Quality is very crucial when it comes to creating your branded Swag. One of the most overlooked part of ordering Swag is requesting samples.

I intentionally use the word ordering vs. creating because there is a completely different mindset. Let’s examine this before we continue.


Ordering is very transactional based. This is something we do when we are not prepared (typically at least). For example, the situation likely would be something like this…

I have an event coming up in a few weeks and I need “stuff to giveaway”.

While this is totally fine and acceptable, the problem that we don’t see on the surface is we are missing the details.

The average Swag order is about $2,000. Now, depending on your company size that might be a little or that could be quite a big investment. Either way, let’s look at this way. How does $2,000 look compared to your rent (or mortgage) – if that doesn’t put things into perspective I’m not sure what will. $2,000 is quite a bit of money anyway you look at it.

You’re making the investment, make sure it’s what you want.


Creating a Swag campaign is much different than simply ordering products. When we order products, usually it’s with a tight turn around time and simple steps along the way get missed during tight turn times.

For example the conversations to discuss the initial experience the recipient will get from the packaging just don’t happen. Additionally, often times there just isn’t time to get samples of the items in your hands. For more on creating a Swag campaign, refer to this older post in the series.

3 Easy Steps to get Samples

While our industry is made up of more than one million items, my niche is within the wearables category AKA clothing. Clothing is so personal.

premium branded swag

Whether it’s a t-shirt, polo, or jacket you could be a different size in any of these three items mentioned. Even from t-shirt to t-shirt your size might change.

We’ve discussed in the previous posts about the importance of designing items that your tribe will want to use (and wear). Now it’s time to discuss the easy process to sample items so that you never get stuck with a project that will end up in your Closet of Shame (shout out to my friend Bill Petrie and his podcast “Closet of Shame” where he interviews the stories behind the items that never see the light of day).

Step 1: Begin with the end in mind

In the initial post in this series on how to begin your Swag campaign, we covered the importance of beginning with the end in mind. The point as it relates to this post, is that if you plan in advance you won’t be in a rush and time is in your favor to do several rounds of sampling (if needed).

Remember, your branded Swag is an investment and we want to be thoughtful into the purpose of each item in your project.

Step 2: Brand-Storming

At my company, ValueBP, we call the initial brainstorming session a “BrandStorm”. More on it in this post here. If you skip this step, then you won’t be intentionally picking items that will bring you results and this is often why folks would need several rounds of sampling. Remember, if you put in the time initially the results will be greater in the end (and process will be more efficient).

Step 3: Field Testing

It’s really just this simple and this is the final step. Get the products in your hands and if it’s clothing try them on and if it’s water bottles, chargers, backpacks or anything else TRY IT OUT!

Whether you’re working with my company or any other branded Swag distributor, they will likely encourage you to take the product out of the packaging – give it a good wash if it’s a bottle/mug etc, give it a good charge if it’s a charger and give it a good hike test if it’s something like a hydration backpack.

You’re investing your time & money, let’s do this right!

If you’re ready to take action and start a project, email me! (sam@valuebp.com)

Some of our work is featured on our website here.

Swag On,