Swag Done Right

Corporate Swag refers to the trade show giveaways a person receives for walking aisle after aisle in a conference center looking at the wares and services of the vendors. What makes for good Corporate Swag? Does item functionality reign supreme, or can a creative, unique design transform an otherwise regular item into marketing gold? Personally, I think that both functionality and design can make Promotional Products that will be spared the trash bin.

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Let’s look at what functional means when it comes to Promotional Stuff. Functional is something I can incorporate into my day regardless of the logo or corporate saying. However, if the trade show giveaways are an article of clothing, the artwork really needs to grab my attention, or be odd or quirky. A double meaning for a saying is fun on a promotional company t-shirt. Uninspired artwork is not.

When a company takes the time and effort to design artwork that represents the industry and the featured event well, I could argue that whatever the Promotional Stuff is, the company will be positively remembered. Even inconsequential artwork can have a big advertising impact.

Promotional company backpacks and custom duffel bags often are Custom Promotional Items given away at a trade show. I really like to receive these types of Promotional Stuff, especially when it is well made. One of the worst mistakes a company can make is to hand out badly made items. I would equate the cheapness of the product with bad quality control of the company whose name is on the gift.

Another bane of Corporate Swag is handing out old technology. If the Promotional Products that are given out are company logo USB and promotional thumb drives, make sure they are made with the latest technology. If I put the drive into my USB and it can’t be read, or there is little storage capacity, I again will look with question on the company whose logo is stamped on the casing.

Other Custom Promotional Items that are common novelty items are blinking noise making balls or yo-yos. While neither of these items are very useful, they are fun. My dog loves the balls; my cats hate them. A custom yo-yo is fun if you know how to run one. My dogs love them if they are thrown, and my cats love the string.

Bottom-line, quality swag is made up of two parts; useful, quality products and creative design. It’s important to always order from a quality manufacturer. Remember that your promotional swag is a reflection on your company, and in the mind of the consumer, a poorly made item is usually associated with poor business. But just as important is the use of quality artwork. A promotional backpack with a poor design can be outdone by something as simple as a company shirt with a unique, creative look. So, always try to achieve a balance of the two.

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