Cool swag will get you more users
Meat Sweats, Ranch Crocs, cool shirts inside, and earned media strategies inside.
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I’m a huge fan of company swag. From the perspective of both a marketer, I love to see the creative strategies other companies deploy to engage with their users. From the viewpoint of a user, I just love cool, free stuff.
A recent example of some fun marketing swag comes from the Arby's “Meat Sweats” campaign. The company was awarding their customers who share photos and videos of their favorite meat feasts using the hashtag #meatsweats on social media with, well, meat-themed sweat suits.
From a marketer’s perspective, there’s a couple things going on here. First and foremost, this is a brand marketing play: it’s remarkable, it’s funny, and most importantly, has viral potential (aka free earned media).
A great way to maximize earned media is through partnerships. Rather than reaching a new audience on your own, why don’t you just engage with another brand’s existing audience in exchange for them to engage with yours? Win-win.
Well, another funny example at the nexus of food, clothes, and marketing is the collab between Crocs and Hidden Valley Ranch.
“Just like Hidden Valley Ranch, these clogs can go with everything if you love them enough,” Crocs said in a statement. And with many adopting the brand’s rubber clogs into their WFH uniform — or adding them to their streetwear collection — these limited edition Crocs are sure to sell fast once they drop later this year on the Crocs website.”
The $70 shoes, which launched in October, sold out pretty much instantly. Input Mag published an article saying that “even if you don’t enjoy ranch, you should be dressing yourself in these.”
And to top it off, the Hidden Valley Ranch Crocs are selling for as much as $200 on eBay and StockX.
When it comes to swag strategies, the name of the game is earned media. Are people tweeting about it? Are people wearing your swag in public? Are people asking them about where they got that swag when it’s worn? Crocs + Hidden Valley knocked it out of the park on this one.
My team and I at eToro US recently had a bit of success on this front.
In June we launched Dead Dollar, which is a crypto/personal finance lifestyle brand. The plan was simple: make a cool t-shirt with subtle branding, give away a limited number of them, and generate leads.
In the first 48 hours we had generated thousands of leads, virtually for free. I still have people asking me about the shirt today.
The “future of finance” industry is one with a lot of competition, high standards, and picky users. Every brand that has grown into the mainstream crypto zeitgeist has doubled down on earned media. Finding what vertical of this channel works best for your brand should be a marketer’s main priority.