The Future of Company Swag: How Today’s Technology is Shaping Promotional Products
In a world dominated by digital technology, it’s not uncommon for companies to doubt the value of promotional products. With digital advertising and social media allowing us to reach consumers, is company swag still relevant? In short, the answer is, without a doubt, yes!
According to the latest statistics reports, many consumers surveyed had received a promotional product in the last six months. We know that company swag is still relevant. However, this isn’t to say that promotional products haven’t been changed by the rapid rise in technology.
To get the best return-on-investment from your company swag, it’s important to understand how technology is shaping our promotional products and strategies today and where this industry is headed.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
The Technology Explosion
To best explain how technology has changed the promotional products industry, we first need to discuss which technologies have had the most significant impact on our lives.
Most notably, the mainstream adoption of personal computers and mobile devices in the 1990s was the start of a new era. Consumers were suddenly connected in new ways and could access information right at their fingertips.
Since then, technology has evolved at a fast pace, making it difficult for business owners to keep up with new changes. Here is a quick look at the tech that has had the biggest impact on shaping consumer behavior in recent years.
Mobile devices have dramatically influenced consumer behavior. Smartphones became mainstream around 2010 and immediately changed the business world.
Consumers were suddenly able to effortlessly access information while they shopped, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions. Even so, it wasn’t until 2014 that most marketers wised up and realized the importance of catering to mobile users.
According to Pew Internet research, 77 percent of Americans own smartphones. This is up from 35 percent in their 2011 study. Knowledge is power, and thanks to mobile devices, consumers now hold all the power.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is no longer a work of science fiction. This innovative technology is becoming more mainstream each day, and some reports predict that VR could soon become just as popular as smartphones.
Augmented reality (AR), where users experience an enhanced version of reality, is also making its way into our day-to-day lives. Doctors are using AR to look inside the human body and make better diagnoses, while retail brands such as L’Oreal are leveraging augmented reality to enhance their customer’s online shopping experience.
VR and AR have made their way into the swag world as well. It’s not uncommon to see trade show displays using augmented reality to market their products, while some brands are putting their logo on virtual reality headsets to get in on the action.
No one can argue that social media hasn’t influenced consumer buying behavior. It didn’t take long for businesses to realize the importance of connecting with consumers on their favorite social networks, and now any business worth its salt has an established social presence.
Additionally, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have evolved into powerful advertising networks, offering marketers more ways to reach consumers and influence their buying decisions. Advertisers can use ads to promote their products or events, build brand recognition and drive sales for their online stores.
What This Means for Marketers
Now on to the big question: What do these technologies mean for marketers and their promotional strategies?
In short, it means adapt or lose out on significant revenue and growth opportunities. Here is a closer look at how technology is shaping the way marketers use promotional products.
Understanding Your Target Market is Essential
In an age of sophisticated technology, consumers have come to expect more from brands. They now want personalized experiences with every interaction.
To meet their elevated expectations, you must understand your audience on a deeper level. What problems does your ideal customer face? What are their interests?
This information is vital when it comes to choosing the right promotional products for your company. For example, if your target market cares deeply about the environment, eco-friendly promotional products are more likely to give you a good return-on-investment than standard promo items.
Be Prepared to Impress at Tech Trade Shows
Tech trade shows can greatly expand your business and reach, but only if you are ready to impress tech-savvy consumers. Lackluster display tables and boring swag will do more harm than good to your company’s reputation and sales.
Those attending tech trade shows have high expectations. They will pass right by booths trying to hand out boring t-shirts and water bottles.
Give attendees what they want and make a lasting impact on them with cool tech giveaways and gadgets. Power banks, chargers, and other cool tech items with your company logo on them are all the rage today and more budget-friendly than you might think.
Equal Opportunities to Promote and Market Products
On a positive note, the tech explosion has leveled the playing field for smaller brands in many ways.
Take social media, for example. Sure, large brands may have more reach when it comes to promoting events, but it has helped smaller companies do what they do best: connect on a personal level with audiences.
Today, employees can start a live video on Facebook while at a trade show or conference, giving their Facebook audience a real-time glimpse into what’s happening. Hosting a social media contest that uses company swag as prizes is now an effective way for small businesses to generate leads and gain new followers.
While there may be hurdles for marketers in this new era of technology, it has also provided many opportunities. By keeping your pulse on the latest technologies and trends, you can take advantage of each opportunity to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
Smaller Tech Means Less Advertising Space
As our technology becomes smaller and smaller, marketers are working with less real estate to advertise their brand. Already, we see numerous business owners cramming their information onto tiny promotional products.
This doesn’t look good and reflects poorly on your brand. If the purpose of your company swag is to promote your brand, don’t you think consumers should be able to read the text or identify the logo?
This will only become more challenging as our technology grows over time. To combat this problem, marketers need to carefully consider the recipients of their promotional products and avoid cramming unnecessary information onto smaller items.
For instance, a corporate gift for a special client isn’t going to need your address — they already do business with you and know where you’re located. On the other hand, new prospects might need that information because they aren’t as familiar with your brand.
Looking Ahead: The Future of Promotional Products
Technology has significantly changed the game for marketers in recent years, and it isn’t slowing down. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can look ahead, and surmise based on current trends in the promotional products industry.
Tech-related Promo Items Will Continue to Dominate
Unsurprisingly, technology-related promotional products will no longer be optional for brands. Generation Z grew up around technology and is certain to pass by brands that aren’t at the forefront of innovative tech.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Become Common at Trade Shows
Our marketing messages are no longer as effective as they once were, and things are getting challenging for advertisers. In the future, trade show attendees will need to be dazzled by enhanced experiences and AR-based product demonstrations.
Emphasis on High-Value Products to Attract New Leads
This one is already true to a degree. Those cheap keychains simply aren’t enough to attract high-quality leads for your brand.
As technology continues to improve and consumer expectations rise, low-quality items won’t result in a single glance for your business. Instead, consumers will expect your brand to deliver high-value items that check off the following boxes:
- solves their problem
- aligns with their values
- high-quality and made to last
If you can check off all three boxes now, you’re already on the right track. And for those who are automatically cinching their purse strings, rest assured that high-value doesn’t necessarily mean expensive!
Hot (and Affordable) Tech Items for Your Company Swag
To survive and thrive in today’s digital world, you need to step up your company swag game. We’ve mentioned power banks and chargers as examples of cool tech giveaways, but your options are virtually unlimited when it comes to high-tech promo items.
No matter what your budget, these promotional products are bound to be a hit with recipients:
Who needs a selfie stick when you have the multi-purpose custom PopSocket? These small contraptions allow users to grip their phones better at difficult angles and act as a stand as well.
As many marketers know, cell phones are prime real estate for advertising. These days, no one goes anywhere without a smartphone, making PopSockets a smart choice for any brand.
Wireless tech such as Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and keyboards are becoming the norm. Make them part of your marketing arsenal and get ahead of this trend while you can!
Bluetooth speakers or a Bluetooth mouse with your company logo make excellent gifts for new hires or special client gifts. For home or for work, Bluetooth items are practically guaranteed to be used daily.
Yes, this blog is about tech promo products. BUT, there is a huge trend we're seeing due to COVID. Tech companies are 'all in' with more personal, work from home, self care themed swag gifts.
Consider custom journals, promotional drinkware, or combine a tech promo product (a charger) with the right on trend branded UV phone sanitizer.
Working from home or back in the office, these customized selfie lights should go on your tech swag list, too!
Cyber security has become a big concern in the 21st century. Webcam covers, and USB data blockers offer exactly what tech-savvy individuals want — security.
These promotional items fit into a variety of budgets and are perfect for trade show giveaways.
Branded Power Banks
Need a great corporate gift? Many automatically think of custom branded power banks. There are lots of power banks to choose from. But to get the attention of the savvy tech geeks, you need a mobile charger with all the bells and whistles. This branded power bank meets that criteria — perfect for impressing business partners and special clients. With built in cables, wireless and battery charging both on board and an AC plug for charging, it's hard to beat!
Remember: Not All Tech Promo Products are Equal!
We want to stress how important it is to choose the right tech-related promotional products for your brand. Not all tech promo items are created equal.
For example, let’s say that you want to order phone chargers for your tech giveaway. You could waste your budget on phone chargers that won’t fully charge the latest iPhone.
Or you could talk with us and make sure that you choose a phone charge with enough mAh to power your audience’s devices. Don’t set your audience up for disappointment with poor quality promo items.
If your company uses promotional items, you probably know how big of an impact they can have on your marketing efforts. To reap the full benefits of company swag, it’s critical that your company adapts to changing technologies, trends and consumer preferences.
By keeping your pulse on trendy tech products and their impact on promotional products, you can make smarter branding choices that achieve your marketing goals.
If you need additional assistance choosing tech promotional products for your brand, contact us! We will always tell you the truth about which branded products will best suit your specific brand message and get you the best bang for your buck.