Promotional items are used globally to promote brands, products, and corporate identity. They are also used as giveaways at events, such as exhibitions and product launches. Promotional products can be used for non-profit organizations to promote their cause, as well as promote certain events that they hold, such as walks or any other event that raises money for a cause. Almost anything can be branded with a company's name or logo and used for promotion. Common items include t-shirts, caps, keychains, posters, bumper stickers, pens, mugs, koozies, toys or mouse pads. The largest product category for promotional products is wearable items, which make up more than 30% of the total.
Other objectives that marketers use promotional items to facilitate include employee relations and events, tradeshow traffic-building, public relations, new customer generation, dealer and distributor programs, new product introductions, employee service awards, not-for-profit programs, internal incentive programs, safety education, customer referrals, and marketing research.
Promotional items are also used in politics to promote candidates and causes. Promotional items as a tool for non-commercial organizations, such as schools and charities are often used as a part of fund raising and awareness-raising campaigns. A prominent example was the Livestrong wristband, used to promote cancer awareness and raise funds to support cancer survivorship programs and research.