Most people say they can’t remember the content of an online ad after just three days. Compare that to a recent survey where 57% of respondents who received a promotional product said they kept it for at least five years.
Clearly, swag has some serious brand-awareness longevity. But personal experience tells us not all promo products net the same results. Some swag gets kept and seen daily, while other items get chucked in the nearest trash bin.
If you want to squeeze years’ worth of brand impressions out of your marketing dollars, you’ll need company swag ideas that people are excited to collect, share, and use.
Versatile swag: Enamel pins
People wear and share their enamel pins in lots of ways. They’re often used as a fashion accessory.
Pins get attached to bags, lanyards, and vests.
And they’re displayed on walls, desks, and even social media.
In each scenario, your logo enamel pin turns customers and employees into walking billboards for your brand. It’s how Shopify, a leading website builder platform, turned a virtual employee training event into an Instagrammable talent recruitment tool. [link to Shopify case study]
Meaningful swag: Challenge coins
The physical heft and density of Challenge coins give them the impression of a gift with substance that's worth holding onto. That’s one reason the military has used them for thousands of years to rouse camaraderie among teammates, and organizations of all types now create them to reward employees and promote their brand.
Now, the solid mass of a coin adds to the significance of receiving one. There’s even a semi-official way to deliver a coin called the “secret handshake.”
It’s not just the density that makes challenge coins special; it’s also the design. For one thing, they can be made into different shapes for swag that’s completely unique.
Plus, there’s lots of space for the design, so you can include mottos, dates, and other important details.
Challenge coins make great welcome gifts for new hires, awards, and even creative business cards that won’t be crumpled up and forgotten.
Collectible swag: Keychains
Keychains were one of the first promotional swag products ever made, mostly because they’re useful and portable. More recently, they’ve become a collector’s item as well.
But even modern keychains have become collector's items. There's even a term for people who collect keychains, copoclephilist, and they have their own Facebook group.
The moral is, if you create an interesting keychain, people will hold on to it for a long time, remembering your brand every time it’s in view.
Useful swag: Coffee tumblers
The morning cup a joe, or mug of tea, is a ritual for billions of people around the world. A promotional coffee tumbler keeps their beverage of choice piping hot. No wonder people tend to hang on to swag drinkware for an average of 12 months.
The swag superpower of a beverage tumbler is that it appeals to everyone. There are 400 billion cups of coffee consumed every year, and 159 million American’s drink tea. A tumbler also keeps cold beverages cold. So even if your customers don’t drink coffee or tea, they’ll find a use for their new tumbler.
Not only are tumblers useful, but they also provide a lot of real estate to show off your brand.
Good time swag: Bottle openersThe best company swag ideas are those that connect your brand with positive experiences. A promotional bottle opener that gets pulled out and passed between friends enjoying a cold drink together is the epitome of that description.
People tend to keep promotional bottle openers around for a long time because when you need one, there’s just no great replacement. Source
Even better, openers get shared. When you’re the one person in the group who has a bottle opener, everyone wants to borrow it. That’s a great opportunity for a lot of additional impressions.
Charming swag: Charm braceletsCharm bracelets are an exceptional company swag idea. When you realize that people will keep coming back to collect the whole set of charms, their power to build long-term brand awareness becomes really clear.
People value the charm of charm bracelets. High-profile collectors like actors, politicians, and business moguls keep charms en vogue.
This is good news for your swag budget, as your customers are also likely to value and collect the charms you send them. Create a set, and they’ll look forward to getting the next one. Plus, that gives you space to share several marketing messages. Think: a charm for each product you release, a charm for each employee milestone, or individual notes of hope if you run a non-profit.
Eco-friendly swag: Shopping tote bagsA reusable promotional shopping tote places your brand in front of a lot of people. It also helps your customers care for the environment, which will lead them to love your brand even more.
A shopping tote is designed to be used in places where lots of people gather, like grocery stores and malls (do they still exist?). Meaning, every time your tote gets used, dozens of people get an impression of your brand (one report says a promo bag gets 3,300 impressions over its lifespan).
The New Yorker has fully embraced the power of the tote. The publication gives a bag away with each subscription. Walk around New York City, and you’re bound to see a dozen New Yorker totes.
What’s even better is the impression a tote leaves with the person who received it. A reusable bag takes a bite out of the 100 billion plastic bags used each year, and 46% of consumers have a favorable impression of brands that give them environmentally friendly promo products.
Use physical swag to connect in a virtual worldPromotional products are physical reminders for customers and employees that you want to make their lives better. That physical presence becomes even more important when you can’t meet in person.
Send new hires a company swag bag [link to swag bag post] and customers a promotional product with their order. If you choose the right swag idea, it’ll pay dividends for years to come.