True, the digital takeover is upon us. And because of it, marketers may be focusing all their efforts on building their empires online and making the mistake of neglecting advertising practices that have worked for decades – scratch that, centuries.

Branded giveaways aka promotional products aka swag have a long history, dating back to the election of 1789 with George Washington’s commemorative button. And by the 1800s, a brilliant newspaperman started printing ads on burlap bags that a local shoe store then gave way to promote his business. And the rest is swag history.

There’s no mystery surrounding why branded merchandise have endured over 200 years. It’s simple. They work!

And don’t we always say, “if it ain’t broke…”

However, there’s more to swag than just slapping your logo on everything, giving it away to as many people, and calling it a day. Quality promotional merchandise has the power to enhance brand visibility, boost awareness, and improve your reputation.


Because despite the digital revolution, people haven’t stopped going out and spending time in the real world. They haven’t all retreated into high-tech caves and rely entirely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to perform their jobs, socialize, and make all their purchasing decisions on their behalf.

People are still seeing friends, going to work, and continue being functioning members of society. They attend events, go to concerts, and network at conventions. And business folk are still meeting potential clients to wine and dine or throw parties for their loyal employees.

Because most people are still out in the world, that means they still see branded umbrellas open up on a rainy day or their officemate drinking from a branded stainless-steel tumbler. They’re borrowing a pen from the stranger sitting next to them in class and noticing the logo on the side. They’re seeing people at the farmer’s market filling their branded reusable tote bags with organic avocados.

Why does this matter?

We’re a highly visual species. We recall things that we see better than the stuff we hear. It’s science. And there are plenty of studies that prove visual memory beats auditory memory every time. That means you’re more likely to remember a brand’s logo on a shirt than if you were to hear an ad about it over the radio.

Think about it. If swag works on you, why wouldn’t it work on your target market?

One of the key takeaways from ASI’s 2019 global survey on the value of promo products is that swag helps brands become unforgettable. Their studies reveal that 85% of worldwide consumers say they recall the advertiser that gave them a shirt, hat, or other types of branded apparel. There’s more. Consumers are 2.5% more likely to develop a favorable impression of the brand compared to an online ad.

As for improving your reputation, people see high-quality swag, and they think the premium brand. Because in a highly visual world, perception matters.

But remember swag that makes the most impact are the ones that aren’t only pretty but useful. Give people something they can whip out over and over again such as reusable tote bags, fitness trackers, charging cables, tumblers, mobile phone chargers, pens, and USB drives. By giving them branded merch they can use again and again, you’ve just equipped an instant army of brand ambassadors to go forth and embed your brand’s image into the memories of the unsuspecting public.

Ready to take action and get some slick swag to represent your brand? Hit me up – –


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