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  • Swag Success: How to Use Customized Products for Branding

    bag-1455765_640Consumers love swag. Whether it’s merchandise from their favorite sports team, movie or video game, the promotional products sector is a multi-billion dollar market. After all, most of us cherish the act of receiving and displaying promotional products based on the franchises we love. The idea behind using swag to advertise and promote your business is clearly a natural step for the industry. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s an idea that works.

    The Creative Process

    First, you’ll need to take care of the creative side of product and swag branding. Some choose to hire an external consultant or graphic designer for this process, as an innovative and imaginative product is bound to generate greater results. As such, this step shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means.

    Despite their usefulness, a third-party designer isn’t absolutely necessary to the creative process. Indeed, many companies utilize inside resources, including administrative personnel, office workers or even general laborers who are willing to take on the additional responsibility of swag development. Potential candidates can be located through company newsletters, bulletin board posts or simply by asking individual staff members.

    Finding Your Target Audience

    You’ll also need to determine your target audience. Typically, the target audience of your swag will be the same clientele of your regular business. In some cases, especially with unique or specialized swag, you may need to expand your horizons.

    Identifying promotional products that will be useful to your current base of clientele can be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible. Those who work in office settings, for example, might appreciate a nice notebook or a smartphone charger.

    On the other hand, clientele from the construction industry might benefit more from a branded tape measure, hammer or even a travel toolbox. As you can see, knowing your target audience is the key to a successful swag campaign.

    Securing the Best Pricing

    A simple Internet search reveals hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that supply bulk products for use as swag. Highly customizable, affordable and typically available with a quick turnaround time, it can be difficult to find the company that is right for you. However, there are some tricks you can use when perusing your options.

    For starters, take advantage of the Internet to perform some initial research on any potential swag suppliers. If possible, try to seek out social media profiles and third-party review sites as opposed to a company’s official web presence.

    Consult with some of your peers as well regarding their promotional swag. Finding out what they’re paying and whether or not they’re happy with the service can go a long way in making your final decision between one supplier or another.

    Finally, pay attention to the amount of money you’re actually spending on promotional products. Avoid overspending, but keep in mind the fact you’ll typically receive a higher discount when purchasing items in great quantity. As such, make sure to look at all of the available purchase options before finalizing your order. Even customizable water bottles come in different sizes and styles to offer different price points. Consider your needs and what you’re willing to spend before selecting the product and shop around for the best options.

    Distributing Your Swag

    Generally speaking, industry events and trade shows provide one of the best opportunities for distributing your company’s swag. Because you’ll come in contact with a plethora of individuals, including potential clientele, such events are a boon for those who rely on promotional products to spread awareness of their company or brand.

    If you have multiple swag products to represent your company, you might even consider distributing them within a gift bag. This is a great idea when it comes to recognizing the achievements of your employees or even as a holiday bonus at the end of the year.

    Today’s social media sites can also be utilized to give away promotional swag to current and potential new customers. A number of strategies can be used to determine who receives the swag, including popular comments, structured contests and even those who are chosen at random. Since you’re both handing out promotional products and advertising the fact that you are doing so, your company will ultimately see even greater increases in exposure and customer interest.

    Seasonal Swag

    Swag can even be handed out during a specific season. Christmas and the New Year are obvious choices, though some would argue they lack creativity. Instead, try to coordinate your swag campaigns with some of the more unique and creative holidays.

    Halloween, for example, is ripe with promotional opportunities. Customized candy, Halloween-specific coupons and even bags for trick-or-treating are all great ways to advertise your business while celebrating the holiday at the same time.

    Earth Day is another holiday that provides ample opportunity for distributing your products. Traditionally held on April 22, it’s a time to celebrate earth, nature and the environment. As such, promotional products that are eco-friendly make the best choices. Reusable water bottles, lunchboxes, and solar-powered devices are all excellent ideas.

    Making the Most of Your Swag Campaign

    As you can see, there are plenty of tactics and strategies to utilize when creating, developing and distributing your custom-branded products. While the exact methods you choose to implement depends on a variety of factors, including your current customer base, your campaign goals and even your specific industry, there is plenty of room for creativity throughout the entire process.

    Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on navigating the work world. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and entrepreneurship to professional development, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum

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