How to Brainstorm Promo Ideas for Your Clients

How to Brainstorm Promo Ideas for Your Clients

After participating in a seemingly myriad of promotional products groups on social media, I have run into the same discussion questions time after time: “What are some good product ideas for a _________ event?”

Name an event, there has been a discussion.

Instead of waiting on other members of your social group to respond to your posts, though a good idea as a supplement, I highly recommend that you get in the habit of implementing these brainstorming techniques in order to augment the quality of products you can suggest to your clients!

Before We Delve Into Brainstorming Techniques…

It is imperative to allow yourself the opportunity to log your ideas ‘on the go’!

With 1.7 Billion people carrying around a smartphone these days, there is plenty of incentive for app companies to develop fantastic apps!

Here are some of the best apps for logging your ideas:

  1. Evernote is a cloud-based application, which you can access from you phone, your tablet, and your laptop. Have a great idea? Create a note, write as much as your heart desires and add it to a folder. Without even having to press ‘save’, your note is synced with your cloud profile and automatically uploaded to your other devices. You may be pleased to hear that you can add files, pictures, and customize your text with colors, bold, italics, and more!
  2. Wunderlist is also a cloud based application you can download on your phone and your Chrome browser as an add-on. Invite people to collaborate on lists, add files and pictures, and customize your profile. Talk about a visually appealing app, this one is the way to go.
  3. Pages for the iPhone is a great tool for the visually inclined. If you work best with visuals and text, the pages app is great. Create beautiful presentations which you can send to anyone or save to iCloud.
  4. Mindly is an amazing, conceptual app. Create thought clouds with word associations, change colors, and make a pretty, visual representation of your product ideas.

5 Brainstorming Ideas

Ask your suppliers!

Communication is the key to healthy relationships; funny fact: business relationships are not exempt from this psychological fact. Though you may not voice your every whim and desire, you should communicate with your suppliers. Not sure what to ask? Here are some questions:

  • What are your discounts and specials?
  • What is your favorite ___________ product(s)? (i.e. tech, summer, sporting, etc.)
  • What is your highest selling product?
  • Or… What is your secret treasure? A great product that nobody buys!

Pinterest Keyword Search

Pinterest is one of the best databases for inspiration. You have billions of pins to sift through for gathering ideas! Try this: type a keyword from your anticipated event into the Pinterest search bar. Search by pins, pinners, or boards. I suggest boards, since these tend to be catered towards a particular theme. You will find some fantastic product ideas, which you can add to Evernote, Wunderlust, Pages, or Mindly.

Visual Meditation

Your concept of meditation is probably skewed by a societal association with religious figures. Meditation does not require an achievement of Buddhist Enlightenment, nor do you have to be one of the twelve disciples in order to meditate!

Meditation is simply observing your thoughts from a heightened view. By heightened, I mean as a third party. It is very helpful to visualize yourself doing something or acting as if, while meditation.

Here’s a visualization for you to use while identifying the perfect promotional products for your client’s next event. This one is catered to a client asking for product ideas to use for a high school Drug Use is Life Abuse event.

Retire to a quiet room in your home or office. If you are sitting in your office chair, uncross your legs and place your palms, face-up, on your legs. If you have the luxury to lie down, please do so now in Corpse Pose (lie flat on your back, with your arms at your sides, and your legs uncrossed). 

Now, I want you to close your eyes, and practice your breathing. Take a deep breath in for 5 seconds… Hold your breath for 8 seconds… Exhale for 10 seconds… And again… Breathe in for 5 seconds… Hold your breath for 8 seconds… And Exhale for 10 seconds. 

I want you to picture yourself walking up to your high school campus. You arrive in your car, and you walk up to the front of the school grounds. What do you see? 

You walk past the front office and head to your locker. Your backpack is firmly rested against your back, while you turn the lock to open your locker. You grab your books, place them in your backpack, and head to your first class. 

You bump into a few of your friends while walking to class; you notice you’re running late, so you tell your friends you will text them during class. You take your seat in the classroom, and unpack your supplies for class… 

Class is over, and you head to lunch. You forgot to bring your lunch today, so you head to the lunch line to purchase a hot lunch. Once you get your lunch, you head to the lunch tables to sit with your friends… 

Now, open your eyes.

I could go on and on, taking you through the rest of your school day, but I think this will suffice for our example.

Did you visualize any school accessories when you were heading through your day?

Personally I can identify these potential promotional products, from this visualization:

  • Keychain
  • License plate cover
  • Tote bag
  • Backpack
  • Textbook cover
  • Phone case
  • Portable charger
  • Planner
  • Pencils or pens
  • Pencil box
  • USB Drive
  • Hand sanitizer holder
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Wallet
  • Lunch bag

How did I come up with these ideas from that meditation? Well, I actually pictured myself in each of the scenarios. What would make my life easier? What did I carry with me?

*This is a proven method of brainstorming; I swear I didn’t make it up.

Go for a Walk

This may seem less ‘productive’ and more distracting, but loosing your muscles and taking in fresh air actually boosts your mental function.

1-2 times a day, particularly contemplating a content timeline for my blog posts, I like to take a little walk down to the front of our building. I call these my ‘brainstorm walks’.  They work for me because I head downstairs with a purpose. Right when I get out of my seat, I tell myself the title of my scheduled blog, and just let the rats run in my brain run circles in their little wheels.

always get a successful result from these ‘brainstorm walks’. Just make sure to bring a palm-sized notepad with you, or your mobile device (though this could be distracting) with you while on your walk, so you can log your ideas.

Draw The Scene

For those of you artistically inclined, drawing may be intellectually stimulating for you.

Picture the scene of a particular event in your mind, and put pen to paper. Draw the scene: what you see, what people are doing, and the little details of the particular venue, or the general surroundings.

As you’re drawing, note what comes to mind. If your client has asked for fun summer promo, what are the people in your picture doing? What would be convenient for the people in your picture to have while participating in summer fun?

To Get You Going…

I have taken the liberty to list the most common event themes and a few products for each, just to get you started in the brainstorming process.

Valentines Day

  • Box of chocolates
  • Stuffed animals
  • ‘Lonely’ shot glasses
  • Gift bags
  • Picture Frame
  • Boxers (or other sorts of undergarments)
  • Lollipops
  • Blind-fold
  • Trash can (for the chocolates, not your heart)
  • Lip gloss

St. Patty’s Day

  • Gold chocolates
  • Leprechaun hat
  • Plant pot
  • Koozie
  • Water bottles (for morning after hangover hydration)
  • Green Nail Polish
  • Band-aids (for pinches that bleed)
  • Four-leaf clover stickers
  • Leprechaun hat headbands
  • Green knee-high socks


  • Bibs (for those watermelon eating contests)
  • Flimsy hats
  • Sun tan lotion
  • Sunglasses
  • Boogie Boards
  • Trucker hats
  • Cooler
  • Bubbles
  • Wet suits
  • Flippers

Sporting Event

  • Muscle T’s
  • Beach chair
  • Lanyard
  • Sports bra
  • Fannypack
  • First aid kits
  • Headphones
  • Spray bottles
  • Stretchy bracelets
  • Water jugs

Hotel Handouts

  • Local map
  • Water bottles
  • Coffee mugs
  • Gum
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tote bag
  • Drawstring backpack
  • Rubber bands
  • Bar of soap
  • Eye mask


  • Mini succulent
  • Pencil holder
  • World map
  • Notepad
  • Cork board
  • Binders
  • Picture frame
  • Desk candies
  • Book ends
  • Paper weight


  • Tote bag
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Spray bottle
  • Mason jars
  • Cloth napkins
  • Lunchbox
  • Tupperware
  • Recycled paper notebooks
  • Energy saving light bulbs
  • Solar energy phone charger


  • Golf Balls
  • Golf Bag
  • Ball Marker
  • Polo Shirt
  • Golf Hat
  • Koozi
  • Cigar Humidor
  • Flask
  • Score cards
  • 6-pack wood carrier

If you have any questions about this blog and you want to learn more about our free website consultation, please feel free to fill out the contact form below or you can contact Kristen Trotta via email at


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