It may seem like an obvious statement, but there are thousands of offices all over the world that are putting up with sub-par swag, usually only because whoever is ordering it doesn’t know any better.
There’s a huge difference between being thoughtful with your company swag items and just throwing your company logo on the cheapest thing you can find, and the benefits of doing the former go way beyond what you might think.
Both internally at your company and externally, when you’re thoughtful with what you put your brand on, it’s going to pay off.
Investing in high-quality swag has the potential to earn you extra brand impressions, build awareness, cultivate strong company culture, and build good rapport between your brand and your prospects.
So, with these benefits in mind, let’s look at five rules for ordering quality company swag, and how they’re going to bring a ton of added value to your brand.
1) Make Sure It’s Well-made
The number one rule when considering company swag is making sure it’s high-quality.
Whether it’s t-shirts, notebooks, or water bottles, the first thing you’ll want to be sure of is that it’s a well-made item that won’t start falling apart after one use.
I mean, there’s a big difference between a water bottle from Corkcicle or MiiR versus some generic brand.
So many companies assume that people will want their company gear just because the company logo is on it or heck, because it’s free, but this isn’t true.
While the initial excitement of a new or free thing might last a week or so, if it’s not something of true value, people will be over it just as quickly.
When you take the time to pick out swag items that are worthwhile, people are going to use it far beyond the first week, giving your swag more longevity and the chance to garner more impressions.
Plus, they’ll actually enjoy using your swag items, and when people enjoy the swag they get, they tell people, giving you some positive word of mouth buzz.
So, don’t cut corners.
No matter what, investing in company gear is going to cost some amount of money. So, if you have the means, front the little bit of extra cost to make sure your company swag sticks around for a long time, and doesn’t get tossed out in a month.
If you’re on the lookout for high-quality custom swag, consider these items:
Yes, the slogan is silly, but to that team and fans it means something. Plus, it’s placed in a spot where only the wearers can see it, making it something valuable and motivating for them every time they put on their jersey.
The point here is thoughtful company swag can do more than raise brand awareness. It can also be motivating, unifying, and show your community you care.
4) Keep Company Culture in Mind
This rule is pretty simple, but also worth stating.
When selecting company swag, be sure to keep your culture in mind. Knowing the general personality of the brand will help you narrow down and select swag items that fit.
Wistia, for example, gave out custom bicycle bells a few years back. Bike bells have nothing to do with their business, but it’s quirky and fun, just like their brand.
Another example is Belly giving out custom argyle socks. They’re unique, bold, and noticeable, making them a strong talking point. Plus, having “these dogs are always barkin’” embroidered on the bottom directly correlates to their brand, as their mascot is a dog.
These are strong examples of how to integrate your brand personality into items that don’t inherently have anything to do with it. Plus they’re fun, out-of-the-ordinary items that people are bound to remember.
5) Be Inclusive
The word inclusivity has been getting a lot of buzz this year–– and for good reason.
For the most part, people assume their own experiences and interests are the most common ones. This is not true, though, and people and companies are taking this concern more to heart.
For years, tech companies have struggled to create a working environment that is inclusive to women, but, in fact, women are being driven away from their field.
The percentage of women entering the computer science field has been cut in half over the last 30 years. While this can’t solely be blamed on lack of inclusivity, it is certainly a factor that should be considered and improved.
The diversity problem goes far beyond women, too. Per USA Today, black and Latino employees still only make up a combined 3% to 5% of the workforce at top-grossing tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google.
So, how does swag fit in to this?
Yes, the problem of inclusivity is much bigger than company swag, but inclusion can be promoted through small details, swag being one of them!
So, when you’re planning your company swag items, be sure to think of everyone in the office.
For example, if you know someone doesn’t drink because of their religious beliefs, maybe refrain from handing out company shot or wine glasses.
Or if you’re ordering apparel like t-shirts or sweaters, be sure to include options in a women’s cut, not just unisex.
Having options like this is a small way to promote inclusion and make sure everyone feels appreciated and cared for.
Choose Wisely, Friends!
As you can see, effective swag selection requires more thought and planning than simply what’s cheapest or easier. It could mean the difference between swag that’s loved and used, versus swag that’s in the trash can after a week.
There’s a lot at stake here. Taking the time to pick out the right swag will gain you impressions, promote company culture, and promote some positive brand buzz.
Follow these tips, and you’re bound to land some quality, thoughtful company swag that people will actually love.
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About Will Harris
Will is a Marketing Coordinator at Real Thread, a custom t-shirt printing company headquartered in sunny Orlando, FL. Joining Real Thread shortly after graduating from the University of Florida, Will specializes in writing clear, concise copy that helps brands grow. Outside of the office, you can find him playing basketball, sipping a beer, or taking very (I mean VERY) amateur photography.