Employee gifting is always a little weird. When you want to say “happy birthday” or “thanks for a job well done” and your employees deserve better than last year’s swag, what do you do?
Integrated marketers should look into swag that pulls double duty: premiums to base a marketing effort around that are also cool enough to give to an employee. And since 88% of people remember the advertiser on a promotional product, this is the gift that gives you back, no matter who you give it to.
“Branded” Gift Cards
A carefully selected gift card is a pick-me-up for employees and conversation-starter with clients. The amount doesn’t need to be extravagant; consider using a $5 coffee card as a thanks gesture to employees, or as the key piece of a “let’s talk over coffee” mailer to send to prospects with whom you’re close to closing a deal.
Cost: from $5 to ‘sky’s the limit’
Computer Speaker or Headphones
If you’re in the tech sector, your swag should be more evolved than a coffee mug or a pen set. You probably aren’t going to give every employee Beats by Dre (and if you are: are you hiring?); but branded earbuds, headphones, and computer speakers are fun, functional, and make great convention-booth swag that’s attractive and easy to throw into a briefcase or carry-on.
Cost: earbuds start at $2; Bluetooth speakers start around $10
Beyond the Plain White T
Big logos on polo shirts are so 1980s. Seen on the floor at the 2016 PPAI Expo were dressier items like ponchos and scarves, in a variety of materials and colors. And since not everyone wants to be a walking billboard, consider lower-profile items like socks and caps. For really special occasions/clients, consider quality, customized brand items, like a coveted Carhartt jacket.
Cost: from $2 for socks to $80+ for an embroidered Carhartt jacket
Better Business Basics
Branded notebooks are a dime a dozen, but a branded Moleskine notebook is swanky swag that says, “I value your ideas.” And they’re durable, versatile, and convenient. Throw in a USB pen and you’ve got a thoughtful gift.
Cost: custom-printed Moleskines start around $5; branded USB pens also start at $5
Recommended Reading for Better Premiums
Before embarking on a swag shopping spree, integrated marketers should brush up on the basics: choose products that fit your brand and your mission. Steer clear of anything offensive or controversial. Good quality matters.
Last modified: September 21, 2017