Promotional Products

8 Things Casino Buyers Should Know Before Buying Branded Merchandise

Whether you realize it or not, it’s everywhere. It’s on your casino floor, it’s on your employees, it’s given as gifts, it’s used by your customers, it’s in their homes. What is it? Branded merchandise. Items with your logo on it, and if you pay attention, you’ll see them all over the place.

Then you start doing the math – a lot of money is spent to circulate that logo, generate brand recognition, show appreciation, and create loyalty. So how do you make sure your casino is spending that money wisely? How can you get the most return from your branded merchandise budget? Here are 8 things you might want to pay attention to:


Focus on four main categories –

  • Events – promotional items given away at parties, concerts, and other events on property.
  • Player Gifts – products used to generate brand recognition and loyalty.
  • Employee Items – uniforms, accessories, and appreciation gifts.
  • Custom Consumables – single-use items that are frequently replaced.

Establish a goal – What are you trying to achieve with this item? How will it achieve that goal over other products? As with any purchase, spending for the sake of spending is not a good idea. Buy promo products with a clear purpose in mind.


Consider your audience – Who are they? What would they like? Don’t shop for yourself. Consider their interests, age, demographic, etc. Find items that your audience will genuinely appreciate based on who they are.


Think about the environment – Where will these items be given out? What size of item would make sense? What time of year is it? What is the weather? Think of how the promotional item will work in that space and at that time. If you’re putting your logo on cups at a nighttime concert, use glow in the dark cups. If you’re putting a branded gift in their car at valet, make sure it fits in the cupholder.


Find the BEST for your budget – It’s always good to be financially responsible, but are you getting a good return from your investment? For example, let’s say you want to give out t-shirts. You can save a couple bucks by using a cheap, thin garment with a simple design, but if no one wears it, what was the point of spending any money at all? Spend the money that is needed, get a fashionable shirt with an interesting design so that people actually wear it. Write this down – CPI (Cost Per Impression). If your branded promotional merchandise is used by your audience, then your branding will be seen by all the people they interact with, hence more impressions. If your audience throws it away or never uses it, then your logo is only seen by that person. How much did you just pay for that one impression?

Gift Experience

Focus on the experience – Inevitably, your audience will look at the thing you just gave them and consider the value of the item, and ultimately, how they feel valued by you because of that item. This is all part of the customer or employee experience. “Oh, you only value me this much?” could lead to a bad experience. Want to create a great experience? Surprise and delight, surprise and delight, surprise and delight. How does the product you’ve chosen achieve a feeling of surprise and delight?


Make your logo the star of the show – Branded promo merchandise decorators have unlimited ways to make your logo pop – laser engraving, foil stamping, artistic touches, and lots of other ways to give your branding prominence, importance, and life. Let your vendor’s graphic team find creative imprinting methods to showcase it, while still maintaining your brand standards.


Focus on the fun – Hey, getting something for free is pretty great on its own, but how can you make it even more fun? Run a contest, have a drawing, or make it a game somehow. Example – you’re giving out 5,000 t-shirts, you could package them and have a few specially printed, and the recipient of those wins something. Not complicated, but it’s fun for your audience, and will make them want that item even more. Or you could make it interactive by using NFC technology, incorporating an online component, and using the item as part of a bigger experience.

Well, there’s 8 things to consider as promised. I could probably give you some more, but you have promotions to plan, so get going! Let me know if you need help.

Gander Group has over 20 years of experience in promotional products, gifting and continuity programs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.

Author’s Name

Brad White
Senior VP of Business Development
Gander Group

Contact Gander Group

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