Walk the streets of your local downtown during lunch hour, and you’ll see a sea of branded merchandise featuring logos from local contractors and plumbers to international tech companies and banks. Visit any major sports city on game day, and it’ll be awash with hometown jerseys. Check your own dresser - maybe there’s a “fun run” t-shirt? Or a hat from the last concert you went to?
Whatever you choose to call it; branded merchandise, swag, memorabilia - it all serves a greater purpose. Done well, swag does two things for the receiver: 1) Provides functional value and it’s immediately useable. 2) Connects them with a greater community of people that share a similar set of values.
That’s why we’re excited to formally introduce swag to Snappy. While we’ve had several versions of swag on the platform, today we’re rolling out a dedicated swag management function fully integrated into our dashboard.
Why Swag? Why Snappy?
Like all good product launches, our planning started with the customer. Consistently, branded gifts have been the number one ask from our customers. We recently ran a survey, and a staggering 97% of our customers said that they send branded gifts to employees. This isn’t surprising, as there are estimated to be over 20,000 swag companies in the US alone, but as we dug into the ask further, we uncovered several core customer problems, and got to work on solving them:
Managing multiple vendors – some for gifting and some for swag — was a drain on time and money. Customers shared over and over again that consolidating partners was important.
Buying inventory upfront was frustrating. It tied up budgets, and was wasteful, especially with apparel. Often our customers would end up with extra sizes or would go through a brand refresh and would be stuck with unusable items featuring old logos. If their vendor didn’t offer warehousing, customers had to find a place to store it - some customers even stored swag in their home garages.
Compounding the inventory issue, if a customer wanted to provide a wider selection of items, they would have to buy even more inventory to meet minimum order requirements
Framework + Guiding Principles
So - we found a core need and uncovered several strong underlying customer pain points. Next, we needed a framework to guide strategic decision-making and a way to prioritize what we build. We wrote a mission statement: “To provide our customers with a frictionless, minimal waste way to create and send high-quality swag to employees, prospects, and customers”, informed by a set of guiding principles.
We settled on three:
- On Demand First
- Only the Best
- Make it Simple
Let’s break these down:
On Demand First
In the last decade, there have been rapid manufacturing improvements in the print-on-demand space - giving swag decorators the ability to print, package, and ship custom swag one by one. This ties back to what we heard from our customers, so it made sense to focus, whenever possible, on offering items that were printed and shipped on demand.
Only the Best
As a gifting platform, we know that the quality of the gift is equally as important as the intention behind it. There is a wide (and I mean wide) range of quality when it comes to swag. When selecting partners, and items, we are intentional on what items we include in the platform, and what we leave out. We want our customers to have access to the best products so that their recipients receive items they really want to use.
Make it Simple
Swag can be complicated. There are tens of thousands of items that can be branded, a variety of decoration methods, and all sorts of details that can make ordering swag complex. We want to strip some of that complexity away and make the experience of designing and sending swag
as easy as possible.
One thing that was immediately clear to us was that we wanted to have direct relationships with the swag suppliers, for two reasons. First, by getting close to the suppliers making the items, we gained more clarity on how the swag is made, and what items are the best for our customers. Second, buying directly from swag suppliers translates into immediate cost savings to our customers.
Where We Landed + Where We’re Going
The product you see today allows customers to upload their logo or design, and within minutes create a collection of branded items - all decorated on demand. There are no inventory commitments, no minimum orders, and we support over 30 countries.
As the manufacturing technology behind on-demand decoration continues to improve, we are excited to expand our catalog, our supported countries, and make it even easier to seamlessly design swag that people love to wear and use.
We’re excited to share Snappy swag with our customers. We can’t wait to help expand the new possibilities of what is possible with swag. What are you waiting for? Log in and start designing your swag today. Let us know what you think!