My face has been seen around the world over 25-million times, but I am not even remotely famous.
Swag.com was founded in early 2016 when co-founders Jeremy Parker and Josh Orbach noticed that the current swag market was filled with things that didn’t resonate with its current buyer- often times a twenty-something year old assigned with the task of purchasing branded items for their newly coveted position at a swanky company. Parker and Orbach recognized a few things about these young buyers that other promotional product companies didn’t: these buyers didn’t want to speak to anyone on the phone, they wanted a curated selection of only the best items, and they wanted to feel competent in ordering a product that was exclusive to them. Now, just 4 years after launch, Swag.com has grown to 35 employees and brings in $7m in sales.
Let me guess, you’re considering quitting your 9 to 5?
I am not going to lie; I was a little skeptical when the Vocal ad came through my social media feed. Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I clicked the bait, read the verbiage and decided to give it a try. I had been in on the early days of istockphoto when it was still a tiny Calgary-based disruptor in the stock photography industry before it was bought out by the giant, Getty Images. Because of my experience in this creative arena, I knew the value of both disruptors and micropayments firsthand. Volume is the key.
If you have a long commute, you know the importance of having either a good book or earphones to block out the world when you just want to relax, close your eyes and enjoy a nice voice talking about something interesting that can take you away from reality for the duration of your travels.
Blaming millennials for the world's problems is trendy these days. Apparently we killed cereal, department stores, and even patriotism! But if our disgruntled elders would take a pause from scolding us to remove their nostalgia-colored glasses, they might see we didn’t actually kill their beloved pastimes, we just made them better.
Well, that's that. The Vocal challenge is complete and I'm left with thirty-four articles than has spanned thirty-four communities. So, was it harder than I thought? Yes. Yes it was. But I sort of knew I'd run in to a few obstacles along the way when encountering categories that I literally have no idea about.
It took 10 years for Lady Gaga to get her feet off the ground, but when it did, she had it all. The charisma, the talent, the branding. Then it took her 10 years to find a near nemesis. In my unpopular opinion, a great example of this is the way Ava Max - a near Gaga copy cat- has followed a fast route to fame. If you just look at the similarities in the music, the blonde hair and “monster” branding. It’s almost as if Ava Max is taking direct inspiration from Gaga’s career and implementing it into her own to gain notoriety. Sadly enough, it’s working.