When you’re a marketer, chances are you’re constantly thinking of the best ways to get your brand name to the masses. While word-of-mouth marketing and digital marketing are often at the top of the list, it’s important not to forget every “old school” technique.
That doesn’t mean inundating people with ads. In fact, in the U.S. alone people see around 5,000 advertisements each day.
But, if you can literally get your brand in someone’s hand, that’s different. It’s impactful. If you can do it by giving them something they’ll use every day, it’s even more powerful, and it should definitely be a part of your marketing strategy.
Everyone loves to get swag, right? Well, yes and no. If you frequent trade shows or like to offer “perks” to your best customers (as well as employees for in-house marketing), it’s important to choose the right items to hand out.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at six unique marketing swag ideas that your customers really want. They’re great for employees, too, because as a marketer, you should want everyone to represent your brand wherever and whenever possible!
1. Water Bottles
If your company chooses one thing to give away, it should be water bottles or some other type of drinking vessel. People use water bottles every single day. Your employees can keep them on their desks, and customers can take them home to use at the gym, to send with their kids to school, or take to their own offices.
Simply put, water bottles will allow your brand name, look, and logo to travel all around. Water bottles rarely stay in one place, because they’re so easy to take with you wherever you go. Since the main idea behind swag pieces is to increase recall and retention, giving away something that many people can potentially see each day can be a huge marketing tool.
Plus, you can market your water bottle swag in an impactful way. People are using less plastic nowadays in an effort to reduce waste and fight environmental issues like carbon emissions. Reusable water bottles are a great way to get rid of one-use plastic bottles, so not only are you giving your customers something useful, but you can also show them your business has a passion for the planet.
2. Fitness Gear
Another way you can show your customers you care about them is to give away some type of fitness gear. This is also one of the best pieces of swag to give to employees, too, to show an investment in their health and wellbeing.
When you give away something like a yoga mat, a jogging phone holder, or fitness apparel, you’re showing your customers that you have a dedication to healthy living. That’s important to many people. Whether they use the item for themselves or give it to someone else, there’s a good chance that a piece of fitness gear will be seen by quite a few people.
For example, if someone takes a yoga mat with your company name and logo on it to the gym or to a park, hundreds of people could see it in the span of an hour. Plus, each time that person takes out the equipment to use it, they will receive a subtle reminder of your business. That can go a long way.
3. Portable Phone Chargers
Did you know that 58% of people keep items with business logos on them for anywhere from 1-4 years? Think about how many times they’ll take a look at your logo during that time if you offer them something they’ll take with them everywhere they go.
One unique option is a portable phone charger or power bank. Almost everyone has a phone, and when you’re on the go all day, it’s easy for your phone to die quickly. That leaves many people at the mercy of finding a charger somewhere in a public building or at a charging point on the sidewalk in bigger cities.
But, it’s much easier to have some backup with them at all times. A portable charger is lightweight, easy to carry in your car, purse, backpack, etc., and your customers will take it with them everywhere.
It’s also a great option for your employees, especially if they travel frequently. It’s not always easy to find a place to charge your phone when you’re on the road, so when they know they have a backup at their fingertips, they won’t stress as much.
This is a perfect example of what a swag item should be. It needs to be more than something with your name on it that might look good, but is impractical. It needs to be something that will get regular use, and fulfills a need for your customers and/or employees.
4. Self-Care Items
People are recognizing the importance of self-care more than ever. Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year and health, wellness, and safety have climbed into the forefront of almost everyone’s mind. But, giving away self-care items any year will always go over well with your customers. Some good examples of unique self-care swag include:
- Hand sanitizer bottles with your logo
- Makeup/toiletry bags
- Wet wipes
- Stress ball/fidget cube
- Tea bags with your logo
Self-care swag also sends your customers (or employees) the message that you truly care for their wellbeing and you value their health, not just their consumerism.
5. Items for the Car
People tend to spend a lot of time in their cars, whether they’re commuting to/from work, running errands, or taking their kids somewhere. Again, getting your brand logo in front of people as often as possible to create repetition and retention should be your goal. What better place to do that than in the car?
There are plenty of options for car swag, including custom air fresheners that can feature your company name and logo. Other unique options include:
- Ice scraper
- License plate frames
- Visor clip
- Magnetic phone mount
By giving away items that go in someone’s vehicle, not only will that individual see it every day, but so will their passengers. It’s a great way to increase exposure while giving your customers something useful and practical. Make sure to choose something that can stay in/on the vehicle so they won’t have to worry about taking it inside every time they’re not in the car. The last thing you want to do is to create more work for anyone!
6. Fun and Games
We’ve talked a lot about the practicality of your swag items. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun! Show off your company’s personality by giving away things like playing cards or Rubik’s Cubes with your company logo and colors.
These are more ‘subtle’ swag options that can actually go a long way. When someone reaches for a deck of cards with your name on it, they’ll be reminded of your business and may associate it with having fun, feeling relaxed, etc. If they’re playing with friends, those friends might ask where they got the cards, what business is on them, etc.
You can essentially turn your business into a conversation piece simply by putting your logo on a game. Even if they give it to their children to play, they’re still seeing it frequently. So, while you might not think games are ‘practical,’ they are something people enjoy on a regular basis, and they can offer great exposure with a sense of fun.
Bonus: Don’t Ignore the Classics
There are some swag items that are simply better than others. A good rule of thumb is to think about something you’d like to get from a company. If you wouldn’t have any use for it or wouldn’t pick it up every day, it probably isn’t the best choice for your business.
With that being said, you don’t always have to think completely outside the box. While having unique swag options is important, some of the classics have stood the test of time for a reason.
For example, most people love getting free clothes. Even if it’s just a t-shirt they’ll wear to the gym, it can be something they use frequently that will get your company name and logo out there.
Other items that never go out of style include patches and stickers, hats, and sweatshirts. Sometimes, it’s best not to overthink things and go with what works. But, try to throw a few of the unique items listed above into your swag mix, too.
As you can see, there are plenty of interesting options to choose from when you’re trying to decide on the best swag to give to your customers and/or employees. As a marketer, you already know you have the creative chops to come up with something great. So, don’t let those creative juices go to waste! Get your brand out there in the most innovative way you can. You might just be surprised at the kind of swag that people can’t get enough of.