Product Launch: Are Your Promotional Gifts Culturally Appropriate?

Product Launch: Are Your Promotional Gifts Culturally Appropriate?

With a service or product launch, you need to be able to educate your target audience about it. Marketing is about reaching this audience, and an effective means of creating the right sense of excitement and anticipation is with a launch event.

“To maximise the impact of this strategy you want to be able to enhance the sense of significance, and help your brand lodge in the minds of your audience,” advises Chris Rigby, MD of Invogue Incentives.

This is where promotional gifts are ideal for launches. For some businesses, however, they want to launch their product or service internationally.  Do the same rules about the effectiveness, and appropriateness, of gift giving apply?


Gift Considerations

“Using promotional gifts for product launches always requires careful consideration around the type of gift. The gifts should always dovetail with your overall brand values,” Chris observes.

For example, if you have a luxury brand, you should ensure the promotional gift reflects this. Similarly, you may want the gift to be appropriate to the sector in which you work. So, an IT company might give away branded USB drives.

If your corporate gifts do not align with your brand values, you risk them having the opposite effect to what you intended, and they will put your brand in a negative light,” explains Chris.

“You should also ensure that your choice of gifts, will always work to enhance the thing you are launching and not overshadow it,” Chris advises.


“With overseas markets and international trade, you will also have to think about certain cultural considerations when it comes to giving away promotional items”

Chris Rigby, Invogue Incentives


International Gift Giving

Along with the basic homework that goes with preparing for export – researching your market, having your finance in place, taking expert business and legal advice – you should also consider localisation.


“Make sure that your product is culturally appropriate and whether you have to make any adjustments to fit the local market”

Chris Rigby, Invogue Incentives


“The same applies to your product launch and promotional gifts,” Chris states. “Certain cultures have strong gift-giving traditions, while others do not.”

You will also have to consider, within the context of your launch, how your audience will perceive any promotional gifts. Launch events and gifts may have a different impact depending on the culture of your host country.


“The gifts themselves must be appropriate for this overseas audience.  Be particularly aware of sensibilities around food and drink”

Chris Rigby, Invogue Incentives


“Promotional gifts are versatile and effective for boosting a product launch,” Chris concludes, “but you should always be sure of the market you’re targeting.”

To ensure that your promotional gifts are culturally appropriate for your next event, please call Invogue Incentives on 01772 751175 or visit