When was the last time you were excited to get a company’s swag? These days, it seems that many companies fail to realize that their swag is a prime opportunity to engage with employees, clients, and prospects alike. It provides a chance to build meaningful relationships, create memorable experiences, and encourage team building and togetherness.
And being selective about what swag you choose shows you’re making an earnest effort at connecting, not just throwing money away on branded tchotchkes.
From swag for the tech-savvy, to items that are functional, wearable, and trendy, there’s a huge range of options to choose from. But before you run out and place an order for your company’s new swag, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How to choose company swag employees really want
Choosing company swag that people won’t just bag up and donate after their next purge can be tricky. After all, you can’t please everyone. The key is to find the sweet spot between quality, what’s trending, and your company’s brand and culture.
Beware of going with the least expensive option, tempting though it may be. For swag you might give to staff, skimping can give the impression that you don’t value employees or their contributions. And for external giftees, cheap swag either doesn’t make an impression at all, or, worse, creates negative associations with your brand.
You don’t have to break the bank, but try to stick to items that you’d keep around or want for yourself.
Know the trends
Getting in on the hottest trends will add to your reputation of being a company that cares about what its employees care about. At the same time, following suit too late can have an equally negative impact on how employees view your brand.
For example, a few years ago, Fitbits were coveted company swag. People were drawn to the novelty of the item and the wellness benefits. Organizations that hopped on the trend early were able to use those gifts as an opportunity to engage with their staff.
However, companies that joined the Fitbit movement late missed a chance to demonstrate that their brand was forward-looking. Instead, employees likely thought leadership was merely “jumping on the bandwagon.”
Incorporate Company Culture
Another way to select the perfect swag is to think about items that align with your company’s culture. Is your office pet-friendly? Do you take pride in keeping your carbon footprint low? Have you received an award as one of the best places for women to work?
Consider the things your company values, as well as the qualities that make it a unique place to work. Then, brainstorm a list of original items that not only speak directly to your culture but to your employees, as well.
Take, for example, a nonprofit whose employees travel for international relief and recovery work. Something like a universal charger might be a product that many staff would use and appreciate. The same item may not have as much appeal at a company whose culture isn’t as immersive in international work.
We are in the midst of a green movement. With changes in climate and ecosystems, people embrace eco-friendly swag items as both trendy and impactful. Furthermore, it gives insight into the way your company thinks about and views the world.
Besides making you look good, eco-friendly swag items last longer. People are less likely to throw away reusable bags or other swag made from recycled materials, providing you with a long-term ROI on whatever items you’ve smartly branded.
Don’t go overboard with branding
Speaking of branding, company swag isn’t a billboard for your logo and slogan. Be intentional about logo placement and your brand’s presentation. For example, instead of placing the logo in the middle of a shirt, consider adding it to a more discrete area, like the collar.
20 unforgettable company swag ideas
Dated company swag is like kryptonite to your marketing and employee engagement efforts. Buying items like branded pens or stress balls in bulk may save money, but frivolous swag is easy to come by and even easier to forget.
Instead, with the tips above in mind, stick with choosing swag that falls into these categories:
- Quality drinkware
- Work from home essentials
- Wearables for all seasons
- Tight tech accessories
- Eco-friendly items
Quality drinkware is always a favorite: It’s functional, easy to customize, and won’t break the bank. Plus, since everyone needs to hydrate, it’s a great gift for employees across industries. They’ll carry their drinkware with them, and your logo and brand along with it.
Corkcicle Canteen (25oz)
The Corkcicle Canteen is your traditional drinkware with a modern flare. The stainless steel vessel is stylish and durable, with triple-layer insulation that makes it a working professional’s go-to choice.
Corkcicle Canteen (25oz) starting at $31.76
Miir Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle (20 oz)
If your employees are always on the go, the Miir Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle will be right up their alley. It fits into most standard car cup holders, is sweat- and leak-proof, and the wide mouth makes it easy to clean. An added bonus for the philanthropic-minded: MiiR gives three percent of revenue to trackable giving projects.
Miir Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle (20 oz) starting at $23.54
Yeti Rambler Tumbler (20 oz)
Grab your staff’s attention with one of the nine vibrant color selections of the Yeti Rambler Tumbler. Its lightweight size and stainless steel finish make this tumbler a favorite. You’ll appreciate the convenience of the size as well, which makes the tumblers easy to store and incorporate into your employee event.
Yeti Rambler Tumbler (20 oz) starting at $35.64
Work from home essentials
We actually wrote an entire article devoted to work from home swag items so be sure to check it out!
Wearables for all seasons
Company t-shirts, hoodies, and even polos are proven crowd-pleasers. However, it can be challenging to accommodate everyone’s body type, so ensure vendors have a variety of sizes and colors available.
Also, think outside the box and pick wearables that work beyond warm weather. Below are a few options to explore for each season.
Don’t count winter gear out of the running. This polyester blend beanie is warm and comfortable. The leather patch on the front—a subtle-but-pronounced location—provides prime real estate for your logo.
Plus, the beanie stretches to fit most head sizes, so you won’t have the usual size issues that come along with other wearable items.
Baxter Beanie starting at $23.33
J. America Vintage Zen Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt
This fleece crewneck sweatshirt provides the perfect backdrop to share your company’s name or logo. The gray and black color schemes are excellent for bright company designs, while the v-notch collar and cotton/polyester fabric merge style with comfort, making it more than your usual company sweatshirt.
And with sizes that range from small to 3XL, you can include the entire team.
J. America Vintage Zen Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt starting at $34.33
ONNO Bamboo T-Shirt
In 17 colors and seven available sizes, the ONNO Bamboo T-shirt provides a vast amount of variety. It’s also an eco-friendly choice: This T-shirt is made of a soft and silky fabric that’s manufactured in a small, family-owned partner factory.
ONNO Bamboo T-Shirt starting at $14.02
Tight tech accessories
When picking tech swag, it’s important to remember that technology should make our lives easier. Ask yourself, what tools do staff use most often in their workday?
Are there accessories to pair with that tech to improve ease-of-use? What tech do they use in their leisure time? Here are a handful of ideas to get you on the right track.
Pebble Power Charger
Any outdoor techies on your team will love this powerful portable charger. Attached to a carabiner and packaged in a structured case, the Pebble Power Charger’s rugged design is lightweight yet durable and keeps your device powered for hours. Your logo is also sure to pop against any of the seven modern muted color palettes.
Pebble Power Charger starting at $18.07
Aluminum Media Stand
This aluminum media stand is the swag you never knew you needed. It holds your cell phone or tablet at the perfect angle (60 degrees to be exact) to watch videos or browse the web. Thanks to the anti-slip rubber pads, your device will stay put, and the side charging cutout makes powering up easy. It’s a practical accessory employees can use inside and outside of the workplace.
Aluminum Media Stand starting at $6.58
Razor Thin Webcam Cover
For tech lovers who also value their privacy, the Razor Thin Webcam Cover is a no-brainer. It fits onto most devices, including desktop computers and monitors, laptops, smart TVs, and some external webcams. It’s even thin enough to use on Macbooks.
Razor Thin Webcam Cover starting at $2.48
Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Wired headphones were so last season—welcome to the age of wireless earbuds. These Skullcandy Sesh earbuds are especially helpful in the workplace, because they make it easy to listen to music or sit in on a conference call without being physically tethered to your device. With built-in controls, users can change the volume, song track, and answer and reject calls.
Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds starting at $58.18
Eco-friendly company swag
In today’s socially conscious climate, people are more mindful of how their actions affect the environment and are less likely to embrace plastic or disposable swag. Here are some great eco-friendly swag options that show your company’s commitment to going green.
Wheat Straw Vert Mug (13 oz)
What do you get when you blend reclaimed wheat stock with polypropylene? A product that uses over 50 percent less plastic. The Vert Wheatheat Straw Mugs are low-cost, eco-friendly, practical, and on-trend. Not to mention, the sturdy drinkware provides the perfect 360 customizable canvas. Even better, Vert partners with 1% For The Planet to donate one percent of mug sales to planet-saving nonprofits
Wheat Straw Vert Mug (13 oz) starting at $2.03
Flip & Tumble Produce Bag Set
The Flip & Tumble Produce Bag Set will be a new grocery-shopping staple for employees who hate those wasteful plastic produce bags.
This five-piece set is machine washable, with a woven label that can be customized using different artwork or colors. Note: this product takes 25 days to produce, so it’s ideal for events and meetings that are planned at least four weeks in advance.
Flip & Tumble Produce Bag Set starting at $11.28
BEE’S WRAP 3-Pack Food Wraps
Made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, BEE’S WRAP is the plastic wrap alternative your staff has been looking for.
This washable, reusable, and fully biodegradable product is available in small, medium, and large sizes to keep all sorts of food fresh.
BEE’S WRAP 3-Pack Food Wraps starting at $16.67
Feltro Upcycled 13″ Laptop Sleeve
This 13″ laptop sleeve is begging to have your company’s design on the side. Recycled from water bottles and post-industrial scrap leather, the unique tech accessory is fashionable without skimping on the quality.
Choose from 14 different leather colors and 12 thread colors. (For larger laptops, a 15″ sleeve option is also available.)
Feltro Upcycled 13″ Laptop Sleeve starting at $18.45
Bamboo 3-Pack Straw Set
Made from real bamboo, these food-grade straws are natural in color and help reduce plastic waste. The complete set also includes a wire cleaning brush and cotton travel pouch.
The dual attention to detail and eco-friendliness of this product not only says that you value your employees but that you’re doing your part to help the environment.
Bamboo 3-Pack Straw Set starting at $3.27
Parkland Highfield Large Pouch
Do a lot of your staff bike to work? Do they vote for outdoor activities in overwhelming numbers and love the environment?
Then the Parkland Highfield Large Pouch could be the perfect company swag. The pouch is made from 100 percent recycled water bottles. Plus, its cylindrical shape is perfect for stashing office supplies and small electronics.
Parkland Highfield Large Pouch starting at $15.67
Wellness-centric company swag
Corporate merch with a wellness slant is an excellent way to promote and nurture a culture that prioritizes a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Here are some great company swag options to encourage your employees to embrace wellness.
W&P Porter Ceramic Bowl (34 oz)
The W&P Porter Bowl screams premium swag. The charcoal ceramic lunch bowl makes the perfect salad bowl or container for your leftovers.
Beautifully designed, it can be engraved to commemorate a 20th anniversary or other memorable company events, and it comes packaged in a retail gift box. Purchases also support food education via W&P’s partnership with Edible Schoolyard NYC.
W&P Porter Ceramic Bowl (34 oz) starting at $37.87
JadeYoga Harmony Mat (24″ W x 68″ H)
Yoga has exploded in popularity over the last few years, so yoga mats are a great option for a unique, wellness-centric piece of company swag.
This JadeYoga Harmony Mat is a quality piece of equipment, with excellent grip and cushion that help you hold poses with ease. Note that yoga mats can be cumbersome, so ensure you have a space to house or transport them until you’re ready to give them out.
A swag management platform is particularly helpful there since they can warehouse your items and handle all the shipping and fulfillment.
JadeYoga Harmony Mat starting at $82.42
Blue Light Glasses
The blue light from our digital devices can impact our quality of sleep, cause headaches, blurry vision, mental fatigue, and may weaken our eyes in the long-term.
So if your staff spend hours staring at a screen or monitor during their workday, the blue-light-filtering capabilities of these Blue Light Glasses are a great option for company swag.
You can customize the unisex frame by changing the arm and stem colors and printing your logo on the arms or lens.
Blue Light Glasses starting at $4.05
Everlast Foam Roller and Sports Sling
From sitting at a desk for hours on end to battling rush hour traffic, many of the things we do day-to-day cause tension in our shoulders and back.
The Everlast Foam Roller warms up your muscles and provides a needed deep muscle massage. This 13″ muscle roller is lightweight and portable, making it easy for staff to get in a quick stretch at work or in the gym. The roller itself isn’t customizable, but the dark-colored sports sling is perfect for showing off a light-colored design or logo.
Everlast Foam Roller and Sports Sling starting at $37.85
Get help managing your company swag
Choosing the best company swag is all about picking a trendy, quality product that reflects your company’s culture. But that’s only the beginning: There’s also the issue of figuring out how to order, ship, store, and distribute your items.
Let Printfection take the leg work out of your swag management process. Our team of experts reach out to individual vendors and help you select, manage, house, and ship your company swag. Ready to learn more? Request a demo today.