10 Things to Consider When Strategizing Swag for your Customers


You’ve heard us say it many times: SWAG NOT SPAM. But what exactly do we mean by that?


When sending merch to your customers, give them something that they will be excited about, not something they will throw away the first chance they get.


You can’t just grab the first product you see, slap your logo on it, and consider your job done. When considering sending promotional products, you need to plan and strategize. Here are 10 things to consider when strategizing swag for your customers.


  1. Who will be receiving the swag? Consider your target audience. Are these your loyal customers? New customers? Do some research and learn all you can about these people. Learn about hobbies, careers, habits. Look at demographics: age, gender, location. The more you understand your customers, the more likely you are to give them a gift they will love and appreciate.

  2. What do your customers need? Now that you know all about your customers, you know what kinds of things they might need. Are they career-driven? You could gift them something for the office. Do they enjoy cooking? Get them kitchen tools. Are they in need of some rest and relaxation? Give them some stress relief swag. If it’s something they need, they aren’t going to throw it away.

  3. What do your customers want? Based on your knowledge of them, you should have a good idea of what kinds of things they would like to have. Consider current trends. What is popular among your lead demographic? And think about the difference between want and need. They may need a new journal to do their job, but they want the cool new gadget that everyone is talking about on TikTok. If it’s something a lot of people are using and enjoying, you can probably count on your customers wanting it too.

  4. What are you trying to accomplish with this swag? What are your marketing goals? There are multiple reasons why you would want to send out swag. Are you wanting to thank loyal customers? Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Are you trying to create a “buzz” or excitement surrounding your brand? Your purpose will determine your strategy. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you’re going to want to send something visible, something that will get more impressions than just the person who’s opening the box. Maybe something wearable like a shirt or bag. If you are thanking loyal customers, think of something exclusive that not just anyone will have access to.

  5. How does your swag promote your brand? If you want to maximize your return on investment, your swag needs to leave an impression and make your customers remember you and your brand. Put your logo in a visible spot. Make an emotional connection with your audience through your promotional product. A single promotional item averages 344 impressions per month. Let’s make those impressions positive ones!

  6. How will you present and deliver the swag? Presentation is part of the swag experience. Put together a package that is aesthetically pleasing and properly highlights your brand. Make “unboxing” your promotional products fun. If you put some thought and effort into packaging and presenting your items, they will be better received and more appreciated. The customer will care because they will know you care. Timing of delivery is also important to think about. You don’t want to give sweaters in the summer or yard games in the winter. Give a gift they can use right away so they don’t forget about it!

  7. What is your budget? As much as we wish it wasn’t something we need to consider, we have to talk about money. No one has an unlimited cash flow, so how much are you willing to spend? There are many great options for swag out there, even for those on a budget. Strategize and plan to make the most of your money and get the most bang for your buck. (Need help with this? Send us a message! It’s literally what we’re here for!)

  8. What have you given in the past? Even the best products can end up getting tossed if it’s something they already have. No one needs 16 polo shirts or 7 spatulas. A person can only drink so much water out of their extensive water bottle collection. Mix things up and keep your merch fresh. Don’t send the same thing over and over. It’s ok to repeat a product if it has been a while (nothing lasts forever) and maybe you have a lot of new customers that would appreciate some swag you used in the past. But don’t get stuck in a product rut. There is so much fun swag out there!

  9. How does the swag connect to your brand’s story, goals, and values? Brand affinity is a big deal in building a loyal customer base. People tend to build brand affinity with brands with strong values and goals. What are yours? How does sending swag to your customers emphasize and share those with your audience? Reusable water bottles are a great way to show you care about our planet. There are also many companies that donate a portion of their profits to different charitable causes. Consider using swag from a company that supports similar values as your brand.

  10. Is the swag social media worthy? In today’s world of online sharing, consider if your promotional products are something those receiving it will want to post about. Will they be so excited they have to let everyone know? Are they so in love with your brand that they want to spread that love to your followers? Again, did you put a cool and engaging design on the merch or did you just slap your logo on there as large as it could go? Think about what people want to show off! Getting your customers to share what they love about you and your brand is the best way to build your brand. Make sure anything you are gifting is something worth bragging about!


There is a lot that goes into choosing the perfect swag for your customers. If you feel overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to start, talk to one of our merchandising specialists today. We're here to help you make the most of your marketing dollars. We've got lots of great strategies and ideas to not only stretch your swag budget but make it count. Make them remember you and your brand. Give us a call today and let’s get strategizing!