Yes, I said it, and I will say it again: I love swag!
It’s such a fun way to get various, random, and neat items for Free. And it isn’t just being Free that makes them great, but the randomness, unexpectedness, and branding of such an item.
The thing is, in most cases we don’t even need any of these items, and they wouldn’t be found in our shopping carts or wish lists, but at that particular moment, they’re just perfect.
Heck, getting another company T-shirt to wear around the house is a wonderful thing, even if it’s a company you know nothing about, do not use their products or solutions, and may even have a hard time pronouncing their name. And if it’s a startup then it may truly become a limited edition item that only a few people will own – see you on eBay 🙂
Companies keep creating various swag to grab attention, to promote their brand, and create a way for you to expose it further, and in some cases even provide some practicality with the gifts – I really can’t get enough of those random T-shirts or pens or coasters or thumb drives – well, you can keep those thumb drives, I’ve no use for them anymore.
What also makes swag wonderful is to appreciate its attempt at creativity, and to wonder what goal brought upon this item. I mean it’s wonderful to get those shirts, but getting a pair of socks in the Winter…thank you for thinking of me; giving away a best-selling improvement book caught me by surprise and was wholeheartedly appreciated; and even those colorful, odd, and random stickers make for a great addition cause I don’t come home empty-handed, and the kids are appreciative every-single-time.
Swag doesn’t have to be innovative or cost an arm or a leg for it to be successful, but just like any marketing campaign with goals and targets, so is your swag. Figure out what you’re trying to achieve, and then come up with ideas that will help you get there. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t, and sometimes you don’t know what will hit no matter how much you’ll plan – that’s OK.
But I for one, would cheer from the sidelines and grab it unless it’s a thumb drive.