What is Swag? Spoiler Alert: It’s Not a Dirty Word
What is Swag?
The term “swag” has many meanings, including confidence, a guesstimate, stolen things, or a window treatment. It also means “Stuff We All Get”, referring to free items given out at trade shows. The real definition of swag in marketing is a gift with a logo on it.
Examples of Swag Items
- Typical swag items include custom printed bags, pens, beach balls, piggy banks, and umbrellas, but the options are as big and wide as your imagination.
Who is Swag for and What Does it Do?
- Who buys swag? Companies, schools and organizations. Translation: Anyone with a message or cause to broadcast! For example, a school can use swag to recruit potential students, a corporation might give out swag branded with their logo at a corporate event as a way to advertise for the company, or a charity may give out or sell custom printed t-shirts and awareness bracelets to support their cause.
- What is swag used for?
- To amplify brands
- To acquire new business
- To retain current business
- To bolster school spirit
- To raise staff morale
- To fundraise
- Who receives swag? New or potential customers and clients, members, employees and students.
What are the Types of Swag?
- Promotional Giveaways
- Smaller items given away at trade shows or events, as gifts with purchase or through direct mail marketing campaigns.
- Corporate Gifts
- Corporate gifts are fun or work related items and apparel given to employees and clients to show appreciation and create good will on holidays, during yearly appreciation events and as incentive and recognition all year long.
- Items for Fundraising & Support for Causes
- Custom printed items that advertise a nonprofit group or cause that are given away or sold to raise awareness, bring publicity, raise money, and thank donors and volunteers.
- School Spirit Items
- Apparel, notebooks, mascot stuffed animals, and anything else with a K-12, prep school or university logo. These items are given to new students, made into appreciation gifts for teachers, offered to prospective students and alumni as well as offered for sale.
- A swag bag is a custom printed tote full of branded gifts. It may be given out at events, sent to prospects, given to new employees as a welcome gift or used to create good will between any giver and audience.
- Choose items that are truly useful.
- Even inexpensive items that are cleverly designed can become problems solvers that get used and seen constantly.
- Choose items that are well-made, beautiful and on-trend.
- One of the best ways to choose an item is to get something that will last and that has a stylish design that inspires people to use the product. You can accomplish this with a well-crafted imprint on a trendy gift. Don't be afraid to pull inspiration from a successful retail store with clothing that is trending at the moment or popular bags and drinkware that everyone is carrying around with them. We have a few up to the minute options to get you started.
- Choose items that are eco-friendly.
- Some promotional products are actually keeping material out of landfills! Choose eco-friendly recycled items, recyclable items, reusable items that replace disposable products like water bottles and straws, items made of manufacturing by-products that would otherwise be wasted like wheat straw, items made of renewable resources like bamboo, cork and jute, or biodegradable and even compostable items. Want to show future clients seriously you take environmental corporate responsibility? Here are a few green options for Earth Day or your next corporate giveaway.
- Choose items perfectly targeted to your audience.
- If you give people something they won’t use, it’s a waste. Even worse, it makes you look thoughtless. Show your audience that you understand their needs.
- Engraved cutting boards and gift boxes are perfect for realtors to give to clients when they close on a home.
- Coffee tumblers and desk accessories are perfect for office employees.
- Nurses can use gifts like retractable badge holders that keep IDs clean and out of the way and light up pens to make notes without waking sleeping patients .
What is a swag bag?
Does “swag” mean cheap stuff that gets throw away?
Absolutely not! “Swag” has been painted in recent years to imply cheap items that people don't want, or even flimsy plastic items that end up floating in the sea, contributing to future environmental problems. Luckily, swag doesn't have to be loaded with such a negative connotation. After all, swag is just a gift in the end, so we want to dispel some of the worries you might have about giving these items out. Besides, companies and organizations are only limiting themselves if they don't use promotional products to advertise their brand. The value and future of the swag you design depends on what you choose to customize and your overall promotional strategy. Here’s how to create branded gifts that will be kept and treasured:
Are you still struggling to make a decision? We have Promotional Product Experts ready to help you. They can help you choose the right items so that you're putting your logo on a gift that recipients will value. Call or chat in at any time for assistance.
Create high impact, memorable swag today at Crestline.com!