March 8, 2024

Company Swag: Tips & Ideas to Get Your Brand Noticed in 2024


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  • How company swag helps generate marketing impressions and builds brand awareness (with data).
  • What to do with leftover swag (hint, they make great employee gifts).
  • How to select company swag based on your goals (and 5 unique company swag gift ideas).

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What methods are you using to make your brand stand out positively?

This is something every business wants to achieve but falls short of. It can be challenging getting more attention and recognition on the web, thanks to all the noise and competition.

But there’s a way you can take your branding offline using company swag merchandise. So in this post, we’re going to explore:

  • What is company swag?
  • Why is company swag essential?
  • How you can use corporate swag for both internal and external brand building
  • How company swag can be integrated into a gifting strategy to help you stand out from the digital noise of your competition while creating leads.

What Does Company Swag Mean?

Company swag items are promotional products businesses use to promote their brand. These are normally given away for free to employees, clients, and prospective customers.

The goal is to build brand recognition and engagement, boost sales, and penetrate markets.

So what are swag items?

There are all sorts of company swag merchandise a company can use for this purpose. For example, you’ll find some companies give away swag products like USB drives, outerwear, pens, mugs, and custom water bottles.

What is the Purpose of Swag?

The ultimate purpose of using company swag is to improve the visibility and perception of a brand. So depending on who the swag items are given to will determine the anticipated outcome.

For example, when it comes to giving out company swag to employees, the goal is to boost employee satisfaction. Businesses with established company culture are less likely to have employees leave. According to one study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees feel that having a distinct workplace culture is essential to business success.

But it’s not just about keeping your employees happy (and attracting top talent). Company swag merchandise is also useful for external branding. For instance, it can help to:

  • Make your brand stand out
  • Boost brand recognition
  • Promote customer loyalty
  • Establish authenticity
  • Expand your marketing operations

And it’s rather cost-effective, compared to other marketing techniques.

Does Marketing with Company Swag Work?

Absolutely. Numbers show company swag merchandise gets impressions and helps brand perception. For instance, 90% of consumers in America report owning promotional products like pens and drinkware. Another 80% own promotional t-shirts (which they continue to wear for quite some time).

We find that 63% of consumers keep their promo t-shirts for more than a year. And another 47% keep them for over two years. Millennials report owning five promo t-shirts. Now, what makes t-shirts a great company swag item is the impressions they receive throughout their lifetime (roughly 3,400 impressions).

The cost? You can find t-shirts at $7/each, making your cost per impression (CPI) 2/10 of a cent.

Let’s take a look at other swag merchandise that performs well:

Writing instruments: 89% of consumers own promo pens (20% own more than 10) and keep them for 9 months, granting 3,000 impressions.

Bags: 73% of consumers own promo bags for around 11 months, granting 3,300 impressions.

Headwear: 69% of consumers own promo hats (1/3 of men wear them weekly or more often) for around 10 months, granting 3,400 impressions.

Calendars: 62% of consumers (37% women, 20% men) own promo calendars and 52% keep them for at least one year, granting 850 impressions.

USBs: 58% of consumers own promo USBs for around 13 months. 43% keep them for over two years, granting 700 impressions. 47% give them away if they don’t want them.

What Makes a Good Company Swag Idea in 2022?

If you’re trying to use company swag merchandise as part of your marketing strategy, then you want to select items with a purpose. You’ll find some promotional items are better suited for lead generation than for customer retention.

So let’s take a look at several tips on selecting company swag.

Generating Leads

Let’s say you’d like to drive more prospects your way. If this is the case, then you’ll want to select company swag items that:

  • Offer an incentive (to make them feel the need to reciprocate)
  • Are useful (tech accessories will stand out from other company swag from tradeshows and events)
  • Have good quality (this sets you apart from companies with cheap giveaways, sets a great first impression, and your swag will last longer)

Build Brand Awareness

When you’re creating awareness for your business, you should focus on company swag that’s memorable and resonates with your company. So here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Go industry-specific (if you’re a finance company, offer a branded wallet)
  • Put your logo front and center (include messaging to convey what your brand does/offers)
  • Use social media (encourage company swag recipients to share their items and a unique hashtag you create)

Launch New Product or Service

Getting buzz for a new product or service is critical to a successful launch. With company swag, you can help build attention and make a good impression. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Use custom (but related) swag (for example, if you’re launching a health app, then offer branded vitamin water)
  • Host an event for your product launch (include custom branded tech swag and other functional gifts)
  • Use company swag as an incentive (i.e. the first X people to sign up get your swag bag)

Retain Customers

Customer retention is just as important as attracting new leads. If you have a subscription-based business model, then you know how true this is. So to ensure you keep your clients happy, you can offer personalized swag gifts. Here are some ideas:

  • Host a customer appreciation giveaway to say thanks (consider personalized mugs, keychains, pens)
  • Promote customer to reorder (free gifts can give the incentive to make a new order – consider a wine basket, fruit basket, or other personalized gift)
  • Share happy customers in your swag (offer bonus incentives to customers who share photos wearing or using your swag)

What Can You Do With Leftover Swag?

Bought too many swag items and need a way to get rid of the excess sustainably? Then before you trash it, consider these ideas:

  • Donate it to a local school
  • Partner with a local food bank or shelter
  • Keep them for your next event or giveaway
  • Give it to a thrift shop
  • Recycle it
  • Repurpose them for employee gifts

What Kind of Swag Do Employees Like?

If you’re looking to build a company swag pack for your employees, then you may be wondering what type of items they prefer. Try coming up with ideas that are digital, newsworthy, desktop-friendly, personal, and of good quality. Here’s a quick list of some ideas you can use when creating your swag kits.

Remote Swag Kits

It’s 2022, which means there’s a high chance you have at least one team of remote workers. If so, then this is the ideal time to create a remote swag kit and have it mailed to their doorstep. Some items you can include in your swag bag include a coffee mug, USB, notebook and pen, smartphone case, slippers, face peel mask, or coffee bundle.

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining productivity. So inspire your employees to drink more with a branded water bottle. You can even go with one that includes a timeline on the side to let them know when and how much to drink throughout the day.

Tech Accessories

Your employees are using all sorts of gadgets throughout the day. So why not create swag packs with accessories they can use? For instance, you can get a cup holder phone mount, which employees can use in their cars. It sits in the cup holder, holding up their smartphone for safe, hands-free driving. Portable chargers and power banks are another great option.

Gift Ideas for Company Swag Packs

Alright, so you have a better idea of what company swag is, why it’s essential and how to use it. Now, it’s time to look at some great gift ideas to include in your swag bags.

Let’s take a look.

1. Branded Fanny Packs

Yes, fanny packs are back in and they’re actually cool to wear. So jump on the bandwagon with your own branded version. Choose neutral colors that can be worn with anything so they’re more inclined to wear it. You can also fill it with items like a reusable straw, hand sanitizer, and lip balm.

2. Beer Mug and Hangover Pills

You always see company swag merchandise featuring coffee mugs — what about the avid beer drinkers? With a branded beer mug, you can give recipients a way to enjoy time off after work. Then to ensure they’re ready for whatever the next day brings, they have hangover pills to clear the brain fog.

3. Portable Coffee Brewer

Waking up to a cup of a delicious cup of coffee is a great way to start the day. Recipients can use it to make hot or cold coffee and can be made at home or on the go. It’s ideal swag for employees, customers, prospects, or whoever else you decide is worthy.

4. Desk Vacuum

Offering snacks as part of your swag pack? Then a desk vacuum is an excellent combination gift. This way your employees or clients can snack away at the office without worrying about crumbs (and creepy crawlies).

5. Desk Organizer

If you want your brand to stay top-of-mind, then having swag that sits front and center is ideal. A branded desktop organizer that holds pens and a smartphone will do the job.

Get Your Company Swag On with Sendoso

Planning company swag for an event, your employees, or current customers shouldn’t be tough. With the right ideas, strategy, and company swag store, you can ensure you get the perfect items.

Use these tips and ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Then when it’s time to take action, you can use Sendoso as your platform. We help corporations find, personalize, and send swag gifts to your office or directly to the recipient.

You can track shipments in the platform and even attribute whether they convert into a lead or sale.

See how it all works for yourself — request a free demo with Sendoso today!

Got questions? We’re here for you.

Let someone from our Support team help you along your sending journey.

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