Kabbage Blog

Looking for more resources? The Kabbage Greenhouse brings together all the best advice, trends and information for small businesses.

Looking for more business resources? Check out the Kabbage Greenhouse.

Check it out
Visit Us

Branding Your Business

Cool Things You Had No Idea You Can Brand


After you do enough rounds in your industry’s convention circuit, you start thinking that everybody is using the same vendor for their swag.

We know the usual items that can be branded – pens, magnets, keychains and calendars. They’re cheap but you know that they’re likely to end up in the trashcan before the person leaves the convention. While engraving your logo on an iPad would definitely solve the problem, that’s not an affordable option.

Let’s look at six cool and unique affordable items that can be branded.

  1. Multi-headed Screwdriver

One of the main issues with corporate swag is that you don’t have an incentive to hold on to it for a long time. Some companies attempt to tackle that challenge with a flashlight.

That’s a nice try, but a better one is a multi-headed screwdriver with four to six possible heads, in addition to having a water level, tape measure…and a flashlight! Now that’s a useful tool that you would actually want to hold on to.

If your company provides a wide variety of services, this branded tool with multiple applications is the perfect way to accentuate how you’re great at solving a wide variety of problems.

  1. Cell Phone Charger

90 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone. Even more impressive, 29 percent of those mobile owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

For bloggers, journalists and social media professionals, there is nothing worse than running out of battery juice during a conference, seminar or event. With a branded cell phone charger, you can become a lifesaver and stand out from the competition.

Make sure to find a cell phone charger that is compatible with many different types of devices, including the ones from your most influential clients. You’ll bring a smile to any current or potential client, particularly the one who forgot his charger cable at home.

  1. Roll of Vitamin C Tablets

Bags of candies, packs of gum and tins of breath mints have long been popular swag items given away at tradeshow booths and marketing events. Items that people can eat are often popular because everybody wants to avoid the high prices of the on-site food court.

A roll of chewable Vitamin C tablets is a great way to provide potential clients something new and different. Similar to a roll of Life Savers in shape and size, a roll of Vitamin C tablets is particularly useful during the fall and winter months in which people are often fighting a cold or flu.

  1. Hand Sanitizer

Talking about staying healthy, a branded small bottle of hand sanitizer can be extremely helpful when you end up shaking so many hands at a large event.

It’s deceptively simple, yet it sends the message that you truly care about the wellbeing of your clients.

  1. Umbrella

Mark Twain said it best, “climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” Unpredictable weather is the norm for several U.S. cities, such as Boston, Kansas City and Dallas. By providing free umbrellas to your conference attendees, you can generate a lot of positive buzz about how prepared your company is for any situation.

For example, from all of the perks that I have ever received through Klout, the one that I remember the most is The Weather Channel’s umbrella. My four-year-old umbrella is still around and it’s a great conversation starter every time I use it on the street. (“Do you work for The Weather Channel?” “Where can I get one?”)

Just like a cell phone charger, an umbrella can save the day and will continue to promote your company’s name for a long time. After all, who doesn’t need an umbrella?

  1. Seasonal Item

Frequent travelers pack light and they do so for good reason. Despite their efforts, airlines mishandled 21.8 million bags in 2013. This means that travelers often aren’t able to bring specific items to use at their destinations.

Think of sunscreen, flip-flops and lip balm in the summer and hand and toe warmers and one-size-fits-all gloves in the winter. As a resident of Hawaii, I see this happen all the time when people visit from the mainland to attend an event: no sunglasses, no sandals and no beach towel!

Seasonal items are great because they not only cater to activities attendees can partake during their stay, but they also provide exposure to your brand in public settings outside of the conference grounds.

When thinking of seasonal items, remember to consider reusable options. For example, portable fans can be used through many summers and reusable hand warmers can come in handy for multiple winters.

The Bottom Line

You work hard to earn your business. However, sometimes it’s the little things that do the most for you. When used correctly, corporate swag can be a great tool to help potential clients remember the name of your company.

To prevent your investment from ending up in the dumpster, you need to brand things that hit the sweet spot between useful and cool. That way you will capitalize on your opportunity to leave a lasting and positive impression on attendees.

What is the coolest branded thing that you have ever received or given away? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @KabbageInc!