Does schwag do what it's supposed to do?

On your first day at Yahoo! they give you a backpack for your laptop.  It's a really nice backpack.  Everything I need fits nicely in it, and the pockets are in the right places, and it's sturdy, and it's not ugly.

But there's one problem.  It has a big silver Yahoo! logo (the corporate "Y-bang") stitched into it.  

With several thousand employees now, you're going to commute with people that you know if you take the train...along with many competitors who all converge on the Mt. View station.  And you're often a little more open-minded and free with your opinions once you step outside the office, for some reason.  But the backpack has a way of muting your Caltrain conversations that could otherwise turn into productive meetings. 

Your competitors are all disguised in their daily kit, but you're standing there like a proud peacock.

Seeing the silver flag on the train and at the station reminds me of college when you would see greek baseball caps parading through campus in groups.  I'm pretty sure people don't see the logo and think I'm a disgusting person, but it's completely possible.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not complaining.  I really like the backpack.  I've just always wondered if tchotchkes have the effect on people that marketing people think they have.

Tags:  yahoo, marketing


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Does schwag do what it's supposed to do?