The Top 5 Promotional Items For Each Generation

The Top 5 Promotional Items For Each Generation

Businesses looking to increase brand awareness and loyalty can see terrific results from promotional items. However, deciding on what objects to promote your company with is no easy task. Every business has a specific niche, and different age groups have different requirements that need to be met before making a purchase. One approach is to analyze the top promotional items for each generation.

Promotional Items for Generation Z

Generation Z, born 1997 to 2012, are tech-oriented and find solace in the digital world. Yet, some promotional products do exist that speak to these hard-to-please folks. Here are the top promotional items that fit the needs of this generation.

Phone Cases

Everyone has a smartphone these days. There is no arguing that promotional phone cases are a no-brainer. Keep the design up-to-date, though. Include a meme, reference, or design around your business’ logo/highlighted products.


The younger generation loves music and an extra set of earbuds can always come in handy. This product is used daily–and you can get custom earbud cases too. The best ROI comes from wireless headphones, so keep that in mind when it comes time for your company to invest.

Bottled Water

These items typically bring immediate attention to your branding. It is a good “first foot in the door.” You can distribute these at events, etc.–but gyms are, also, seeing high return rates from investing in branded water bottles.

Custom AirTag Holders

AirTags are a relatively new and useful tool. They allow you to track what you care most about. With the silicone AirTag holder, you can attach them to virtually anything! Youth-centric brands can get away with popularizing imprinted AirTag holders. The effectiveness of this product all comes down to the logo and visualizations put on the tags–the more clever and fashionable, the better.


Generation Z finds graphic t-shirts fashionable and wears them well, at that. Find a way to reinvent your brand into a graphic t-shirt type style. There is a sense of adventure in this generation and they want to advocate for brands they believe in. This type of preference found in Gen Z is exactly why promotional t-shirts can get so much appreciation and attention. Not to mention, it is likely they will upload pictures of your shirt on their social media.

Best Promotional Items for Millennials

Millennials, those who were born between 1980-1996, are often referred to as “Generation Wellness,” which is backed by overwhelming stats. For one, the activewear industry was already worth $270 billion in 2015 and by 2020 it was worth $353 billion in the U.S. alone. For this fact, many fitness-related promotional items are a great choice.

Protein Shake Bottles

While targeting a niche market, the protein shake bottle is a big hit for those that resonate with this particular item. These bottles are not just used by bodybuilders for their post-workout drinks–they are perfect for everyday healthy smoothies, as well.

Duffle Bags

Gyms frequently hand out free promotional duffel bags to their new members. Some people prefer a unique look, especially when everyone in the gym has the same designed bag as them. Promotional duffel bags could stand out in the most social environments. They also fill the need of those with a wanderlust heart!

Resistance Bands

The brand placement is extremely noticeable with resistance bands and this promotional item will definitely be appreciated by the user. This makes for the perfect home, office, or gym workout! Recipients can take these anywhere–the ultimate exposure!

Full-Size Basketballs

You can purchase a professional-grade basketball with your own imprints. This item is passed around peers and the branding will not go unnoticed. 

Brand Chairs and Towels

Brand chairs and towels are two promotional items that help maintain a solid connection with a customer that already has brand loyalty. These are more intimate products and they are pricier than most other items. Millennials make up the biggest beach-going demographic, so it’s a no-brainer promotional item.

Promotional Items for Generation X

The Generation X audience was born from 1965 to 1980. They are possibly the most varied group of people on the planet. Their interests vary widely, some are tech-savvy and others are not–whether by choice or force. Still, here are some broad products that speak well to this generation:

Tea Tumblers

Generation X are avid tea drinkers, which makes a tea tumbler one of the best promotional items around. The infuser-style tumbler is especially popular, but a stainless steel travel tumbler that retains heat is also a top choice.

Ice Coolers

Ice coolers, like Coleman coolers, are popular amongst the outdoorsy folks from this generation. Some of these coolers are really fancy, coming with major capacity (even 42 cans), as well as luggage-style handles and wheels.

Golf Balls

The active people from Generation X are big on playing golf, and many are even members of local country clubs. Promotional golf balls can go a long way–both literally and in gaining respectful recognition for your brand.

Fishing Lures

Fishing lures are a great promotional product for businesses targeting an individual and not focused on broad brand placement. This item is a more tailored option, but it is definitely appreciated by the Gen Xers that enjoy fishing as a hobby.


A calendar is an obvious choice of promotional product that really works for almost any generation. Those born between ’69 and ’79 are a bit better at planning ahead and tend to turn to calendars more than any other generation–younger and older. So, a promotional calendar is an especially solid choice for this generation.

Best Promotional Items for Baby Boomers

The baby boomer crowd was born between the years of 1946 and 1964. Some of this audience is not plugged into the web and supplying data for marketers. These folks are more segregated by choice, but it doesn’t mean you cannot identify their needs. What’s the best way to reach this crowd, you ask? With these top promotional items:

Branded Pens

Promotional pens are a timeless choice that rarely ever fails with the baby boomer audience. These people are less inclined to store everything virtually on their smartphones. It’s a small, affordable touch that is universally respected by this generation.

Lunch Coolers

Healthy living is a big part of the baby boomer lifestyle — even for those that avoid the gym life. With general wellness taking a decline in the baby boomer generation, many try to pack better lunches for work. You can support their health goals with promotional lunch coolers; stainless steel bottles and coolers are also a big hit.

Embroidered Hats

Baby boomers do not tend to spend 20 to 50 dollars on a single hat. Their lack of heavy spending does not mean these people want to go hatless, though. By offering embroidered hats with the right (general, fashionable) brand imprinting, this promotional item could become a daily part of their wardrobe.

Grocery Bags

For a few years now, the U.S. has had legislation supporting the 10-cent minimum charge on grocery bags. Many baby boomers are starting to plan ahead by bringing their own bags to the store. Go for a heavy-duty two-toned bag to accommodate most items an individual might buy.

Briefcases and Laptop Bags

The baby boomer population is home to many businessmen and women, managerial staff, and executives. The professionals of this demographic are big on traveling with briefcases and laptop bags. Supply them with branded bags for their convenience and your company exposure.


Promotional items can help grow your business. Be careful and make sure you have a well-thought-out marketing strategy beforehand. Focus on what your target audience would want by breaking them down by generations–and other segmentations, of course. The ideas above should give you a good start, but remember not to generalize your audience–no two people are the same. Base your decisions on your buyer personas.

Curious about our products? Have a specific promotional product in mind? Give us a call for added assistance! We are happy to help in any way possible!

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