A while back I ran something called “Swag Wars” for a while. IF that’s not ringing a bell, take a gander back at the highlights:
It was a fun way to generate ideas for new swag while I created yet another completely arbitrary rating system for something that had never had one before.
I loved it.
I learned a long list of things from Swag Wars, but here are the top three that stuck out with it now a few months in the rearview.
At a time when getting guests to talk may be more valuable than ever, I probably should have given more weight to the unique end of the scale. I recently went back through the box of goodies everyone sent and was surprised how much I had forgotten about.
The stuff I didn’t forget was a hot chocolate scented car freshener from Copper and a silicon “pint” from Mt Bachelor. Why? I only got one of each and I hadn’t seen anything like either before.
Bottles Get Used
Water bottles aren’t unique, but I still use the stainless bottle Lake Louise sent me to this day and my wife carries her Liftopia bottle every day in her shoulder bag.
They may not be unique, but I should have also assigned more weight to the utility factor.
Free T-Shirts Never Fit
Now, remember, I’m pretty dang skinny – 6’2″, 150 lbs – but out of all the free t-shirts I’ve received from brands, there’s only one I still wear (and wear proudly, I might add, since it was my reward for making free throws at halftime of a basketball game).
For the cost of designing, printing, and mailing t-shirts, I can’t help but notice the waste. Very few of these shirts are never worn because they either a) don’t fit, b) look dumb, or c) look dumb and don’t fit. Which brings me to the title of this post: if you’re going to make t-shirts (or any swag for that matter), keep in mind breakage.
In my likely-flawed mind, it makes much more sense to print fitted t’s designed by a professional designer that people will actually wear for $5 a piece than generic, “boxy” ones that nobody will wear for $2.50 a piece.
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