Everyone loves great company swag, but it’s not just a one-and-done, feel-good freebie. It is a highly effective, and versatile, marketing tool.
Done right, company swag can increase your brand awareness and recognition, increase engagement with your brand and drive increased sales.
It can also help you foster great relationships with your leads, customers, and even your employees!
So, how can you get your company swag campaign to work wonders for you? What are the best products to use for your swag? How can you maximize the benefits and get great a ROI, that keeps delivering long after your campaign ends?
In this guide, we look at that company swag is and how to choose the best swag to make the most of your investment. We also look at the benefits of company swag, 33 great ideas and examples, and some of the best places to buy high-quality swag to get you going!
Let’s dive right in!
Company swag refers to the promotional products that companies use to promote their brand. Swag is usually given away as free gifts to employees, customers, and prospective customers or leads.
Company swag is used to promote brand awareness and recognition, gain impressions and boost engagement with the company. Swag can also be used to drive sales, measure market penetration and reach new target audiences.
Swag items may be individual items or part of a kit or bag of goodies. Company swag is usually given away at external events, like trade shows, or as part of internal events like promotional drives, sales, or milestone celebrations.
That said, swag doesn’t have to be part of a defined event, and can be used at any point, for just about any purpose – to increase visibility, to welcome new customers and employees, or to reward loyal ones.
When used well, company swag will function as both advertising and an incentive and reward for customers and employees. It can increase engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty from customers and employees alike.
When chosen poorly, company swag will be a waste of resources and can even damage or ‘cheapen’ your brand reputation.
Let’s look at how to choose great swag that will benefit your brand and your bottom line:
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the products you can choose from! Just about any product can be customized to reflect your branding and the image you want to portray.
Some of the most popular options include USB drives, travel mugs, and drinkware, stationery, and apparel.
No matter what you choose, your swag must be recognizable as yours, relevant to your business type, and desirable to your target audience.
To make the most of your company swag, it should be:
Ideally, your company swag is something that will be used all the time and admired by people who see it in use – fostering positive feelings all around, and a ton of exposure and meaningful engagement from your target market.
Have a look at this short video by Adweek for a little more on swag and why choosing good swag is important for your brand:
So, we have looked at what company swag is, how to choose good company swag and how to make the most of it. Now, let’s look at the benefits of company swag:
Company swag is an effective, inexpensive, and versatile marketing tool. Done right, it can provide great marketing ROI for impressions, reach, and brand awareness.
The physical nature of company swag adds a level of interaction and engagement that few other marketing techniques can provide.
There’s something about holding something in your hand and physically using it, that makes it more meaningful and memorable than the best print or digital advert ever will be.
Beyond advertising to the public, company swag can be used as a means to increase customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty. You can use it as an incentive, a reward, or a gesture of appreciation.
Let’s look at some of the main benefits of company swag in more detail:
The beauty of company swag is that it gets used for a long time, and is seen by a lot of (the right) people. Your visibility doesn’t end with the campaign, and keeps going for as long as your products last and are used.
This increases your reach and repeats exposure, boosting brand awareness. Company swag also improves the way people engage with your marketing, making it more memorable, which boosts your brand recognition.
The positive feelings around receiving a free gift that is both desirable and useful, adds another layer to your marketing. According to Sageworld, “85% of people do business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional item and 89% of consumers can recall the advertiser even two years after receiving a promotional product”.
People who feel something positive towards your brand, are more likely to make referrals to you and to advocate for you with their peers.
According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study “promotional products are the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising medium around for their clients”.
The study involved thousands of participants in several different countries and calculated the cost per impression (CPI) for promotional products against other forms of marketing. Swag consistently came out on top, being more affordable and yielding a greater ROI for the investment made.
Considering that each swag item will rack up impressions of your brand, and will only cost you the initial purchase price of less than $20.00, it is easy to see why it is so valuable.
Check out this graphic showing the average impressions for different types of Swag:
Marketing with physical objects, that are free and desired by the recipient, is a great way to engage your audience.
Aside from repeat exposure, physically interacting with and using an item creates a different kind of engagement with your brand.
We have become really good at filtering out marketing messages, at actively not engaging with them, and forgetting them in seconds! We can’t do that with physical items and we have to engage with them, which makes them more memorable and gets past our marketing filters.
The variety of options you have for different products that you can use as swag makes it a really versatile marketing platform.
You can go for large audiences and mass appeal, or you can hone in on different segments of your customers or target audiences and provide things that will appeal to them specifically.
You can provide them with options to choose from and garner meaningful engagement, which will boost your memorability and recognition.
Swag can be used for just about any one-on-one interaction, in person or online, and can foster a connection and build a relationship.
When you use swag to show appreciation to your existing customers, you can increase your customer loyalty.
This comes down to building an improved relationship with your customers, as well as something called the reciprocity effect. This is the effect that receiving a gift has on people and they become more inclined to give something back. This can translate into repeat sales, bigger purchases, good reviews, and more referrals.
Company swag is a great way to show your employees your appreciation and reward them for great work. It can also serve to bring teams together and foster unity within organizations, which helps to create a positive company culture.
Company culture and great employee experience are top factors that prospective employees consider when considering a new job.
Attracting and keeping top talent largely comes down to company culture. Here are some of the ways you can use swag to improve them:
Right, now that we have covered some of the many great benefits of company swag, let’s look at some awesome company swag ideas to inspire your swag campaign:
Visible Mobile sent these swag boxes to new customers and got some great social media coverage with the #visibleperks from their happy customers. They went with products that will be used out and about, with their branding prominently displayed. Bonus for good quality items that will last!
Verb Energy collaborated with Itzy Ritzy to create a super chic swag pack that appealed to both their audiences. The stylish baby bag and Verb Energy bars complement each other well and make a great swag set. They used their distinctive aesthetic, along with their visible branding to make an instantly recognizable item that is both useful and attractive.
Smash Mallow worked with several other brands to put together this great company swag kit. It includes all the things that will appeal to their target audiences and are in line with the various brands’ business types. Making it a giveaway, added even more mileage to the campaign, as entries were on social media and requires likes and shares.
Wholefoods made a swag box that coincided with their annual beauty sale and ran a social media giveaway contest to find five winners to receive the pack. Making it a limited number of packs adds makes them more desirable and adds urgency to the entries. The items in the swag box are all items that can be purchased from Wholefoods, so they’re also ‘free samples’ as well as swag!
Impetus is a plumbing company but they used company swag perfectly to reach their customers and grow their social media following. By using attractive branding and choosing items carefully, they created a swag pack that has nothing to do with plumbing but looks great and carries their branding.
Shades Brewing also did a giveaway on social media with their swag packs. They used them to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and reward their loyal customers. In this way, they used a nice swag pack to both advertise their milestone and reward their customers. Company swag really can do all the things!
Groove Commerce x HubSpot created these great little swag packs! They’re small but high quality and have their branding very prominently displayed. The items chosen are ones that will be used in the office or on the go, so they will be seen by professional and social peers, to get the most of the advertising aspect of swag.
Cajun Reefer received these cool swag goodies from their marine fish store suppliers and had to share their appreciation on social media. Gifting swag to people in your network who then share it with their followers, allows you to reach their whole audience with your branded products. Plus the post comes with a message of appreciation an an endorsement!
Buffer used a mix of stationery, stickers and apparel for their swag packs. They also ran social media contests for their swag and used their swag as the prize for shares and likes on Instagram that used their unique hashtags. Using a unique hashtag allows you to keep track of your contest and see how well received your swag is.
Digital agency Purple Rock Scissors created these stunning swag boxes that contained t-shirts, sunglasses, note books, pins and a fancy bottle of liquor. They packaged them really nicely and made the whole package seem like a luxury gift set. In doing so, they showcased their skills as a creative agency and showed how they can deliver for their clients!
City Bonfires had to get creative when their annual conference had to go virtual due to Covid-19. They made these little kits to make smores at home, with an invitation to join a ‘virtual fire side chat’. This managed to bridge the gap when in-person events couldnt be held and maintained a personal connection with their customers, in a comforting way during a hugely isolated and stressful time. Swag used like this is a great way to make and keep customer relationships!
TK Events used drinkware and a wine cooler for their swag box, which aligned nicely with their niche as an events company. The high-quality items were branded with their client’s branding but the swag box came with a card from TK Events. The personal touch and the complementary colors make it a great swag box.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many customer facing companies do business. Branding facemasks like these from Jag Realty has become a great option for swag. A nice quality, comfortable facemask is something your client’s will use whenever they’re out the house – placing your brand in a highly visible space!
B & G Design are home designers who used their design skills to create these stunning branded swag packs. They used all the items that will be useful and visible, high quality materials and easily recognizable branding. We love it!
Tea Drops sells these swag boxes as part of their regular inventory but they also use them for giveaways and to reward loyal customers. They combine their product, tea, with accessories to make a really nice little gift/swag pack that will be appreciated and used for a long time to come.
Printing company North Point made great swag boxes that will appeal to their creative customers in a fun and accessible way. They packaged them beautifully and used great quality items. What’s not to love?
Broker Link Insurance used an on-the-go swag pack that contains a travel mug, lunchbox, pen, and notebook in a canvas tote bag. All the items are in company colors and are clearly branded with the full company name. This kind of distinctive branding stands out and is highly recognizable, and memorable.
Loblaw Digital made these super cute swag packs with their own unique design on them. They include a tote, t-short, pins and stickers, and a water bottle. Quirky, attractive and distinctive, they’re more appealing than just company branding alone.
Arcondis Group chose a stylish black backpack, notebook and silver pen for their swag packs. They’re simple, stand out and are great quality. The Acrondis name and logo are clearly visible but the items themselves don’t look like ‘freebies’ at all!
Gold & Grain created these beautifully styled stationery sets for their company swag to celebrate their home city’s 320th birthday. This leverages their customers’ pride and love for their city, as well as their love for the company. So many warm fuzzy feelings here!
Red Door chose sleek and modern travel cups for their company swag. Drinkware is always a good choice and these attractive cups are a great option!
On the Mark Nutrition used insulated shakers that work well with their brand for their swag. The fact that their customers can use the branded shakers to make nutritional smoothies makes the item relevant, useful and ideally suited to their customers!
Panera Bread used branded dog bandanas with a clever slogan for their swag. They encouraged their fans to use #panerapups and post pictures of their pups in their swag. This made the campaign interactive and got them some great organic social media content too.
Perfect Perk Coffee made coffee lovers’ swag packs of coffee making tools for their employees. High-quality, branded tools are a great choice for enthusiasts in any niche.
Riot Games swag packs are made for gamers and include a water bottle, a backpack, a funky hat and a cosy blanket – perfect for someone who will sit and game or code for hours!
North American Coal gifted this swag to a valued employee. They chose a great brand for great quality items and had them branded with their logo. Swag as employee appreciation gifts are a great way to nurture employee relationships and boost company culture and loyalty.
Legal Back Office used cleaver and funny text on their swag facemasks for their customers, who are also lawyers. Quirky and humorous messages, alongside company branding, are always a winner!
Indeed gifted some baby-swag to an employee who had gone on leave for the birth of their child. This kind of swag is personal and shows appreciation to the employee. It also sends the message of the company being a family, and welcoming a new addition. Love it!
Soul Cycle swag is also Soul Cycle merchandise. They create distinctive and funky gym bags, sweatshirts, shoes, water bottles and note books. The fact that the swag is the same as the merch, gives it a little boost in terms of how valuable it is perceived to be. In addition to that, they’re great quality and will be used for a long time, in the gym and on the street.
The Sill makes these slogan t-shirts that really appeal to their plant-loving clientele! They also have tote bags, wall decals and stationery. When your swag really resonates with your audience, it will be worn with pride and become a positive talking point where you’re always mentioned!
Full Story socks as swag are awesome. Adults love socks (and naps and all the other things we hated as kids) and a funky pair of socks will be appreciated, no matter what niche you’re in. They’re also an item that will be passed along if the recipient doesn’t want them, rather than being thrown out. We all know someone who loves funky socks!
Salesforce swag includes plush toys of their various mascots, which are hugely popular! These really stand out from other swag products and are loved by adults, kids and fur babies alike (que super cute Instagram posts here!).
And finally, LinkedIn used a water bottle and a rugby ball for their swag. This might seem incongruent for a brand that doesn’t have anything to do with sports but if you know your target audience well, you can use any item that they will love. Especially when your brand is well known and needs no introduction. There really are no hard rules for company swag, so if your audience will love it, go for it!
Right, so now that you have some great company swag ideas to inspire you – let’s look at some of the best places to order your swag from!
There are thousands of great company swag stores to get just the right swag for your business but these are the four we love.
They offer a full range of promotional items, so you can definitely find the best fit for your niche and your target audience here:
GS-JJ makes promotional gifts and have been in the game for over 20 years. They provide excellent design and customization services, free shipping, on time delivery, and have no minimum order quantities!
Their huge range includes custom stickers, lanyards, belt buckles, challenge coins, medals, ornaments, embroidered patches, lapel pins, baseball trading pins, magnets, key chains, silicone wristbands, and more.
Great swag looks good, is unique and well branded. GS-JJ stands out for their advanced design and customization, which will give you just that!
You can use their simple online design system, which has well-designed templates, and unique fonts and elements, or you can work with their team of professional designers to ensure that all your design needs are met, to your exact specifications.
Zazzle offers just about every item you can imagine! From stickers to electronics, tote bags, and accessories to travel mugs and flasks. No matter what you’re looking for, Zazzle will have a range of options to choose from.
They do custom designs so you can tailor your items to fit your unique aesthetic, branding, and the vibe you want to create.
They also offer a huge range of cool and quirky designs that you can use as-is, or alongside your branding.
Zazzle also stands out for its great customer service, which is a major plus if you’re investing a lot into your company swag and need it to be perfect, and on time for specific events.
For good quality t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, and athletic wear Allied Shirts is a great bet! They offer standard designs, a custom design service, and standard design templates that you can alter yourself on their website.
This means you have flexibility in your design choices and can choose an option that works for your needs and budget.
One of the best things about Allied Shirts is that they have no minimum order size! This is a huge plus if you’re planning to order in bulk. You can place a small order first to be sure it’s exactly what you want before you commit to a bulk order!
Allied Shirts also provides great customer service, quick turnaround times, and expedited shipping at no extra cost for when you need your order in a hurry.
Café Press is an online marketplace for vendors selling customizable clothing and accessories, stationery, drinkware, home décor items, stickers, cards, and phone cases and accessories.
They offer custom ‘create your own’ designs, as well as a wide range of designs you can buy as-is. These include everything from graphic designs, illustrations, and text-based designs, to templates where you can customize the photos and wording.
A plus when dealing with Café Press is that they’re international and support various vendors for their products. Their customer service is excellent, as are their prices and quality.
Red Bubble offers a great range of clothing, stickers, and magnets, stationery, and office items, phone cases and phone accessories, home décor items, and wall art.
For company swag, we particularly like their pens, journals, mousepads, magnets, mugs, pins and tech accessories.
Red Bubble is based in Australia and provides independent artists a means of selling their unique designs on everything from mugs to laptop cases. They’re a great choice for funky and unique designs that will make your company swag stand out.
Company swag increases brand recognition; helps you break into new markets and fosters positive regard in your audience.
Done right, company swag combines marketing and promotional material with improved customer and employee experience, satisfaction, and loyalty. It is a cheap, creative solution with great ROI and a host of other benefits.
The ideas we have covered here, along with the company swag stores we have featured, are all you need to get going!
What will you swag first?
Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2020)
Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2019)
Element Three: 5 Ways Company Swag Boosts Company Culture
Impact Plus: How to Choose Awesome Company Swag People Actually Want in 2020
LinkedIn: 10 Promotional Product Ideas for Employee Appreciation Kits
Sageworld: Let the Facts Do the Talking: 25 Stats About Promotional Products
Zen Business: The Best Ways to Use Promotional Products to Market Your Business
Great company swag is high-quality, relevant and desirable to your audience, and recognizable as belonging to your brand. The most popular options in 2023 include pens, note books, drinkware, USB sticks and electronics, tote bags and outer-wear apparel. Check out the full article for more on how to choose the best swag for your brand and some great swag ideas to use.
There are many great swag companies to buy from. You can order items with your branding on them, customized from templates or that are unique and designed just for you. You can order online and have the products delivered to your door. Some of the best swag companies to use are Zazzle, Allied Shirts, Cafe Press and Red Bubble. Check out the full article for some great swag ideas and more info on what to choose and where to get it from.
Company swag refers to the promotional products that companies use to promote their brand. Swag is usually given away as free gifts to employees, customers, and prospective customers or leads. Company swag is used to promote brand awareness and recognition, gain impressions and boost engagement with the company. Swag can also be used to drive sales, measure market penetration and reach new target audiences. Check out the full guide for more on swag and how to use it for your business.