Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Life's too short to give boring swag

As a marketer first, and meeting planner second, bad swag is one of my biggest pet peeves.  What constitutes BAD swag?

1. Cheap (and it’s going to reflect on your brand as being cheap!)
2. Doesn’t align with your brand
3. Logistically isn’t easy to transport (yeah fancy wine opener-I’m talking to you and TSA)
4. Very forgettable (pen, stress ball, notebook)
5. Useless (the kids or dog will end up playing with and /or breaking it—or you’ll see it piled in the trash—not a good look)
6. Over-branded (love the Patagonia beanie—wish your logo wasn’t in 72 point font on it)

Clients always ask me, “What should we do for swag?”  My response is to share the three pieces of swag I have received that changed my life, meaning:  A. I still use the product, or B. I still remember the experience (because giving an experience can be considered swag.)

My favorite product (higher end)
As a constant jet-setter, I am used to living out of a pre-packed, ready–to-go-at-all-times carry-on. I even had an old Target plastic bag that I kept in my carry-on for dirty clothes. That is, until a hotel partner gave me the most USEFUL piece of swag—a linen laundry bag with their logo and MY name, hand embroidered! You better believe I keep this thing in my carry-on, and use it every.single.time I travel. You’ll note the supplier logo is subtle—love that. Bye bye Target bag.

My favorite product (lower end)
Memorable, useful swag doesn’t need to break the bank. Point in turn, this handy dandy “sticker pocket” that I received on a FAM. I wanted to be polite when I received it, so I placed it on my phone case and then stuck a biz card inside it. Honestly, I have a really nice Bosca leather business card holder—why would I use an inexpensive plastic rubber whatever-it-is-made-of sticker for my cards? Convenience! Sadly, we are rarely without our phones these days. And I found when I’m at a networking function, holding my phone, I can easily present a biz card without digging through my Mom-purse looking for my “proper” business card holder. Love it!  In fact, the sticker outlasted my case, so I had to ask for another one when I bought a new case.

My favorite experience
Imagine my surprise when I arrive back home from the gym at 8:30am to find this box on my door step. #Panic. OMG there are ALIVE in there!  Geez—do I need to cancel all my morning calls and make sure they are ok? I don’t know what to do with live lobsters! How do I cook them? Do I have to cook them now? Will they last until 5pm? As a friend told me later that day, “Only you would be stressed out by free live lobsters.” Yes, it was a stressful day—but guess what? My two year old daughter had her first live lobster meal that night. #memorable.  Why were they sent? To get my attention and to entice me to register for a conference. Of course the promoters could have sent me a luggage tag, or a Starbucks card. But #this, sure did get my attention and will soon not be forgotten. #nicetry #AforEffort

Bonus Tips:
. Have a trusted supplier.
2. Order well in advance as to not incur rush production or shipping charges.
3. And speaking of shipping, don’t forget to include shipping (and hotel/venue receiving fees) in your budget.
What's your favorite piece of swag? Worse?  Would love to hear!

No comments:

Post a Comment