get tighter, clients have to find more creative ways to make their budget stretch further. Creative marketers are using promotional products as an integral part of their marketing strategies because the value of promotional products retains the 'message' in the market place longer than traditional forms of advertising. In comparison to traditional above the line advertising expenditures, promotional products are normally less expensive.

The negative side to that is that many marketers are looking to spend very conservatively, so all forms of advertising is highly calculated and if the client is unaware of the power of promotional products, could just write the profession off as 'give-a-ways'. Also, as there are more companies claiming to sell promotional products, so the likelihood of finding unethical or unprofessional companies is higher than ever before.

It is important to remember that the promotional products market has always done well in times of economic strife. Our form of valuable advertising provides great economic value and great ROI.

What are the current trends in the industry?

  • On-line focus groups to ensure a consumer driven promotions

  • On-line based purchasing and logistical tracking of corporate merchandise ranges

  • Products that plug into today’s technology – For example products activated by digital signals or exposure to water or the sun.

  • Increased time lines, well thought out applications of the advertising medium

  • High perceived value over cheap and nasty.

Another trend has been the emergence of green/enviromentally responsible products. Most clients want to soften their carbon footprint. There are environmentally friendly products that are responsible, creative and still inexpensive through APPA members. BUT there is a lot of misinformation about what constitutes a ‘green’ product. Calling something 'Eco' doesn't mean it has any particular environmental value. APPA is available for advice on the subject.


On the topic of ‘High perceived value’, are people spending more on their products?

Yes, for two main reasons. First, research shows that consumers who are given promotional products that fail or aren't useful directly conntect that negative experience to the brand, event or customer who has provided it.

Second, our culture has already experienced the 'glut' of inexpensive promotional products. We have refined our tastes and now it isn't good enough to simply 'give something away', it needs to have a more intrinsic value to work. People want promotions to challenge and entertain them. Engagement is crucial, and that takes a professional who knows the industry to properly implement a successful promotion.

Is there an increased awareness among marketers of the advantages of working with promotional products professionals?

Yes. It is important to consider the promotional product professional as a creative extension of your marketing department, more than just commodity suppliers.

Is there an increased awareness among marketers of the advantages of working with promotional products professionals?

Yes. It is important to consider the promotional product professional as a creative extension of your marketing department, more than just commodity suppliers.

What should I ask my promotional products company?

  • How long have they been in the promotions industry?

  • How long have they been APPA Members?

  • What is their policy on return of products?

  • What is their policy on timely delivery of goods?

  • What is their policy on quantity-short product deliveries?

  • Have they received any APPA awards for creativity?

What should I tell my promotional products company?

  • The audience and objectives of your promotion. (To reward consumers? Increase sales? Acknowledge external business partners or internal staff? To brand or increase attendance to an event?)

  • The response you want from the recipients of these products.

  • The information about your brand that you want to communicate.

  • The information from the recipients you would find useful, if you were able to obtain it.

  • Historically, some of the other promotions done by your company.

  • What would you like the recipients to think about your company after the promotion is finished?

What shouldn’t I hear from my promotional products company?

  • That they will undercut any price.

  • That promotional products are so cheap they cannot be guaranteed to work.

  • That there is no reason for them to be an APPA member.

  • That there is no reason to sign off on art work approvals.

Understanding the medium:

A product is just a product until it is linked with a promotion, it then becomes an advertisement. The most successful advertising campaigns are the result of a planned strategy and roll out. Throwing products at your target market without that planning is a waste your marketing dollars.

The product is only one component in the whole campaign. The creativity used to illicit a response is the key to increasing profits and promoting brands.

Local knowledge, experience and mistakes no company can afford:

APPA members understand cultural subtleties and differences that can be crucial in the success of a promotional campaign. APPA members are experienced in all aspects of sourcing, importing and manufacturing promotional products. They are educated and in touch with the styles, trends, potential pitfalls, safety and international labour standards and the newest products on the market.

The risks of getting products directly from overseas are many, and as many marketers have found out, can cost thousands of dollars in mistakes.

These potential pitfalls include:

  • Sizing and quality inferiority

  • Late deliveries

  • Lack of duty, safety and custom requirements

  • Payment in advance without delivery guarantees

  • Cash flow challenges due to prepayment

  • Human rights infringements