Saturday, May 19, 2012

We've all received some type of business swag in our lives. Generally, swag comes in the form of pens, coffee mugs, mousepads and frisbees, to name a few of the most popular. 
However, in order to be effective, companies need to look outside of the box when it comes time to picking promotional swag. Your swag's first job is to be an extension of your marketing collateral. This is why it's important for your swag to tie in with other promotions, or at least tie in to what your company does. If you're in the auto industry, and you pass out frisbees, the two don't connect, so nobody is going to look at that frisbee and think, "I should buy a car today", even if it does have your company logo on it.



A new take on company swag.

Rather than spend a fortune on having your logo printed onto a bulk of items nobody will use, why don't you become more creative with your swag. Instead of pens, coffee mugs, mousepads and frisbees, think of something that your potential customers could use and how you can make it your own. Enter USB drives.
Many companies have been giving away USB drives with their logo on them, but this isn't the right tactic. Instead, you need to pass out USB drives that already have information pre-loaded onto them. This way, when a potential customer pops the drive into their computer, they will open up a piece of marketing collateral from your company.
Pre-load the card with interaction.

The worst thing to do would be to simply throw an advertisement for your company on the USB drive, and that's it. Most people will consider this a nuisance, and most will probably think it was a lame way to try and impress a customer. 
Instead, opt for a slide show, video or mini tutorial of your company, your products and your services. If you have the time and the talent, creating an interactive game can also be beneficial. Not only will it keep your company in the front of your potential customer's mind, but it will also provide them with a form of entertainment.
It's also a good idea to ensure that your contact info can be found on the USB drive. This way, if they misplaced your business card, they'll know which company gave them the USB drive. Plus, having your contact information available in digital form makes it that much easier to add to a contact list. 
The benefits of USB.

First, it's different. Though companies have been giving away USB drives for a while, not all of them are taking the extra step to fill it with additional marketing collateral. Not only will this information provide plenty of in-depth detail for your potential customer, but it will also help you stand out from the others. 
Second, USB drives are reusable, and since computers and file sharing are popular too, you can rest assured that most people will keep your USB drive and throw out their pens and coffee mugs. With a USB drive, you can be sure that most people will keep it in their possession, and the collateral you have installed will serve as a welcoming reminder of your company and possibly lead to a sale.
Third, they're small. While attending an event, people can become overwhelmed with the amount of swag they receive. If they don't have a bag to put it all in, they'll start putting things in pockets or purses. When this happens, only the smaller things remain. Since a USB is short and small, people can easily toss it in their pockets or bags, and it will be one of the surviving swag pieces that make it back to the office.
If you're in need of some new marketing swag, consider purchasing USB drives with company information installed on them. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd while giving your potential customers something they truly enjoy.


About the Author:
Hunter Jackson is a PR professional and entrepreneur who works in the Dallas area. He loves to write in his spare time and often covers topics relating to marketing or business.

Photo Credit: back2brooklyn

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