24 Hours to Better Swag for Modern Teams in 2022

8 min read
Jake Wang
Jake Wang
Jr Marketing Manager

Published: December 01, 2020

Why your swag workflow matters more than you think

Making quality swag picks is only half the battle

Most people think of swag, merch, team gear, and branded apparel as a modern invention – something that came about for the purposes of promotion at conferences, recruiting fairs, and community events.

But the core role of swag is practically as old as human civilization.

We can trace “swag-like” items as far back as to the roots of human history, where being able to differentiate friend from foe was key to surviving to the next day. In other words, swag is born out of the human need and desire for community, and correspondingly, a sense of identity as a result of membership in that community.

Your swag may not involve war paint (or, thankfully, life-and-death situations), but the role of swag in promoting a community and creating a sense of belonging is still relevant today.

Because when your clients, employees, and community members get excited about a piece of swag, what they’re really embracing is the pride and joy of associating with an organization, whether that’s because of shared values or their own contributions to the organization’s mission.

In other words, high quality swag only scratches the surface for brand growth! 

Why? Because every moment of the swag experience is a reflection of your brand. If you have high quality swag but a low quality swag experience, the positive and negative points cancel each other out – or worse, it tips towards the negative end of the scale.

For example, imagine getting a Patagonia vest in a battered brown box. There’s no personalized message, the vest is all wrinkled and creased because no one bothered to pack it carefully, and you have no idea what it’s for – oh wait, was this for the virtual event you attended last month? You had almost forgotten since it took the swag so long to arrive!

Here’s where your swag workflow comes in. 

A good swag workflow will take care of the factors (besides quality) that influence the overall quality of a branded swag experience, including:

  • Timing. Often only obvious when it goes wrong, perfect timing is one of those keys that elevates a swag experience from good to great. What you want here is a swag workflow that matches your processes, whether that’s onboarding a new hire or client or thanking participants for their contributions at a virtual event.
  • Efficiency. Simple is better when it comes to increasing efficiency. A good swag workflow takes into consideration people’s time and makes receiving swag as easy as filling out a form with the proper details (e.g. name, shirt size, mailing address). So all you have to do is upload a CSV and select contacts to ship swag to. With a good swag workflow, everyone saves time and gets their swag faster.
  • Convenience. Everyone loves getting swag – and no one likes playing email tag! A good swag workflow is built with the full swag experience in mind, from inception to the moment swag lands in your recipient’s hands. This means refreshing swag items and designs, tracking inventory, and shipping swag out when you need it is not only easy to do, but most importantly, convenient to do.

The bottom-line: The quality of your swag workflow plays a significant role in promoting a favorable impression of your brand!

And, of course, it also makes life much easier for you. Let’s take a look.

The key components of a successful swag workflow

From design to delivery, here’s how to optimize your swag workflow for the best results

Ready to make your brand memorable for employees and impress clients – without the lost time, extra hassle, and anxiety? 

Here are three steps to getting started.


Create Custom Swag Like a Pro

Step 1: Choose Your Swag. We’ll Design It.

Forget FOMO. Today, high quality swag fully embraces a less is more philosophy. In other words, the composition and balance of your swag pack matters more than each individual item.

The Approach: Use the SwagUp pack builder to create focused high quality goods that define your brand. Once you pick your items, simply submit the form (with any additional notes relevant to your swag project) to get some free mockups. Don’t worry – there is no commitment to finishing a swag project you start on the pack builder. The tool is purely for you to explore your options.

💡Behind the Scenes: What’s in the SwagUp Catalog?

Curated by our Swag Experts, the SwagUp catalog is regularly refreshed for new and popular items, so you can come back whenever you like to check out new swag items for your company. 

Because SwagUp has done the leg work of sourcing exclusively high-quality products, you get to choose from the cream of the crop. No more lengthy research of industry terms and vendors.

In addition to essentials like t-shirts, stickers, and pens, SwagUp is intentional about sourcing fun and unique culture-building items like coffee brewer kits, pet swag, and reusable straws.

Pro tip: If you originally started off with onboarding packs, it’s easy to add a pack for a different use case (like client appreciation) – just start a new project!

The modern approach to quality swag is all about getting the right fit for your company brand and culture.

Want to fast track your swag? Stay a step ahead by having your logo (and any brand guidelines) at the ready. This helps your swag project make it to launch faster.


Send Your Swag to Production

Step 2: Love Your Swag? Let’s Bring It to Life.

Within 24 hours, your swag project will be advanced to the next stage: mockups! 

These are freely provided to you and carry no obligation toward moving on to production. 

The Approach: Think about your swag project mockups as your ideation phase, where you can easily share the swag mockups with a coworker or boss for feedback. To request design changes, simply leave a few notes in the SwagUp Platform. If you’re satisfied with the proofs, you can approve the order for production. Alternatively, go back to the drawing board on our pack builder (or get help from a Swag Expert!) 

After you approve your swag, the SwagUp team takes it from here.

💡Behind the Scenes: What Happens at SwagUp HQ?

After your swag is produced, the items undergo inspection for quality control before they end up in your pack. Our team will check for missing items, product defects, and any other occasional production error that could compromise a high quality swag experience. 

Our operations team then works hard to carefully assemble your swag for a delightful unboxing experience. This is one of the hallmarks of a SwagUp swag pack — you will never open up a swag pack to find a wrinkled t-shirt, creased notebook, or leaky pen.

Thanks to our dedicated ops team, tons of swag projects pass through SwagUp HQ every day! 🙌🏻


Access Your Swag When You Need It

Step 3: Ship it, store it, tomayto, tomahto!

The choice is yours. Whether you want to ship swag immediately or store for individual as-needed shipments later, you can manage everything from your SwagUp platform.

The Approach: Use the SwagUp platform as your all-in-one swag management system. You can check on inventory with swag you warehouse with us (a great option if you don’t need the swag right away – we also accept your third-party swag!) and maintain a directory of contacts for the people that matter to your company. Ship swag you have in inventory to people in your directory. No more waiting in line at the post office to ship swag to dozens of different addresses. You won’t have to fill out international shipping forms either 😉

Swag is a part of your brand and we help you tap into this resource whenever you need it. 

Pro tip: Want to take this step to the next level? Automate your swag workflow for a process like onboarding new hires. Thanks to Zapier, you can integrate SwagUp with over 2000 apps. 

Introducing the SwagUp Platform

Designed to support your swag workflows and help you work smarter and faster from Day 1

Your SwagUp account syncs with the SwagUp platform so you can simplify your swag workflow.

No more email chains, lost spreadsheets, and outdated design files.

Everything you needed to know about your company swag lives in one place: the SwagUp Platform. You can use the platform to get:

  • Real time inventory updates
  • A simple directory of your company’s important contacts
  • Convenient shipment tracking updates
  • and more!

The last step of a good swag workflow is an easily repeatable process, and that’s where the SwagUp platform comes in. When it’s time to reorder your company swag, don’t bother blocking off an entire workday for it. 

Just open up a tab. Submit your request. (Sip some coffee.) Done!

📆  Schedule a product tour with a Swag Expert


Ready to Upgrade Your Swag Workflow?

Request a sample pack today to get started!


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