Have you ever wondered why so many companies, even big-name ones such as Coca-Cola or Apple, create different types of merchandise? Business owners look at the idea of having their own merchandise in different ways. Some believe it's an unnecessary cost, while others assume that having your own merchandise is something suitable only for musical artists, sports teams, and some modern-day influencers.
The reality, however, is completely different. Having your own promotional swag and customized gifts is a terrific way to promote your company to possible clients while also creating employee loyalty within the ranks of the enterprise. It’s a way to subtly—but powerfully—promote your brand offline and leave a lasting impression on those that buy or receive your company swag.
Just think of how many brands you notice when you walk across the street as you see their names and logos on people’s tote bags, jackets, headphones, and water bottles. As an employee, having some kind of reminder that you belong together with a group of other people is a terrific way to feel more connected to your workplace.
Additionally, creating your own unique promotional items is not as difficult as it was before. You don’t have to spend hours sourcing companies to create the items and then even more time setting up your own physical swag closet and sending items out. Now, there are many businesses (like Postal) that offer you full service, from designing and manufacturing promo items with logos and slogans to creating a company swag store, shipping, and more.
Creating your own merchandise is easy and effective, and this article will take a deeper look into how companies benefit from having their own branded merchandise. You can also get insight into which companies this idea is suitable for, as well as promotional products ideas and current trends for 2022.
Promotional Items Meaning
Promotional merchandise companies have existed on the market for some time now. There’s a good reason for that—many artists, sports teams, influencers, and brands want to create their own merchandise that promotes their business or work. Traditionally, promotional items examples typically include things like apparel (t-shirts, caps, and sweatshirts) and more everyday objects such as water bottles, pens, and notebooks.
Most big companies have a long history of promotional products, and many of them even have a yearly schedule for distributing new corporate promotional gifts. Marketing examples for promo swag are numerous, but perhaps one of the most well-known is Coca-Cola with its annual, branded Christmas gifts, which you can win by buying its products and participating in a raffle.
The promotional industry meaning is to help brands create their own unique items which are associated with them in a way that subtly promotes their business in the real world (offline) every day. The companies in this industry have the task of coming up with interesting designs while sourcing high-quality, relevant items that are suitable for different niches.
Trends tend to change, and these companies have to quickly adapt to the new needs of their clients. Promotional items' meanings may change depending on the company that sells them, what time of year they are sold, and the audience they are meant for.
Trending Promotional Items 2022
The trending promotional items list can get very long if you intend to think of every possible marketing product that you can put branding on. This section will discuss unique promotional items (2022 version) and also creative promotional products ideas that you can use for your own company.
As you may know, the promotional products industry trends are swaying towards the manufacturing of eco-friendly products as sustainability becomes a more relevant topic in our society. Items that revolve around working from home and technology are also trending in 2022.
Currently, some of the most popular branded items include things like:
- Reusable bottles and bags. Reusable items that people will actually use are better for the environment, and they are also often cost-effective to produce, which means they are some of the best promotional items for small businesses.
- Wireless chargers, speakers, and keyboards. Though technology isn’t always produced in an eco-friendly way, these items are long-lasting, which means they won’t end up in the trash right away as a lot of promo swag does.
Currently, the corporate promotional products market size is $19.1 billion, and it has grown by more than 1% compared to last year. These statistics tell us that more and more companies are seeing the added value of having their own swag and are actively pursuing ways to manufacture and distribute trending promotional items. 2022 is the year for higher-end, sustainable products that add value to recipients’ lives.
Promotional Items with Logo
Creating your own promotional items with logos on them is one of the best ways to build brand awareness and make more people recognize your company. Selling and gifting branded items is a terrific way to boost brand loyalty, especially if you start giving out customized swag to your customers whenever they do something for your business.
For example, a lot of companies gift promotional items to clients whenever they spend a certain amount of money at their stores. This kind of practice not only encourages customers to spend more money but also gives them a reminder of your company every time they use the gift so they keep you top of mind.
With that said, your merchandise items lists can get very long, which is why it can be beneficial to think of your swag in three separate ways: swag for the employees, customers, and prospects. Some ideas for promo items for each group include:
- Employees: Consider offering DIY promotional items and experiences, such as painting a mug in the company offices or designing their own branded tote bags.
- Customers: For everyday customers, consider focusing on items they will be using and carrying around with them daily, which might include water bottles, notebooks, reusable shopping bags, and other useful items.
- Partnership prospects: Popular swag items for potential partners might include more exclusive and expensive items that showcase how you cherish the other party and the potential value you see in your professional relationship.
One key point here is that you should create higher-quality promotional items. Cheaply-made items shouldn’t be a part of your swag strategy. Cheap items may make a bad impression on your clients, partners, and employees.
Cheap Promotional Ideas
There are many reasons why cheap branded merchandise is never a good idea. There are many ways to successfully create promotional items with logo; cheap items often send the wrong message, and they can also be a huge detriment to the environment.
Bulk promotional items with logos are things you see every day in supermarkets and when you attend professional events. However, most people choose not to accept this kind of swag, or they throw it away as soon as they get it. Why?
Because these kinds of items aren’t what people really want. They didn’t choose these items, and they aren’t very useful long-term. Ultimately, cheap swag is a waste of money for the businesses that produce it.
Another reason why you might want to avoid these types of massively produced items is your commitment to eco-friendly solutions. In most cases, items produced cheaply and in bulk are made from materials that harm mother nature, and they also happen to be the items that end up in the dump more often than not.
There are many promotional products wholesale supplier companies that offer you the chance to create customized and unique items that are reusable and sustainable. In almost every case, you should give up on cheap promotional ideas and instead start considering how to create more unique branded products.
Promotional Items for Business
When brainstorming the best promotional items for businesses, keep in mind that the kind of products you want to offer may differ based on the size of your company, your customers, and the potential partners you want to work with.
Small business promotional items will likely be different from a larger corporation’s items, as their audiences, employees, and stakeholders are different. A smaller business might look for more unique options that position their company in the spotlight in the local community.
Those can be products specifically related to something happening in your area or inspired by famous local culture, history, or geography. For many reasons, wholesale promotional products are often not the best option for such businesses. They are usually mass-produced and don’t leave a lasting impression on the people who receive them.
Of course, larger companies can also benefit from creating promotional items, especially businesses that are based online. Businesses like Slack have improved their presence in the physical world by creating real-world promo products, such as the Slack x Cole Haan sneaker.
Custom Promotional Products
There are many reasons you should create your own unique promotional products. First, it makes a better impression on the person receiving the gift. People don’t really want another mediocre water bottle or branded notepad to add to their collection.
Additionally, by having the opportunity to design your own swag and work with high-quality product providers, you can create something more in-line with your company’s values and aesthetic. This is especially vital if you plan on giving these items out to employees and future partners.
Many promotional products companies still settle for lower-end products, but swag is an area where you don’t want to be cheap. Custom promotional products and items that are clearly made with quality and usefulness in mind make a better impression. Remember, the best custom promotional products are the ones that reflect the personality of your business and represent it in the best light possible.
The best way to get started with your own promotional swag strategy is to find an all-in-one solution, such as Postal. Postal Brand lets you design and then build your own swag stores—create, manage, and distribute your own beautiful promotional products without lugging boxes of merchandise around the office. Start a demo with Postal today to see what an optimized swag strategy can do for your business.