SEMrush hoodie

Semrush recently looked at how companies “translate” corporate culture through so-called swag items and via design in a report and case study. “Back in 2018, the tech sector spent a whopping $1.43 billion on branded products and that number is only rising,” researchers of the report noted.

To create the case study, Semrush interviewed an unnamed software-as-a-service company to find out how it treats its branded products for the workplace and how it helps to “strengthen and deliver their brand values among employees.” Semrush also looked at its own branded products, and the role it plays in reinforcing its company culture.

“The value of swag is often underrated, but it does hold the power to raise your brand awareness, build upon brand affinity, and, most importantly, deliver the new trendy Silicon Valley favorite: EX, or employee experience,” the company executive told Semrush. “Because brands aren’t only competing for consumers and share of voice, they are increasingly competing to attract top talent which, in turn, will bring in more customers and dollars.”

Company branded products for staff play a big role in translating and delivering the company’s culture amongst employees, Semrush researchers said in their report. “And with a strong and established workplace culture, companies report lower turnover rate (13.9 percent versus 48.8 percent at those without) and higher employee satisfaction rate (20 percent higher in brands with strong culture),” Semrush said.

The company branded products have three essential functions, which include welcoming new employees, uniting internal teams and delivering company culture.

Eugene Levin, chief strategy officer of Semrush, said, “Now, as much as a Starbucks cup or a Tesla cap could always come in handy, I believe in gifts that tell a story. Because each and every design and fashion element within the company is out there to do one thing only: to keep employees engaged with company culture and values, as training and an ethics book are simply no longer enough.”

“Having so many people working here at Semrush, from the early days I learned one key thing — people want to work for a brand that stands for something and shares their experiences and expectations,” Levin said. “So, this is what we’ve always been building upon.”