Promotional Item Best Practices

Get Your Swag On: How to Build a Brand with a Swag Bag

swag bag

Did you know SWAG is an acronym for Stuff We All Get? A swag bag is a tote filled with free samples and promotional items.

Swag is a popular way to build brand recognition. You’ll see it at industry events, openings, and festivals. The trick to swag is choosing the right item. Get your swag right and 85% of potential customers remember your brand. 

When swag connects with an audience it makes a positive impression. People keep the item and use it. When the giveaway is cheap or irrelevant, they toss it right away.

Want to know how to choose the right item so people remember your brand in a good way? Keep reading this guide. It breaks down how to choose the right swag for brand recognition. 

Start with the SWAG Bag

The bag is as important as what you put in it. Don’t think of the bag as a place to stash stuff. Instead, think about your audience.

Do they want a bag like this? Will they use it after the event?

There are hundreds of bag styles in a variety of price points. Don’t pick the same thing everyone else uses. Surprise people with a unique design, fabric or color.

Hand out a backpack or duffle instead of a tote. Make it special with a design by a local artist. Or, give attendees a choice between two bags.

Plan ahead and order custom bags with your logo and website. Size the logo so it works with the design. Never put a date on the bag.

Match the size and style of the event. If it’s a convention, attendees appreciate a bag they can use throughout the event. For a small gathering, size the bag to fit the items placed inside.

A reusable bag keeps your brand in view after the event. The more people like the bag, the more they’ll use it. The result is exposure and free advertising for your brand.

Next, let’s dig into choosing what goes in the bag.

How to Choose the Right SWAG

Now that you have the bag figured out, what goes into it?

Skip cheap common freebies. No one needs another keychain, coffee mug or pen. Give them something interesting, functional, and relevant.

Ask yourself the same question consumers ask: Do I want or need this? If you don’t want it, chances are your clients won’t either.

The swag items people keep include:

  • Attractive Clothing 
  • Electronics Like Earbuds and Mobile Chargers
  • Seasonal Items for Children
  • Samples That Pass Airport Security Regulations

Here are the items most people throw away:

  • Printed Collateral 
  • Items Covered in Large Logos
  • Low-quality Items

The goal is to keep your brand in front of consumers in a positive, lasting way. Pens that leak and gadgets that break or don’t work make your company look bad.

If people throw away your promotional items you wasted your money.

Match SWAG to the Situation

Make your swag an integral part of your ad campaign or event, not an afterthought. If your swag doesn’t sync with the event it won’t interest attendees.

A conference for home builders is different from a fundraiser to build homes in a community. Yet, a pair of custom logo work gloves work as a promo item for both events.

In this example, your swag item is relevant and useful to attendees. It’s something both professional and volunteer home builders use. It shows you understand the wants and needs of your audience.

Swag supports the message, not the other way around.

What Does Your Audience Like?

Once you know the type of event and its purpose, think about your audience’s likes and dislikes.

Don’t give a group of millennials something a baby boomer wants. Consider all the demographics: age, location, interests, etc.

Get input and swag ideas from salespeople, coworkers, and vendors. Brainstorm ideas that match your message and theme.

Ask your audience what they like. Include a survey on your event registration or social media page about swag items.

Swag Value

SWAG value should match the ticket price. If attendees paid top dollar to attend a fundraiser, don’t give them pens in a coffee cup.

Swag for an exclusive event should equal 5% to 10% of the admission price. Another option is to have two swag bags. One for base level attendees and a premium bag for VIP ticket holders and sponsors.

Adjust your swag value to match the customer. The item you give to an expo passerby shouldn’t be the same as what a long-term customer receives.

Don’t forget to include your logo and message. Size it to fit the item. Include a phone number or website so potential clients can contact you.

Use a Personal Touch

For smaller events get personal with your swag. Customize the items to match the colors or theme of the event.

If your brand supports a local non-profit event, use both logos on the swag. This shows your involvement in community projects.

Add a personal touch with a handwritten thank you note to attendees and supporters. Personal notes in a swag bag are a rare gesture that’s always appreciated.

Get Creative with Your SWAG

It isn’t easy to build the perfect swag bag for an event or trade show. The trick is to create a connection between your brand and your audience.

If you want something different, try our quality, logo gloves for your next promotion. We guarantee you’ll stand out from the competition.

Why give away the usual pens and tumblers when you can lend a hand with custom gloves?

Work gloves are a perfect match for welders, mechanics, drivers, builders, and gardeners. Anyone who works with their hands appreciates gloves. Add your logo and you’ll be top of mind every time you help them work.

If you need a glove supplier, contact us today. We’ll help you with swag that makes a positive impression on your customers. 

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