10 Tips For Buying Swag Your Customers Will Love

July 21, 2017

10 Tips For Buying Swag Your Customers Will Love


It doesn't matter if your title is Marketing Assistant, Executive Assistant or Virtual Assistant, when someone in the company needs company swag (and lots of other tasks done right!), and fast, they call you.

It's your job to provide back-up support, which means you need assets you can trust.

Having the perfect resources to get a job done is one level of excellence. Knowing how to use them to achieve the best results—that gets you noticed!

Now that you have a great resource for company swag, imagine being able to explain to your boss that while your competition is ordering trade show giveaways and other corporate swag based on what they see other companies do, you know how to choose products that achieve company goals.

We've developed a guide to keep you organized and provide that next level of excellence that makes you famous.


If You Miss This, It's All Over

There are two avenues of research that need to be done: Your brand and your target audience. 

The first rule of all marketing is to know what your company message is all about and how they choose to take that to the public. Branded products are an extension of your company, and it's important to know how any campaign will fulfill the company goals.

Choosing swag without knowing how it relates to your company brand is like shooting darts blindfolded.
You may hit the mark, but you could create a big mess.


If you have a clear company mission, you can help keep any marketing campaign on track and relevant.

Which brings us to the target audience.

Who are they? What are they looking for and how does your company provide that? The more you know about the group of people you are targeting and how your company can help them, the better you can personalize their experience.

If you follow the entire guide but don't understand the relationship between what your company offers and what your customers need, your campaign is significantly less likely to succeed.

It will pay off to find out if your company has developed a buyer persona. And if not, it's a good time to write one. It will help with almost every marketing project in the future.


10 Tips For Buying Swag Your Customers (and Boss!) Will Love

Your Boss: I just got a call from corporate. It looks like we're going to go ahead and present at the trade show after all. I'll need you to organize a booth presentation and come up with giveaway ideas.

You: And when do you need those?

Your Boss: I know it's short notice, but I need them ready to go in two weeks.

Where do you begin?

A simple checklist will keep you efficient and help you prioritize.

  1. What is the event? In this example, we're planning a trade show presentation, but you will need other products for projects like developing a new employee on-boarding package or holiday thank you gifts.
  2. How many people attending? This gives you an idea for how many giveaways to order. 
  3. What's the budget? Is this a high-level marketing pitch for people who need higher-quality products? Or are you doing a quick awareness campaign and need thousands of lower-cost giveaways?
  4. Who's attending? The product you choose should be as personalized as possible. If you need something that's a great fit for everyone, cool tech items are the perfect option.
  5. What is the average age? Are you providing kid's products for a company picnic, or sponsoring the local 10K run? Target appropriately.
  6. What is your company objective? What is the specific goal for this event?
  7. How can you brand the item you choose? Keep a copy of the vector file of your company logo, tag line and color codes so you have a consistent, branded presence across all marketing platforms.
  8. Where will the event be held? Inside? Outside?
  9. Will the weather be a factor? Can you match products to seasons? For example, can you provide umbrellas for spring rain and insulated cups  in the winter? What about sunscreen or sunglasses for summer events and fleece blankets for fall or winter?
  10. Is there a way to tie your product choice to your company message? If you're a tech company, for example, which tech product most compliments your brand? TIP: Security brands are all over these usb data pin blockers.  


Pull It Together Fast & Easy

Let's take the trade show example and put together a list of potential giveaways you can present to your boss that will:

  • Accomplish a specific goal
  • Be personalized and relevant to your target audience
  • Trigger the call to action your company is expecting
  • Clearly reinforce your company brand


In our example, let's say your company provides software to help real estate agents track listings, sales, prospecting for new clients, and all incoming contacts that may lead to a new listing or sale.

The basic company message is that you handle the details so agents can concentrate on matching potential clients with their dream home.

Here's what you've learned about your target audience for this event:

  • They work hard and play hard
  • There is a good mix of both men and women
  • The average age is late 20's to early 50's
  • They buy high-end, quality products, but love a bargain
  • They know every sales trick in the book
  • They will likely hyperventilate without a fully charged cell phone
  • This trade show location is inside but was chosen for its proximity to a famous golf resort

Your challenge is to match your company goals, message, and brand to a gift or giveaway for the event that a diverse crowd of sales savvy adults finds useful and memorable.

Thanks to your research, you know that the average age of golfers is 18-59, and most golfers are financially stable, educated and tech savvy.

Both golf and tech products are a perfect match for your target demographic!

But what about your company? How do they fit with your branding message? You free up their time and make life easier for them to function.

When you consider that the persona reveals they play hard while they obsessively check email and messages, both golf and tech match your company message that you free them up to function efficiently.


Now It's Time to Shop!

We're looking for swag that is useful right away, that won't get lost in the bottom of the bag until the next trade show or event.

You want your company to be relevant and memorable right away. Here are some potential ideas to round out our exercise.

Golf Outing Giveaway Bags with tees and other golf gadgets are useful right now and helps them relax and enjoy.

 Power packs keep cell phones charged without the extra bulk on the 14th hole, and earbuds keep contact calls on the green more private. Or how about a 3.0v USB Drive ? Very few people know that the current USB could be obsolete. There is a change coming, so here's your chance to get ahead of the pack.

If you'd like to know more about choosing the perfect tech items, go here.

Don't forget, if you're looking for corporate gifts for sponsored events and other types of campaigns, you might want to change gears and order things like matching short sleeve Polos for your team, or bigger ticket items for smaller groups.

The only thing left is making sure your company logo, corporate colors, and contact info will work on the giveaways you select. Give us a call, and we'll be happy to help with that.

Now, go explain to your boss why it's a good thing that your competition is handing out postcards at the trade show!