A few days ago, one of my favorite blogs mentioned this interesting service, Valleyschwag. For $15 a month, will bundle up a package of the best schwag being handed out in silicon valley, and deliver it right to your doorstep. This really is a great idea, for a few reasons.

A new twist on Viral Marketing

I really like this concept, from both sides of the coin. For companies, they can supply these promotional items at minimal cost to a larger, more targeted audience. While for the end user, they pay a fairly minimal service fee to receive cool stuff. What could be better, free stuff & nearly free advertisement.

This allows for some really creative marketing, getting the brand out without wasting money on sending products to those that have no real interest is critical. With so much money wasted on typical giveaways, for many companies with a lower budget, such promotions aren’t an option. A service such as this is great for these smaller shops, it allows doors to be opened that otherwise would have gone untouched.

Let The Bribing Begin

Let’s face it, free stuff is great, and people love it. The $15 being charged is close enough to free for what you’re getting, at least one shirt, plus enough stickers to cover that ugly laptop.  In general, people are easily bribed, and when good companies with good products do the bribing, it works out great for all involved.

The Future of Marketing

These companies realize something important, traditional forms of advertising aren’t that effective, and among the web crowd, even less so. To get your name out, you need to not only have a good product, but give users a reason to talk about your product. Word of mouth is the way to go, and with lower-budget Web 2.0-types seeking ways to build buzz, this provides an excellent opportunity.

The companies that donate these items receive not only more, but better press than they could buy. If this works well, expect to see copy-cats springing up in other industries. This is certainly an interesting idea and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, I’ll post again once I receive my first package. 😉