Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What does your company give away with its name or logo?

Does your company have pens, mousepads, t-shirts, or some other gadget that promotes it? Do the items make your competitive advantage, name, logo, tagline, or website easy to remember? Do people like the items? More importantly, do they result in new business or repeat business?

Heidi Thorne is an expert in sales, marketing, advertising, and public relations, and answered these and many more questions in her new book, SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business.

While some people might define SWAG as “souvenirs, wearables, and gifts” or “sealed with a gift” or even “stuff we all get,” according to Thorne, “The term swag refers to any product that has a logo, message, tagline, or some form of personalization on it – usually with the intent of advertising a business, event, association, team, person, or cause.”

Thorne explains that many products have a “WOW” factor for a variety of reasons, but they may lack what she calls “staying power.” Remember the AOL disks that were distributed free of charge by being shrink-wrapped in basically every magazine when AOL was just starting out? Today, those same disks would be considered drink coasters because they are outdated technology. Consider if your company had manufactured thousands of those same size disks – your customers would think you were crazy if you distributed them at tradeshows or other events.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when creating your own SWAG:
  • Many restaurants don’t think long-term. Often, they don’t provide pens with the name of their restaurant for their servers to use, but instead, force servers to provide their own pens, which means that the pens might feature the names of hotels, banks, or heaven forbid, the names of competitors.
  • Eco-friendly bags might be great for some companies, but if your company is in the business-to-business arena, they may be inappropriate.
  • Your logo might look great on T-shirts, but do you have a big budget for printing shirts in all sizes ranging from children’s to women’s small to extra large to men’s small to extra large – with such a myriad of sizes, t-shirts may be cost prohibitive.
Above all, remember that whatever SWAG item you create to promote your business reflects your brand. Don’t give away a pen that leaks ink or doesn’t write. Don’t give away anything that is too hard to read, has tiny font, or features illegible information about your company – such as, your company name, address, website address, telephone number, etc.

For more info:

If you still have your heart set on ordering branded t-shirts or other clothing, read Heidi’s article first:

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Too often I get a bag of "goodies" which is really just a bag filled with random items festooned with logos. More often than not, cheap items that I won't use. Careful thought could and should create great SWAG bags.


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