25 Fresh Branded Swag Ideas Your Audience Will Love
Branded promotional items are a great way to build brand awareness and loyalty.
The challenge for businesses is to create swag that people will actually use and value, rather than giving it to their kid or stashing it in the junk drawer.
To achieve this, swag needs to meet three criteria:
- Something they’ll keep;
- Something they’ll see regularly; and,
- Something of which they don’t already own a better version.
For example, branded mugs or tote bags may seem like good swag options, but your audience already has plenty of those items, and likely already have a favourite, which makes it more likely your branded version gets passed on or thrown out. We’ve compiled a list of unique swag ideas that meet these criteria.
It can be tough to decide on the perfect item to represent your brand. To help make the decision a little easier, we’ve put together a list of 25 great ideas for branded promotional items.
Emergency, first aid and backup items are some of my absolute favourite promo giveaways. People keep this stuff forever!
It also demonstrates that your brand is prepared for any situation, making them a good choice for promotional giveaways.
- First Aid Kit – These come in all sizes and price points. Everyone needs a Band-Aid now and then, right?
- Umbrella – A must-have item for anyone caught in a sudden downpour. Fun fact, I gave out umbrellas as favours at my outdoor Vancouver wedding and I still use mine, 14 years later.
- Microfibre cloth for cleaning glasses or sunglasses – My husband’s last words to me will probably be “Do you have a glasses cloth?” If you hand these out, they’re sure to get lots of use.
- Utility knife/ box cutter – It doesn’t take much to be the best box cutter someone owns.
- Bear Bell for hiking –Perfect for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, a bear bell can be a lifesaver in bear country and keep your business name associated with fun times in mountains.
- Tissues packet – A useful item to keep in a purse or pocket.
- Crank flashlight/ radio for emergencies – These are expensive to give out widely, but I used them for a targeted promo when I did communications for the Red Cross.
I sent them to local radio personalities (get it, cuz it’s a radio?) promoting the Red Cross’s disaster preparedness program and got so much media attention, it might still be a personal best campaign. I think it helped that the ones I used had a siren.
- Emergency phone charger keychain – I love these because they aren’t intended to replace a regular power bank, they’re specifically for giving you just enough juice if your phone dies unexpectedly. You can check to ensure they’re charged with the little light on the side.
- Lip balm in case with clip – A practical and easy-to-carry item that can be branded with your logo.
- Hot/ cold pack – I’m seeing a lot of these lately, I think because they’ve come up with these cute brightly coloured bead versions.
Flat, Good for Mailing
These items are lightweight and easy to mail, making them a cost-effective option for sending promotional items to clients or potential customers.
- Plastic document folder – A great item to give out at conferences or meetings, a branded document folder can keep handouts and papers organized.
- Luggage tag – Make it easy for customers to spot their luggage at the airport with a brightly colored, branded luggage tag.
- Door hanger – A useful item for employees or customers who work from home and need to let others know when they are busy or on a call.
- Pocket LED card lights – You know when you drop something down the side of the seat in your car and it’s basically gone forever? Well, now you can save the day with a branded card flashlight.
- Card holder with stand that sticks to your phone – This is probably the least original item on this list, because they’re everywhere right now, but I included it because there are some new and fun versions.
- Multifunction tool card – A versatile tool that can be used as a screwdriver, bottle opener, and more. Is your audience mostly dads? This one is for you!
- Credit card sized power bank – I am kind of over charge banks because most people have a good one they bought themselves, but a couple made the list including this kind, because it’s literally the size of a credit card.
- Seed packet –Even if the person isn’t a gardener, they’ll remember this unique gift and the business that gave it to them.
Magnetic items are a great choice for branding because we tend to stick them somewhere and leave them there.
- Dry-erase message magnet – I love these because everyone has a use for them.
- Magnet with kitchen conversions – In Canada, where we shop in metric and cook in imperial, a magnet that has metric kitchen conversions can find permanent residence on someone’s fridge.
- Magnetic bookmarks – A useful item if your crowd includes readers, magnetic bookmarks can keep their place in a book and can be branded with your logo.
These items show that your brand cares about the environment and sustainability, and can be a great choice for customers who are environmentally conscious.
- Snack container – A reusable container that can be used to pack snacks and reduce waste from single-use plastic bags. There’s a huge variety of these things at all different price points.
- Reusable sandwich bag – A practical and sustainable alternative to single-use sandwich bags.
Just for Fun
I can pretty much guarantee social media shares if you give these out.
- Desktop vacuum cleaner – They’re like teensy Roombas for your desk!
- Sleep mask – A useful item for anyone who needs a good night’s sleep, which last I checked, is basically everyone.
Well, that was fun. I basically got to shop this week and call it “research.” I hope you found something on this week’s blog that works for you. Send me pictures of your branded merch!