Swag is essential to marketing your business—not just a slang term from the early 2010s. If you want to get your brand in front of the eyes of your potential customers, you need to use the power of swag campaigns.
Prospective customers are more likely to convert as they interact with your brand or see it in the wild. However, there is a fine line between the perfect amount of engagement to convert and the oversaturation of marketing that annoys all who see it. Swag is a great way to meet your customers in a fun way that benefits them too.
What is a swag campaign?
What does swag mean? It's an acronym for "Stuff We All Get." So a swag campaign is something that promotes your brand via custom merchandise. Plan, design, and order your swag, then offer it to all your employees and customers in sales or giveaways. We'll get into those details soon.
The importance of swag campaigns lies in customer perception. Your company can use swag to meet goals such as:
- Launch or support brand identity
- Grow brand awareness
- Increase customer impressions
You may need to realize that swag campaigns can be much cheaper than other forms of paid marketing. Ordering products in bulk or bundles always brings costs down. Consider including a swag campaign if you want to tighten your marketing budget. Plus, every swag campaign has built-in organic marketing—as long as you create cool stuff your customers or employees will want to wear in public!
How do swag campaigns make money?
You may be sold on needing swag to help with brand awareness. Great! But what about the necessary money-making details?
Of course, better brand identity, awareness, and impressions lead to more sales. But you're here because you want to know how swag campaigns can make money and impact the bottom line directly.
Both B2B and B2C companies can benefit from their custom-branded swag. If you still need to sell physical products, swag campaigns, and online stores open up a new source of revenue for you. For example, if you are a SaaS company with big fans across many businesses, they would love to rep the tool that makes their job easier. If you're already in the business of e-commerce, then you have nothing to lose by adding a section to your store for exclusive oh-so-very-you products your customers can wear any day. Swag campaigns also open doors for better employee appreciation initiatives.
These are just a few examples, and it all depends on your company and the campaign's purpose. Let's get your creative wheels turning. Look at these five ideas for swag campaigns that will make you money.
Limited Edition Swag
FOMO, the fear of missing out, will always get anyone's attention. If potential customers worry about missing out on your exclusive, limited edition, and never-before-seen products- they are more likely to purchase.
Occasions for limited edition swag include:
- Company anniversaries
- Specific events
- New product launches
- Celebrating seasons
- Just for fun
- Pop culture references
You can also run a limited edition swag campaign parallel to any other time-sensitive marketing campaign. Running these campaigns in tandem will elevate your brand. It's always a good look when a company is aligned across different departments and aspects of advertising.
For example, say you get a Super Bowl commercial slot (that's the dream, right?). Launch a swag campaign the following day and sell t-shirts and hats referencing your ad or featuring your celebrity spokesperson. On a smaller scale, everyone loves hats with funny sayings. Take top comments from your most recent social media ads and stitch them on some dad hats.
Another great way to seamlessly integrate swag campaigns into your standard operations is to offer them as sign-up perks. A fun new piece of clothing or a functional gift can attract potential customers or push already bought-in folks over the line to convert.
Nothing incentivizes sign-ups quite like free stuff. Not only is sign-up perk swag fun, but it also gives your customers a sense of belonging, exclusivity, and camaraderie. After all, there's a reason every club wants to get matching jackets. (Bonus points if you can invoke FOMO again here and offer limited edition or seasonal sign-up perks!)
Some ideas your company might consider for branded sign-up perk swag include:
As we've talked about here, swag is a great motivator. In addition to helping convince potential customers to sign up, swag also incentivizes current customers to refer their friends or family to your company. Use swag to make it worthwhile — something in it for them, something in it for the person they refer.
Referral program swag offered could be more niche or exclusive. Since your customers are already in-the-know, they can attest to their friends or family how valuable and indispensable your company is and how great the swag perks could be. It's crucial to offer products relevant to your brand and target audience. Be sure to bring value to motivate your customers best and refer others to your company.
Bundles and Kits
Wrap up your swag in a bundle or kit to offer a more comprehensive experience to your customers. Bundling products also encourage your customers to buy more, AKA spending more, on your site. For example, someone who goes to your online store intending to order a single product may hit "add to cart" a few more times if they know they'll receive a fabulous tote bag after purchasing a certain amount. Again, this is a great way to get customers who are already bought-in into your brand to go all-in even more.
Consider bundling swag with other products to promote new products. Bundling is a fun way to celebrate the launch. You could also create a kit of your most popular items plus a basic t-shirt that lets fans of your brand purchase a one-stop-shop gift for a friend or quickly restock on all their favorites.
Other options include:
- Themed bundles
- Exclusive bundles
- Build-your-own bundles
- Gated or tiered bundles
For a Good Cause
Swag is a great way to raise money for charity or a good cause you care about! While there is an up-front cost to stocking swag as part of or the central aspect of your fundraiser, people are more willing to spend money if they know it will do good in the world. Your company can sell swag individually, with all profits supporting the charity of your choice. You can also take donations for a swag package at an in-person fundraiser.
Many charities already use swag as a revenue generator. While asking for donations for a good cause is, at most times, enough, it always helps to offer a perk for those helping out. Even if you are hosting a charity event and not planning on swag, a free t-shirt for participants is an excellent way to say thanks so much for serving.
Start Your Next Swag Campaign Now
Now you know that swag campaigns are an effective and lucrative way to make your company money, how can you kickstart the process?
We've helped customize swag for many companies and organizations of all sizes for over a decade- and we'd love to help you too. *wink wink*
Connect with one of our printing pros to walk the swag talk- they’re here to answer any questions you may have and get your next swag campaign started.