HR & Culture
 min read

How to Pick Company Swag That Represents You

How to Pick Company Swag That Represents You
December 17, 2020

In this article

Trade shows, exhibitions and meetings are always flushed with excitement and, of course, promotional giveaways. Many attendants come home lugging swag packs stamped with various business logos.

These promotional products are as effective today as they were before when the only options were pens and mugs. Studies show that most recipients keep and use swag for an average of eight months. Over that course of time, they could be writing in your notebook in the office, carrying your tote bag on the train, or using your power bank when they travel. That’s pretty good advertising in our opinion.

Promotional materials provide your company with the perfect opportunity to advertise and represent your brand with authenticity — here are three steps to achieving that:

1. Connect with people through quality items

Many businesses focus most of their marketing online given that almost everyone is on one digital media platform or another. The problem is that digital advertising isn’t always effective. In fact, a GlobalWebIndex infographic illustrated that almost half (47%) of consumers block digital ads. They find that too many digital ads and popups are annoying, irrelevant, intrusive, and even a threat to their network security.

On the other hand, promotional giveaways give you an opportunity to make a real, tangible connection. That’s why when choosing company swag, you need to find items that are useful, creative, and of good quality. By giving people products that can be impactful to them even in a small way, you can form a positive perception of your company. Remember though that understanding your demographic is key to figuring out what people can actually find useful. But once you cultivate this positive association, you’re one step toward building trust and loyalty.

Beam Suntory

As a leading brand in the beverage industry, Beam Suntory knows not to skimp on quality. Their employee giveaways, which consisted of backpacks, clothing, and more, were top of the line, representative of how they treat their stakeholders with only the best care.


The welcome kit you give to new customers says a lot about the kind of service they can expect from your brand moving forward. With BurnRate, they were looking for affordable items that don’t sacrifice quality — and it’s exactly what they got from SwagUp. These kits are great ideas for onboarding new clients and building loyalty from the get-go.

2. Communicate what you do

Swag packs aren’t a mishmash of random items. So many brands have trouble figuring out which products to put so they end up including all of them. One way to simplify the process is to choose products that are actually relevant to your company. For example, a fitness company can give away tumblers, towels, and phone armbands instead of things that have nothing to do with their brand, like flash drives.

Building a cohesive pack is one way to enforce brand awareness. Writer Jay Kang explained that there are different kinds of brand awareness: brand recall, brand recognition, top-of-mind awareness, and brand dominance. Association is a foundational step to all kinds. By choosing a swag pack that strongly communicates what you actually do, you have more chances of enforcing consumers to recall your brand as their go-to.

Outer Aisle

Outer Aisle took advantage of National Pizza Day with their amazing Pizza Packs. The creative and informative packaging was also a fun way to promote their cauliflower pizza crusts!

Policy Genius

Although it’s something everybody needs, it’s not easy to get people interested in insurance. Policy Genius, with the expert help of SwagUp, found a way to pique consumers’ interest with a witty line printed on a simple tote, along with a referral program with great perks.

3. Be consistent with your message

As mentioned, swag is the perfect means to communicate what you actually do. That’s not all — it’s also an opportunity to promote your message and the values that your company holds. It’s a chance to show authenticity which consumers nowadays easily pick up on. This was highlighted by Dustin York, director of Maryville University’s online communications program, when he brought up ads with disconnected messaging. One example is the Kendall Jenner-Pepsi fiasco of 2017 that drew a lot of backlash. In an article York wrote for Entrepreneur, he explains that today’s consumers look for authenticity in brands and support businesses that align with their personal values. It may not be obvious but promotional products are actually one way to convey what you’re all about.

For example, brands that claim to be eco-friendly and give away items with plenty of plastic packaging will turn off consumers who support their green advocacy. Or, giving away diet products like weight loss teas when you promote body positivity will definitely leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. Again, stay true to your message because, chances are, it’s what drew people in to your company in the first place. So don’t betray their trust!

Day Owl

Because Day Owl is all about conscious consumerism, they wanted to minimize their footprint while finding a way to provide consumers with what they actually need. So, they introduced the Day Owl backpack made with more durable material. Simple, yet thoughtful. This swag pack is indeed representative of Day Owl’s message of sustainability and being able to make a social impact.


Building a more resilient culture is also possible with swag. That’s exactly what Clari wanted to do with their employee swag, which they gave at the beginning of the pandemic. It wasn’t easy to transition to remote work but this gesture was very well received by the employees — it showed that Clari cared about and supported their people.

Now that you know how important swag is to your brand’s identity, check out our advice on how to build custom Swag Packs and get started on your own!

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