Follow-up: Four Letter Words (Podcast)
Yesterday I got a message on LinkedIn (add me, kids) from Brad White, vice president of sales for Boundless Network, about my article "Promotional Marketing's Four Letter Word." Brad, along with Mark Graham, founder of RIGHTSLEEVE and Bobby Lehew, chief branding officer of ROBYN, saw my piece reprinted on Paul Bellantone's blog and it got them talking. The result was a new podcast on Promo Kitchen called "SWAG: What's in a Name?"
Brad, Mark and Bobby discuss the word "swag" in great detail, what it means both inside our industry and out, and make some great observations. Whereas I took the stance that swag is a four-letter word, they ask the question, "is it negative or is it positive?" And I think that's an important question to ask.
I come from a media background, where "swag" is used in a condescending manner; look no further than President Obama linking the word to waste in government spending to see how prevalent that attitude is. But in the podcast, the Promo Kitchen guys make some strong opposing points, about how in different generations and different cultures the word "swag" has a positive meaning. In hip-hop culture, "swag" refers to style. For a lot of end-buyers and end-users, "swag" means free cool stuff. Who doesn't like that?
So, is swag a bad thing or a good thing? We've each come to different conclusions, and I don't know that any one answer is necessarily right.
What do you think? Head over to Promo Kitchen and check out their podcast, then let me know if you think "swag" is a bad word or something to be embraced. Leave a comment below or email me directly at krichardson[at]napco[dot]com.