SWAG: Corporate Clothing 101

SWAG comes in all forms. Whether it’s in the form of swagger as in your confidence when you stroll down the street with your new branded jacket or if it’s SWAG as in the branded jacket itself.
In either case SWAG or swagger keeps us happy. In the first example I think we can all agree that confident people tend to be positive and happy. In the later example, SWAG (in this case the jacket) proves that promotional products are the one form of advertising where when a recipient receives it they say “thank you”.

Here are some easy steps to go about getting branded corporate clothing for your team.

WHAT
The first step is fairly simple, it’s just to identify what it is you want to outfit your team with. Usually this starts with a budget.
Example
Budget: An easy way to identify your budget is to start with a big number. A big number would be something like “We have $2,000, $5,000 or even $20,000 to dedicate towards this clothing project”. Next, how many people is this for? In this specific example it’s for employees. Say you have 100 employees. If your budget is $5,000 then we now know you have approximately $45 per person (important to provide a cushion). Now, a $45 t-shirt sounds pretty expensive; doesn’t it?  We could do a few things here…

  • Provide a packge
    Maybe a shirt, hat, and touch screen gloves packaged in a drawstring backpack. This is more of a starter kit if you’re currently not doing a lot of “wearables” for your employees.
  • One piece
    A more common approach would be to look for just one gift for your employees. At $45 per unit and knowing that we’re looking at clothing we could do a variety of jackets and/or hoodies. Oftentimes I’ll recommend doing a a bit less expensive of a jacket if you have great art to work with. This is because we can get creative with the decoration method and the imprint itself would be more expensive. The more common route I see our clients going would be a basic left chest embroidery on a higher end jacket.

WHO
Now that we have the budget down, let’s really drill down on who these wearables are for. Going back to this example, we know it’s for employees.
BUT WHY???
Why are we gifting your employees with clothing? Below are a few common purposes we often see.

  • Employee Appreciation (Clothing is one of the most appreciated gifts someone will receive in their life. I mean think about it, people always get excited when they get new clothes. We recommend not skimping on your corporate clothing and often times recommend doing a tone on tone imprint which will result in your employees wearing your branded clothing outside the office).
  • Leagues (Any sort of league like softball, basketball or even football… all of them usually require a jersey and what better way to look the part than get your “team” branded jerseys).
  • Company Parties (This goes back to the appreciate a bit, but sometimes we see our clients combining different colored shirts for company events for a breakout session or to identify the multiple departments in an organization).
  • Conferences (You gotta look the part. Whether it’s a totally custom piece to go along with your tradeshow booth theme or just matching polo’s or dress shirts… look the part when people come to your booth).
  • Sales (I don’t know about you but I would want my salesforce decked out in a variety of corporate clothing. Whether it’s a subtle tone on tone or a full color imprint, both have a place. For a prospect or client face to face I personally usually opt for a full color imprint and when going to events I prefer a more subtle tone on tone look).

WHY
I’m huge on goals and I try my best to challenge my clients. I would never want to see you waste your money in any aspect of your business purchasing decisions but especially not when you are working with us.
If you don’t know your why, then I can’t help you make the best branded clothing possible. It’s important to go back to the what and the who as this will help you identify your why. In turn when you know your why you are more apt to putting more thought into your project.
Example: Say a client came to us and said they want 50 branded polo’s. I usually start by asking when they need it by and who it’s for. My next question is why. For this example, let’s say they it’s for a trade show booth. Great, that’s important info. However, in reality the why they need the polo’s isn’t because they have a trade show to go to… that’s just the what. Now, that we know the what the real question is why are they attending the show, what outcomes do they want and if there is a theme. With this knowledge we can recommend imprint methods like tone on tone or full color. But, furthermore – we might actually say hey wait a second let’s back up this specific trade show is way to casual for polo’s let’s do t-shirts. Or maybe it’s the opposite and polo’s aren’t formal enough and we want to do dress shirts instead.

CASE STUDY
In early 2018, ValueBP, equipped Egnyte with 100 North Face jackets. We used this entire process to choose the correct jacket. Now, here are the steps in between that I left out…

  • Online Presentations with options of pullover/zip hoodies, full zip and 1/4 jackets in a variety of brands all within budget
  • Sampling: We sent them samples so they could touch and feel the quality along with ensuring the sizing (fit) is to their liking.
  • Mock-ups: We tried a variety of logo variations in different locations and complimentary mock-ups are a perfect way to see your logo before committing.
  • Prototype: We call it a pre-production sample. It’s just one jacket embroidered to ensure quality of stitching as well as location.

Outcome: Egnyte loved their North Face hoodies so much that within a week of receiving them they decided to outfit their whole team globally with them with an additional 100 jackets.

For more ideas on how to go about snagging quality clothing (and other SWAG) for your team, drop me a line at Sam@valuebp.com.

SwagOn,
SwagSam

 

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About the author, SwagSam

Sam Kabert is the Creative Director of ValueBP Marketing Group and the Creator and Co-Host of the podcast “WhatUp Silicon Valley!” A risk taker who embraces permanent beta, Sam is leading the transformation of his family-run office supplies business into a promotional products’ powerhouse.

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