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How Popular Brands Use Stickers for Promotions

Written by Nermae De Asis    ●    Last Updated on May 26, 2021

Stickers are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of advertising. Small and inconspicuous, custom stickers are often overlooked, but look around and you’ll see that these tiny but mighty promotional tools are everywhere. Any brand, big or small, uses stickers for their marketing—and for a good reason. Aside from being cost-effective, these ubiquitous promotional staples open a whole new world of promotional possibilities, as demonstrated by these companies that have successfully used stickers to grow their business and fanbase.

We’ve listed the most popular ways brands have used stickers and labels in different stages of their marketing.

inforgraphics: sticker promotions by popular brands

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We cannot make a list of the most popular companies that use stickers without including Apple. The tech giant may have a big marketing budget, but they always make sure that each customer purchase of an Apple product includes a sticker of their logo. These apple-shaped stickers are usually applied on notebooks, laptops, and even on the back of cars. As Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable brands, a simple sticker can even serve as a status symbol.


This may be one of the most well-known sticker start-up stories in history. Back in 2005, the founders of one of the biggest community-based online platforms only had $500 for their advertising budget. Every cent of it went to sticker printing. They distributed these stickers at events, meetups, and even to random people on the street. Giving away free stickers was not a one-stop advertising solution, but it helped boost brand recognition and build a community of Redditors that made the website what it is today.


For athletes, extreme sports fans, and outdoor content creators, GoPro is the go-to camera known for its wide-angle fish lens that captures more action and atmosphere compared to the traditional point-and-shoot. GoPro gives out free stickers with every purchase and fans can simply e-mail for more and get them delivered to their address. They come in a wide variety of sizes so they can be applied to objects as large as sports equipment or as small as water bottles.


Originally popular among teenagers in the 1960s, Vans now appeals to today’s younger shoppers embracing the vintage, laidback SoCal style. Musicians, actors, and non-celebrities alike wear Vans for its casual simplicity. The hang tag that comes with every pair of Vans is actually a sticker. Aside from the logo, different sticker designs are also sold as merch on their website. They are mostly seen on people’s skateboards and helmets, which is a testament to how Vans is known as one of the best surf and skate brands in the world.


This online cult-beauty brand became a household name for Millennials and Generation Z because of the way they mastered their packaging for social media sharing. Every order comes in a non-descript mailer box, but when opened reveals a well-thought-out “unboxing experience”. They include sticker sheets full of logos and on-brand iconography, which changes every season to keep customers engaged.


This burger joint has maintained a loyal following for over 70 years and is considered a staple for anyone who lives or visits any of its few locations on the West Coast. One of the main reasons why In-N-Out continues to stay relevant is because of how it represents the Californian state of mind. Family-owned since 1948, straightforward menu, well-paid associates (not employees), and great company culture. Visit any of their locations and they will give you free stickers upon request. No questions asked.


We covered how stickers make great freebies and can help you boost branding. Let’s look at how companies are using stickers to make a statement, as shown by the Superman movie’s promotions in Brazil. They used custom sticker decals to get creative with the elevator doors and their interiors. The ad did not say much, just the date of the movie premiere, but everyone who saw it immediately understood what it was.

Custom stickers are not the be-all and end-all of growing your business. These brands have demonstrated that sticker freebies combined with customer-driven strategy and a well-executed marketing plan are what makes you stand out. There is no doubt that sticker printing is a cheap but effective marketing medium for any brand in any industry. Whether you’re looking to get your brand noticed, create an impactful message, or simply just want to give back to your fans, custom stickers are a sure-fire way to make a lasting impression.