Intra-company Promotion, a VC Perspective

Venture capitalist David Hornik recently wrote a great post about promotional products (schwag) on VentureBlog. I’m quoting a big chunk because it’s so good, and because it’s a perspective on promos that you don’t really get all that often. Of course, you should visit VentureBlog and read the rest. Here’s what he has to say about the value of branded apparel and products for employees, and how it both signifies and reinforces company culture:

But the schwag that I think really matters is the intra-company schwag. I am not a VC who minds his money being spent on custom t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts. In fact, I encourage it.

Teams that love what they池e working on, want to wear their company logos. They want to have the t-shirt or the hat or the polar fleece. And the act of wearing the shirt of the company you love is self-reinforcing. It makes you love the company all the more. I remember visiting Yahoo in the late nineties and being struck by the fact that about 3 out of every 4 people I passed in the cafeteria was wearing a Yahoo t-shirt of some kind or another. It wasn稚 a dress code. It was a testimony to the culture Jerry and Dave had created from the very outset of the company. The same is true of my portfolio companies. They celebrate successes with company t-shirts. They give company laptop bags for the holidays. Their employees wear company baseball hats to lunch. And I, their board member, proudly rotate through my portfolio company sweatshirts when walking in the morning.

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