10 Good Swag Ideas to Promote Your Brand Offline

Promotional giveaways should always be a part of your marketing strategy. It’s a great way to gain brand recognition, strengthen customer loyalty, and engage potential new customers. Promotional swag provides an opportunity to make an impression that extends beyond a single meet and greet type of event—on average, folks keep promotional products for about eight months. That’s much longer than the single Saturday afternoon you manned the company booth at a community event or industry conference. Further, a whopping 63% of people pass along their promotional swag when they’re finished with it, creating another life for the swag and extending your brand. All in all, gifting promotional goods can be a fantastically smart, organic way to grow your brand offline. After all, an eight-month shelf-life is much longer than a quickly closed internet ad or commercial. 

To be effective, a giveaway should attract your target audience and serve as an ambassador of your company/brand/product. How does the promotional swag help tell your brand’s story? How is it representing your brand to the outside world, to customers old and new? If you can’t make a direct connection from your swag to your brand, how will customers? There’s no denying it, people love free stuff. But will said free stuff make them remember you? In order to eke the needle closer to yes, consider not only how the promotional giveaway relates to your brand, but if it’s:
• Useful—folks will keep it (maybe even past the average 8 months mentioned above)
• Memorable—making an impression with your target audience will increase the likelihood of them remembering your brand, and associating it positively
• Fun—being able to make people laugh should never be underrated, so don’t be scared to be silly with your swag

While they’re certainly not a new concept, giveaways are still an immensely important and strategic marketing route. Below, we offer 10 of our favorite promotional swag giveaways ideas for your next offline gifting event.

Giveaway Ideas

#1 Apparel

Apparel makes for a great giveaway because, frankly, it’s something everyone has a need for. T-shirts, in particular, can be a very powerful giveaway—just ask this guy. Apparel is basically a walking billboard for your brand, so it’s hard to imagine any brand that wouldn’t benefit from this type of giveaway swag, from a local handyman to a San Fran tech startup.

#2 Mobile Tech

We’re living in a digital world, no doubt. In fact, within the U.S., a resounding 77% of the population owns a smartphone. That’s some serious market share. There’s a plethora of mobile tech giveaways that are relevant for, if nothing else, the fact that so many folks own them. Car chargers, phone/tablet cases, earbuds, power banks…the list goes on…and on. These are items that will remain useful daily. Slap your company name and logo on them, and voilà, your brand is now potentially part of everyday customer life. This may not seem like much, but that constant name/logo recognition is powerful—it will help establish a sense of trust simply from seeing it so much.

#3 Kid Friendly4-Pack of Kids Bath Crayons

If your target audience includes either kids or parents, you should seriously consider some kid-friendly swag. Even if kids aren’t attending the event, these swag items make a sweet little gift for parents to give to their babes when they get home. This could include fun items like bubbles, crayons, sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, coloring books, stickers, and more—all things kids will eat up.

#4 Edibles

Snacks, sweets, chocolates…edible swag just may be the best swag (hey—it’s the most delicious at least). A long day of visiting vendors at a big conference or day-long event will leave anyone hungry. Providing nourishment for the crowd is a great way to help folks recharge and refresh themselves with something delicious. You also get a lot of opportunities for customization with food, particularly candies—colors, flavors, and yes, you can even brand some.

#5 Project Oriented

Gifting swag that’s project oriented, like a pack of seeds (plant them!), a puzzle (solve it!), or games (play them!) invites people to spend time with the promotional product—and inevitably time seeing your company name/logo—again, brand recognition equals trust.

#6 Shopping Bags and Totesreusable custom shopping tote bag

Reusable shopping bags and totes are a growing trend—a wonderful win for the green, environmentally-friendly/conscious movement. They’re a great alternative to single use plastic bags at the grocery store, farmers market, or even the mall. In a word, they’re fabulously practical. They also provide a nice chunk of space to display your company name, logo, tagline, and more.

#7 Mugs and Tumblers

Europe just overwhelmingly voted to ban single use plastic—another sign of the evolving green movement (and the strong foothold it’s gaining around the globe). Mugs and tumblers may seem like a basic item, but they’re extremely useful. Sure, everyone has mugs at home, but so many people don’t think to bring one into the office, instead filling up with paper, plastic, or worse, styrofoam cups instead. Tumblers, on the other hand, are great for anywhere—in the office, but also whenever folks are on-the-go and may be tempted to reach for a plastic bottle of water.

If you’d like to promote the green perspective of a mug or tumbler, consider working it into the design of the mug, even if your company isn’t necessarily a green-focused company. After all, we all have care about Mother Earth!

#8 Beauty Items

Estimated at about $445 billion, the beauty industry is one heck of a powerful industry. With that in mind, it’s kind of a no-brainer to give out beauty related swag like lip balms, soap, essential oils, lotions, and more. That said, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all—your brand should have some connection to beauty, well-being, health, or even just women in order to connect with potential and existing customers.

#9 Sport Gear

Sports are a powerful thing. From little tykes kicking around a soccer ball, to adult softball leagues, you almost never outgrow how good it feels to run around chasing a ball with friends. Frisbees, golf balls, basketballs, hockey pucks—the options are almost endless when it comes to sport-centric promotional swag. This theme doubles as being kid-friendly, too, so even if the adult passes on the offer to play, their kids likely won’t.

#10 Vacation Gear

Our Basecamp Tundra bottleVacation leaning promotional swag is a great idea for Spring/Summer events since that’s when most vacations tend to take place. Longer days and glorious heat have most folks eager to head to a body of water—the ocean if you’re close enough, or a lake if your landlocked. Sun and surf-oriented gear can include sunglasses, flip-flops, beach towels, water bottles and more. For a camp vibe, binoculars, flashlights, and tin mugs are great options. To beat the heat, a small, electronic handheld fans or visors are unbeatable.

We hope these ten ideas have got your wheels turning for all the different swag you can create for your next offline event. When choosing items, remember to try to understand your audience, and how your swag represents and speaks to your brand. Folks may love free stuff, but if it doesn’t connect to your brand/product/service, it will be difficult for potential customers to make the association—undermining your goal of gaining trust. For specific items mentioned in these 10 items, check out ePromos wide range of promotional swag for your next event!

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