How to Pick the Right Swag for Your Business

If you are planning face-to-face interactions with your customers, from a one-on-one meeting to an international trade show, you’re probably thinking about swag. Make sure you invest wisely by getting the right swag for your business.


To Swag or Not to Swag

Swag can benefit almost any business. If you choose it carefully and calculate your ROI, you can use it to a big advantage.

An article on HuffPost offered the following statistics:

  • 89% of all people who have received a promotional item in the last 24 months can remember the name of the company associated with it.
  • More than 50% of consumers keep a promotional product anywhere from 1 year to more than 4 years.
  • After receiving promotional products, 85% of consumers do business with the company.


Give it Purpose

Don’t invest in swag just because you’re supposed to have swag. Visualize how the customer will use the item. If you want them to think of you when an appliance breaks, a magnet that sticks to one of said appliances makes a lot of sense. For a B-to-B product, give out something office workers can use at their desks. If you cater to theme park aficionados, give them lapel pins to add to their collection.

Make your swag item distinct so it doesn’t end up in the trash with a bunch of other stuff that looks just like it. Says Inc. magazine, “Top brands are unafraid to create gifts that differ significantly from the generic products that customers are quick to discard.”


Match the Item to Your Brand

If your brand is fun and playful, choose a toy, game, or quirky conversation starter. If your brand is sporty, choose an item that’s rugged or outdoorsy. You get the idea. When it comes to clothing especially, match the style to your brand. If you are dealing with high-end, older clients, they may simply use a free T-shirt to wash their car. Branded golf balls may be more to their taste.

Then, make it physically match your brand. Use your logo colors and incorporate the logo itself if you can. If this is your first time creating swag, involved your graphic designer in the process. Don’t have an in-house designer? Get some input from a freelancer.


Make it Practical

Not only should your swag item be something useful, but make sure your audience can actually use it. For example, if you’re on the road, make sure it’s something people can travel home with easily. If it’s something edible, consider the environment. Cookies get crushed in swag bags and chocolate melts on hot days. Think it through.

Gadget and “smart” products provide real value to the recipient. These products are hugely popular because they’re useful. And, according to Inc. magazine, “This trend is finally becoming affordable enough from a production point of view to be a viable gift.”


Measure Your ROI

Decide ahead of time what you want your swag to accomplish. Develop metrics for success. Count impressions, or leads, or new Facebook followers. Just measure something. Decide on a value for each success. Then weigh that value against your cost. Sometimes, you decide that general awareness is worth any cost. Even so, agree with your team what you mean by “awareness” and how you know it’s working!


PHOTO: Porapak Apichodilok / CC0 Public Domain

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