How to Use Promotional Gifts for Your Marketing Strategies


According to the latest Gallup research, only 33% of employees in the US are excited about their jobs. This brings disengagement costs in the U.S. to anywhere between $450 and $550 billion annually.

Thus, the importance of employee engagement is enduring the test of time. Every business knows this fully well and strives to promote a healthy company culture that nurtures cooperation and creativity.

Sometimes the task is difficult, as is expected of all ongoing efforts. There’s no recipe to follow to achieve the goal. Rather, it’s a set of continual steps that get upgraded over time that make your employees feel needed and appreciated.

There are various techniques and training programs aimed at this goal exclusively. They’ve been debated too fervently and for too long, so we’ll skip them.

Another topic worthy of touching upon hereby is the matter of customer loyalty. There’s actually a common denominator to motivate both groups and it’s called a promotional gift.


What Is Employee Swag?

The so-called employee swag, a term coined by advertising executive David Ogilvy in 1946 stands for “Stuff We All Get.”

Basically, it’s a gift but it has a deeper meaning.

Namely, it serves the exclusive purpose to show employees their efforts are being valued and appreciated and, as such, are usually welcome by all.

There are many promotional gift ideas ranging from desk accessories to hats to bags to T-shirts to more expensive gifts like watches and Bluetooth speakers, for example.


Promotional Gifts

Unlike company swag, promotional gifts target a larger group of people. These can be gifted to customers and clients in addition to employees, for example.

In terms of marketing, these are literally invaluable as they affect quite a few aspects, the most important ones of which are, as follows:

  • Increasing your brand’s visibility
  • Increasing your brand’s advertorial exposure
  • Good value (there are items for all kinds of budgets)
  • Workplace display
  • Adding variety


Choosing the Best Gift

Different people have different preferences. Therefore, choose to make sure to choose a gift that is likely to be cherished by everyone. Design it in a way that meets the recipient’s preferences rather than streamlining the gift.

Design different T-shirts, for example, as clothing is among the most customizable items. Think in terms of different colors, designs, and prints.

No matter the type of gift, it is crucial that all presents meet one requirement: professionalism. They may be fun and engaging, but not in poor taste.

Also, stick to high-quality items regardless of their value. E.g., don’t buy the cheapest pencil when this type of gift isn’t expensive, to begin with.


Choose Useful Items for Promotional Gifts

Always pick a product that will benefit the recipient. Items that are regularly used (pens, pencils, clothing, bags, coffee mugs, water bottles, etc.) never go out of fashion. Make sure to brand them, as this is the most important step of the process.

Depending on your budget, you may opt for more expensive gifts (e.g., watches, wireless earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, etc.). As a rule, more expensive items should be reserved for clients but don’t give away only the cheapest products to other target groups either.

In terms of corporate swag, employees should feel a sense of appreciation behind the gifting, so look for personalized items.


Pick Items That Represent Your Brand

This is another important factor. E.g., a dentist may give away a quality toothbrush to the patient. Presenting them with earless earbuds won’t do much to promote their business, even though the latter is more expensive.


Corporate Gift Ideas


Custom Pencils and Other Desk Accessories

Pencils are always in high demand by office workers (and not only office workers!). These are not as pricey as some other presents that come to mind, but they’re still a great place to start.

Opt for premium-quality pencils, such as ones with smooth-flow gel.

Brand them in a way that represents your business (or just stick the logo!) and pick the right colors. E.g., if you want to plaster a custom message, use the combination of colors of your logo.


Coffee Mugs And Tumblers

Coffee mugs and tumblers are always a good idea for obvious reasons: people drink!

Customized coffee mugs are, in fact, one of the most frequent promotional gifts worldwide for the exact reason mentioned immediately above.

The fact that this type of gift isn’t overly creative doesn’t obscure the item’s usability, so be creative with the design!


T-Shirts, Polo Shirts, Hoodies and Jackets

Similarly, clothing is a wise choice and also one of the gifts that’s the simplest to personalize. To top it off, they actually go places!

Just imagine how many people will see your branded T-shirt worn by a single employee and multiply it by the number of recipients.


Client Gift Ideas

As abovementioned, clients usually receive more expensive gifts than employees. A business that gives away customized pencils to its benefactors is not very wise; no need to expand further.

This, however, doesn’t mean that employees shouldn’t be treated to an expensive gift, especially on special occasions (anniversaries, company celebrations, extraordinary achievements, life events, etc.).

Here are some ideas of client gift ideas and special swag for employees.


Waterproof Speakers 

Waterproof speakers are more expensive than stationary ones, but they won’t break the bank. Successful companies often give away presents of this type. Branding and customization are mandatory for guaranteed success.

Speakers are ideal for branding since they come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors.


Custom Watches

Branded watches have always been an established corporate gift. Senior employees, employees with extraordinary achievements, special clients and customers, and company benefactors are the usual candidates for this kind of gift.

However, with new trends come new ideas. Instead of a traditional watch, you may opt for a custom Apple watch, for example.


Surprise Gifts

Finally, show your gratitude by gifting employees surprise gifts from time to time.

E.g., you may offer yoga classes or an online course or chocolate gift boxes or movie tickets depending on the occasion and the person.

Basically, it all boils down to knowing the recipient: get creative from there!

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