Rekit, Reuse, Recycle: Giving Your Leftover Swag New Life

March 28, 2022
Kiana Ghassemi
Senior Manager of Experience Marketing

Custom branded swag and thoughtfully curated kits make a strong impression throughout the buyer’s journey and beyond. While sending and receiving these items are certainly fun, building strong relationships and showing ROI must remain the ‘North Star’ KPIs.

Cheers to getting thrifty and making the best of our inventory, while keeping these goals in mind. I’ve collected these tips and ideas for handling gifts and swag collecting dust.

What can I do with leftover swag?

It’s always a shame to see thoughtfully designed kits go to waste. Re-kit and repurpose to give your leftover swag new life.

Use the item in a different way that meets your team’s goals.

ToFu Switcheroo: Switching Tactics to Meet Similar Goals

Adding custom swag to company news announcements or product launches is a way to attract a lot of attention in a small window of time. It adds an additional layer to your content that really gets people to engage and learn more.

When we announced our partnership with Sales Assembly, we gave away co-branded stickers. We ordered 300 stickers from our vendor, and a third of those went out to people that redeemed as part of the launch. The other 200 stickers were included in Sales Assembly’s onboarding boxes.

Sales Assembly Stickers

Use the item in a way that meets another team’s goals.

Fan Favorites: Maximizing the Business Impact

If last year’s holiday kit was a smashing hit, turn the remaining inventory into gifts for customers or an item for sales to use for pipeline acceleration.

In this example, Bynder ordered Thanksgiving-themed gifts from Something Splendid to express gratitude to their clients for working with them.

After the holiday season passed, they had a lot left over. The sales team overestimated how many they would be able to send out to their contacts. They couldn’t keep the items stocked for next year’s holiday because there was a box of cranberry shortbread cookies inside, which is perishable.

They quickly pivoted to allowing customer success managers to send these curated boxes (while supplies last) to show their clients how thankful they are for their business and partnership. Win, win.

Client gift from Something Splendid

Consider your true feelings about the item

In some cases, it may be worth the investment for another kit, and other times it won’t make sense. If the answer in your heart is no, it’s time to let go. Don’t let the money already spent on the item cloud your judgment when there’s time and money involved to get it ready to use again. The sunk-cost fallacy shows us that when we’ve spent money on something upfront, it’s hard to stop. Even when we know that using a different item would give us better results.

Similar to other marketing tactics, it’s important to test your offline tactics to learn what types of gifts and events are the most effective for your target audience.

Accelerate usage

When moving between vendors, every item counts, especially when loading your inventory into a truck and shipping pallets across the country, continent, or world. What’s worth taking with you?

Closeout sale

Instead of charging back the cost of swag or branded kits to individuals or the team using it, try covering that cost out of marketing and let the people who want it to take it themselves.

Bulk send or bring items with you

When looking through your items and SKUs, look for those loose items or kits with more volume than you’d want to use for a campaign in the future. Chances are you don’t need those 400 branded water bottles you’ve had for 2 years. As long as you’re still happy with how they portray your company’s brand, think of any upcoming events where you can give away a bunch at once.

  • If you’re exhibiting at a trade show soon, consider the other types of events with channel partners, resellers, or companies who’d provide you with referrals.
  • Get creative with how your sales, account management, or customer success teams use this item in person. Maybe there’s an onsite for a prospect with a large buying team coming up or a customer meeting where giving away a physical item helps remind them of how much more they can be doing to leverage your product or services today.
  • Give them to your employees at an upcoming company kickoff, sales kickoff, or a time when remote employees and employees from different offices are coming together.

Take Metadata’s onboarding box filled with branded swag. Every item in this box could be reused in person at events for customers and prospects.

Metadata swag kit

Donate, recycle, or toss

The cost of sending something with incorrect messaging or a poor-quality gift can overshadow the sentiment of the gift itself. Receiving a gift should be fun! Here are a few ideas to keep the focus on the true message and sentiment.

Review your printed collateral

Take inventory of your printed collateral: branded notecards, one-pagers, reports, custom boxes. If you’re questioning whether the item is evergreen enough to repurpose or too out of date to be effective, review elements such as logos, dates, names, messaging, and even brand colors.

Postal Pro Tip: Take what you learn and future-proof your next campaign.

If the printed collateral was made before you joined the company or started your role, it may take some extra digging to understand what the item is and interpret the details. Ask your team, look through shared drives, or even ask the vendor or person storing the item for some assistance.

Recycle items that have inherent value

Items such as out-of-date branded stickers that you no longer need may be better off in the recycling bin or shared with employees as a fun keepsake. However, a fun mini basketball hoop could be used by someone in need with a donation to an organization such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Chances are local schools or shelters would happily receive these items as well.

Repurpose campaign foundation and strategy

Whether you’re planning a new campaign, gearing up to use a new vendor, or simply can’t shake that feeling that your approach is getting stale—don’t abandon strategies or tactics that have worked in the past. With a fresh coat of paint, you may be pleasantly surprised.

These tactics won’t make the items bursting out of your swag closet magically disappear. In the act of tidying up, you’ll find old materials or abandoned creative briefs that can be repurposed.

Champagne Problems: The Great Champagne Shortage of 2021

Our demand generation team had a fantastic holiday campaign planned, sending physical postcards with a free trial offer that included champagne. Everything was organized and ready to go. The cards were designed with copy toasting to the New Year and a custom QR code making tracking easy. The landing page was set up and matched the postcards perfectly.

Champagne campaign

However, worldwide champagne shortages threw a wrench in our plans and we had to pivot.

The new campaign didn’t launch until a few months later and the tactics were the same. Physical postcards with a free trial offer, landing page, QR code, and even the same witty style of copy. To fit the time of year, the main item that was swapped was champagne for a plant. Rather than cheers-ing to the new year, we asked to grow with our potential customers. And they answered. The campaign drove 20+ trial requests and counting.

Repurposed aloe plant campaign

Save your swag and save the planet

Grab a copy of our offline strategy playbook to explore more ideas that will help you make the most out of your swag closet.

Kiana Ghassemi

An event planner, marketer, and member of the Postal family, Kiana Ghassemi is known for wearing a lot of hats. From product management to field marketing, she can be credited with developing the events product, producing Postal’s events, and executing various high-impact projects. Outside of the office, Kiana enjoys the beach, live music, and her two dogs.