Branded merchandise remains an effective way to spread awareness of your brand, even in the digital age — and even in a world still plagued by COVID-19. If enough people like your branded swag, they will use that swag regularly, and other people in the world will learn about and investigate your company and its offerings. Plus, handing out merchandise is a good way to keep employees and customers excited about the business and pleased with the brand.
The key to successful swag, then, is creating merchandise that people actually want and use. Here are a few tips for choosing functional and attractive corporate merchandise products that will boost your brand:
Swag Should Be Well-made With High-quality Materials
While there is something to be said about spamming your surroundings with cheap, branded junk like pens and stickers, it doesn’t exactly build confidence in the skill and stability of your brand. In fact, it is a mistake to believe that people will be excited over your branded swag just because it is free; though some clients and customers might take poorly made merch to be courteous, they can recognize the low value of such an item immediately and are more likely to toss that kind of swag in the trash than use it to increase your brand’s visibility.
Instead, you should prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to swag. Products that are well-made with high-quality materials are likely to look and feel more substantial to users, who are likely to continue using them for years to come, increasing the longevity of your company merch. If your swag budget is on the low side, you might reserve expensive merch for valuable clients and customers, or you might limit your swag line to just one exceedingly well-made item.
Swag Shouldn’t Only Be Used Inside Your Own Offices
Because you work in an office, it is easiest to imagine branded swag that office workers like you can use, like flash drives and mouse pads — but office-specific items aren’t appropriate for everyone. In fact, what often happens with merch designed for office workers is that your own employees raid your swag stash for use inside your business HQ, and the branded goods hardly impact your brand’s visibility positively.
Instead, you should try to stock your swag shelves with items that are more likely to see the world outside your corporate offices. Apparel like T-shirts and custom bags with artful designs are likely to be used by employees, customers and others appreciative of the style. The ultimate goal of swag should be to increase interaction with your business and drive sales, and to do that, you need to get outsiders intrigued by interesting, useful products.
Swag Should Have Small Details for Fans to Find
One way to get clients and customers more invested in swag drops is to build a culture around your company merchandise, and the best way to do that is to hide easter eggs in your swag. When there are small details worth appreciating, fans will find them and talk about them with others, increasing the visibility of your brand and spreading admiration for your care and attention. Some examples of easter eggs include:
- Hidden words or numbers within printed designs on cups or water bottles
- A special note to customers printed inside notebooks or on the back of notepads
- Unique, branded stitching on the tags or hems of apparel like shirts and bags
Swag Shouldn’t Be Exclusive to Any Major Demographic
Just as you shouldn’t make swag exclusive to office workers, you shouldn’t make swag that isn’t usable by any major demographic — especially not any demographic that you are trying to attract to your business. Inclusivity is of growing importance in corporate culture and brand values, and you should work to prove your company’s desire to be inclusive with your merchandising choices.
When making swag choices, you should consider gender, age, ability, religion and other important aspects of a person’s lifestyle. For example, when ordering T-shirts, you should use inclusive sizing and perhaps add options in a women’s cut as opposed to solely unisex versions. It might be wise to talk to different people in your corporation to get different perspectives on your intended swag, to ensure that it is appropriately inclusive.
Undoubtedly, you have come into contact with swag you absolutely do not want and immediately get rid of. You don’t want your company to waste time and money on swag that doesn’t sway users to appreciate your brand, so you should consider the above qualities of good swag when building your branded merch.