Yesterday, I received a package in the mail. Well… through UPS, actually. The doorbell rings, I go to answer, and sitting there on my doorstep is this box. Brown waves at me, drives off, and I walk back into the house with the mysterious package under my arm. I weigh it in my hand. Too heavy for a T-shirt. Too light for a book. Too quiet for an 8lb bag of m&ms. I let Chico sniff it for explosives. Clear. Cholula sniffs for pot. Clear. Chiquita sniffs for anthrax. We’re all good. I set the box on the kitchen table, swing my ninja sword at its edges in a blur and a woosh, and voila. Inside the box, I find… this:

Now, for the sake of disclosure, I should point out that I know Kamran Popkin (@swagclub). That we are both members of Social Media Club Greenville. That he already sent me a pretty kickass “thinking cap” earlier this year (which I wear during brainstorms, but only when I need that extra little bit of je-ne-sais-quoi), and also that he had a hand in getting me to the BMW driver school this summer. And yes, Kamran and I have briefly chatted about ways in which we could work together – meaning ways in which Swag Club might come in handy with some of my clients, and with this blog, Red Chair and “the book” in 2010.

So Kamran, being the business samurai that he is, decided that showing me, rather than just telling me, what kind of power good swag and a personal touch can accomplish, sent me this pretty badass (and color-awesome) little package of goodies just in time for the Holidays.

Here is the note he sent with it, along with the flip side of his business card (the nine rules of Swag Club):

  1. You don’t talk about Swag Club.
  2. You don’t talk about swag club. (Unless you need great swag.)
  3. The search for great swag is over only when you say “Wow – that nails it!”
  4. Only two guys to a fight. Unless we need help, then we bring in the big guns. We know a guy.
  5. One swag project at a time.
  6. We work with no ties or socks. Even on Sundays, always workin’ but never stressin’ the work.
  7. The quest for great swag goes on as long as it needs to.
  8. First projects are often the start of a great relationship. Or the end of a bad one.
  9. Great advice @swagclub is always free.

Badass. The front of the card is the pink dealio at the top of this post.

More on the contents of the package (aside from the handy little sanitizing gels, the portable reading light and the post-it slinky):

As simple as this little cell phone holder may be, it’s a great idea: It looks cool, it unfolds flat so it’s easy to travel with, and you can put your logo on it, which… is kind of thepoint. Anyway, very handy little desk accessory for someone with my schedule. (And yes, my phone is either a) a temple to social media narcisism, b) an exercise in accessory branding, c) a better way to mark my stuff than using a sharpie, a label or… scent, or even d) all of the above.)

Next item: This MoMa-inspired perpetual calendar. Minimalist, doesn’t require batteries, kind of cool looking on a desk. And as a bonus, it’s accented with BrandBuilder orange.

Very cool, especially since it was completely unexpected.

So here are my takeaways from this pleasant little surprise:

  1. Either wow or go home.
  2. Make it personal.
  3. Be persistent.
  4. Be relevant.
  5. Be bold.
  6. Make people feel like a million bucks.
  7. Show people that you care.
  8. Go analog.
  9. If the devil is in the details, that’s where you need to be.
  10. Sometimes, it isn’t about the what. It’s about the how.

You know how we like to talk about best practices? You don’t really have to look much further than this.

Guess where I’ll be going for all of my swag needs from now on.

Have a great weekend, everyone. ๐Ÿ˜‰