Your Swag Is An Extension Of Your Brand, So Don’t Neglect It

Your Swag is an Extension of Your Brand, So Don’t Neglect It

You are what you give away. In the business world, this means that your brand can be defined by your swag — so you better think about your promo items.

Have you ever watched awards shows and how celebrities talk about the “swag they receive? You find beauty items and luxury products, which then helps to define the brands. These cases illustrate a rather important point in marketing—your promotional items matter.

These swag or promotional items are often gifted as a means of promoting a brand. It helps people remember the brand name, and it promotes goodwill. But you can’t just give away any random item and think that one product is as good as another. Some products actually work. Others are discarded just as soon as the recipient finds a handy trash bin.

So how should you pick your swag? You have to focus on quality over quantity. It’s not how many products you give away that’s important. It’s the quality of those products. That’s the first rule of swag.

Think of it as a mathematical equation: 1,000,000 x 0 = 0. A million items worth nothing is really worth nothing in the end.

Here are some reasons why:

  • When you offer high-quality items, these are more likely to be used. After all, the items are nicely designed and well-made, and those things tend to be more used than poorly designed items. As more people use your promo items more often, your brand (which should be displayed prominently on the promo item) gets a lot more display time. The recipient who uses it sees the brand name and logo and is reminded of your brand, and the same goes for the others who see the item in use.
  • Premium quality items are also better made and thus they last longer. Again this results in more use and therefore more display time for your brand name and logo.
  • When you give away premium quality items, it also means that you’re actually serious about forging a strong bond with the recipient. It’s as if you really care. It becomes obvious that you put in a lot of thought, effort, and money into it and recipients can’t help but appreciate the gesture. There’s this feeling of goodwill towards your brand as a result. You plant a need for them to reciprocate by buying your products and becoming your customers.
  • In contrast, when you give away low-quality items it makes it look like you don’t really care about your potential customers. In fact, they may perceive a hint of disdain in your gift-giving gesture. It’s as if you’ve insulted these people.
  • Finally, for many people the swag you give away represents your brand in terms of quality. Give away high-quality items, and you help build a premium brand reputation. But if you’re known for poor-quality swag, some people can’t help but think that your brand and your products are poorly made as well.

So think carefully about your swag. Don’t just mindlessly give away cheap shirts and pens. Consider what your recipients will think about the swag because it will be similar to how they will think about your brand as well.

Here’s more great branding strategies you can try.

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Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect:

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