Is Your Company Swag a Marketing Misalign?

April 29, 2019

Is Your Company Swag a Marketing Misalign?

There must be some magical force that drives marketing swag to our doorstep. If you remember, a few months ago, we received a swag bag full of local business swag that, quite frankly, was shocking in terms of quality and brand connect. A koozie just screams medical facility, right?!

Well, we’re here to share more real life company swag we received; this time, in the mail. And, as you can probably guess, it’s not the kind of company swag idea that’s going to get glowing reviews from a company with over 18 years of experience in the promotional products space.

(Hey, we know what we’re doing!)

So, you’re asking, what is it?

A refrigerator calendar.

Yes, you read that right. A refrigerator calendar. (Womp. Womp.)

But, that’s not the only problem with this marketing swag. The refrigerator calendar is from a “luxury” realtor.

For clarification: Luxury as defined by the Oxford Dictionary means “A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.”

Does a fridge magnet of any sort bring to mind images of elegance? Or great expense?

Nope. It’s a major brand disconnect that is only reiterated by several other points. Keep reading...

How to Waste Your Marketing Budget

  1. The envelope that the fridge magnet came in had our name misspelled. (This is a BIG NO in terms of marketing.)
  2. The calendar is a 2019 calendar. It’s April. That means one quarter of the calendar won’t ever get used! This is branded swag that should have been sent out at the start of the year (if at all!).
  3. The magnet doesn’t even stick to stainless steel refrigerators, which even the most basic of homes have these days, let alone a home that is considered part of the “luxury” market.
  4. Furthermore: Luxury clients probably don’t have a fridge full of magnets, anyway. #tacky
  5. The cherry on top? This luxury realtor’s custom fridge calendar also has the brand of the magnet company they purchased from located in the bottom corner of the magnet. So, you’re a luxury realtor, but you can’t afford to just brand yourself without sharing branding space? That definitely does not convey luxury.

To be fair, as custom calendars go, it’s not bad. The suede-like texture makes it feel a little less common, but still not truly high end or expensive. However, the above points in conjunction with the term “luxury” make this another contender for the Swag Walk of Shame. This marketing swag went directly into the recycling bin - and that is the biggest marketing fail of all...your company brand should not be disposable!


Marketing your business is key to acquiring clients and generating sales, but if your marketing dollars are being spent on big marketing misaligns, such as company branded swag or trade show giveaways that don’t convey your brand’s message, mission, or level of expertise, then that’s a problem. 

Choosing promotional products that are applicable to both your business and your client are going to give you the marketing results you’re looking for. If you want to be considered a luxury realtor, hand out marketing swag that is going to reflect quality, and high-end services and experience.

PROMOrx Prescription for Marketing Swag

By the way, our PROMOrx pick for this luxury realtor’s swag?

For mailing, we think a custom screen cleaner would be a good bet. 

Your company’s custom logo is printed directly on the screen cleaner (vs. the packaging), which means this corporate swag has lasting power. Additionally, this custom screen cleaner is whisper thin, with smooth edges, and comes neatly folded.

Bonus? A screen cleaner doesn’t have an expiration date like a calendar does and you can still incorporate a cool picture as the background. Bonus #2? A screen cleaner is reusable, which is big with the eco-friendly crowd. Bonus #3? These handy cloths work for your glasses or sunglasses, too!

See! That’s some marketing swag we can absolutely call a win while maintaining a reasonable budget!

Maybe we’ll send this realtor our card!

Talk to us: Would you consider a refrigerator calendar luxury swag?