As people prepare to buy back-to-school and back-to-work swag, we get a lot of questions from our clients about how to use these budgets most effectively. While there is no hard-and-fast rule—because every audience is different—here are our four best tips for choosing items your recipients will actually use and want to keep.
- Brand attractively: Nothing will cause someone to toss a piece of swag quicker than unsightly branding. Too-large logos, garish colors, and improper branding placements are some of the most common mistakes we notice our clients wanting to make, but luckily these are all easy fixes! Simply work with a graphic designer or branding specialist (many promotional marketing agencies, including In the Bag, have an in-house designer for situations like this) to develop branding that subtly fits your items and enhances their attractiveness.
- Choose practicality: As fun as plastic noisemakers, keychains, lanyards, and toys are, these items are often rated at the bottom of useability lists. Remember, the idea is to give practical promotional items so people will use them—but part of practicality is being realistic. Are people likely to add a company-branded keychain to their personal key ring? Will those cheap plastic noisemakers or toys be something children will continue reaching for once your event is over? You already know the answer to those questions, and that should help you decide.
- Consider your culture…: Are you a member of “the fun office” or is your workplace a little more on the formal side? Does your school encourage creative expression, or is a focus on academics more your speed? Is the trade show you’re going to geared for straight-laced professionals or are you aiming to inject a little pizzazz into what could be a dull day? To guarantee your swag selections are big hit with your intended audience, you need to carefully consider what your specific audience is going to respond best to.
- …But think outside your environment: No, we’re not saying to disregard the world’s environment and your impact on it. We’re saying to think of your recipient’s life as a whole rather than trying to find swag to fit into your specific part of their life. For example, many office workers don’t need or want more pens or post-its…but they might love a durable reusable water bottle, a portable power bank, or a quality Bluetooth speaker. And while adults and professionals might not want t-shirts, backpacks, or other apparel, many students love receiving those items and use them accordingly.
Using these tips, you can put your promotional marketing budget to good use by ensuring your chosen items will be useful for the long run.