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The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Swag that Makes Your Brand Prominent

Corporate swag, also known as branded merchandise, is a powerful tool for companies to promote their brand and build brand recognition. Whether you're looking to give away freebies at trade shows or want to provide your employees with a little something extra, corporate swag can help you achieve your goals.

In this ultimate guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about corporate swag, from choosing the right items to distributing them effectively.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Corporate Swag?

  2. Benefits of Corporate Swag

  3. Choosing the Right Corporate Swag

  4. Designing Your Corporate Swag

  5. Distributing Your Corporate Swag

  6. Measuring the Success of Your Corporate Swag Campaign

  7. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Corporate Swag

  8. Trends in Corporate Swag

  9. Wrapping Up

What is Corporate Swag?

Corporate swag, also known as branded merchandise, is any item that features a company's logo or branding. This can include everything from pens and keychains to t-shirts and water bottles. Corporate swag is typically given away for free as a promotional item, although it can also be sold as a retail item.

Benefits of Corporate Swag

There are many benefits to using corporate swag as part of your marketing strategy. These include:

Increased brand recognition

When people see your logo or branding regularly, they become more familiar with your brand. This can help increase brand recognition and make your brand more prominent in the minds of consumers.

A great example of this are sports brands like Nike or Adidas that put their logo on every clothing item they sell.

Over the years, their logos became a status symbol. People are proud to wear clothes with the Nike logo on them.

Cost-effective marketing

Corporate swag can save you tons of money on paid ads or traditional ways of marketing using TV or radio.

Even better – if you do it right, swag can turn into a great marketing tool or even a source of extra revenue.

For example, HubSpot, a popular CRM and marketing tool, set up their online swag store where you can buy some apparel or gadgets with their logo:

This makes it an affordable option for a promotion that brings a direct ROI for businesses of all sizes.

Increased customer loyalty

When you give your customers a gift, they're more likely to feel appreciated and valued. And if you put a good effort into your swag, making it useful and good-looking, the receiver might spread the positive message about your brand (and will show off your logo to their friends, of course)

Look at how Ahrefs is using swag for giveaways on their social media:

The campaign brought a decent amount of attention to the brand and is helping improve Ahrefs’ brand recognition.

This can help increase customer loyalty and lead to repeat business.

Improved employee morale

When you provide your employees with corporate swag, it can help improve morale and make them feel more valued.

This can lead to your employees spreading positive words about you and your brand online:

Not only, it improves your reputation as an employer — a well-done swag will go with your employee to different places, giving you free brand exposure.

Choosing the Right Corporate Swag

Choosing the right corporate swag is essential to the success of your campaign. Here are some factors to consider when selecting items:

  • Your target audience: Who will be receiving the swag? Make sure the items you choose are appropriate for your target audience.

  • Your budget: How much do you have to spend on swag? Make sure you choose items that fit within your budget.

  • The occasion: Are you giving away swag at a trade show or conference? Or are you providing it to your employees as a thank-you gift? The occasion will help determine the type of swag you choose.

  • The item's usefulness: Choose items that are useful and relevant to your target audience. Items that are useful and practical are more likely to be used and seen by others, increasing the visibility of your brand.

Designing Your Corporate Swag

Designing your corporate swag is an important step in the process. Here are some tips for creating effective designs:

Keep it simple

A simple, clean design is more likely to be noticed and remembered. There’s no need to put an obnoxiously large logo on every piece of your swag.

In fact, it can do you more harm than good. Your employees and other people using your company swag might appreciate if you keep the swag toned-down and elegant.

Take this hoodie by XTRF:

Not only it looks cool and comfortable — the logo is incorporated into the design in a non-abrasive way, adding a positive touch to the overall look of the piece of clothing.

Use your brand colors

This might sound like a no-brainer, yet so many companies forget about it. Incorporate your brand colors into the design to reinforce brand recognition.

This way, any piece of swag produced for your brand will be instantly recognizable.

See how FedEx has applied their brand colors into their socks design:

It’s not very obvious at first, but once you notice the logo, everything just falls into place. Don’t aim for a simple black T-shirt with your logo on it. A more ambitious piece of swag can go a much longer way.

Include your logo:

Yes, this is also rather obvious. But while we all know the logo on your corporate swag is essential, not many people know how to incorporate it into the whole design.

The main rule here is: treat your logo with respect.

Putting a big logo everywhere on your swag might make it seem cheap. Instead, treat it just like Nike or Adidas treat their logos — as an iconic addition to the whole thing.

Google does an impressive job at embroidering their logo on leather goods:

It’s adds a nice touch to a classic design, without overpowering the whole piece. When adding your logo, make it a cherry on top, not the whole cake.

Consider the item's shape and size: The design should be appropriate for the item's shape and size.

Use high-quality materials: Choose high-quality materials to ensure the swag looks professional and lasts longer.

Distributing Your Corporate Swag

Once you've chosen and designed your corporate swag, it's time to distribute it. There’s no point in having a swag store that doesn’t raise the awareness of your brand among your target audience. A good distribution helps you reach this goal.

Here are some tips for effective distribution:

  • Hand out swag at trade shows, conferences, and other events where your target audience will be present.

  • Include swag in employee welcome kits or as part of an employee recognition program.

  • Use social media to run contests and giveaways featuring your corporate swag.

  • Include swag in customer orders as a surprise and delight tactic.

Don’t be afraid to do a little humblebrag about your company swag on social media as well. It’s a great way to boost interest in your brand and attract those interested people to your offer.

Measuring the Success of Your Corporate Swag Campaign

Measuring the success of your corporate swag campaign is important to determine the return on investment. At the end of the day, you create swag to move your business forward, and not only have some cool items to share with your coworkers.

Here are the most important corporate swag metrics to consider:

  • Brand impressions: Track the number of people who see your branding on the swag. This can help you understand the actual impact your swag has. For example, if you feature your swag at a conference, check how many participants were there. This can give you an idea of how many people saw your corporate swag.

  • Lead generation: Track the number of leads generated from the swag campaign. This can come directly from your company swag store or through other channels, like promoting your swag on social media or in-person business gatherings.

  • Employee morale: Measure the impact of the swag on employee morale and satisfaction. What do your employees think about the swag? Do they want to use it outside work? And if not – why?

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Corporate Swag

There are some common mistakes that businesses make when using corporate swag. Here are some to avoid:

  • Choosing low-quality items: Low-quality items can reflect poorly on your brand and may not be used by recipients.

  • Choosing items that are irrelevant to your brand: Make sure the items you choose are relevant to your brand and target audience. Always ask yourself if the piece of swag you choose is something your target audience would use in real life.

  • Not including a clear call to action: Make sure recipients know what action to take after receiving the swag. Invite them to share the info about the swag on social media or go to your website to check out your latest offer.

  • Focusing too much on quantity over quality: It's better to distribute high-quality swag to a smaller group than low-quality swag to a larger group. Don’t fall for cheap, low-quality swag items that will be thrown in the trash after a week. Quality is always better than quantity when it comes to company swag.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, corporate swag can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to promote their brand and increase visibility. By choosing the right items, designing them effectively, and distributing them strategically, businesses can achieve their marketing goals and improve employee morale. By avoiding common mistakes and keeping up with current trends, businesses can ensure their swag campaigns are successful.

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