As a marketer, I can confirm that coming up with unique marketing swag ideas is tough.
You want that perfect combination of something that delights potential customers (builds brand affinity) and informs them about your offering (positions your product or service).
So, you can understand how excited I was to see how many companies put together fun and unique swag items for Dreamforce this year, even if they weren’t even at the actual event! And since our platform sources, sends, and centralizes swag, direct mail, gifts, and more, I couldn’t help but put together a compilation of the most creative swag ideas for marketing.
In no particular order, here are 13 of the best marketing swag items from Dreamforce.
12 Creative Marketing Swag Items from Dreamforce
1. Rubber Shark
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want a small shark for their desk? Also, it’s a great way to build brand awareness without being too overt (shark … Brainshark … get it?) Even without the logo, you’d likely remember where this came from.
2. Planet Earth Stress Balls
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Ok so, yes, stress balls are overdone. But they’re super on-brand in this particular case. This company offers a geo-mapping application for the Salesforce AppExchange that allows you to locate any Salesforce data, anywhere in the world.
3. Ankle Socks
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Pretty much every company opts to create their marketing swag in the form of men’s socks. They’re cute, but I personally rarely wear them. Ankle socks, on the other hand, are more versatile for different styles of footwear.
4. Wireless Charger & Chocolate
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: So it’s a little bit of a strange combination, but definitely useful! Impartner also utilized the opportunity to put some brand messaging on the packaging, which is often overlooked in marketing swag.
5. Energy Drinks
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: This is the only company on the Dreamforce Expo floor that I saw with energy drinks—something that is definitely needed by the last day of the conference. They also supplemented the drinks with more permanent swag items.
6. Hot/Cold Packs
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Another item that is absolutely critical by the end of Dreamforce. After hustling around a conference for four days in high heels (or any sort of dress shoe, really), there’s nothing better than a little heat to restore your feet.
7. Choose Your Own Bouncy Ball Dispenser with Value Props
American Express Business (@AmexBusiness)
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Letting people choose their own bouncy ball creates a shared experience between them and the brand. In addition, adding the value props as the choice mechanism helps potential customers start thinking about what you can do for them.
8. Mini Backpacks with Hangover Pills
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Avoiding hangovers at Dreamforce is both an art and a skill. This neat little hangover cure is not only something prospects will definitely use, but they’ll be super appreciative for it, as well. Brave for building brand affinity.
9. Pins & Book Preview
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Zuora created a variety of fun pins that aligned with their brand that weren’t just a logo or tagline. They also displayed a copy of their CEO’s upcoming book, which is a fantastic way to demonstrate expertise and thought leadership.
10. Catch Koozy
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Koozies with company names or brand logos are overrated. A koozie with a catchy phrase that will make me chuckle internally? Worth it. Even if it includes a brand name or logo, I’d still be happy because of the actual content.
11. Lightbulb Stress Balls
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: We normally wouldn’t have two different types of stress balls on this list, but this item was more about the experience. “The harder you squeeze it, the more ideas you’ll have,” the booth rep said as she handed it to me. Ok. You got me.
12. Born to Rock Fanny Packs
Why it Made the Marketing Swag List: Let me be the first to say that after 1999, the funny pack became a highly underrated item. These made the list because of their overall functionality and the “Born to Rock” slogan for brand affinity (since the company is named Groove).
Of course, we know that swag is effective for more than just the conference show floor. If you want to learn more about using marketing swag to delight customers and break into target account, grab a copy of our most popular eBook below.