It’s no secret that people trust people more than brands. And, it’s also no secret that you have competitors—there are plenty of places for customers to go the second they want to find greener pastures. Enter, swag giveaways...your secret weapon.
Your brand must focus on relationships from the get-go, and keep that energy steady. That goes for all fronts. You want to attract customers and build the trust with a positive perception of your brand. You also want to create brand advocates who supplement your sales efforts by driving referrals.
Happiness is a key factor here. It’s a strong emotion that has the power to increase your bottom line. And swag giveaways are the perfect vehicle for evoking happiness when executed well.
Without further ado, here are several important ways swag giveaways benefit your business.
“The strength of brand loyalty begins with how your product makes people feel.”
- Jay Samit
You can add to the marketing noise, or you can make your own way. Since 45% of a brand's image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it, you should take this choice seriously. While it’s incredibly important to have a solid digital presence across multiple channels and platforms, equally important to a brand’s survival is delivering something people can see and feel.
Swag giveaways—in the spirit of Olivia Newton-John—allow brands to “get physical.” The most effective promotional products are backed by a strategy, not thrown together willy-nilly. Treat swag giveaways like you would any other marketing campaign. Create a budget, and focus on how you’re going to engage your audience with the right messaging and timing.
Impressions for a social media advertisement is a vanity metric that shows how often your brand’s message is seen. You might even pay for each of those impressions, but at what cost for your brand? Every time your brand shows up, unannounced in someone’s feed, it can cause a negative association. There are other ways to bring awareness to your brand, outside the digital environment.
Promotional items are a chance to make a positive impression, not just with the recipient but also anyone else who sees your message and logo along the way. Rather than picking played-out swag, take the time to select promotional items that really jive with your core messaging. You never know, that quirky branded coaster might get used every day—so, make it awesome.
Customers identified authenticity as one of the top qualities that would attract them to a brand, in a 2013 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. Half a decade later the importance of authenticity for brands still resonates with people who crave real experiences over branded experiences.
Swag giveaways offer another opportunity to bolster your message. Think of swag as an extension of your brand, a way to show a bit more personality. Demonstrating who you are through what you choose to giveaway is a chance to prove authenticity to that person. When you’re choosing the best swag, get the whole team involved to find the right fit for your brand.
Establishing a referral program is a must for any brand looking to grow—and which brand isn’t? Companies using referral programs see a higher conversion rate and a shorter sales cycle. A thank you email is a step in the right direction, but your brand can do better and your champion certainly deserves better.
Promotional items are the perfect way to reward your referrals, as long as you’re not dusting off that box of lime green branded baseball caps circa 2000 that you couldn’t get rid of. These are advocates who will potentially send you more business in the future. Go the extra mile by selecting something special for this person, so they think of your brand first the next time an opportunity arises.
Silos inevitably happen for brands. Departments work separately even though everyone should be working toward the same company goal and vision. Sales and marketing programs are often digital, which tend to lean on the impersonal side no matter how clever the content strategy is. Adding a personal touch to those programs can make a world of difference.
Swag giveaways might very well save the day if sales and marketing are struggling. There are endless options with custom promotional products, allowing you to pick swag that works with a specific theme, like a marketing campaign. If sales is having trouble reaching a prospect who went dark just before signing a contract, then sending a special branded gift could reignite the conversation.
Repetition can be a powerful tool for brands. A word of caution here—there is a classy way and a not-so-classy way to keep your brand top of mind. We’ve all fallen victim to relentless salespeople that email and call after we’ve expressed the tiniest bit of interest in a product or service. This type of repetition is borderline harassment, which rarely wins people over.
Promotional items are WAY classier than sales stalking. The beauty of swag is how your brand messaging lives on long after it is received. That promotional item might be on someone’s desk, used every day at home, or worn in public for all to see. Amplifying your brand this way is more effective for capturing attention...while showing you have good manners.
Time for a fun fact. When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. But if a relevant image is paired with that same information? People retained 65% of the information three days later. Someone will hear about your brand at an event and forget it along with the others, unless they have something visual to hold onto.
Swag giveaways are all over the place at events for a reason. If someone is at a hectic trade show, and your sales team is talking up how great your brand is, it will only go so far in that sea of confusion. For events, the branded swag that makes it home in somebody’s luggage (versus the hotel trash can) is the useful kind. Do your homework and figure out what people actually want, and make sure it’s travel-friendly.
Brands are only as good as the people behind them. An often-overlooked impact on a company’s bottom line is disengaged employees and churn. If an employee doesn’t feel appreciated, their work will suffer as a result. You might even lose a star employee to another company for the same reason, and then you’re spending precious time and energy to find new resources and get back on track.
Promotional items are a simple way to show appreciation to your team. This goes beyond the anniversary gift. Whether someone is a top contributor on a project or always volunteering to go above and beyond what is asked, gifting unique swag means you recognize their dedication. Even a small gesture of gratitude is a great motivator that keeps your team happy and engaged.
Brand awareness plays a major factor across different stages of the buying cycle. First impressions are critical, of course—but so is continually engaging people once they become your customers.
Giving special attention to your customers after the sale is over shows your commitment to them. And a happy customer is one that sticks around for the long-haul. Swag giveaways, if done right, will pay off for your business.
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