Is company swag worth the investment?
Swag is a $23B industry and it’s only projected to grow. But does that mean it’s the right fit for your company? Should you be ordering branded items for your employees?
To be honest, it’s hard to measure the ROI on swag for employees. Too many factors go into employee engagement and satisfaction to say for certain how much of it can be attributed to swag. While a branded product probably doesn’t hurt, a sweatshirt with your company’s logo isn’t going to be the deciding factor in employee retention.
Benefits of Swag
However, there are certain advantages to investing in swag for the team. Here are the top five benefits of swag, considerations to keep in mind, and a few ideas for branded products that people will actually like.
1. Creates a sense of team culture
Company culture is important, especially for small businesses. Research shows that companies with an established culture have a lower turnover rate of 13.9% compared to 48.4% of those without. But no matter the size of the company, creating connections with remote teams can be a challenge. Sending out company swag can help by promoting a sense of camaraderie while contributing to your unique company culture.
2. Enhances your employer brand
We can’t say enough about the power of branding. In this case, an employer brand can help with employee retention by reducing turnover by 28% and cutting costs-per-hire by half among other benefits. Swag is only a piece of what goes into an employer brand, but it’s a significant one that can apply to many occasions. Branded items can help onboard employees, celebrate achievements, and help instill company pride.
3. Promotes company values
Swag presents a unique opportunity to let you tie your brand’s core messaging and values into the products you share with your employees. Try injecting some personality into the swag, like we did with our coffee mugs, or really hone in your values like we did with totes by a local artist (pictured above). What you give matters just as much as the messaging. For example, if your team is often traveling for work you could give out luggage tags, or if you’re an apparel brand try handing out stylish branded accessories.
4. Shows appreciation
There are many ways to show appreciation to your employees. Swag is a simple way to show you care, especially for dispersed teams that don’t have as many opportunities for in-person celebrations. Consider using swag to celebrate milestones, holidays, or major company events like a rebrand.
5. Provides free advertising
Branded items are the gifts that keep on giving—provided your employees will actually use them. Swag happens to have the highest recall rate of any advertising medium, giving 82% of people a favorable impression of the brand. Each time someone leaves the house with your company swag, your brand is being promoted and getting free impressions. Keep this in mind when you’re ordering swag and opt for branded products your employees will love.
- Before you set out to order your first batch of swag, sit down and create a budget. Like anything else in your marketing strategy, you’ll want to plan ahead of time. Consider the number of new employees you plan to onboard and the cost of shipping, especially to remote teams.
- Staying on budget doesn’t mean skimping on quality. Low quality items can reflect poorly on your company and do more harm than good. You want your team to keep using the swag and take it with them wherever they go. If you’re handing out cheap trinkets, that’s just not likely.
- Not sure if the item you’re considering is something people will keep and appreciate? Try using this test to see if your prospective swag will meet the mark.
Conclusion: Is company swag worth it?
At the end of the day, the swag you give to your employees is a reflection of your overall brand. If you’re clear on your core values, employer brand, and company culture then you have an excellent starting point for picking the right swag. If your brand isn’t defined, then an agency can help guide you through the process.
Working with an agency is the best way to ensure that your company’s swag is worth the investment. A branding agency can help create a memorable design, align your products with your brand, and select high-quality vendors who will produce it with care.