This past week, my campus was filled with companies looking for new talent. As I walked around the tables, I noticed all the free things on the tables, but I didn’t see many people taking them. This got me thinking about SWAG (Stuff We All Get) and when and how it works. When it comes to people actually taking the free stuff, the situation makes all the difference.
SWAG is definitely something that will attract me to a table but when it comes to actually taking it, it depends on the situation. When I go to a festival with friends and everybody else is just there for free stuff, I am more likely to take the SWAG. For example, this summer, I went to Earthfest in Boston, MA which was jam packed with SWAG from all these different earth friendly cmpanies. Everybody was filling up bags with free food and stuff! No one felt uncomfortable taking the food because, well everybody knew that’s why we were there.
However, in a career fair setting, where everybody is already nervous, taking the free stuff is hard. If you don’t really care about the company, taking the freebie is easy but if you do care, it becomes difficult. You need to find the right balance. Of course we all want the freebie but more importantly, we want to show that we are a perfect fit for their company. When that becomes the priority, we (students/ job hunters) forget about the SWAG. We speak to the company representative about the company and ourselves and absolutely forget the freebie. What is the right way to show interest in the company while also getting their freebie? Is there a correct protocol? Are the company representatives supposed to hand it to us?
With these situations put aside, does SWAG really work? I would say yes. Even if you don’t pick it up, you at least see it and think about it. The more creative SWAG a company has, the more I want to know about them and tell others about them. The whole set up and the actual freebie plays a large role in my perception of a new company. Especially if I have never heard of them beforehand.
What are your thoughts on SWAG? Do you think it works? Love it or hate it?