What is Swag? And Why Does My Company Need It?

What does the word ‘swag’ mean?

In essence, swag is another word for promotional materials. These materials consist of custom water bottles, company branded stress balls, logo imprinted visors or killer company coolers. But apart from having swag to throw a company party or wearing a company branded sweatshirt because your desk mate loves the fan on high, company gear is much more than that.

Swag has a specific purpose, not to say that the others aren’t important. Swag itself is used to promote a company, corporate image, brand or event, whether it be at a trade show, a conference or as part of a guerilla marketing campaign.

A Quick History of Swag

Let’s rewind a little and look at how promotional products came to be. The first promotional products in the U.S. date back to George Washington’s electoral campaign in 1789. The swag? Commemorative buttons used to promote his campaign. But when did promotional products actually start as an industry? It all happened in the year of 1904. Twelve manufacturers came together to found the first ever trade association.

Why your Business Needs Swag: People Love It

How do you know people love swag? Perhaps it’s the fact that the average American consumer reported currently owning or possessing a promotional product they received in the past 24 months. Or the statistic that 89% of consumers could recall the advertiser on a promotional product they’ve received in the past 24 months. And how about the most appealing statistic for your business: business marketing research reveals that 52% of respondents did business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product.

If you’re looking for results when deciding which promotional product is right for you, you’ll want to weigh your options. At this time, the cost per impression of a promotional item is .005 cents. Bags, cups and hats, pens and shirts deliver the most impressions per month, with bags at 1,078, cups and hats 443, pens at 437 and shirts at 344.

Not so shockingly, the largest product category for promotional products consists of wearable items, which make up more than 30% of the total. If wearables aren’t the best choice for you, consider this: a single writing instrument, such as a pen, is used on average approximately 18 times per month, making it the most frequently used product. This leads to great brand exposure for your business. Now, after reading and evaluating these numbers, is this something you might be interested in?

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