Employee Engagement

How To Set Up A Killer Company Swag Store

September 2, 2022
min read

There’s more to running a business than management and finance. As the internet age progresses,  mastering marketing and brand identity is the key to success. 

One of the best ways to drive employee engagement with your company brand is through merchandise and that’s why your organization needs a company swag store!

This can be easier said than done since a swag store doesn’t show up overnight and designing one takes time, research, and a solid marketing plan. 

That’s why in this article, we’ll go over every step involved in creating your online swag store. We’ll start by chatting about what a company swag store is and its benefits in your company!

What Is A Company Swag Store? 

A company swag store sells and markets merchandise relating to a company or brand. This merchandise includes anything from coffee mugs to t-shirts and is usually separate from any mainstream products or services the company supplies. 

Nowadays, company swag stores are usually websites. The convenience and ease of access are too valuable to pass up when compared to physical stores.

Company swag stores hold a catalog of items and serve as a place where employees and customers can buy items to show support for your company. You might also gift swag items to your team as rewards on notable milestones or as a gesture for goals achieved or work well done. 

All in all, swag connects your teams and stimulates engagement within the company while spreading brand awareness as a bonus through free advertising.

How Do You Know If You Need A Swag Store?

If you could do with a little extra marketing - hop on board. If your current tactics have proven unsuccessful, then a swag store is an innovative strategy you should definitely consider.

Company swag stores offer a valuable platform for advertising your brand as well as a way to earn some money on the side. While it may not become your primary source of income, an effective swag store can turn a tidy profit.

Having swag that communities (online or otherwise) consider cool is a great way to get people talking about your brand. Word spreads fast, so it’s best to make that word positive. Having unique, fashionable, sustainable, or wellness-related swag is the ticket to encouraging positive interactions with your brand.

Will Employees Engage With Your Swag Items?

The key to promoting products is to give people what they want. Without demand, your supply becomes useless and, more importantly, valueless.

If your swag doesn’t serve a purpose on top of sporting your logo, then interest will die down fast. There is no doubt of the value in having employees use items that promote engagement.

For your team, receiving gifts with your company’s branding isn’t always the best reward. If all gifts double up as a form of advertising, employees might feel as though the rewards aren’t personal enough. 

The solution to this problem is to establish a different system to promote employee engagement in your company. Instead of showering employees with branded swag, consider introducing a different approach to recognizing them.

A great example of an incentive that promotes employee engagement is a PerkUp rewards card. Unlike regular gift cards, PerkUp cards aren’t limited to a particular store or shopping center. 

PerkUp cards are pre-loaded Visa cards that work with a wide range of online stores and services, that is, anywhere Visa is accepted. This allows employees to spend their PerkUp money on rewards they actually want!

From healthcare supplies and food to deliveries from Amazon and games from Steam, a PerkUp card never goes to waste. 

The best part is that any unspent funds return to the company after a period. While company swag might go to waste if employees don’t use it - PerkUp prevents any financial waste!

PerkUp also offers support for global swag distribution, making them a solid partner for your company's swag store.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Swag Store?

There are many benefits to setting up a company swag store, both for your organization and its customers. Let’s go over some great examples that showcase the value of implementing this kind of system for your company.

Promote Company Culture

One of the most important benefits a swag store provides is a strong image of company culture. 

When employees feel proud wearing clothes or using items that feature your logo, you know you’ve created a positive and healthy working environment. It highlights that the culture encourages people to enjoy their work rather than dread their work hours.

Promoting this company culture helps employees feel like important pieces of the puzzle. Working with your organization should feel great! 

Having employees promote your brand by using your swag is the first step toward creating that image.

Automate Your Marketing

Setting up a swag store sounds like a long process that needs plenty of personal attention. However, if done right, some of the steps will take care of themselves.

The best example is advertising. While you may start by placing advertisements on Instagram to attract customers, it won’t stay that way forever. As word of mouth spreads and your brand gains traction, your customers and employees will serve as your advertisements. 

By wearing your brand’s swag in everyday life, people will start to notice and associate your brand with quality merchandise. 

Another way to automate the swag process is by using consumer interest to determine the image and design of your swag. 

Similar to how demand dictates the supply of your swag, your swag forms its identity around what the customer responds to. Over time, this creates a brand identity linked to your brand’s image, tone, and style, all without worrying about wasting resources on swag that no one wants.

How To Set Up A Successful Swag Store In Three Steps

Now you know some of the benefits of building a company swag store. Next, you need to know how to build a website that takes full advantage of those benefits. 

There are a few factors to consider when laying the foundation for a successful swag store. We’re going to cover those here.

1. Understand Why You're Setting Up A Swag Store

Understanding why you’re setting up a swag store is the key to determining how you go about building that store. 

The main reasons to set up a swag store are to improve employee engagement and boost advertising or profit. Now we’ll discuss these reasons in detail, as well as the different approaches to take in each specific example.

Boost Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an essential factor in organizations of any size. Creating a high level of employee engagement isn’t easy because different people value different things. 

Swag can be used to incentivize employees to work hard. If you’ve set up a swag store, letting employees choose their reward from your catalog is a great idea. This creates a sense of pride and accomplishment in the employees who get rewarded. 

It also means your team will associate with your brand by using and wearing company swag. This, in turn, helps strengthen the level of engagement between the employee and the business.

If teams are rewarded with the same swag for a job well done - it can be a point of bonding. This can build team relationships. 

Being rewarded for hard work encourages employees to take pride in their roles. Not only will they enjoy a reward of their choosing from the store, but they’ll also want to work toward the next reward. This positive reinforcement is the best way to boost employee engagement for your organization.

Related: 6 Branded Swag Ideas You Haven't Thought Of

Boost Advertising Reach

Today, advertisements are everywhere - from the packaging of our food to the planes flying above our heads. Your ideas have to stand out to compete in such a crowded market. Instead of billboards and unskippable adverts, a more subtle method can prove more effective.

Promoting and selling company swag as a way to boost people’s exposure to your brand is an excellent option. Making effective use of this approach requires some specific planning and designing. 

If the goal is to boost advertising and exposure, making your swag inexpensive means more people have access to it. Also, selling products that favor a broad appeal will increase the likelihood of people buying that swag to suit their needs.

For example, a mug with your logo on it appeals to almost anyone because that mug isn’t simply an advertisement. People will buy your mug because they need a mug, but that mug also acts as your brand ambassador. 

Your company will pop into their minds when they next need a service or product that you provide. This advertising boost instills a sense of brand awareness and even brand loyalty.

Make A Profit

The most basic reason to start a swag store, or any store for that matter, is to make a profit. Selling products that represent your brand helps strengthen your image while opening new opportunities to boost your earnings.

Most swag items like hats, t-shirts, and bags are relatively cost-effective to manufacture. So, turning a profit on each sale while still keeping prices affordable isn’t a big hassle.

As with the other reasons to set up a swag store, the demand informs the supply. The last thing you want to do is commission hundreds of tote bags only to have none of them sell. On the other hand, selling a wide range of swag increases the chances of your items catching on and becoming desirable. 

Understanding the balance between these two factors is the key to turning a profit.

It’s unlikely that selling swag will become a major source of income for your company. However, if handled correctly, it can make for a sizable bonus to your earnings.

2. Choose Who To Work With

Deciding how to build your company's swag store is important. There are two ways to approach setting up the store. 

While neither option overshadows the other, they both have benefits and weaknesses. The option you choose will depend on how large your organization is and whether you want to run the process your way.

Do The Job Manually

This option offers the most freedom at the cost of requiring the most work. If your company employs a web designer, you can work with them to build your online swag store. They can integrate it into your existing website to make it easy to find. 

The downside to this method is that you would have to handle the manufacturing or procurement process internally.

While this isn’t impossible to accomplish, it requires a fair amount of money to set up and run. This option is ideal for larger businesses that manufacture and sell swag on a large scale. 

You would also have to process all orders manually from your site. This requires hiring or reassigning employees to handle the manual processing of orders.

Thankfully, programs exist that aim to ease the burden of manually processing each and every order your swag store receives. 

This does make processing orders easier but does not eliminate the other management issues of manually running a swag store. If you prefer the idea of automatic processing, the next option might prove more your speed.

Swag Vendors

With this option, your company outsources the production of your swag to a third-party company called a swag vendor. These vendors create swag according to your specifications and send them to you. Choosing this option eliminates some of the issues inherent in running the process manually.

This method works better for organizations that require swag on an inconsistent basis. Rather than manufacture large quantities of swag items, swag vendors will make and send exactly what you need. This option makes sense for smaller companies that lack the infrastructure or resources to run the swag store manually.

Most swag vendors let you design and template your swag ideas on their website before placing an order. This enables you to make adjustments and tweaks while offering an idea of how the merchandise will look before you order. 

These vendors offer a range of items, from the usual merchandise like t-shirts and keychains to Bluetooth speakers and desk lamps.

As mentioned earlier, PerkUp is an example of a swag vendor that provides global distribution.

3. Plan For The Store

So, you’ve got all the information you need to get started. Now, you need to work out what swag you want to sell. 

Next, you’ll need to choose whether to handle the swag store internally or outsource to a third party. It’s important to determine how long you estimate the process should take and how much it will cost. 

Regardless of what option you choose, the next step is to get started.

Get The Store Set-Up

Now you’re ready to set up your company swag store. Depending on your choice of who to work with, getting started requires different steps.

For those running their store manually, you’ll need to determine where you’re hosting your site. Larger entities with dedicated web designers may choose to design and build their websites from scratch. For smaller businesses, hosting on existing sites like Etsy and Shopify is not uncommon.

If you’ve partnered with a swag vendor, their website will host your swag. After detailing the specifications and designs, they’ll prepare your site and swag for sale.

Test The Store Before Officially Opening

It may seem straightforward, but make sure to test the store’s features before officially opening up for business. 

For those who designed their store with the help of a web designer, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong. Even if you went with a trusted swag vendor or existing marketplace, the fallout of missing an issue would dampen opening day success! 

Final Thoughts

Once you’re sure that your store is fully operational, all you have to do is open for business. Your company swag store adventure is just around the corner!  

We hope that you’ve found this article helpful or insightful. Following these steps can help you make the most of your swag store experience.

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