9 Swag Essentials Your Business Needs

Small businesses and startups are constantly looking for ways to attract customers and build brand recognition. And if there’s one thing that always works, that’s freebies.

Enter swag essentials.

While it is true that marketing has changed significantly over the past few decades, one thing remains constantly effective – free stuff. Here are some stats to illustrate the importance of swag:

  • More than 85% of consumers keep promotional products for more than a year.
  • Consumers are twice more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products compared to online advertising.
  • 85% of people say they remember the name of a company that has given them promotional products.

It’s time to get your swag bag all set up with free samples and promo materials. You know, like the ones you get at industry gatherings and special events. Sponsors at these gatherings know that a small piece of branding can go a long way when it comes to brand recognition. To put it bluntly, they use these free items, not as a means to impress you, but to convert.

Sounds great, right? And looks fairly easy to pull off. But what will your swag bag contain? What will make customers think of your business when they need the services your offer?

Forget about personal preferences. Creating a kick-ass swag bag is all about knowing your audience and what they find valuable. But this also needs to be balanced with your budget. I mean, giving away high-quality solar chargers and bags that store electronics on-the-go is so cool… until you find out that each one costs $199.

Ok, thanks, I think I’ll pass.

So, how do you choose the best swag essentials for your business?

Before Choosing the Swag Essentials for Your Business

Think About the Basics

Making sure your swag will get you the expected results requires some thinking. The items you’ll be putting in your swag bag should fulfill the following requirements:

  • Remind customers to engage with your brand
  • Be of use to customers
  • Be within your budget
  • Be of decent quality

Before you begin selecting the items for your swag bag, it’s important to answer one question: Do you want to be memorable or unique? The leader in IP address intelligence and sales automation, KickFire has small bottles of whiskey with the catchphrase “Give Our Data a Shot.” The tagline is gone once you drink the booze, but it’s definitely something you’d bring up in a conversation with colleagues or friends.

Choose an Awesome Bag

Check this out: Research has shown that 50% of people own a promotional bag.

So, the first item to consider when creating a swag bag is just that – the bag. Ensure that the bag is so good, that people will actually want to use it. Meaning carry it around. Meaning giving you free advertising.

Every time someone uses your bag, they’ll expose it to dozens of eyes. Dozens of people will look at your brand. So, ditch that cheap grocery bag and upgrade to something nicer.

But what?

The type of bag you’ll choose depends on your company, but here are a few basic guidelines to follow:

  • Avoid black if possible.
  • Ensure it’s not too big. It should be a size that is practical to use in everyday life.
  • Make sure the bag looks good first, then pay attention to branding. People won’t use it because it has your logo on it but because it’s nice. When deciding about the bag’s appearance, think whether you would use it or ask your friends the same question.

The swag bag doesn’t even have to be physical. You can have a digital bag. Digital swag bags are gaining in popularity because they’re unique, effective, eco-friendly, and easy to manage. These bags are actually online accounts which customers can access from their smartphones. They can be used to host online promotions, offer discount codes, or run contests.

Ensure That at Least Half of the Items Are Useful

Now that you’ve chosen a functional bag, you need to ensure that the items inside that bag are also functional. At least half of them. The rest of the items can be just fun.

Look at the following stats by ASI to get inspired:

  • 50% of people own a promotional writing instrument.
  • More than 50% own logoed drinkware, and half of them use that drinkware at least twice a week.
  • 45% of consumers own a promotional USB drive, and more than 90% keep the drives because they are useful.
  • Nearly 30% own branded calendars, and more than 75% have them displayed in their office or home.
  • 50% of people own logoed outerwear and 75% of them keep it because it’s useful.

Ideally, you should try to find a balance between usefulness and fun, but most importantly, keep in mind your audience’s particular needs. The more personalized your swag, the better.

Make Sure to Include One High-Quality Item

Yes, we’ve already mentioned that you aren’t supposed to go bankrupt because of your swag bag, but ensure there’s at least one really nice thing. Something worthy enough for people to want to place on their desks (or another prominent place) or wear frequently. Here are a few ideas:

  • Waterproof smartphone cases
  • Watches
  • 3D printed art

9 Swag Essentials for Your Business

Here is our choice of swag essentials every business needs:

#1 Desk Accessories

A pen with your company logo may seem like the most predictable (i.e. boring) swag, but it’s definitely the most used item. Any business can use them as swag because nobody minds having an extra pen around.

Besides pens, you can try shaking things up with other desk accessories such as:

  • Branded desk calendars
  • Notebooks
  • Magnetic phone holders
  • Sticky notes organizer
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Screen cleaner
  • Mini solar power pocket calculator
  • Mobile stand holder for iPhone and iPod

#2 Stickers

If you want to come across as unique and trendy, go for stickers. It’s safe to say that laptop stickers are today’s business cards. Give them as swag and your customers will display your brand on their laptop.

The best part is that stickers are inexpensive. You can choose from a wide array of shapes, colors, and sizes, and even incorporate photos. All you need is a good free online photo edit tool. Instead of simply putting your brand logo on the stickers, choose a fun caption like the one from Sigstr that said: “Email will never die.”

#3 Free Tickets

Free tickets tend to get a great response no matter what your business is. Partner with a local organization like a cinema, museum, or amusement park, to provide tickets for your swag bag. Ideally, the event should be related to your brand in some way.

#4 Drinking Bottles

Drinking bottles are a perfect swag because they’re easy to carry around. People will use them at home, take them to work or to the gym. Which means your brand will get great exposure. Bottles are an especially relevant swag if you’re in the fitness industry.

#5 Wearable Items

Does your business have a catchy tagline or slogan? Put it on a T-shirt.

Clothes are one of the most popular swags. If you decide to give away clothing items,

make sure they’re appealing and of high quality. You don’t want your logo to fade away after washing.

Also, don’t go overboard with the design. If you don’t have an in-house designer, hire a pro to create a nice piece of art, keeping your target audience in mind.

Besides tees, you can also go for branded hats or socks. Check out this pair from Uberflip. The logos are tiny but the color is hard to miss.

#6 Product Samples

Adding product samples to your swag bag allows customers to test your products and lures them to buy later. For instance, if you’re in the cosmetic industry, add trial-size tubes of your products. If you’re working with coffee, offer small packaged samples of your products.

#7 Electronic Accessories

USB drives are one of the most popular swags, especially for businesses in the tech industry. In addition to being very useful, USBs come in different shapes, colors and sizes, which gives you an opportunity to play with different designs. Not to mention, you can load the drives with promotional videos and information about your business before distributing them to customers.

Here are a few more electronic accessories you can take into consideration depending on your budget:

  • Car mobile charger
  • Power bank 1200
  • Branded Google Cardboard
  • Trunk iPhone charging cable
  • Power plug kit
  • Pen-shaped LED flashlight

#8 Service Discount

Offering services at lower prices via mobile apps is a great example of swag. For instance, if you’re in the online gaming industry, you can provide codes that unlock free surprises. If you have an e-commerce store, offer special discounts for products available on your site.

#9 Contest Giveaways

One of the best ways to boost your brand while having fun is contest giveaways. For example, if your business is focused on life coaching, add a coaching book, workbook, and a card that explains how to win five conversation sessions with a professional coach.

Final Thoughts

Building a great swag bag is a great way to make customers happy and make your brand a part of their lives. And choosing the perfect items for your swag bag ensures increased conversions and boosted sales.

When selecting the items for your swag bag, make sure they’re relevant and useful to your customers. Swag items are used to start a relationship with potential customers, so ensure that they represent your company in the best way.

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