Swag Customers Will Actually Use — And Some to Avoid

Swag is a timeless marketing tool and a multi-billion-dollar industry. However, as the global climate crisis escalates, many consumers switch to brands that offer eco-friendly solutions, products, and processes.

The key to successfully marketing with swag is choosing products that won’t end up in the trash — products that customers or employees will actually use and that send a message that your business is doing its part for the environment.

Here are some ideas for products that people will use and enjoy, thereby reducing the chances your swag will end up in a landfill.

1. Work-From-Home Supplies

With more and more companies turning to remote work, employees’ needs have changed. You can help employees, clients, and customers by using branded products that make working from home easier. Try laptop desks, mouse pads, webcams, or coffee mugs.

If you choose to mail work-from-home survival kits to employees or clients, choose recyclable branded packaging to make the unboxing experience fun and memorable while doing your part to preserve the environment.

2. Phone Chargers

Cell phones are a necessity today, and phone chargers and charging accessories are invaluable. People use chargers at their desk, in their car, by their bed, and even on the bathroom counter. Phone charge cords, USB bricks, and power banks are all useful tools that people will use time and time again.

Choose reliable suppliers to ensure that the charge cords are authorized for use with various phone brands. If you’re not sure whether Apple, Samsung, or Google authorizes the use of charge cords, you can always choose power banks or USB bricks in order to provide useful swag to consumers.

3. Reusable Face Masks

With the surge in mask-wearing started by the COVID-19 pandemic and likely to continue during cold and flu seasons of coming years, reusable face masks are a valuable commodity. People keep masks in their homes, cars, purses, and work desks. Best practices say that masks should be washed frequently, so people need enough masks to use throughout the week as they wash the masks that they’ve already worn.

If your employees are in the office, branded masks can help keep everyone safe at work. You can also offer masks to any visiting clients to ensure that germs aren’t spread at your place of business. You can even have people wear masks in promo photos or videos to display your commitment to reusable products and disease awareness.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Like face masks, hand sanitizer is a hot commodity. Small branded bottles of hand sanitizer are a great way to keep your brand in consumers’ minds. People can keep the hand sanitizer anywhere they’ll need it — in the car, in the purse, or on their keychain. Anybody they share the hand sanitizer with will also see your brand and become aware of your business.

5. Ring Light

With the skyrocketing popularity of online video content on apps like TikTok and Instagram, brand influencers, customers, and employees are creating more video content than ever. A smartphone ring light is a great resource for anybody who enjoys creating videos for an online audience, and employees on your advertising team can use ring lights to create promotional videos for your business’s social media accounts.

Plus, the work from home environment won’t be changing anytime soon, and many businesses are adapting a hybrid model when life normalizes. Good lighting for those Zoom calls is always a great idea.

6. Bandanas

While people may not wear bandanas often, a bandana makes great swag because it is so versatile. A bandana can be used as a face mask, hair tie, handkerchief, or even bandage in a pinch, and it’s one of those things that consumers will leave in a convenient place like their car or handbag.

7. Foldaway Bags

Reusable grocery bags are a useful item, but many common styles aren’t very user-friendly. If a grocery bag isn’t easy to store or remember to grab on the way to the store, it won’t do customers or businesses any good. A foldaway bag, which folds down into a small zippered pouch, is much easier to keep in the car or in a purse so people remember to use it for their shopping — and when they remember to use it, the bag also fulfills its purpose as advertising for your business as it is seen by other customers in the store.

Products to Avoid

While the sustainability push has noble aspirations, consumers don’t want or need a multitude of sustainable products — the whole point is that one is enough! So while some promotional products may seem like a good idea because they support sustainability, products like these might actually be leading to further trash accumulation:

  • Reusable straws
  • Travel cups
  •  Reusable water bottles

For the last few years, many companies have used branded reusable straws, travel cups, and water bottles for employees and customers alike. The problem is that many people now have half a dozen reusable straws and cups cluttering up their kitchen cabinets, and most of these products go unused. Consumers will gravitate to products they like and neglect the others.

Whether your company advertises more online or in the physical world, swag is a great tool — especially when combined with the constant presence of online photo and video content from consumers and companies alike. When you choose high-quality products that your customers or employees enjoy and use, you can trust that more and more people will be exposed to your brand over time.

Need more marketing solutions? Contact Grow Team for expert help.