Why Promo Items Matter to Your Brand


Why do swag items matter to your brand? It’s just pens, t-shirts, and totes, right? WRONG! Swag items or premiums can be an effective branch of your marking department if used correctly. This article f

Ranging from mugs, notepads, water bottles, bags and more, swag is a term for branded promotional merchandise or products given away as gifts or “freebies.” When planned and used effectively, swag can be an impactful marketing tool that supports brand awareness and brand loyalty. Why?

  • Brand Recall
    According to a 2013 report by PPAI, 88% of surveyed consumers could recall the name of the advertiser on a promotional product they received in the past 12 months. Additionally, 62% could recall the message on the promo item. This means your customers are creating priceless brand recall impressions every time they use your brand. The practicality and usefulness of promo items has tremendous ROI.
  • Relationships
    Using swag items that accurately convey your brand and messaging helps your clients associate positive feelings with your brand. Everyone likes to feel recognized, and swag does just that. Repeated brand recall with positive associations means your clients now have a positive relationship with your brand. A recent study by Harvard Business Review found that client relationships trumped powerful brands; the better your relationship with the client, the longer their brand loyalty holds.
  • Team Building
    Company culture is everything. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment, employees want to feel ‘at home’ with their employers. Giving branded company merchandise to employees helps to create a sense of community. When employees are using the same branded tools, wearing the same branded shirts, or the drinking from the same branded coffee cups, there is a sense of unity and brand pride in the workplace. And, when your employees love where they work they tell their friends about it! Which leads us to our last point…
  • Word of Mouth
    Client and employee referrals are often the highest performing lead sources. Strategically planned swag leverages these relationships and arms these individuals to generate business, as the look, name and possibility of a shared experience strikes curiosity, and sparks organic conversation about their connection to the brand at hand.

So, how do you use swag effectively to reap the benefits?

  • Purchase quality products. 
    Branded merchandise is a reflection of your brand quality.  Cheap, flimsy promotional items can actually cost your brand even more by sending a message of poor brand value. While it may be tempting to save a few bucks, remember quality is KING.
  • Be relevant.
    Create swag that your target audiences will actually use in their day-to-day life. A 2012 study by PPAI revealed that eight in 10 consumers own between one and 10 promotional products, six in 10 keep them for up to two years, and about half (53%) use a promo item at least once a week or more often. The main reason for keeping a promotional product is usefulness. If swag isn’t relevant, it will be given away or tossed aside.
  • Be consistent.
    As with all marketing and advertising materials, the brand itself should maintain a level of consistency. This translates to the products selected, to the colors used, the placement of the logo, etc.

    Ready to create your own branded merchandise? Contact the Brand+Aid team for a free virtual mockup with your company’s name on it: happy@brandaiding.com, (323) 800-2241. 

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