The word trinkets is associated with ornaments and novelty items. A trinket box is a box used to hold inexpensive jewelry and other keepsakes. Promotional trinkets are mass marketed merchandise such as pens, key chains, coffee mugs, fridge magnets and note pads customized with company names. Ironically, trinkets aren't considered valuable yet they can prove very valuable in terms of marketing power.
For example, if you receive a complimentary note pad from your neighborhood realtor and keep it to use for your weekly grocery list, you're constantly seeing his or her name, photo and company name. Though you may not need a realtor any time soon, you may remember that name when you do or when you hear that a friend or family member needs a realtor.
If you're at a trade show for business purposes and you bring home some promotional items with company names on them, those trinkets serve as a reminder of the companies whose products or services you viewed. Having the company name on useful items such as pens or coffee mugs makes it more likely that the recipients of such mass marketed trinkets will keep them at least for a few months or so. The company remains in the recipient’s frame of reference and his or her associates that see the customized trinkets may ask about the company if they're in the same line of business.
Many companies also use trinkets as a way of not only enforcing the presence and branding of the firm, but also to unify staff at events. For instance, all company employees taking part in a large fundraiser run for a charity may wear matching t-shirts emblazed with the company name and logo. This not only puts the business name out in the community, but it enforces the concept of company employees as team players — as being part of a distinct group.
When giving out promotional trinkets to customers and potential customers, businesses should think of useful items that the recipients will appreciate. The best types of promotional trinkets fit the business. For example, a hairdresser can give out combs printed with the name and phone number of their hair salon and a computer shop could hand out mouse pads featuring their name and website address.