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The perfect demographic profile for branded merchandise gifts

Branded Merchandise Survey Main Image With Branded Merchandise

Promotional merchandise campaigns are always exciting for both the companies running promotions and for the lucky customers receiving their branded gifts. But how long do these customers keep their branded gifts? What groups of demographics are going to promote your brand the most by keeping your merchandise and using it for longer? 

We did a survey to find out. Some results are very interesting and super useful!  It will help you to understand the behaviour of the general public a little bit more and how you can build the most customer loyalty amongst your target market.

So who is the perfect recipient of branded gifts?

In general, anyone older than 35. One of the answers in the survey was “I don’t throw merch away”, which is a perfect score for any branded items campaign! 21.4% of respondents answered that they keep the merch forever. 

There is an obvious trend visible among the demographic age groups:  the older the demographic, the more likely they will keep their free branded gifts. As you go through each demographic age decade, the % retention rate increases. So we can confidently observe your older customers over 35 will be using your merchandise for longer!

How long will people in the UK typically keep your branded gifts?


Let’s make one thing clear first: 46.39% of the population chose to answer “none of these”, meaning they are not keeping merch for even a few hours. They are not interested in merchandise. There are no clear leaders by age, but males are twice more likely not to be interested in branded merchandise at all.

Now let’s move on to the interesting part: if people decide to keep your merchandise, most of them will keep it for a long time! 

  • 21.43% of respondents said they don’t throw out free branded merchandise.
  • 13.62% will keep it for more than a few months
  • 7.75% will keep it for a few years!
  • 2.73% will keep merch for few weeks
  • 2.57% will keep for few hours
  • 46.4% don’t interact with merch

This is a great result, if your merchandise is meeting their quality expectations and people decide to keep it, 60.66% of them will keep it for a few years or longer! If this is happening this shows great value for money for brand managers.

Free Merchandise Gifts Survey Stats Bars


What types of branded merchandise products will be kept the longest?

After seeing such positive results, we then asked ourselves which merchandise products do people love to keep for the longest. To find out we’ve done one more survey. We asked what type of free merchandise people keep the longest. A clear winner here is the branded clothing category with 26.7% of respondents saying they keep branded clothing merchandise longer than anything else. This is great news to all brand managers, as clothing is easily one of the best categories to promote thanks to a high visibility of branding and wide circulation of the brand logo or brand message. 

The second position is held by branded stationery (pens, rulers, sharpeners, etc), which will be kept the longest by 18.9% according to participants of the survey. An interesting fact about this category is that respondents by age are split very evenly. Every age group loves branded stationery! This is the only place where all age groups agree evenly, though, more about this below.

Branded cups or mugs are in third place with a share of 8.9%, followed by branded accessories such as keyrings and USB sticks in fourth place with 8.1% share.

Branded water bottles are in fifth place, receiving 7.3% of support from the British audience. And branded notebooks are in last place (6th) with 4.4%.


Which type of products are suitable for which demographic group?

As mentioned above, different demographics often like different types of merchandise. Let’s take a look at each type of product in the survey by age and gender.

What type of free merchandise do you keep longest? Survey results by age

Branded clothing (26.7% of total) 

Your efforts when promoting your branded clothing will likely provide the best results if you target people aged from 18 to 24 (the “Generation Z”). This age group holds a staggering 51.5% of people who are likely to keep branded clothing longer than any other type of merchandise. So give free branded clothes to Generation Z and they will repay you in promoting your brand!

The 18 – 34 age group together hold 70.3% of total votes from respondents that keep branded clothing longer than any other merchandise. This clearly is the best target age group audience for promotional clothing merchandise campaigns. Anyone from 55 and above are less likely to keep branded clothes longer than other types of merchandise.

The branded clothing category clearly dominated by female representatives, as 68.7% chose this category versus 31.3% of males. 

Therefore we can confidently say the optimal target audience for branded promotional clothing campaigns are the Millennial and Gen Z females, aged between 18 and 34 years old.


Branded stationery (pens etc) (18.9% of total)

Very evenly distributed votes by all age groups: all age groups and genders like branded stationery.

Branded cups and mugs (8.9% of total)

The 35 – 54 year old age group are most likely (67.5%) to keep branded cups and mugs for the longest amount of time. An interesting finding here is that this category was chosen by more males (64.5%) than females (35.5%).

Branded accessories (USB sticks, keyrings) (8.1% of total)

Branded accessories are much more liked by people from 35 to 54, together holding 70.4%. Males (73.4%) clearly like branded accessories way more than females.


Branded water bottles (7.3% of total)

Likely to be related to a healthy lifestyle, branded water bottles are appreciated by both males and females. Anyone from 25 to 64 is going to keep branded water bottles for a long time.

Branded notebooks (4.4% of total)  

Promotional notebooks are going to be kept longest by people from 25 to 64 years old. Males are dominating this category, holding 83.4%.



When you are running a promotional campaign with free branded gifts, it is important to do market research beforehand to ensure you target the right demographic audience with the right product and therefore be able to maximise your ROI.

Having this data will help you to avoid crucial mistakes, from giving away too many products to the wrong demographic – they might accept your gifts out of politeness, but statistically, they won’t keep it for a long time.

Have questions related to your next campaign? Need advice? Contact our team, we are always there to help you.

Details About the surveys:


Survey One: When you receive free branded merchandise (pens, lanyards, T-shirts, etc), for how long do you keep it?


We asked 138 respondents living in the UK, to answer a question for how long they keep free branded merchandise since they receive it.




49.9% of people surveyed are female and 50.1% male. All adults age groups were included, with the percentage as follows:


18-24: 15.7%

25-34: 18.8%

35-44: 18.2%
45-54: 19.3%
55-64: 14.9%

65+: 13.1%


Geographical area

England: 127 respondents

Scotland: 26 respondents

Wales: 14 respondents

Northern Ireland: 12 respondents



This survey has RMSE score of 5.8%.


Survey two: What type of free merchandise do you keep longest?

We asked 133 respondents in the UK what type of free merch they keep the longest.



34.6% of people surveyed are female and 65.4% male. All adults age groups were included, with the percentage as follows:



18-24: 15.7%

25-34: 16.3%

35-44: 17.6%
45-54: 23.5%
55-64: 17.6%

65+: 20.9% 


Geographical area

England: 96 respondents

Scotland: 25 respondents

Wales: 11 respondents

Northern Ireland: 1 respondent



This survey has RMSE score of 8.9%.