How to plan your 2023 swag calendar
January 4, 2023
Taking the time at the beginning of the year to map out your swag needs is essential to selecting the best items that will be most effective for your campaigns. Whether you’re a marketing manager building out your marketing plan or a HR manager planning for employee appreciation gifts as part of a new retention initiative, everyone can benefit from outlining their objectives for the year ahead.
Why do you need a swag calendar?
Avoid missed opportunities. Ever have an idea for swag only to realize that there’s not enough time left to execute your vision? Creating a swag calendar allows you to be proactive with your creative ideas and avoid 11th hour surprises. Prepare today and your future self will thank you!
Budget with confidence. Oftentimes a company might have one swag budget that is shared across marketing, sales, and HR departments. Each department may have its own goals that swag can help support, but they’ll all need to align on budget priorities. A swag calendar allows your company to collaborate on what success looks like and allocate its budget accordingly.
Get first pick of products. It’s no secret that the aftereffects of the pandemic continue to impact worldwide production due to global supply chain issues, volatile stock levels, and labor shortages. While Printfection is in constant contact with suppliers and adding new products regularly, ordering items ahead of time ensures that you get your top picks.
Step 1: Map out the important dates and milestones that you’d like to plan for.
As you plan out your swag calendar, consider the variety of use cases you could benefit from. Swag can keep your brand top of mind for your customers, grab the attention of potential customers, and help engage your employees. Though key dates will vary depending on your brand, below are categories to consider.
Keep in mind too that it will typically take 6 to 8 weeks to select, source, produce, and ship your swag. While Printfection can often find creative solutions when a faster turnaround is needed, you’ll find that more lead time allows for better swag selection and peace of mind. As you add dates to your calendar, be sure to jot down a planning start date as well so you have a reminder of when you should begin the process.
Major Holidays & Cultural Dates
Consider holidays or other culturally significant days that your brand would like to recognize via swag. There may be other celebratory days or months that are uniquely relevant to your brand or industry so we encourage you to consider those now and add them to your list as needed.
- February 2023: Black History Month
- March 2023: Women’s History Month
- March 3, 2023: Employee Appreciation Day
- April 22, 2023: Earth Day
- June 2023: Pride Month
- June 19, 2023: Juneteenth
- July 4, 2023: Independence Day
- November 23, 2023: Thanksgiving
- December 25, 2023: Christmas Day
- December 31, 2023: New Year’s Eve
Seasonality can also inform the cadence and selection of your swag. Many swag items can be enjoyed year-round but it can also add another level of practicality to choose items that will be timely during an upcoming season. Think daypacks, coolers, and beach towels for summer adventures or warm blankets, beanies, and outerwear for cold winter months.
- March 20, 2023: First Day of Spring
- June 21, 2023: First Day of Summer
- September 23, 2023: First Day of Fall
- December 21, 2023: First Day of Winter
Company Events & Employee Milestones
There are countless opportunities in a calendar year to use swag for brand building and employee engagement. Maybe you have a company event that could be enhanced with branded swag or need to roll out a company rebrand in an aesthetic, tangible way. Perhaps you want to express gratitude to your employees by celebrating their employment anniversary, their birthday, or an exciting life event. With Printfection, you get a swag management platform that makes it easy to send items to remote employees or virtual event attendees.
- Company Anniversary
- Company Rebrand or Acquisition
- New Employee Onboarding
- Employee Birthdays
- Employee Anniversary or Promotion
- Events and Conferences (Virtual or In Person)
- Life Events (New Baby, Marriage, etc.)
Step 2: Select the perfect branded items for each of your swag initiatives.
Our item setup process makes it incredibly easy to get your logo and corporate artwork on just about anything. Begin by browsing Printfection’s swag catalog to get ideas for what items might be well suited for your swag campaigns. We have an extensive catalog of thousands of high-quality swag items to customize. Plus, new items are added to our catalog all the time based on customer needs and industry trends.
Don’t see what you need or have a new idea you want to explore? Our team will research and source recommendations to fit your swag goals, and if we can’t find a great fit you can also ship 3rd party items to us that we’ll add to your inventory.
You can also work with your designated Customer Success Manager who can offer recommendations on swag items based on your use case and budget. We have lookbooks with curated products for common swag needs that serve as a great starting point.
If you’d like to bundle several swag items together in one gift and elevate the packaging design, consider a swag kit. Our Kitting feature allows you to customize the outside and inside of your swag box with branding, messages, and a variety of filler and insert options.
Step 3: Plan out your campaigns using Printfection’s swag management platform.
As you build out your custom swag inventory, you’ll also want to identify which type of campaign is best suited for each of your swag deliveries. Printfection offers three campaign types (Drop Ship, Giveaway, and Collection) and here’s a quick overview of when to use each.
Drop Ship Campaign
This method is perfect for larger, more complex deliveries that are ordered one at a time and need to go to one location. Drop Ship is ideal for sending swag to offices or events where the swag will then be distributed onsite.
Giveaways are the right choice when you don’t know what the recipient wants or where they reside. Printfection handles the collection of the shipping addresses, apparel sizes, and desired gifts directly from the recipient. All you need to do is send a link to the recipient. The recipient then makes their own selection off a landing page and the gift is fulfilled automatically. You’re notified when redemptions happen and recipients receive tracking numbers so everyone’s in the loop.
The opposite of a Giveaway, Collection campaigns are perfect when you know who, what, and where to send the swag. Unlike a Drop Ship, orders can be imported in bulk from a spreadsheet or you can publish a link to give internal departments or employees a controlled way to enter their own orders for approval.
If you are interested in learning about how Printfection can help you with the planning and execution of your swag strategy this year, please reach out to email@example.com. One of our swag experts will be in touch soon to discuss your vision and answer any questions.