Add a Little Swag(ger) to Your Biz
Raise your hand if you’ve ever walked away from the Iowa State Fair with a big ol’ bag full of branded goodies. Pens, sticky notes, frisbees, bandages—you name it, someone put their logo on it and is handing it out to sweaty fair goers. A quick walk around your kitchen will tell the same tale. A cursory glance likely reveals all kinds of swag: a jar opener (such a useful little guy!), magnets, chip clips. Branded swag is everywhere.
At Project7 Design, branded swag is one of our love languages, and we create new p7 swag on the regular. Every so often, we just express a collective NEED for more swag in our lives (and our closets). We love wearing our brand loud and proud—it feels like sharing a little bit of p7 sunshine with the rest of the world. But swag is more than just slapping a logo on a pen and calling it good. Swag done right involves a little bit of brainstorming, a little bit of fun, and a whole lot of creativity.
When we start jonesing for new swag, the very first question we ask is: for who? Obviously, we adore all things p7, and internal-facing swag is great for building culture and showing your team how much they rock. It builds community and a feeling of belonging, which can help retention. Over the years, we’ve dreamed up p7-themed sweatshirts, hats, stickers, keychains, and even bandanas for our pets!
If you look closely at those pictures, you’ll see they all have one thing in common (other than our beautiful faces): the p7 logo is not always front and center. This is where the creativity piece comes in. We love to use internal catchphrases or taglines for our swag. “Do Good Things” and “Kind is Cool” are our unofficial mantras—both are painted on the walls at our office. These two phrases feature prominently in our swag because they convey so much more than a simple logo ever could. They share part of our culture and our vibe, while also being a super stylin’ way to share our business values with the world.
Taking Your Brand to the People
But it would be just plain selfish to save all the p7 swag for ourselves. Anytime someone comes to visit our studio, we make sure to share the joy with something from our goodie basket. We love to give our visitors a little something to take home with them—coasters, pins, buttons, pencils, magnets. And when we see a sticker or a pencil somewhere out in the wild, it makes our hearts so happy to know that our friends like what we created.
Actually Doing the Good Things
Our favorite way to use swag in an external-facing way is to create branded merch as a fundraiser for a nonprofit that is near and dear to us. We’ve done this multiple times, designing fab T-shirts and then selling them to raise money for good causes. This type of swag serves yet another purpose of allowing us live out our values. We are literally doing good things with the money we’re raising, and it feels so good to give back. And the fact that lots of our friends are walking around in the world with rad p7 shirts is just icing on the cake.
These “Do Good Things” shirts and keychains were our first ever fundraiser, and all profits went to the After School Arts Program.
This “Kind is Cool” T-shirt fundraiser benefited Dorothy’s House, a safe place for survivors of human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution to being to heal.
We’re working on some top-secret swag for another fundraiser for our anniversary, and all the proceeds from that will go to Lutheran Services in Iowa, an organization that is doing amazing work in our communities.
Swagging for Clients
As much as we love creating p7 swag, we really, really love dreaming up unique and clever swag ideas for our clients. Here are some of our faves from the last few years:
Hermanson Orthodontics: We created these cute brace face characters for Hermanson’s front desk calendar, but then we had the genius idea to turn them into tiny pins! The client shared that the kids in their practice loved the pins and traded them like currency (isn’t middle school wild?).
Sarah Noll Wilson: We had so much fun doing a branded notebook, a cute mug with a catchphrase, and these adorable socks.
Bottom line: swag can be an amazing addition to your marketing lineup. But don’t settle for your logo on a pen. You can totally do better than that! We’re always here to help you noodle over fresh ideas to get your amazing business out there in the world. Drop us a line today to set up a time to chat about your dream swag pieces.
Katherine (aka Kat) Hutchison is a partner and co-owner of Project7 Design. She focuses on the studio’s client relationships, day-to-day business operations and brings in the occasional complicated mural project for some fun team bonding.