To Swag or not to Swag?

Some love it, some hate it, but swag has long been a staple of business development and can play a valuable role in a multi-channel marketing and sales campaign. File this list and go over these notes the next time you evaluate swag for your team and clients:

  1. Is it about the client: their use, their enjoyment, their engagement?
  2. Does it provide a crutch or enablement for sales people to avoid a sales dialogue or does it facilitate the sales process?
  3. Does it distract from the actual sales opportunity by drawing focus to the item, not the solution you (and only you) can provide?
  4. Will it fill the trash cans after meeting presentations, trade shows, or conventions, or go home with the client?
  5. Does it emotionally engage the user / retainer by enabling him or her to self-identify as loyal to your brand?
  6. Is it of an appropriate quality? Low quality (nonfunctional) pens, easily cracked water bottles, plastic travel mugs that impart plastic taste to the coffee can convey a detrimental and degrading alignment of the brand.
  7. Is it an item for which every individual has a personal taste (e.g. personal calendars)? This may result in the item going unused, as it requires a disruption in their existing preferences and habits.
  8. Does the purchase and distribution of swag convey a commitment from the owners to the company, brand, employees, and clients?
  9. Did you ask yourself: “Is this logoed swag item more about ME or more about the client?” For example, will a client use a set of logoed drink glasses or coasters intended for the home?
  10. Where does this fit in our comprehensive marketing and sales plan?
  11. Again – for emphasis – is it about the client: their use, their enjoyment, their engagement?

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