Tuesday, February 7, 2012

America's Top Five Promotional Imprinted Product Markets

The Advertising Specialty Institute's (ASI) Counselor Magazine has ranked the top 100 American cities & metropolitan areas for selling promotional materials. Below are the top five cities that made the list & the reasons why.

I was surprised when I first saw what cities were the top 5......not New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atanta or Houston. But after reading why these cities made the list, it made sense.

Businesses can look for similar characteristics within their own communities to determine why promotional imprinted products are effective marketing tools for their companies & the services & products they provide.

1. Bridgeport, Connecticut
There are many factors that account for the fact Connecticut's largest city sits at the top of the list, but the most noteworthy may be the location. Approximately 35% of the U.S. population & 64% of Canada's is contained within a 500 mile radius of Bridgeport. Additionally, Bridgeport is close to a high number of Fortune 500 companies & sits almost directly between New York & Boston, two very densely-populated areas. Bridgeport's lesson: consider all of the markets available to your organization, not just those in your immediate vicinity.

2. Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minnesota
Though they constitute a large metropolitan center in their own right, the Twin Cities hardly make up the bulk of the U.S. population. Such isolation & unique location may account for the success of this market. Minneapolis/ St. Paul boasts 28.5 small businesses per 1,000 people & saw upwards of $316 million in promotional product sales last year. The Twin Cities lesson: being isolated from the competition means that small businesses can flourish on their own turf.
(The Twin Cities are home to some of the nation's largest companies such as Target, General Mills, United Health Insurance, Cargill, 3M & Best Buy. That also has to be a factor why they're #2 when it comes to customized promotional items).

3. Miami/ Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The proximity to trading partners in the Caribbean as well as it's geographic location near the meeting point of major shipping routes makes Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale are burgeoning meccas for many businesses. Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale has experienced a 3.3% population growth in the past five years & is home to over 176,000 small businesses. Miami's lesson: pay attention to where other industries have found success.

4. Jacksonville, Florida
This city is the site of enormous financial & population growth, with an almost 10% increase in residents over the past five years. Jacksonville is a gateway between the traditional South & the exploding cities of FL (like Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale). The destination contains 27.34 small businesses per every 1,000 people. Promotional products work so well in the area because it has positionaed itself as a corridor between major markets.

5. Nashville, Tennessee
The traditional home of country music is experiencing major growth in the 21st century. This has quite a bit to do with its position as an economic power in the middle of the South. Add to that a 12% population boom in the past five years, as well as a staggering 38,000 small companies within the city limits. The ASI's Advantages Magazine discovered that the South is the top American region for promotional products sales, so it's easy to see why Nashville would be so successful. Organizations that seek out the most bustling hubs in their regions will likely experience the most success when offering promotional custom products.

Ok, those are the top 5 cities where customized promotional items are the most popular; but it doesn't limit the effectiveness of promotional products in all cities. If you own a business in Baltimore, MD, Kansas City, KS, Des Moines, IA or Sacramento, CA advertising specialties can just as useful to you.

Bottom line, it's not the location--where you distribute them; but HOW you distribute them. The companies handing out promotional imprinted products in the top five cities flourished because they knew their market. Know your market & most importantly, your target audience--WHO you're giving them to & how they will be used.

I hope this helps you hand out your marketing items.
Ronni Sherman

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