When I owned a screen printing company, we made a good amount of money off of companies who liked to give out branded swag to their employees and guests.
Sometimes I got to print super awesome things – like awesome leather clutches or super amazing illustrations on t-shirts.
But most of what we printed would never be worn in public. Even in startup central of San Francisco, not everyone wants their employer’s logo on every piece of clothing.
If you want people to advertise your organization or product, have you considered how the swag is going to be used? Do you think people will wear ill-fitted, coarse t-shirts that aren’t very visually appealing? Do you think people really want to use a totebag that just has a tech company’s name on it?
If you want to expand your brand, think beyond what’s the swag for – think about how your tribe is going to interact with the swag, and design for that.