TZL 1461 (web)



Rethinking swag

S wag – stuff we all get. Notebooks and mugs and pens, oh my. We all get it, and put our logos on it, but do we all know what it is, by definition? If it doesn’t support the mission of your firm, enhance your brand story, and provide relatable value to the recipient, it might be time to rethink spending money on it at all.

According to, “Swag is branded promotional merchandise used to promote businesses/brands. Swag is usually given away as ‘freebies’ to the public, leads, customers, and employees. Marketing swag is tangible, tactile, and useful to the recipient.” This is a great description, yet it carries a different meaning this side of March of 2020. THE WAY IT WAS. In the past, swag could be pretty much anything. From stress balls of all shapes and sizes and forms to the ubiquitous pens, with or without novelty features, and a variety of consumable treats. For many firms, the approach was to:

Pass them out to staff for some brand reinforcement too

Jane Lawler Smith

PRESENT CHALLENGES FOR SWAG. We have a chocolate factory in our town. And we have a few conferences that we have attended for many years. People who frequent these conferences generally know us and look forward to the chocolate we bring. A nice big bowl with a spoon and small cups where people can help themselves throughout the day. Of necessitates multiple hands reaching into the same bowl may be suspect. Those entertaining stress balls, that someone else may have touched before you, might still elicit a smile, but may also be left behind. We need to address a basic question: What are course, that was before March of 2020. Now, anything that isn’t pre-packaged and

■ Buy in bulk so per-impression costs were low

■ Use the same items for all events – for every customer market, at every stage of the pipeline



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