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If your company is known for having a select consumer base, then chances are you are serving a vertical market.  What’s a vertical market? A vertical market is when companies focus on serving the specialized needs of their consumer, instead of trying to serve a broader market.

Professional associations commonly enter this arena since they may only serve a specific group based on career interests or even demographic regions. With such a targeted audience, the idea of finding swag that suits your market may seem daunting. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a key questionnaire to help you in your quest on finding the perfect swag.

Know Your Audience

The key to amazing swag is knowing what your audience needs and what they’ll use most. While generic coffee mugs with a company logo are nice, they tend to serve a broad audience of coffee drinkers and may not speak to your vertical market.

Take, for example, the Florida Hispanic Construction Association.  We know that their members are engineers, construction laborers, and developers who spend a great deal of time outdoors exposed to the elements. Amazing swag for this group could include personalized rain jackets (NHCA Florida Member), a power bank or wireless charger since they may not have access to an electrical port on the job, or even a fitted baseball cap with the state outline and NHCA embroidered in the middle to block out the Florida sun.

The key is to provide your audience with items of purpose designed to target an expected need. Using this tactic can help ensure your swag is held onto long after a conference ends. The result of continuously used products is the free promotion of your brand to new audiences on a constant basis.

Does Your Swag Represent Your Brand Quality?

Mercedes-Benz and Kia are in the same market but have very different brand perceptions—a lot of which are contributed to product quality. When selecting your item, you’ll want to be sure your product’s value matches the perceived value of your brand.

Remember to pay close attention to materials, fonts, and packaging when selecting your swag. If you’re delivering your product to the consumer’s door, you’ll also want to be sure your swag packaging matches the product quality.

Is Your Swag Functional or Fun?

Does your market have a sense of humor or are they strictly professional? Determining if your swag is for function or fun helps filter your selection criteria for a niche market.  When exhibiting at tradeshows, we found that attendees tend to stay away from bulky items unless they were of high value since a majority are traveling. Instead of coffee mugs or large bags, we offered customized temporary tattoos for passing visitors to bring back to their families at home.

Here are a few ideas for fun and functional swag items.

Have You Asked Your Market What They Need?

Social media has made it easy to get live feedback from your consumers instantaneously. Use it to your advantage by creating a Facebook poll with some swag selections that fit your budget and see which item wins.

If you don’t have any items in mind, here’s a simple way to brainstorm swag from your vertical market. Ask your Board of Directors or a volunteer committee to list five items they would need if they were to leave for a business trip tomorrow. You’ll be flooded with new ideas like luggage tags, passport covers or lip balm and hand sanitizer.

When you’re supporting a niche market, it’s easy to run out of ideas. Utilizing your consumer base can help uncover needs you may not hear about at headquarters.

Looking for more inspiration on swag ideas? Let our promotion experts help!   Here at MOSAIC our promotion team acts as a personal product concierge so you can be sure your swag search is seamless. From item selection to proof review and delivery, we take the guesswork out of promotional products. Contact us today!

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