You already know that corporate swag is an amazing way to entice people to engage with your company. In fact, over half of all trade show attendees say they’re more likely to enter an exhibit that provides a giveaway, so you’re likely to have an upper hand against competitors if you go to an event ready to pass out swag. But are you sending the right message with your promotional gear?

Your company giveaways should never be an afterthought. They should be carefully chosen with two things in mind: your company’s story and your target consumer. Couple those components with quality, individuality, and authenticity, and you’ll have a swag strategy that stands out and helps heighten your brand’s message. Here’s how to properly align your swag with your brand identity.

Designed with Quality

At the end of the day, company swag is an opportunity for you to represent your brand not once, but hundreds of times. So, the ultimate goal is to create something that looks high-end and unique. Let’s face it, the last thing you’d want your brand to be associated with is a low-quality phone charger or speaker that breaks after a single use. Choosing quality-made swag is especially important when you’re branding tech promotional items.

Quality should also be apparent in the design of your promotional products. Make sure that you spend ample time developing logos, designs, and marketing messages that look clean and commanding on your corporate swag. Let your giveaway items guide your design, not the other way around. Smaller giveaways may not be the best place to market your social media channels hashtags; save that for the promotional items that have more surface areas, like tote bags and flyers.

  • What Quality Swag Says About Your Brand — Naturally, when you give away high-quality promotional items, your customers will receive the message loud and clear: We’re a company that cares about quality. If you’re known for producing premium products backed by top-shelf customer service, then you simply can’t cut corners in the swag department. It will only hurt your brand.

Useful and Unique

When you’re shopping for the perfect promotional items, you may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of options. Almost anything you can imagine — booze, apparel, gadgets, home décor and even furniture — can be turned into a promotional opportunity if it’s properly branded. But here’s the thing: not all of these things, no matter how cool, will be useful to your target audience.

Choose products that you know will get used. This translates into more brand impressions for the entire lifecycle of that item. And if it’s something they love or use a lot, that adds a high ROI on your investment. After you’ve identified some useful and unique promotional products, add an eye-catching design and something catchy or meaningful for the perfect finishing touch.

  • What Useful Swag Says About Your Brand — If you give away items that are useful, it signifies that your company isn’t wasteful, flippant or irresponsible. It also helps align you with brands that are all about fixing a unique problem with their swag. If you’re addressing a certain pain point, practical promotional products can deliver a powerful marketing message. For example, environmentally-friendly companies should always source items that were produced in a sustainable way. Plus, their intended audience will appreciate their attention to detail.

Created with Current Trends in Mind

Handing out trendy swag is beneficial for your brand identity in two ways. It helps signify to consumers that your company is on the cutting-edge of trends. It also builds a bridge into specific demographics, especially if you want to cater to millennials or post-millennials who love all the latest and greatest products.

How do you send a message that your company knows how to keep up with current trends? Fill your swag bags with the hottest tech giveaways, of course. Look beyond the ubiquitous swag choices to find things that are really causing a stir in the marketplace.

  • What Trendy Swag Says About Your Brand — When you choose promotional giveaways that are trendy, cutting-edge or generally relevant, it shows that your company knows what’s happening in the world. This is especially important for businesses to thrive in an ever-changing, digital environment, particularly start-ups, tech companies, universities, healthcare, and marketing.

Tailored to Your Recipients

Tailoring your company swag to your target demographic is especially important if you’re trying to break into a new market or make stronger connections with a certain group of people. For many companies, that means marketing to millennials and young professionals. Even though they’re some of the most brand-conscious consumers out there, attracting the attention of this demographic is especially tough because they also care less about stuff.

Millennials don’t like useless swag, but they do love all forms of technology. If your goal is to garner more followers from that generation, focus on items that are guaranteed to be used in daily life. Beyond a target age group, you can get hyper-specific with your tech promotional items.

  • What Tailored Swag Says About Your Brand — When you select items that seem tailor-made for your target audience, it shows that you know your customer well and that you understand their needs. It also helps you align your brand with practicality and authenticity because the most tailored swag items are always the ones that are the most useful to your specific audience.

As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be squared away to design conference giveaways that amplify your brand messaging. At the end of the day, this equals big gains for your company in the form of new leads, stronger customer loyalty, interest from top talent, and a growing market share in an increasingly competitive landscape.

About the Author:

Erika is a CMO, a dog lover, and an avid reader. In her limited free time, you’ll find her running through Atlanta with her yellow labrador Sunny or sharing marketing insights on Twitter.