Everyone likes free. That’s one reason many successful businesses give away swag—branded promotional items—at conventions and trade shows, through contests, directly to customers, and even to their employees.
Companies large and small use swag to build brand awareness. Businesses promote their products and services, and the recipient gets a free gift that they’ll probably use. So everybody wins.
You don’t have to be a large corporation to reap the benefits of low-cost advertising that comes from people walking around wearing t-shirts stamped with your company logo. Small businesses and start-ups can do swag, too.
Small Biz Swag
In addition to building brand awareness, swag can be used to build your contact lists. Collect business cards and email addresses when you hand out your stuff to help you keep track of your supporters.
Alternatively, try a contest or give-away. The prize? Something great that people will use—which happens to be smothered in your company’s logo. It’s a great way to get the word out about your product or service.
You can adapt your swag distribution creatively, to help with your overall employee recruitment and retention. Small business owners can even use swag as part of a guerrilla marketing strategy. Just make sure that you get quality items, so that people don’t associate your brand with things that brake easily.
If you order swag as part of an event, make sure that you’ll receive the shipment in time to be prepared (Tip: Have it delivered several weeks ahead of time).
Try to get creative and think of something people will actually use. It’s common practice to give away pens, t-shirts, water bottles, and tote bags. If you want your small business to stand out, try something different.
- Mugs: Everyone likes a cup of joe. And morning meetings happen. Nice advertising.
- Hats: People collect these and even actually wear them. Honest.
- Stress squeezies: These always make customers smile, because every now and then everyone gets stressed out.
- Sweatshirts/hoodies: People can always use another sweatshirt for the gym—where other gym rats will see your logo.
- Candy/snacks: Food. It’s what we eat, calories or no.
- USB Drives: Not only are these useful, but people take them out at meetings, giving your company more exposure. You can even pre-load them with useful information and other promotional offerings.
Find Your Swag
Small businesses can get swag from tons of different sources. Some promotional product distributors will find whatever swag you need, and work with you to have it branded with your small business name or logo.
A better method is to check with other business owners about where they get their swag. Ask if they were satisfied. At TribeHR, we get our custom stickers from Stickermule.com. For Christmas, we got hoodies from rightsleeve.com that were a big hit.
Mouse around the Internet, and snag yourself some swag.