Why Your Swag Kits Aren’t Engaging (and how to fix it)

Katherine Diaz

You’ve spent time and resources curating the perfect swag kits for new hires, but it’s not creating any buzz. Not one unboxing video on YouTube. None of the new employees shared it on LinkedIn.

Many companies face this challenge. Swag kits often come across as generic and uninspired. This can hurt your brand image.

Just filling a box with branded items doesn’t work anymore. It’s about creating an experience that wows the recipient and leaves a positive impression.

Let’s find out why your swag kits might not be hitting the mark and explore ways to make them more engaging.

Why Swag Kits in the First Place?

Swag kits are a popular choice for companies because they offer a cohesive and branded experience. They are particularly effective in scenarios where multiple items can collectively enhance the recipient’s experience and reinforce the company’s brand identity. Here are some good use cases for swag kits:

  • Employee Welcome Kits: These kits can include a variety of items such as a diary, company T-shirt, water bottles, pens, and other branded merchandise. They help new hires feel welcomed and integrated into the company culture from day one.
  • Event Giveaways: Swag kits are ideal for conferences, trade shows, and corporate events. They can include a mix of useful items like tote bags, lanyards, notebooks, and tech gadgets, creating a memorable experience for attendees.
  • Client Appreciation: Sending a swag kit to clients can strengthen business relationships. Including a mix of practical and thoughtful items can leave a lasting impression and show appreciation for their partnership.

When to Choose Individual Gifts

While swag kits are great for creating a broad impact, individual gifts can be more meaningful in certain situations. Here are some scenarios where individual gifts might be more appropriate:

  • Recognizing Specific Achievements or Milestones: When an employee reaches a significant milestone or achieves a notable accomplishment, a personalized gift can provide a special touch. This could be something tailored to their interests or a high-quality item that signifies their achievement.
  • Key Clients or High-Value Prospects: For important clients or prospects, a personalized individual gift can demonstrate special appreciation and attention to detail. This could be a bespoke item that aligns with their personal preferences or a high-end product that reflects the value of the relationship.

An important consideration when deciding on whether to go for a swag kit or an individual gift is, of course, your budget. Costs can add up quickly for swag boxes, although ordering swag kits in bulk in advance for use throughout the year can be the more affordable choice.

Why Your Swag Packs Don’t Pack a Punch

Environmental Concerns

One of the most significant frustrations with swag kits is their environmental impact. Many swag items are mass-produced, low-quality, and made from non-recyclable materials, leading to unnecessary waste. Recipients are increasingly aware of the environmental footprint of the products they receive and prefer sustainable and useful items that align with their values.

Overbranding Issues

Large logos on swag items are generally disliked, as they make recipients feel like walking advertisements. Subtle or no branding is preferred. Recipients want items they can use without feeling like they are promoting a brand. A Reddit user shared that they received a jacket with a large company logo, which made them uncomfortable wearing it in public, leading to the item being discarded quickly.

Inconvenience and Clutter

Receiving swag kits can sometimes be more of an inconvenience than a benefit. Users have reported that they end up with clutter and items they do not need or want, which adds to their frustration. A LinkedIn post highlighted how company swag often ends up being decluttered using methods like the KonMari approach, indicating that many items do not bring joy or serve a purpose for the recipient.

Delivering Your Swag Boxes Effectively


Deciding how to distribute swag kits can be a logistical nightmare. Should you ship everything to one location first and then distribute it to individual recipients, or should you ship directly to each recipient? Each method has its pros and cons. For instance, shipping to one location first can save costs but may delay delivery to the final recipients. On the other hand, direct shipping ensures timely delivery but can be more expensive.

We partner with organizations like Sunshine Industries Arc Knox to simplify this process. They offer kitting, assembly, and shipping services, and by working with them, you also support a good cause, as they employ people with intellectual disabilities. One more reason for people to love us 🙂

sunshine industries arc knox tree kits making

💡We found more organizations in the US who offer warehousing, kitting, assembly and shipping services while providing employment to those not welcome in traditional jobs. Check out the list here (and feel free to suggest if you find more).

Decoration and Presentation

The presentation of your swag kits matters. Poorly decorated boxes or damaged packaging can diminish the perceived value of the items inside. Decorating the boxes can be cumbersome, requiring printing and shipping to be packed. Including padding like crinkle paper can protect the contents and ensure that the box and its print remain intact during shipping. This attention to detail can significantly enhance the unboxing experience and make recipients more likely to share it on social media.

How to Create Sustainable Swag Kits with ForestNation

1. Add Tree Kits to Your Swag Box

Our tree kits are small in size, particularly the pouches, which are almost flat, making them perfect for inclusion in swag boxes. These kits allow recipients to plant their own trees, fostering a personal connection with the environment. Each kit comes with everything needed to grow a tree, including seeds, a biodegradable pot, and soil.

For every tree planted by your recipient, we plant another tree in a developing country like Tanzania. This not only helps build a sense of global community but also strengthens your relationship with clients and employees by showing that your brand is committed to making a positive impact. This initiative can be a powerful talking point that enhances the perceived value of your swag kits.

The tree kits come with a unique code that allows recipients to name their tree, post photos, and share updates. This feature creates further engagement by allowing recipients to track the growth of their tree and share their experience on social media. This not only fosters a deeper connection with the environment but also encourages recipients to share their positive experience with your brand, amplifying your message.

2. Plant Trees with Your Swag Kits

You can simply plant trees along with the swag kits to communicate your sustainable values. You can also plant the trees to offset the footprint of the swag items plus shipping.

Communicate this by adding a CTA link or a QR code on the box that directs recipients to your brand’s Forest profile. Here, they can see the collective impact of the trees planted through your initiative. This not only communicates your commitment to sustainability but also creates an interactive experience for the recipients.

Over to You

A well-crafted swag kit can leave a lasting impression on recipients and reinforce your brand’s message. Whether for onboarding new hires, welcoming clients, or engaging remote employees, a carefully curated swag kit can make a significant impact. Consider the tips and ideas mentioned above to create the perfect swag box that resonates with your audience.


A: Custom swag boxes are high-quality promotional kits that can elevate your brand by showcasing your company culture, logo, and values through branded products. They are a perfect way to build the perfect company swag and show appreciation to team members.

A: Custom swag boxes serve as a unique marketing tool to distribute promotional swag and corporate gifts to customers, clients, and employees. They can help in increasing brand visibility and creating a positive impact on your target audience.

A: Yes, custom swag boxes are fully customizable, allowing you to tailor the products to fit your brand aesthetics, messaging, and objectives. You have the flexibility to include branded products, wellness items, employee appreciation gifts, and more.

A: When you order custom tree kit from us at forestnation.com, we’ll send you a curated selection of branded swag options based on your preferences. You can easily select the items you want to include, store your swag with us, and even have them shipped to multiple addresses.

A: Custom swag boxes offer a convenient one-stop shop for everything swag-related, making it easier for you to create and distribute swag items for various purposes such as employee onboarding, holiday gifts, and branding initiatives. They are a great way to welcome new team members and show appreciation to existing employees.

A: Custom swag boxes allow you to showcase your organization’s values, mission, and personality through branded products and themed swag items. They can help foster a sense of belonging among employees and create a positive work environment.

A: A custom swag box can include a variety of items tailored to your specific needs, whether it’s custom swag packs, branded backpacks, company logo merchandise, or employee-useful products. Trust us to help you create the perfect swag box that aligns with your branding goals.

Katherine Diaz

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