Don’t worry, it happens to everyone at one point or another.

You don’t need to be ashamed.

Your swag just got a little boring. Really, it happens.

Fortunately, we know ways to fix it.

Order smaller quantities more often

Sure, the price break that you get from ordering *THAT* many more pieces can seem appealing…until you have several boxes of unused items because they got-stale/your-logo-changed/you-didn’t-get-the-turnout-you-were-expecting/people-are-tired-of-them.

Fortunately, combating the effects of over-ordering can be simple: don’t do it.

Keeping smaller quantities on hand will allow you to do a few things:

  • Adjust logos if you have a change
  • Create items that are better customized for your target audience
  • Implement A/B testing to see which products or designs are most popular

Tip: Ask your swag partner how quickly you can re-order.

Revisit Your Stock Items

Have you ever thought this: “It’s (insert month here) so it’s time to re-order (insert item here).”

If you haven’t, good for you.

If you have, let’s try to break that habit.

Design, products, and trends are constantly changing and improving. If not, we’d all be writing with this:

Quill & Ink
Image source: Wikipedia, Author Jonathunder

If you’re in the habit of ordering the same thing over and over, because it’s “that time of the year,” you’re missing out on a perfect opportunity to surprise and wow.

For example, I recently stayed overnight at a Delta hotel. Naturally, I checked out the “free” pen that comes standard on the desk in the hotel room and, I admit, was expecting to see something crappy that didn’t write well. Instead I was impressed to find a nice gel pen…a product that has come a long way IMO in recent years. It writes more smoothly, feels better constructed, and is the type of pen I choose to write with at work every day.

Seeing Delta stock the rooms with a nicer pen left an impression on me. It was one more touch-point that reinforced Delta as a superior hotel chain in my mind.

Tip: See if blank stationary like post-it notes can be ordered with company branding on them.

Tweak Your Presentation

Getting an award for excelling in your job is great. Having it presented to you on primetime TV in front of millions of people, well, now that’s spectacular.

We can’t all broadcast our give-aways like the Oscar’s or the Emmy’s, but we can still put effort into how things are presented.

We know one company that includes a bag of wrapped candy in their employee onboarding kits. The new employes puts out the food for sharing, and meets a bunch of his or her new colleagues as they stop by for a chat and a treat.

You can also add branded items to complement other employer issued products. If your company assigns phones to employees, hand out a branded screen cleaner and stylus along with them. You’ve now turned one piece of technology into a mini-kit for your employees.

Tip: Add a custom page into journals with “cheat-sheets” to help new employess learn the ropes or to reinforce internal marketing objectives.

There are so many things in life, where you get out of them what you put into them.

It’s easy to continue re-ordering what’s always been ordered in the past. But, with a little creativity and thought, you can add new life into your branded merchandise by making simple adjustments and tweaks.

And, hey, don’t think you have to do it all on your own. That’s what your swag provider is for. Leverage them to help add wow factor to your items.


Don’t forget to check out the latest instalment in our Good At video series, now up at

RIGHTSLEEVE is a promotional products agency helping companies establish emotional connections to their brands through tangible, logoed merchandise. Please say hi on Twitter or Facebook.