When it comes to making the most of company swag, the old saying “time is money” certainly rings true. Having a working knowledge of file formats, proofs, turn-around time and return on investment can save you loads of time working on your project and is essential to its success.
The graphic designers at Electro Image LLC use a very special file format – .EPS. The reason why is because an .EPS file looks clear at any size you set it. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you try to make an image larger and it looks pixelated. Your company’s logo needs to look sharp and well-defined whether it’s displayed on a customized pen or a 20×40 foot tradeshow banner. The .EPS file format is used in Adobe Illustrator.
There’s a reason why the Chinese believe there’s no such thing as a shortcut. Though ordering a proof, a picture of how your company swag will look, it tacks on a few extra days to the production process. But the time is well worth it. Especially, when a proof – electronic or tangible – shows you exactly what your swag will look like, customized and in the colors you’ve chosen. Though sometimes you have to pay for proofs, the up-front cost can save you money in the long run if you end up discovering a mistake that would have found itself on the final product.
If you’re the person in charge of ordering swag for your company, here’s a friendly reminder. Getting swag involves a whole production process. Unlike ordering something from Amazon, even if you select 2-Day Shipping, you won’t have your order in your hands right away. It’s best to plan ahead and build in at least 10 business days from your order date (not including design or proofing time) for production and shipping. You’ll want to be hyper-aware of the deadlines you need to meet in order to have your company swag in time for your event or tradeshow. The last thing you want is to show up to a tradeshow empty handed.
Last but not least, the most important part of making the most of company swag is determining your ROI (return on investment). You’ll want to make sure the lifetime value of the product will pay off the cost of creating it. This requires you to be very clear about what results your company wants to get from the swag and how you’re going to measure those results.
For example, if you want your company swag to generate brand awareness, consider how many people will see your swag and remember your brand. To measure this, you’d calculate impressions (a very rough metric) coupled with data on direct and organic search traffic to your company’s website.
Another way businesses successfully measure how effective their swag is at generating new leads is by having new customers fill out a form or give you their business card in order for them to receive your company swag. Count up the number of leads you got at the end of the day and you’ve measured how many people took your swag seriously. Equipped with this customer contact information, you can add them to your database and enroll them in a lead nurturing email workflow for further marketing.
Whatever purpose you want your company swag to serve is what you want to measure. No one can predict the future but you can have a realistic expectation of how many leads or impressions you can make with your company swag and measure it to see if that expectation has been met.
File formats, proofs, turn-around time and return on investment are common stumbling blocks when it comes to designing and ordering promotional items. By following these tips you’ll be sure to make the most of company swag.