Swag. You invest in something to pass out with no immediate return value. The very concept is terrifying, causing many places to outright ignore the trend. However, in congruence with free apps and the like teaching newer generations that products should be free, swag has come about to enforce just such an enticement. After all, if those tempted really like what you show them, there’s a good chance they could begin spending money on your services, a goal that far exceeds the initial price tag of the endeavor.
Traffic is not only something we despise sitting through during our morning commute, it is the flow of people to your company either through its physical doors or via internet stores. The more people you have flowing in, the higher the possible income will be. Therefore, it makes practical business sense to invest in increasing this number. Many swag items encourage owners to visit websites and stores. Chances are if they like the free gift, their interest will be piqued, leading them to either online browsing or an in store visit. From there, however, it’s all about your ability to engage.
Swag can’t just be about pulling in customers. Indeed, it must be about impressing potential clients so much that all they can do is reach out to your company. Though budgets generally can’t afford handing out free golden pens with your company’s information scrawled on the side using the ink of a deep sea squid, you can opt to go for items that won’t break after first use. Brainstorm things people usually keep on them at all time. There’s a reason why promotional key chains, golf balls, pens and clips are popular choices. Likewise, make sure what you are handing out is useful, otherwise it will end up in the garbage as quickly as a flier.
Choosing the swag should never be as simple as ordering from a catalog. Keep in mind that even if you settle on a multiple use item, how that item performs will then cause either a positive or negative association with your brand in the mind of consumers. Handing out pens that only work after three uses will only lead to anger and an early trip to the trash can, seriously detracting from the amount of time your brand remains in the vicinity of a potential customer, leading your brand to becoming merely a memory of one of the worst pens ever used. Investing a bit more in a dependable, useful item will non-verbally cause others to assume what your company sells is of the same caliber. Clearly, since you were willing to give away such incredible gifts at no cost, your business cares about people’s needs.
Remember that not everyone needs to receive free promotional material. Instead of throwing items out to the public and hoping for the best, plan out who receives what. Tactically target those known to promote things they really like. They’ll be easy to find as their social media accounts are laden with ten posts per day of pictures of what they are consuming and how much fun they are having doing so. If done correctly, swag can hire on talented sales people for virtually no cost. If they like your gift enough to show it off, their enthusiasm and real life commendation of your brand will net far more prospective customers than blindly handing out swag ever could.
To succeed with swag, you must think of it more as a means of achieving success rather than a financial burden. Though the immediate rewards are non-existent, the potential for increasing your consumer base certainly is. If you still have doubts, just think of all the free stuff passed out during trade show conventions. Usually, you end up going home with useful and not useful items. The useful ones you’ll keep and use, unconsciously being reminded of the company you briefly walked by over the three day experience.