Insider Tricks for Scoring Cool Company Swag

March 26, 2019

Insider Tricks for Scoring Cool Company Swag

UPDATED August 2020

If you know anything about custom giveaways, you know that there are a ton of products on the market. Multiply that by, oh, say, a million and twelve, and you’re looking at our inboxes. We get a lot of promotional emails about promotional products.  

We are always looking for new corporate swag to put on the PROMOrx site for your conference giveaways and client thank yous, so we do appreciate seeing what’s new and what’s hot

Recently, we received an email from one of our suppliers. In the email, we saw a really cool water bottle (read more about sharing logo space with a brand name). Now, looks alone aren’t everything. In order to see if this item was worth putting on the website, we did some digging. Research 101, we like to call it. Well, lo and behold, we’re glad we did as there is an entire pile of bad reviews on the retail website for this bottle. Definitely not the way to make a splash with your custom business swag.  

Our research doesn’t end there. Oh, no. We called our sales rep and asked if there had been any modifications made from the retail bottle to the one they’re selling. The sales rep replied, “No, but the colors being offered are different.” No worries there. Colors available in the promotional space are often different than those offered in retail, so we asked if they’d had any returns (based on the negative reviews on the brand’s retail site). Again, the sales rep said, “No.” Keeping in mind that our sales rep is...well, a salesman...and working on commission, we questioned that answer. 007 on it! 

We shared the link from the retail site and told the sales rep the reviews were concerning. He offered to send a sample if we gave him our shipper account. Figuring it would be about $12-15 to ship from California to Florida, and also take up a week to get here, we decided to buy it ourselves from Amazon for $16 with Prime shipping. Taking our role as 007 seriously, we’ll do just about anything to make sure our customers are getting really cool company swag. 

Testing … 1,2, WINNER

The water bottle arrived and looks just as great in person as it did in the promotional email we received. The insulated stainless steel water bottle was put to the test one long weekend to gauge whether that onslaught of negative reviews was accurate or not. We certainly didn’t want to include something on our website that had a leaking lid and didn’t seal properly.

The verdict? It passed the test! After extensive, daily use, we are very pleased with the water bottle and have yet to experience any leaking (we suspect the reviewer on the retail site must have put the lid in the dishwasher - not on the top shelf, ignoring the instructions). We especially love the one-hand operation! In fact, we liked the custom water bottle so much,
we made it a permanent fixture on the PROMOrx website.  

UPDATE: After 30 days of use by one of the owners, the water bottle had the same problem as noted on the retail site. Guess what? We removed it from the website. The link above goes to a blank page. 

We Go the Extra Mile for Your Company Swag

The Contigo stainless steel water bottle isn’t the first product testing we’ve conducted. These Contigo coffee tumblers were also purchased retail by PROMOrx staff and tested. The travel coffee mugs passed the test, so on the website they went!

A former member of our team tested one of the backpacks we had on the website. Her teenage son used it for one week to discover it failed the test, which is not something we want our clients to put their custom logo on. We immediately removed it from the website.

Not only is there a lot product testing taking place by the PROMOrx team, but we’ve also conducted crazy, fun experiments, which compare products side-by-side. Our rockin' summer intern, Rachel,  did a blog series which tested and compared the quality of brand name water bottles like Yeti, Contigo, Swell, and more. You can read the results of this three-part series
here, here, and here

Recently, we've been testing custom printed face masks. What should you look for in branded face masks? Which masks meet the criteria? Read Branded Face Masks: What You Need to Know for tips and our recommendations. It's updated as needed. Just like this one!


The moral of this story? Researching and testing products so that our customers have access to the very best company swag on the market is important to us, and as you’ve seen, we go the extra mile to weed through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Do we do this with everything? No, that’s not feasible given the sheer amount of custom swag out there, but we do research and test products when we think it’s necessary.

And, because we happen to be a team of very opinionated Southerners, you know you’re going to get the truth about your company swag, from the absolute cool factor to the stay-away-from-that-one honesty!

Tell us: What steps do you take to ensure your clients are getting the best experience possible with the swag you purchase for your company?