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Entrepreneurs share their promotional ‘swag’ secrets by John D. Powell

Q: Coffee mugs, ink pens, t-shirts — which type of promotional “swag” draws the most positive attention to a company?


Anthony Krumeich, CEO and co-founder of Bloodhound in San Francisco, California:

Effectiveness depends on the specifics of your business. Bloodhound has gotten a great response from plain black T-shirts with our company name written in bold across the front. I’ve had people stop me on the street and say, “I love your shirt. Where can I get one?” If you have a great logo, stickers might be a good investment.

In general though, I tend to favor ‘permanent’ swag over throwaways. Items such as pens, bouncy balls and keychain lights are fun, but usually get tossed after the event. By giving away something useful, such as a bottle opener, a drink koozie or a T-shirt, your customer is more likely to use it over and over again. This will lead to a higher likelihood of thinking about your company and, hopefully, user engagement.

Ultimately, though, swag is a nice supplement but cannot stand on its own; the underlying product, idea or company has to be solid. So, before allocating any part of your budget to swag, I would make sure that your fundamentals are covered first. You want people looking under your company’s hood to be impressed. To prevent being ‘all show and no go,’ make sure the fundamentals are there before you go about adding all of the bells and whistles.

Joseph Ricard, founder of Plum Investors in Miami, Florida:

As for swag, I have used all types of forms of ‘leave behinds.’ For the exotic car rentals, we gave out shirts to the renters, and we gave them out to highly attractive females for photo opportunities. Our shirts were very good quality, and our tank tops looked great on females!

For our Tunebash app, I plan on giving out an iPhone 5s and iPhone 4 cases that we will raffle in giveaways. This will be used in a social media campaigns to get the app more attention and more users. We are only giving away an iPhone because we have an iPhone app — not because we are selling vacuum cleaners. I have noticed people give out pens, when their company has nothing to do with writing. It should be something your company does at the same time. If you’re a music company, give out some headphones, if your company is a boating company, then give out the floatable keyring, etc. Don’t give out water bottles if you’re an auto company.

Leaving a cheap ‘leave behind’ or swag is important so you can give out a lot, but if you can leave something that is attached to your product or service, it will probably have a higher conversion rate.

Matt Hunckler, founder and president of Verge in Indianapolis, Indiana:

You can spend a fortune on swag and you’ll probably never be able to accurately measure the impact each piece has on your target customer. So, you may as well set yourself apart by expressing your uniqueness.

Pick items that resonate with your core brand values and evoke a strong reaction. Don’t invest in items that don’t stand out or have staying power (if you think it might just get thrown away, it probably will). Ditch the establishment and go for something funny, outrageous or remarkable. Sometimes what’s most remarkable is what you do with the items.

Show people you really care about earning their business by personalizing each item as a gift. Deliver it personally or in a unique way. Most companies don’t take the time to do this -- fortunately for you, that can really set you apart.


 J. D. Harrison

source: Washington Post 


   Benham Companies Mens Black T-Shirt  





This article was published on Wednesday 03 October, 2012.
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We realize that promotional products are an investment - and we want you to be happy with the finished product. Supply your own camera ready art and you'll know exactly how the project will turn out. Can't provide camera ready art? Let our team of designers prepare artwork for you and send you a proof prior to the project being completed. For even more peace of mind, allow us to produce an actual pre-production sample at a small fee. If your budget won't allow for that, many times we can provide a virtual sample at no charge.

Promotional Products and Marketing Gifts

Did you know promotional products and merchandise with your logo not only strengthens your relationships with customers and prospects, they actually have a better retention rate than with many traditional advertising ventures. Promotional products, also known as specialty advertising, build brand awareness, help build corporate identity and promote a positive impression of your business. Let our team work with you in selecting the best specialties that fit your corporate identity. When used, specialty advertising products are a valuable tool in solidifying your position in today's competitive marketplace.

Promotional products are also serve as great marketing gifts to leave with potential customers and clients. Let your sales force leave behind promotional products with your name, logo and contact information on them and you will experience the benefit in increased results. In today's competitive marketplace, "desk time", is an essential element in moving through the marketing clutter of emails, phone calls and mailings. what better way to have your prospects and customers think of you than when they use a pad of Post-Its, pen, mousepad, coaster, cup or calendar with your logo constantly presented to them. Research shows companies that use advertising specialties in their marketing mix outperform those that don't use specialty products.

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Corporate and Business Gifts

In today's competitive workplace, employee recognition is an essential element in retaining your valuable workforce. We are able to provide a wide range of gifts designed to foster morale, provide a sense of loyalty and reward performance. Whether you choose crystal awards, electronics or any of our many corporate gifts they will be sure to please and create a sense of success and job security. As with any corporate gift or reward, employees tend to display or use them with pride.

Business gifts are a standard - especially when you want to thank your clients for their time or business. What better way to leave a valuable impression than with a premium gift decorated with your logo or message. Action Advertising offers a comprehensive selection of corporate and promotional gifts designed to show your appreciation to those you select to receive them.

So, whether you are celebrating a milestone of sales or tenure, our selection of corporate gifts will sure to lend an element of class, a feeling of accomplishment and appreciation. Whatever the need from crystal, glass, leather or electronic, we have a special corporate gift to please and fit any budget.

Promotional Company Shirts

Corporate shirts are a great way to reward clients or to increase your exposure to the public. We are pleased to offer a wide range of shirts including embroidered polo's and custom printed shirts. Shirts can provide your business with free advertising - and what company wouldn't want that?

Whether you are seeking to increase team building, present a unified appearance or create a sense of belonging - promotional shirts can help you accomplish your goal.

Even if you need corporate uniforms, Action Advertising is pleased to offer a wide range of uniform programs. We offer many styles in men's as well as ladies cuts. Worried about stains? Let our selection of stain resistant shirts help keep your employees looking their best. Concerned about the environment? Action Advertising offers many "green" products including bamboo which not only is environmentally friendly, but naturally anti-microbial.

Trade Show Giveaway Items, Logo Pens

Tradeshow giveaways can be a source of stress for those planning what to giveway. Let the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Action Advertising help by offering solutions to maximize your budget. With comprehensive sourcing options, we can find products tailored to fit your marketing objective. We can custom print a wide range of proven tradeshow giveaways including pens, bags, key chains, magnets, huggers and more. We also can provide mouse pads, umbrellas, MP3 programs, banners, candy and flash drives.

By far one of our best selling tradeshow giveaways is pens. Chances are, most of the pens on your desk, in your car or at home have a corporate logo on them. These items can be customized with a message that will be seen time and time again by customers, prospects and employees. So whether you are promoting a message of safety, celebration or location - imprinted pens go a very long way in advancing your corporate message because they usually are so well traveled. Action Advertising offers a pen to fit any budget from sleek upscale fountain pens to more economical varieties.

Printed Materials and Graphic Design Services

In addition to promotional products, Action Advertising offers outstanding pricing on a wide range of printed paper items including business cards, brochures, flyers, doorhangers, postcards, catalogs, CD/DVD inserts and much more.

If you need something designed, we have a staff of in-house graphic designers that help with logo design, print campaigns and printed collateral - including banners and auto magnets. Our rates are far more competitive than traditional ad agency rates.

We understand marketing and corporate branding.


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