Creating Company Swag Your Clients and Employees Will Actually Want (2023)

Speak has been in the biz for over 20 years, so we’ve seen our fair share of branded swag. Employee swag, client gifts, and outreach gifts featuring a company’s logo and/or branding are all relatively common for organizations to dole out. But often, these gifts earn the reputation of being poorly made, unuseful, or boring.

As a growing company ourselves, we’ve learned the ins and outs of branded gifts and freebies, and, as an agency that specializes in branding and marketing, we take good swag seriously.

We love sending little gifts to our partners and prospective clients—we’ve found a mug, a sticker, a tasty treat, or other small surprise can go a long way in making the organizations and people we work with feel valued and seen. We’re often asked when we send Speak-branded freebies our clients’ way what the secret is to getting high quality, beautifully branded swag every time. So today, we’re breaking down a few tips and tricks for creating branded company swag and gifts your employees and clients will actually enjoy.

Create branded swag or gifts that your team or clients will actually want and see value in by giving it a clear reason for being. This can look a number of different ways, but when you’re thinking about what freebies you’d like to order, ask yourself:

  • Does it fit in with the work or mission of my organization?

  • Is it useful?

  • Does it help promote a message I’m trying to get across?

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Let’s break down what this looks like when choosing swag.

Does it fit in with the work/mission of your organization?

The swag you choose, just like anything you invest in or create, should support your overall mission and values and/or highlight your services.

Clients love receiving a physical reminder of the work you do, so consider ways that you can get creative and do just that. For example, nearly every company has their own branded pens, but if you’re a construction company, you could get creative and take a branded pen to the next level by opting for a multitool pen with a ruler and a level built into it. (Next level – see what I did there?)

Creating Company Swag Your Clients and Employees Will Actually Want (1)Creating Company Swag Your Clients and Employees Will Actually Want (2)

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Or, if you’re a company that offers on-the-go solutions, opting for a travel mug rather than a classic ceramic mug can be a subtle touch that better suits your mission.

Potential clients will love the creative angle on a classic freebie, and the unique quality of the item goes one step further in reminding them of the services you offer. This is just one example, but there are plenty of ideas and options out there, so get brainstorming and researching!

If you want to do something a little more unique than simplyputting your logo on an item, consider using swag to showcase your company values. If your values are relatable, this can be a great way to connect with the masses and put your message into the world. Check out how we did just that to display one of our core values, Work With Heart, on our sleeve... er, swag.

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Creating Company Swag Your Clients and Employees Will Actually Want (3)

Is it useful?

Remember, swag only benefits you as a marketing effort when the people who receive it keep it and interact with it.

It’s like that classic question, If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, did it actually make a sound? If you put your logo and branding on a product and give it out to potential customers, but the product doesn’t get used regularly enough to remind the person where it came from, is it doing the work it’s meant to do?

Creativity is great, but it’s also important to consider the function of the swag you choose. This is in part why pens, mugs, sticky notes, and notepads are so commonplace in the world of company swag. Even if they aren’t the most creative products, they’re likely to benefit and be used by the people you give them to.

Items that don’t have a use will be more likely to be stashed away, hiding your company name and logo from the people you intended to see it. This isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of other creative, unique, useful options out there though. Have fun exploring, and keep in mind while you do whether you yourself would use the product if it were given to you.

Does it help promote a message you want to send?

At Speak, we regularly use two types of swag: evergreen items and seasonal or limited-time items.

Evergreen swag is exactly how it sounds—branded products that we can send to anyone at any time. These are items like our Speak branded mugs, pens, stickers, and notepads. For these items, we make sure they use our brand colors, typeface, and logo.

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We also regularly design seasonally-relevant or event-specific swag when we want to pack an extra punch. When we attended the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Mid-Year Conference this year, we designed stickers specifically for this audience. We also designed seasonally-relevant gift boxes themed around road trips that we sent out this summer to many of our clients.

Creating Company Swag Your Clients and Employees Will Actually Want (4)

Going the extra mile by creating memorable and relevant swag can be a special way to connect with your audience. The people at the AZA Mid-Year conference loved that our otter stickers directly aligned with their work. We also received tons of messages after we sent out our “In It For the Long Haul” road trip boxes – the timing was perfect as many of our clients were about to embark on road trips themselves.

So, consider your audience and what they’ll be excited to see, and don’t be afraid to get a little creative!

In many cases, it’s perfectly fine to opt for just including your logo on a branded item. However, when it makes sense, take your design a step further to really pack a punch. Customize items to match your brand colors or tie items to your messaging with clever turns of phrases that make swag items feel even more special.

If you don’t have a designer on your team that can help in this regard, it can be tempting to go the easy route. But tapping an agency with an expert team of designers who can work with you to conceptualize and create unique, custom swag can result in a major ROI for your branded swag.

Speak would love to hear your ideas and help you create something amazing.

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Once you’ve decided which swag item you want to customize and order, it can be tempting to find the cheapest possible option to go with. But cutting costs on the front end may not mean money saved or a better ROI in the long run.

Companies frequently fall into the trap of ordering cheap swag items that look completely different than what was advertised online, that break in the first use, or that take ages to arrive. Remember that ultimately, anything you put your company’s name on, people will associate with your company.

Opting for a nicer option can improve your brand’s overall impression, which is definitely worth a few more bucks in the end.

Pro tip: When ordering through most custom branding companies, you can request a sample before you buy, so you can interact with an item yourself before you order 1000 of them to be given to all of your clients or employees.

Custom branded items are an investment either way—make sure it’s one you’re pleased with by doing your research, considering all your options, and making an informed choice rather than simply choosing the cheapest one.

Our expert team of designers and creative thinkers can work with teams of any size with any budget to create custom branded swag their team, clients, or potential clients will love. Whether you’ve got ideas in mind or are starting with a blank page, give us a shout. We’d love to help.

Let's talk


Why is swag important for a company? ›

Boosts Camaraderie

People work more cohesively when they feel pride in their team. For a truly excellent company culture, employee buy-in is crucial. From the employee perspective, receiving company swag can increase engagement with the organization, their coworkers, and managers.

What is corporate swag? ›

A company swag item is an individually packaged gift, typically something you give out to your staff members or clients. These gifts could include anything from pens to t-shirts to coffee mugs to key chains. In general, though, they're things that make your business stand out.

What does swag mean in marketing? ›

Swag is just another word for the promotional products that many businesses use to promote their brand. These branded promotional products are usually given to a company's employees, customers, and potential customers to increase brand recognition and engagement, as well as drive sales and penetrate markets.

How do you design swag? ›

Top Five Design Tips for the Best Swag Items:
  1. Clearly identify your brand. ...
  2. Use the power of collaboration. ...
  3. Uniquely design for your brand and audience. ...
  4. Customize creatively. ...
  5. Invest in quality items. ...
  6. 3 tips to help you choose the best swag for your customers and audience.
17 Mar 2021

Do employees like company swag? ›

Why employees love these custom swag items: Swag items show your employees you appreciate them and their hard work. Custom swag is one-of-a-kind, and that means your employees will love receiving something that's unique to your company.

Why are giveaways good for business? ›

Utilizing giveaways helps people identify your brand and reminds them of your business when they're ready to make a purchase. Distinguishing one brand from another is like building a relationship with your customers. The more they notice the name, the more likely they are to trust it and return to it.

What kind of swag do customers like? ›

Top Company Swag Ideas
  • Branded Drinkware. Everyone has their go-to mug. ...
  • Travel Essentials. Travel is back and in a big way. ...
  • Custom Tote Bags. Custom branded tote bags can serve as a megaphone for your brand. ...
  • Branded Backpacks. ...
  • Hybrid Workplace Essentials. ...
  • Promotional Tech Items. ...
  • Branded Apparel. ...
  • Swag Boxes.
30 Nov 2021

Why is it called company swag? ›

The acronym swag means 'Stuff We All Get,' and it usually refers to free promotional or marketing items. Yup, it's an acronym!

What is swag fulfillment? ›

Dot It's Swag Fulfillment Program

Dot It will source, print, stock, pack and ship promotional products and make them available for future ordering via branded eCommerce web portals. Mix and match any branded merchandise to create a custom promotional product fulfillment program.

What is the new term for swag? ›

What is another word for swag?
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What is swag approach? ›

SWAG is used to describe an estimate derived from a combination of factors including past experience, general impressions, and heuristic or approximate calculations rather than an exhaustive search, proof, or rigorous calculation. The SWAG is an educated guess but is not regarded as the best or most accurate estimate.

What is another word for swag? ›

Generally meaning “loot, booty, or plunder,” swag is the stuff in the bags of excited party-goers and plunderers alike.

What does it mean to be swag? ›

That's a slang word that refers to stylish confidence. It shows up in songs ("Check out my swag, yo / I walk like a ballplayer"—Jay Z) and social media hashtags, but this word derives from swagger, not from stolen goods.

What are digital swags? ›

Digital swag is an online gift a business delivers to prospects, customers, or employees. It's often sent over email, social media, or through a printed gift code. In most cases, a personal message is accompanied by the option to redeem a physical gift, e-gift card, or donation to a charity.

What do employees really want for appreciation? ›

Recognize achievements and effort

Take time to show your appreciation for employees who keep showing up and trying. Let them know when you see improvement. This type of recognition helps employees feel seen, motivates them to continue striving towards their goals, and boosts morale.

What makes companies attractive to employees? ›

Attractive companies place an emphasis on employee relations. No employee wants to work for a company that disregards its staff by refusing to pay a decent salary, to communicate consistently and to treat employees in a respectful manner.

How do you make employees love your company? ›

How to help your employees feel the love:
  1. Tell the company story in your words. Telling the company story reminds everyone why they're here. ...
  2. Promote a team culture of appreciation. ...
  3. Help people to be “seen”. ...
  4. Invest in your coaching skills. ...
  5. Allow for flexibility.

Do giveaways increase sales? ›

Do Giveaways Increase Sales and Really Work? The answer to that question is a resounding yes! Social media giveaways are effective at growing brands fast, increasing your followers, email subscribers, and gathering new leads. Giveaways have a conversion rate of almost 34%, which is higher than other types of content.

Are giveaways a good strategy? ›

Giveaways are a great way to reach new audiences and spread the word about your product. You can offer a new product, a collection of products, or a cash prize. But whatever you choose, make sure it's relevant to your brand and something your target audience will be excited about.

Do giveaways increase engagement? ›

Social media giveaways are a very effective way to grow an audience, boost account engagement, and increase awareness.

What makes a good swag? ›

The way to tell good quality canvas from cheaper versions is by its weight or grade. You'll find this expressed as grams per square metres or as ounces per square yard. To ensure top quality, look for swags with 320-360gsm canvas at the very least. It's also essential to look for swags made with ripstop fabric.

What are the top 3 things customers want? ›

They crave a personalized experience. They want you to solve their problems. They wish you would listen to them. They like you to be proactive.

What type of marketing is swag? ›

Marketing swag is simply another term for promotional products. You use it to promote your brand to potential clients or nurture relationships with existing clients. Similarly, you can use it to build a stronger bond with your employees and vendors – while helping spread brand awareness.

Is swag still a thing? ›

Some still love the word “swag.” Some hate it. Through the years, the name for our medium has changed, from “advertising specialties” to “promotional products” to “swag” to “branded merchandise, branded merch” to simply, “merch.” And clients can't be blamed for what they choose to call our medium.

What is free stuff from companies called? ›

A product sample is a sample of a consumer product that is given to the consumer free of cost so that they may try a product before committing to a purchase.

Whats the difference between swag and merch? ›

These items are often referred to as “merch.” Short for “merchandise,” merch is often sold by a company to their patrons or supporters. These tend to be higher-quality items than swag that people purchase because they are fans or want to support the company or group selling the items.

What is promotional fulfillment? ›

What is promotional fulfillment? Promotional fulfillment is shipping samples, giveaways, prizes, marketing materials, and other promotional items. B2B promotional fulfillment could involve shipping seasonal product displays or free samples to retail outlets or other businesses.

What is merch fulfillment? ›

Merchandise order fulfillment refers to how you process, pick, pack, and ship merchandise orders to customers (and fans!). From CDs and signed posters to band t-shirts and hats, efficient and affordable merchandise fulfillment is an important part of building your brand.

What is the difference between schwag and swag? ›

Swag (in the context of this question) refers to promotional products that a company gives away. Schwag can be a synonym for swag as discussed above (I have seen and heard such usage), but schwag also can refer to low-grade marijuana.

What is another word for marketing swag? ›

Promotional merchandise are products branded with a logo or slogan and distributed at little or no cost to promote a brand, corporate identity, or event. Such products, which are often informally called promo products, swag (mass nouns), tchotchkes, or freebies (count nouns), are used in marketing and sales.

Is swag a positive word? ›

Swag, Fire Lit, Sic – These words are used to describe something cool or awesome. For example, a teen might say, “This class is really swag” or “That's sic!”

How big is a single SWAG? ›

Swags come in 3 main sizes: Single: 60-90cm Wide x 180-230cm Long. King Single: 90-115cm Wide x 190-230cm Long. Double: 110-130cm Wide x 190-230cm Long.

What does SWAG mean in estimating? ›

SWAG stands for Scientific Wild-Ass Guess, a term that acknowledges the two key aspects of making this kind of estimation: It should be scientific i.e., based on some form of data or past experience, but it's also wild, inherently imprecise (unless you have the benefit of a time machine).

Who invented SWAG? ›

Jay-Z started bringing the “swag” in 2003, but it wasn't until 2007 that the word started to catch on. Up-and-comer Soulja Boy, just 17 at the time, was the first rapper to really fall for swag. “She likes my swag,” he brags repeatedly on “She Thirsty,” from his debut album

What means best SWAG? ›

16/04/2022. What is the meaning of "wsg"? The term "WSG" stands for "What's good?", and is usually used in text messages or on social media. The phrase is prevalent in the Black community as a greeting or salutation, similar to "What's up?".

What's the opposite of SWAG? ›

What is the opposite of swag?
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What is SWAG free stuff? ›

Swag is a slang name for promotional items that advertise companies or their products. Examples include: T-shirts and baseball hats with a company's name printed on them. Keychains and refrigerator magnets with a company logo.

What Is a swag decoration? ›

swag, also called Festoon, in architecture and decoration, carved ornamental motif consisting of stylized flowers, fruit, foliage, and cloth, tied together with ribbons that sag in the middle and are attached at both ends.

How do you make a faux greenery swag? ›

DIY: Making Fresh Greenery Swags & Garlands
  1. Cut several branches, staggering the lengths, especially if you have a variety of greens.
  2. Rubber band the stems together with thick rubber bands. Using lightweight floral wire, make a hanging loop.
  3. Add ribbons, bells, pinecones etc. using floral wire or hot glue.

How do you respond to SWAG? ›

How to respond. Show gratitude: It's so awesome that people are proud to be associated with your company and want to use your stickers and wear your t-shirts. In reply to swag requests, try to show a little gratitude and let your customers know how amazing they are.

How do you behave with SWAG? ›

A person with true swag is just as comfortable on his own as he is with a pack of friends. If you want to have swag, then you should work on being independent and being happy with doing your own thing instead of following what everyone else is doing just because you don't want to be forgotten or left out.

What does too much SWAG mean? ›

Urban Dictionary defines “Swag” as follows: “The way in which you carry yourself.” Moreso, swag is made up of your overall confidence, style and demeanor.

How much is a good swag? ›

List of Swag Prices in 2020 (17 Examples)
SwagRecommended Retail PriceFind it
OzTrail Mitchell Expedition Single Swag$319.00Tentworld
OzTrail Mitchell Expedition Double Swag$499.00Tentworld
Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Dome Swag$199.00Amazon
Kings Single Kwiky Swag$109.004WD Supacentre
13 more rows
10 Feb 2020

How much should you spend on swag? ›

As for how companies spend on promotional items, that varies based on a company's marketing goals for the year. As a general rule, your swag budget should be less than twenty percent of your total marketing budget.

Why is Trend important in business? ›

Trend analysis helps you understand how your business has performed and predict where current business operations and practices will take you. Done well, it will give you ideas about how you might change things to move your business in the right direction.

Why are trends good for businesses? ›

There are a few reasons why this is so crucial to the success of any business. Staying on top of trends enables business owners to successfully predict the future of their industry. Having this knowledge is important for any entrepreneur. Those that follow every business trend are seen as leaders in their industry.

Why is IT important for companies to keep up with trends? ›

Staying informed on trends is important to help you build credibility and value and to show that you know where your field is heading in the future. Successful people spend time every day keeping up with the latest news and developments in their field, so make time in your day for these strategies.

What are the four important business trends? ›

We take a closer look into four business trends in 2022 – Data security, e-commerce, hybrid working and sustainability – and share insights on what your company could carry out for the near future.

What are the five trends in business? ›

The 5 Biggest Business Trends In 2023 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now
  • Accelerated digital transformation. ...
  • Inflation and supply chain security. ...
  • Sustainability. ...
  • Immersive customer experience. ...
  • The talent challenge.
10 Oct 2022

What are the top 10 business trends of 2022? ›

Keep an eye out for these trends in the coming months and see if they make sense to implement for your business.
  • Looking To External Talent. ...
  • Investing In Financial Coaching. ...
  • Developing Short-Form Video Content. ...
  • Using Free Social Platforms. ...
  • Working Remotely. ...
  • Returning To The Office. ...
  • Supporting A Work-Life Balance.
22 Jun 2022

What are the 3 types of trend analysis? ›

There are three types of trend analysis methods – geographic, temporal and intuitive.

How do you keep your business trending? ›

10 Tips for Staying on Top of Trends
  1. Read voraciously. Read all you can about your industry, your market and the world in general. ...
  2. Get involved in your industry. ...
  3. Network. ...
  4. Keep in touch with your customers. ...
  5. Monitor your business. ...
  6. Study statistics. ...
  7. Observe your competition. ...
  8. Get out of the office.

What is the main purpose of promotion? ›

The aim of promotion is to increase brand awareness, create interest, generate sales or create brand loyalty. It is one of the basic elements of the market mix, which includes the four Ps, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion.

What are the 4 main reasons why businesses use promotion? ›

If promotional products are distributed on regular basis, your company gets more exposure among your potential customers and market.
  • Customizable Products. ...
  • Versatility. ...
  • Build Brand Awareness. ...
  • Increase Traffic. ...
  • Improve Customer Relations.
10 Apr 2017

What are the 7 main benefits of promotions? ›

The benefits of promotion are:
  • Creates a source of information.
  • Creates product differentiation.
  • Generates higher revenue.
  • Provides communication opportunities.
  • Creates target marketing or market segmentation.
  • Creates word of mouth.
  • Creates a reason to buy.
  • Creates a platform to cross-sell and upsell.

What can managers do to stay on top of trends? ›

Read Everything You Can

One of the best and easiest ways to stay up to date with industry trends is to read as much as you can. Every industry has free web journals, blogs, newsletters, and social media posts that publish the latest news, opinions, and trends.

How would you keep yourself up to date on changes in our industry? ›

Subscribe to top industry magazines or/and online blogs

An industry magazine or trade paper is the most traditional way to keep your knowledge up to date. Additionally, you can find blogs covering many industries and niche topics.

Why is it important for companies to stay relevant? ›

A business may increase its chances of success if it can stay relevant. Operating a business is a continuous process with peaks and obstacles, which requires adaptation to new trends and customer preferences. A business that stays relevant may be more responsive to market changes.


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