Success in “Swagging”: Using Customized Products For Personal Branding


How many times have you been to a local event where various businesses had booths or tents set up to hand out merchandise or “swag” with their company names on it? Businesses do it all the time. Why? Because consumers love swag. Whether it’s promotional merchandise from their favorite sports team or beloved bakery, the promotional products industry is a multi-billion dollar market that businesses have seen much success utilizing.

Swag is a great way to create loyalties with customers, old and new. By having products with your company name and logo on it, it causes customers to be ambassadors for your business, spreading your business name to multiple audiences. Your brand should let customers know how it can help them, not how they should just throw their money at you.

So whether they see your brand on a stress ball, coffee mug, or drawstring backpack the first thing that should come to a customer’s mind is how your brand solved a problem they had. In order to successfully use customized products to promote your business, there are a few fundamentals you’ll need to fully grasp first.

1. Starting the Creative Process

Before you can start handing out “swag bags” to people, you’ll first need to get your creative process started first. You have the option to hire a graphic designer to assist you in your branding and logo needs if you don’t have a clue how to go about getting your creative process started. Creativity and innovation is key to having better product results.

If a graphic designer is a little out of your budget, no worries… you can turn it into a team effort and get help from employees; turn it into an incentive marketing tactic by making a contest out of it. You can layout the idea of how you want the logo and brand to look and the employee that comes up with the best design can get the very first swag promotional product.

2. Determining Your Target Audience

Finding your target audience is also a major part of personal branding, especially when using customized products to promote your business. Why is that? Because nine times out of ten, the target audience you’ll be giving your swag to will also be the same target audience of customers who will be buying your products or services.


Determining your target audience will help you better identify the type of swag products to buy. It can certainly be difficult but it’s definitely not impossible… Two of the best ways to help you determine which types of swag to purchase based on your target audience is functionality and industry.


  • Functionality: If you’re going to hand out swag, at least hand out swag that people can and will actually use.
  • Industry: If your target audience is customers who work in office settings, some great products to promote your business would be click pens or stick notes. If your target audience was individuals in the construction industry, then some promotional swag you could hand out would be lunch bags or coffee thermoses.


Promotional products that people can actually use increases your chances that someone will actually contact your business for the products or services your business is offering. According to the Fast Company, a survey conducted by PPAI Research revealed that three out of four consumers stated that they have at least one promotional product in their work area.

3. Going With the Best Price for Quality Products

If you do a general search for promotional product supply companies, it will reveal thousands of companies. All of them offer customizable and affordable products with quick turnaround times, which can make it very difficult for you to choose the company that’s right for your business. But there are some tricks to avoid choosing the wrong company.


When it comes to choosing the best company for promotional products, you want to look at the reviews (look at third-party sites other than their official website), talk to other companies to see where they get theirs from, and lastly, pay close attention as to how much you’re actually spending on the promotional product. You’ll likely get better discounts on larger orders.

4. Determining Where and How to Distribute Your Swag

This section is ultimately up to you, but you want to be wise with where and how you’re going to distribute your swag. Conventions, tradeshows, and local community events are great ways to get your business name out there. You, of course, can talk to people and hand out your swag but if you have multiple items to hand out, you can put those items in bags, also known as swag bags, just be sure to position your business in a setting where potential customers and your business can benefit.

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