Lets discuss schwag (also swag). The urban dictionary online defines it as : 1.very low grade marijuana—looks real but “doesn’t get you high” , and 2. free stuff given to employees, workers.
The most popular definition , however, is that its the stuff they give you at trade shows—logo junk, chachkies. I guess I understand the genesis of the term as applied to promo items– —low grade, cheepo stuff that looks good when you get it but doesn’t really do much. Seems as though the civilized commercial world has long used schwag; supposedly in medieval times, armor makers gave out free, name-engraved wooden pegs so customers could hang up their goods.
Recently, we gave out some LT schwag at our LTPACT event. T shirts, sun visors, caps, coolies, a beer glass, pens, memory sticks, something that lights up. It was a variety of stuff that really kind of fit the definition , maybe a bit too literally. I have long thought that we should have some really good Layered Tech schwag to give away. Admittedly its an oxymoron, “really good schwag”, but then again, so is “jumbo shrimp” , and I love those. So—we want to find the jumbo shrimp of schwag.
Yes—I know, I definitely have more pressing matters and work to do than think about LT schwag. But then again, I have the most fun doing this job when I am thinking about things that get customers , building relationships, and generally spreading smiles and great technology. I promise my next blog to be more serious.
For this one, here is my current list of schwag I don’t like, schwag I do like, ideas for new schwag, and my hope that those reading here will submit their ideas for what great schwag for Layered Tech customers should or could look like.
Schwag I don’t like:
> almost anything plastic—why would anyone want that to represent their brand anyway?
> badly fitting tee shirts –too short, funky sholders, very thin weight
> poorly writing pens –also see no. 1
> shot glasses, mugs, other drinking things—I don’t need one or 2 of any drinkware with someone else’s name in it—even if it lights up.
> keychains—am I really gonna change my keychain for you?
Schwag I like:
> luggage tags with my card sealed in it.
> metal flashlights—I can use those everywhere, after all I live in hurricane country.
> toys for my kids that they can play with for more than 10 seconds, more than 2 times.
> books –reading and learning is a decent brand association and shows respect—they think I will read it-and maybe I even will! And best part, I probably won’t throw it away.
> underwear briefs—if it feels good I will wear it and the messaging opportunities are endless (I did this once and people were asking me for underwear still years later).
> any useful tools.
New Schwag ideas:
> finger sized 100 gig flash memory stick—lets finally get with the program.
> prepaid credit voucher ( beware hidden agenda—I have a patent pending on online gift certificates!).
> flavored caffeine pills (could be great before a workout!).
> magic card deck –make me a hero.
> noise reducing headphones—we all know that the markup on those is outrageous.
But wait—is it possible to deliver online schwag? Good schwag has to last at least long enough to remind you of the brand a few times. Any ideas? No promises here, but a good idea here might be our next LT Schwag!
Best Wishes for your schwag quest. ~ Michael