This topic has a special place in my heart.

After years of branding wins and catastrophes at a local bag company, I feel that my branding eye has been toned, cultivated and really sharpened. I can identify when a logo is too big, proportionately for its’ item. Or a stitch count that is too high producing a rough, unrefined result. While it may seem difficult, creating swag is actually quite simple. Just keep in mind a few things and treat the item as if it were something that you would proudly wear/sport/carry if it were given to you. To do this, keep in mind 3 things.

1. Useful

The item must provide value to the user.

Useful also means powerful. The more your audience uses the item, the more they see your brand more value will be derived from the product, which will associate to your brand. While you can count how many time someone uses an item or use a calculator to estimate the ROI on such a thing, what really counts is having something when you really need it. Such as a power bank. I think all of us chronic computer users have run out of power for our phone, iPod, latptop, etc. Having this items almost guarantees that your audience will use it, thus providing intangible value. Further, your brand placed on the item creates this subconscious association.


Some other cool examples from a Quora search.


-Hot sauce


All useful items!
2. Relevant

To your brand and your audience. This also means keeping your logo relevant to the item- size, shape, color, even! Know what your brand stands for, what will make it look good and what will look good on the item.  Knowing who will be receiving your gift is key to success, as well you wouldn’t give a trucker hat to an investor in his 60’s.

A tech company may invest in some origami iPad covers


3. Memorable

Again, your brand will be remembered if it its placed well on something brand-positive and stands out among all of the other tchotkes and giveaways. Like this Camelbak for Omniox, a biopharma company that their team took on a company trip.  Simple, useful and memorable, especially since it traveled with the team!


Whether its color, style, or object or purpose- swag that is thoughtful, different and intentional is memorable. Its will be used again and again and your brand will stand out.