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Who's Got Swag? Promotional Gifts That Impress

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 8:09am | by jennaleesmith1

When's the last time you got a promotional gift that truly left a good impression? Smartphones have made the pocket calendar passé and you can always have too many magnets. Even high-end gifts like T-shirts rarely work their way into your wardrobe.

Individuals running small businesses are often at a loss when creating promotional gifts or business swag. Many owners, eager to save money on what seems like an low-value expense, skimp on the swag and hand out tired old items like cheap inkpens or stress balls.

However, don't underestimate the value of a well-made promotional gift. A good piece of swag gets clients or PR firms interested in your business and provides a nice morale boost to a deserving employee.

Avoid food; embrace coffee

Offices are becoming more and more health-conscious, and the cookie basket or popcorn drum that would have been welcome a few years ago now sits alone in the break room, uneaten. Don't give people a high-caloric gift that inspires resistance or guilt. 

Instead, embrace the office's favorite substance: coffee.

Put a high-resolution version of your logo and tagline on a series of  promotional tumblers.These tumblers are fully-insulated and fit into car cupholders, making them ideal to carry to and from the office.

As an extra bonus, send a package of ground coffee along with the tumbler. Choose a local favorite or a brand that represents your company's values, like free-trade or shade-grown coffee.

Choose gifts that people use every day

Don't create swag that no one will use. Stickers get thrown away, magnets get forgotten and cheap T-shirts only come out on laundry day.

Instead, think of things that people use every day. For example: branded cord clips to keep your nest of computer, phone and USB cables organized. Employees in cubicles often buy monitor "rear-view mirrors" to see who is coming up behind them; why not create your own with a branded frame?

Think about what you use every day and find small, easily-branded items like pen sorters, mug coasters or smartphone covers. Add these items to your swag list.

Buy the best-quality items available

Do not skimp on your promotional gifts. If you have budget limitations, choose one well-made gift instead of two or three less-expensive gifts. Remember that these products represent your company's public face, so don't buy something that looks cheap or falls apart easily.

The higher-quality something is, the more likely your clients, employees and contacts are going to keep it around. The best swag is the type that is both seen and used every day, so make sure your gifts are the kind that will be used - and will last - for years.


Once you have your swag in hand, order enough for every client and employee on your roster. Use our shipping and postage tips to send packages out to current and potential clients as well as PR firms, media contacts, mentors or other key business relationships. Leave a promotional tumbler on every employee's desk to be found on Monday morning. Every time you receive a new client, employee, contact or business relationship, send out the swag pack.

What's the best piece of swag you've ever received from a company? Have you ever gotten anything that made you cringe? Let us know in the comments.

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