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What Exactly is SWAG?

act-pirate-lootHave you ever heard of swag?   As a promotional products expert, I’ve been familiar with swag (or SWAG) for a long time.  In fact, you could say that I’m in the business of SWAG. 

But if you’re like most people, you might be wondering, “What exactly is swag?”  There are a few definitions for swag, but in my world, swag is:

Any corporate or branded merchandise given away for free in order to promote the company or brand….Etymology of this term most likely stems from the middle-English use of the word ‘swag’  in pirate circles or other criminal circles as a euphamism for loot or plunder.

Some people view SWAG as an acronym (thus all capital letters), but there is debate  as to what SWAG actually stands for.  Here are some of my favorite interpretations:

SWAG=Souvenirs, Wearables And Gifts
SWAG=Stuff We All Get
SWAG=Sealed with A Gift
SWAG=Stuff We Acquired Gratis

How do you use SWAG in a sentence?  Here’s an example:  “I went to the trade show and scored a ton of great SWAG.  Check out these t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and stress balls!”

I think it’s interesting to note that there is another definition of “swag”, which is short for “swagger”:

The way in which you carry yourself. Swag is made up of your overall confidence, style, and demeanor. Swag can also be expanded to refer to the one’s overall reputation. You gain swag, or “swag up”, by performing swag-worthy actions that improve this perception.

So, tell me….how’s your corporate swag?  Need some help “swagging up” at your next trade show, expo or conference?  Then, give me a call!  I’d be happy to help with some creative ideas to give you the kind of SWAG people rave about.

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