Swag is free gifts and merchandise that are specific to a company or a community and are given to members as a token of appreciation or reward for making a significant contribution. Some of the most commonly used Swag are - T-shirts, Coffee mugs, Notepads, Pens, Hoodies, stickers, or caps. But it needn’t be restricted to these alone. Depending on your community, you can be as creative and specific with giving out Swag as you want to.
Why should you consider having Swag in your community or organization?
- Swag brings members closer to the community and the company. It makes them feel recognized for their efforts.
- A great way to create value within the community. Something people will look forward to.
- Aids in defining community culture. Depending how when or what you give out as Swag has a prominent impact on how your community is perceived and therefore, what kind of culture you cultivate.
- Swag also helps with marketing. Anyone showing off your Swag in public can be associated as an advocate for your community.
- It attracts new members and gives them an incentive to engage and interact.
What kind of strategy should you have for giving out Swag?
- Organize events with attractive Swag - Hackathons, Meetups, Challenges for example.
- Reward exemplary behavior and call out the top members of the community. Have a monthly most active member award, or most questions answered award - anything that seems fitting for your community.
- Set small goals and reward key contributors who helped achieve that goal.
- Give out Swag to event attendees.
- Try and customize exceptional rewards. If you have an ambassador program or a leadership program, reward them with custom-made merch. These can have their names, avatars, or anything that distinctly identifies them.