Don’t Use Ad Specialty “Swag” UNLESS . . . .

Earlier in life I constantly displayed at conventions. Upon returning, I’d gather my children around to present the trade show’s swag that included motel give-aways like soap, shampoos, shower caps, etc. I’d throw this junk on the bed allow my kids view and choose from these unusual treasures. I usually had enough swag to allow each kid to get 2-3 gifts.

People like receiving gifts, even when small. Corporate gifts emblazoned with logos are often self serving and of very little value to most. This “swag” includes the following:

  • Cheap pens or expensive looking pens with a lousy cartridge
  • Key chains
  • Rulers, balls, etc.

The inference from a corporate salesman is: “Here’s a 12-cent pen so don’t forget to purchase your $10,000 machine from me.”

Wonderful Ad Specialty firms are available to supply logo trinkets to customers. You’ve probably seen pens with logos from banks, motels, insurance agencies and realtors. Companies offer these inexpensive gifts to curry favor with prospects hoping the name will remind them to purchase from their company. Most of the time, however, swag is “regifted” or simply disposed.

Making Inexpensive Gifts Valuable

I’ve become a staunch opponent of mindlessly handing out cheap gifts. Instead, just like all phases of business, it should be carefully planned and executed. Ask yourself; “Is it consistent with our corporate goals? Isn’t there a way to add value nor impact to the gift? Develop a relationship is an Ad Specialty firm to thoughtfully provide valuable but inexpensive gifts! Here are some ideas for evaluation.

  • Present a cheap USABLE accessory. A maker of cabinets can present a handy logo key chain with the key(s) most often used on their cabinets. This has use and value and to the customer.
  • Use an unusual presentation with the gift. (I present a gift and as they reach for it, I take it back and keep talking – presenting it over and over, then taking it back. Once they get the swag, they bring their friends over to be tricked as well. Later, when I visit them in their home offices, they show me their pen and ask me to present it to others in their offices.
  • Don’t give worthless swag (like a cheap pen) to someone who probably has one worth 1000 times the value. Don’t give a cheap pen to someone who flashes around their Mount Blanc.
  • Unless it is a grand presentation the best gift to give is something easy to carry around for your salesmen. They need to be able to carry dozens with them to make frequent presentations.

5-   When giving the item, say what makes your product better! This represents our Quick Delivery; 400 instead of the normal 200 thread count; Better Mileage, Best Service in the Market; 2-year warranty.l

A Humorous Swag Story

At one convention a company decided to give out little clickers similar to those used with little animal shells and bendable metal pieces. They made a very loud clicking noise, aggravating larger display company executives. So, they complained to convention management, a critical mistake!

Under pressure convention management made a grand announcement on the hall’s public address system, “Please stop using your clickers!” You might guess what happened next! Immediately the clickers intensified by at least 3 fold as all who had them joined in while laughing uncontrollably.

Remember the Swag Goal

The goal is not to just give swag, but curry customer favor making them want to buy your products! Make certain to use an Ad Specialty firm to help you achieve your goal months in advance of the event!

More Information on Business Planning, see the following:

Problem Solving – Part 1 click here

Problem Solving – Part 2 click here

Photo by ArturoYee

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