Promotional Items 101: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Swag?
Is there such a thing as TOO much swag? Our answer: no!
Of course, it all depends on the type of swag, because you can definitely have too much if it’s stuff nobody wants! From custom backpacks and tote bags to bottle openers and coffee mugs – there’s so much amazing swag to choose from.
So, let’s cover a bit of promotional items 101, including what kind of swag is popular for different groups, functions, and budgets. Then we’ll talk about how to present it, so you can surprise and delight your target audience and never, ever overwhelm them.
But first, let’s take a step back…
So, what actually is swag, anyway?
Swag has a lot of different meanings. But if you’re a business or organization, it generally refers to branded merchandise or promotional items. Almost anything from custom tote bags to custom sunglasses can become swag - just add your logo and give it away.
The idea behind swag is to build brand awareness and foster goodwill for your brand. By giving something away, your audience is going to want to give you something back in return, whether it’s their time (looking at your offers), referrals, or opening up their wallets to buy.
And of course, if the recipients use your swag, it creates a ripple effect that gives your brand more visibility out in the world. For example, you might give away a branded custom backpack to someone within your target audience of IT workers, and the next day they wear it into work. Their colleagues (also IT workers) see the backpack, ask about it, and get exposed to your brand.
Pick the right swag for your audience
When you’re planning an event or hoping to WOW a prospect or target audience with your brands and product, it can be tricky to know what swag to get. As with all kinds of marketing, getting it right really does come back to your audience. So, in general, we’ve broken down the demographics by age, with popular types of swag.
Swag ideas for Millennials
Eco-friendly items, including eco custom tote bags
Minimalist-look and lightweight custom backpacks
Beauty products, like lip balms
Swag ideas for Gen X
Items they can use at work, like sticky flags and notebooks
Home décor and gifts, like candles
Drinkware, like custom wine glasses
Travel-friendly custom backpacks with wheels
Swag ideas for Baby Boomers
Portable chairs for camping or picnics
Custom backpacks with cooling insulation for hiking or picnics
Health products, like dental hygiene items
Of course, it’s a really good idea to dig deeper and narrow your audience down further than just by age group. So, go more specific, then ask our friendly customer service team for recommendations on the best swag for your ideal customers. We’ll point you in the right direction, so you don’t have to spend hours coming up with ideas.
Pick the right swag for your event
Once you’ve got your audience figured out, the next step is to look at the event or occasion. Matching your swag with your event is crucial if you want to make the right impression, not look tacky, and really impress your people. Here are a few events and occasions for giving out swag and some tips on what promotional items are appropriate for each.
Corporate holiday gifts
When it comes to a corporate gift, you’ll need to step things up a notch to truly impress, especially around the holidays when your customers might be inundated with gifts. Here are some ideas to get you started:
High-end stationery, like this soft-bound journal
Cool tech, like a deluxe charging set
Need more inspiration? Check out more custom corporate holiday gift ideas.
Free tradeshows usually mean lots of people but a less targeted audience. For this reason, you’ll want to make your budget stretch a little further and get some “general interest” swag that’s on-brand but also appeals to a wide audience. Here are some ideas:
Branded sticky notes pack with a clip
A multi-use spinner stylus light pen
A cotton custom tote bag (perfect for holding all your swag)
High-end tradeshow or conference
You can’t use the same swag you would’ve used at the free conference for a paid conference. It’s a different, more targeted audience who will expect more and appreciate higher quality promotional gear. But it’s worth investing in some top-quality pieces because you’ll probably have a smaller number of people visiting your booth, and they’re much more likely to buy from you. Here are some swag ideas for a high-end tradeshow:
A fancy custom tote bag
Once again, if your special event or occasion isn’t listed above, just contact our team for help. We’re experienced with all kinds of events so we can send you some links to the products we know will work for you.
Always stay within budget
We’ve talked about the audience and occasion. The final piece of the puzzle is your budget. In an ideal world, you could just shop for the best swag you can find, but realistically, we know that every business and organization will have a set budget for their promotions. So, here are some promotional items across different categories sorted by price, to help you know what’s realistic for your budget and give you some ideas about what you could order.
Cheap and cheerful swag
Non-woven custom tote bags (from $0.88)
Custom sticky notepads (from $0.42)
A key ring bottle opener (from $1.07)
A portable cutlery set (from $0.91)
Clear drawstring custom backpacks (from $2.49)
A lens set with a selfie ring light (from $8.05)
A zippered custom tote bag for computers (from $9.44)
Stainless steel custom drink bottles (from 8.33)
A zippered custom backpack (from $9.77)
Custom folding umbrellas (from $9.57)
High-end swag (aka swanky swag)
Braavos wireless charging earbuds (from $33.32)
Tranzip custom backpack for 15” laptops (from $16.96)
Presentation (in the right custom tote bag) is everything
Finally, it’s important to think about how you’ll present your swag. When you’re giving out your curated collection of branded and promotional items, you also need to give out something to hold them in. Otherwise, your audience will probably lose track of smaller items or need to cram them into their existing bags.
A custom tote bag or custom backpack are both great options. And the best part is, they’ll be fully coordinated to match the rest of your swag.
How to order the best swag and bags
Don’t just get any bag for your swag. Find the perfect custom tote bag or custom backpack to suit your brand, your audience, and your other promotional items. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Browse our collections of custom backpacks and totes
Step 2: Considering your audience, budget, and occasion, pick the best bag that’ll fit your swag (ask our team for help choosing one if you need it)
Step 3: Customize the colors and add your branding (get free artwork assistance from our team),
Step 4: Order a free sample to make sure it’s just right for you
Step 5: Place your full order of custom bags, add your swag, then share it with the world!
Here’s to sharing the coolest on-brand swag in the very best custom bags!
Note: All prices noted on items are correct as of February 2019. We may offer sales and update prices in the future, so be sure to check the individual item for current prices.