One of the easiest ways to get free marketing is to give out promotional merchandise. What better way to promote your brand than to have your logo stamped on people’s clothes and everyday gear, right?
There’s just one problem–how do you get people to actually use your company swag and not stuff it in the back of their closets?
Yes, people love free stuff. But to make sure your branded swag has a genuine impact on the people that you give it to, you have to think about what they would actually want–and what would make the most lasting impression. Thinking your marketing swag ideas through thoughtfully is how you end up making the most of your swag endeavors.
You can put your brand on literally anything. But let’s talk about what your employees and clients would absolutely love to receive.
What Is Marketing Swag?
First things first, let’s define marketing swag. “Marketing swag”, “company swag”, and “promotional merchandise” all mean the same thing. They are products branded with a company’s logo or slogan to promote the brand, an event, or a campaign. As the name suggests, marketing swag is also used to increase brand awareness, enhance repetition, and improve customer engagement, among other marketing goals.
Typically, companies give out marketing swag for free or at a very low cost to employees, customers, stakeholders, or sometimes even random crowds.
Why Is Having Company Swag Important?
Company swag is more than just free stuff. Giving out branded swag is a highly effective marketing tool to increase brand awareness and improve customer relationships–but that’s just the beginning. Let’s talk about the biggest benefits of having branded swag:
Increased brand awareness
Getting your brand to stand out from the crowd isn’t easy. There is plenty of noise and competition in your industry. Thus, increasing your brand’s familiarity amongst your target market is the key to success.
The more people see your brand’s name and logo, the more they become familiar with your brand–and with familiarity comes a higher chance of engagement. Even if someone has never bought from your business before or even visited your website; if they’ve seen your logo or brand name somewhere, they are more likely to check you out first instead of the competition.
Better brand perception
One of the main goals of company swag is to promote a positive perception of the brand. Impressions are everything in the world of marketing, and giving out company swag is an effective way to impress your target market.
Enhanced brand personality
Creating and distributing company swag is an opportunity to show more of your brand’s personality. There is only so much that an online brand persona can do, so why not extend it to physical items? Finding high-quality branded swag ideas helps your message resonate with your audience. And, it also gives you a chance to show who you are in the most authentic way.
The people who are going to use your company swag the most are probably your own employees. It is not uncommon for companies to give out branded swag to their people, both for the purpose of promoting the brand as well as keeping employees happy. In fact, swag is an essential step in onboarding new employees to welcome them to the team!
Aside from the fact that company swag is essentially free products–which increases employee satisfaction on its own–it also helps promote the feeling of belongingness.
When your people wear your company logo on their jacket or drink from a branded coffee mug every day, it can make them feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves. It shows them that they are part of something that they can be proud of. Even if unconsciously, that feeling of belongingness helps keep people satisfied.
And, of course, the better your company swag, the happier your employees will be.
What Makes Branded Swag Good?
Your company swag says a lot about your brand as a whole. That said, you have to ensure that your merchandise will represent your company well. With that in mind, let’s talk about what makes company swag good.
You don’t want to give out corporate swag that will break the next day Not only is it a waste of resources, but it won’t sit well in an increasingly eco-friendly market. And if your promotional products are low-quality, what does that say about your brand?
Most likely, people are going to correlate your business with low-quality products or services, which is the last thing you would ever want when your goal is to make a good impression.
Whether it’s a t-shirt or a pen, make sure that you get products that are reasonably durable. Durable products don’t always have to be expensive. In fact, we can help you set your company swag budget in our blog.
When coming up with a good company swag idea, ask yourself: what is a product that my employees or customers will actually use?
If you’re making company swag for employees, the answer comes easily. All you have to do is take a look at what your employees use on a regular basis. Usually, it’s going to be office supplies, lunch gear, and (if you don’t have a strict dress code) casual apparel.
But when it comes to marketing swag for customers, you have to circle back to your target market, and perhaps even your buyer personas. For example, if the majority of your customers are fitness enthusiasts, items like reusable water bottles, gym towels, and baseball caps are great swag ideas to start with.
Attractive & Desirable
This factor is a little tricky. The best strategy here is to consider your target market and your current customer base. What makes company swag attractive and desirable to them, specifically? Here, you have to put a lot of thought into the color scheme, design elements, and the type of product itself, among other factors.
For instance, if your target market is college-aged young adults, they are most likely in the Gen Z and millennial generations. These age groups typically enjoy bright colors, minimalist designs, and straight-to-the-point messaging.
For company swag to be effective in its purpose, it has to be memorable. To achieve this, your swag’s designs have to make an impact. The best tip is to work with a good design team who can help you make simple yet noteworthy company swag designs that are sure to capture the attention of your audience.
In designing your company swag, make sure that it still resonates with your brand identity and personality. Use the same or a similar color scheme to what your company already uses. The logo has to be the same as the original or otherwise slightly modified only. And if your design has a message or slogan, ensure that it imparts your brand’s voice.
You don’t want marketing swag that looks like it belongs to another brand altogether. Unfortunately, this is not the time to experiment with wild company swag ideas all that much. Nevertheless, change can be good, but make sure that your customer will still recognize your brand if you want to try something experimental with your swag design.
Relevant To Your Brand
If you’re a coffee company and you decide to give out branded playing cards, it won’t make much sense. Your swag has to be relevant to your brand, what you do, and what you sell.
A winery, for instance, can give out branded wine glass sets. In this case, the customer can use the company’s product and the free gift together, ensuring a positive impression as well as memorability.
Company Swag Ideas Your Employees & Customers Will Love
There are endless branded swag ideas that you can consider, but we’ve come up with some of the best ones:
Although common, branded apparel (t-shirts, hoodies, hats, etc.) is a highly effective option for company swag. For one, company swag in the form of clothes turns your employees and customers into walking advertisements. Moreover, people will be hesitant to throw away clothes, meaning that even if they don’t use them, they’ll have a place in their closet.
Highly versatile and extremely useful, bags are another common option for company swag. Just like apparel, your recipients give you free marketing every time they use the bag.
Office supplies are a great choice for corporate swag giveaways, both for your own employees and your clients. There are a plethora of office products that you can choose from, such as notepads, pens, planners, calendars, and more. Better yet, curate an office supplies gift box with your choice of products.
Whether it’s a coffee mug or a reusable water bottle, drinkware ranks high on the “most useful marketing swag” list. Employees, most especially, love drinkware because they can use them every day in the office. And since people don’t usually have more than one tumbler or mug that they use regularly, this type of swag increases brand repetition.
Coffee, Tea & Snacks
What better way to make a positive impression than to give out free food? You can stamp your brand on coffee packs, tea bags, snacks, wines, and even deli items. Want to be a bit fancier? Go for the gourmet options.
Tech accessories are least likely to get thrown out or ignored because of the perception that they are valuable. More importantly, they are often very useful in everyday life. Power banks, chargers, headphones, wireless speakers, blue light blocking glasses, and other tech can bear your logo and promote your brand effortlessly.
Give your employees and customers something that they can bring while traveling–there’s free promotion right there–and it’s sure to be useful, too. Things like luggage tags, sleeping masks, neck pillows, earbud cases, and travel organizers are some of the most popular options for this category.
Do the popular options not work for your brand? Not to worry–almost any merch can be turned into the best company swag. Don’t like some of the items in the ready-made boxes? You can customize your gift box however you’d like.
We said the possibilities for your marketing gift box are endless, and we meant it. You can include miscellaneous items such as bags, playing cards, blankets, chocolate bars, and much more. Click here to see what you can include in your next promotional gift box.
Get High-Quality Custom Swag For Your Brand At Swag Bar!
At Swag Bar, we make it easy for you to achieve your marketing goals with some of the best company swag boxes you’ve ever seen–and at the right price! We only include high-quality products that are sure to delight any recipient. No need to worry about your company swag getting stuffed in the back of the closet, or worse, thrown out in the trash. We personally use the products that we sell; we can vouch for them anytime.
Not only that, but we create custom designs that are sure to capture the attention of your audience. You have the freedom to choose your colors, design elements, and whatever else you want to include in your design. Let our talented design team make your vision come to life.
Lastly, we prioritize only the best customer service here at Swag Bar. You can drop by our office for an in-person meeting, give us a call, send us an email, or submit a form on our website. Our clients come first, and we do our best to make you happy.
Overwhelmed by the amount of company swag ideas there is? Don’t worry, we have themed packs that are ready to leave a lasting impression on your clients. From the Office Zen Swag Pack for your employees to the Tech Lover Swag Pack for your techie clients, we have something for you. Find marketing swag packs at SwagBar today!