Let’s be honest… no one loves your company and logo more than yourself! And that’s the way it should be… but how can companies better brand themselves and save money on wasted schwag. With Affiliate Summit coming to a close, and a massive load of money spent on promotional schwag and tshirts, it’s a good time to look back and at the good the bad and the ugly. How many times were you given a tshirt from a network that is just hideous and will only be used as a rag or night shirt? It happens all the time. As bad as some tshirts might be, they are still not as bad as half of the schwag handed out that is immediately tossed.
If you are going to order 10,000 shirts, stickers, mousepads or anything else… make sure you spend a lot of time doing research that it’s something people will actually wear/use and not just toss it into the trash after they pass your booth. To get a good idea of different types of promotional items and signs you can get custom printed, take a look at the selection at Signazon.com. Knowing what’s out there before you spend a ton of money on promotional items is the best first step to take.
Over the past several Affiliate Summits and marketing conferences, I usually end up tossing all of the schwag and promotional items into a box in my office room closet. Below you can see just a portion of what’s been collected over the years.
Mouse pads, high quality pens and USB plugs are always good items for keeps, but the same can’t be said about most of what is handed out. Tshirts can also be a good use of promotion, if they are done nicely. Go for the higher quality shirt, stay away from white and try to make something people would like to wear in public. As much as you want people to know your domain name, slapping your huge logo in the middle might not create a shirt that many people want to wear.
One example of a tshirt that was done effectively was Affiliate.com. The tshirts below were handed out during Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. Not only did they create a tshirt for both men and women, but the front of it doesn’t look like an affiliate / branded shirt at all. The back view is where the branding is at, and it’s not completely in your face, but still gets the message across.
Billionaire Marc Cuban says the following about schwag: “NEVER EVER EVER buy swag. A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, its ok to buy for your own folks, but if you really think someone is going to wear your Yobaby.com polo you sent them in public, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money.”
While I agree with Marc Cuban for the most part, it’s still a lot of fun to have product with your name and company on them. Don’t stop buying shirts and schwag to hand out, just make sure it’s actually something people will want to take home.
What are some of the BEST and WORST tshirts/schwag you’ve seen from affiliate and internet marketing companies?