Promotional Products Startup Guide For New Companies

If you have either bought or are starting a new business from the ground up, one of your most immediate needs is to establish your brand in the market place as soon as possible. Certainly one of the best and most cost effective ways to accomplish this is with the help of promotional products. However, I am not writing this article to convince you of the importance of using promotional products but rather to help you with the process of implementing this type of marketing approach. In this article, I will be discussing a kind of mental checklist that will be necessary to help make this process go much more smoothly for you. Keep in mind that I will be providing you a general rather than a comprehensive guide to the ordering process as with more than 850,000 promotional products and growing in our industry I could not in this small article cover all the necessary guidelines for ordering each product. Nevertheless, I will address some of the key considerations that will help you in the selection and ordering process for most promotional products.

One of the first areas in this process you must address is to come up with a budget. Your thinking here should be first to come up with a total budget and then to break that total budget into segments which should include a price range for each promotional product you want to order. Don’t forget to compensate for costs other than the actual product in your budget such as shipping, taxes, and any fulfillment costs that might be incurred in delivering or packaging the promotional item. As part of this budgetary process you will want to decide on how many different types of promotional items you will want to purchase. Once you have decided on how many promotional products you will be using in your marketing effort, you will need to figure out how many of each individual item you will want to order. This really then becomes more of a mathematical function of how many promotional items you will be ordering and how much you have budgeted for the entire promotional product program.

With the financial aspect of the promotional product program figured out your thought process should move to the marketing aspects so you can then zero in on the precise products that will accomplish your branding mission. This is where you need to begin to ask yourself some important questions. It is through the questioning process that you will define your entire approach to getting the appropriate and most effective promotional product and still stay within your budget. Questions such as: who will you be targeting with these promotional products? What is the message and impression you want the product to convey to the person receiving it? Where will the promotional product be given out? Although I can think of many more questions that I as a professional would ask to better define your goals lets limit it to these three very important questions for now. Let’s briefly discuss the first question: who will the products be given to? Actually this question can best be answered by asking and answering a series of other questions like: will the products be given to current customers or prospects? Will the products be given to men, women or children? What position does the recipient hold in an organization? These are just a few questions you will need to ask yourself in defining your target and thus determining an appropriate and effective promotional product. With regards to the second major question I presented concerning the message and impression you want to convey to your customer, you will need to examine why you are giving the promotional product out in the first place. Do you want to give the promotional product out to create awareness of a new product or service your company is introducing? Perhaps, you want to use it to directly boost sales and give it as a gift with purchase which we call a premium in the industry. There are many ways to help your business grow with the help of promotional products, in fact, to many to mention here in this article. But the way to find out how you can best use them is by questioning and understanding your own company’s needs. Finally, the last major question involves the logistics and the distribution of the promotional products. For example, where will the promotional products be given out? Will your sales people be giving out the promotional product during sales calls or maybe at a tradeshow? Maybe your company will be hosting a seminar and hand some products out there. Still another possibility would involve mailing out products to customers such as gifts acknowledging their support and creating good will and loyalty to your company and brand. However you choose to get the product to your marketing target distribution and logistics should be an important consideration in your decision to purchase certain promotional products.

Having touched on the marketing aspect of choosing to promote your brand with promotional products, it is now time to turn your attention to what essentially is the nuts and bolts part of the actual ordering process. This part of your marketing efforts involves specific choices that you will have to make regarding each product most of which have their own unique characteristics. Once you actually decide on a promotional product, things like size, color, specific features, and options available for that product should be thought out. You will then need to decide how you want to customize the product. Things like the number of ink colors you will want to imprint on an item, how many sides on a product will be imprinted and in the case of an embroidered product the size and location of the embroidery will come into play. Finally,you will need to make sure that you have your artwork done by a graphics professional who can put it in the proper format to submit for actual production. Although there are many products and possibilities for the creative and effective use of promotional products, with a little thought on your part the basic guidelines I have outlined in this article will provide you with a good starting agenda. Of course, a top professional promotional product supplier with extensive experience and the technology necessary can help and fill in the important missing gaps and take you the rest of the way to successfully completing your marketing mission.

How to Save 10-50% on Your Promotional Products While Achieving Superior Results

A carefully selected promotional product can become an ideal relationship building tool. One of the key benefits of promotional products is that they are the only advertising your client will thank you for – everyone loves getting a gift!

Among the major goals of any promotional campaign will be to achieve the maximum impact, at the most reasonable price possible, leading to a superior return on investment. What many companies fail to realise is that with a small amount of extra planning they can improve in both these areas, by providing products with superior impact, and often at a reduced cost.

In business, the value of time can never be overestimated, with promotional products even more so. Whilst many people are aware of the possibility of overseas production (commonly known as “indent”), they are often surprised at the savings that can be made, and the many other benefits that exist. Even if a product is to be produced locally, the benefit of time can produce great savings.

Consider this scenario; a customer contacts five promotional products suppliers, asking for their best price on Cooler Bags, and need them decorated and delivered in one or two weeks. Firstly many standard production jobs take this long to decorate with your logo, so each company quoting will have to rush out a basic quote for standard off the shelf Cooler Bags. The client then goes with the cheapest supplier, who may or may not do a good print job (sometimes cheap does equal nasty in terms of print quality), and with any luck the company will have a reasonable quality item in a stock standard colour, ready for their promotion.

Now consider an alternative scenario; A customer starts planning a promotional campaign four or five months in advance of release date. They have also developed a solid relationship with one (or maybe two) promotional products suppliers, who through working with the customer over a period of time, gain a good understanding of their customers, target market etc. They give a solid brief on the requirements of and ideas for the campaign to the promotional supplier.

If the promotional supplier is a quality supplier, given the good lead time they will then invest a few days coming up with creative ideas, developing design concepts and working on product sourcing – rather than the rush situation in the first scenario. Each party can then worth together to refine concepts, work out artwork and finalise an order.

Given the good lead time, in this second scenario the order could be produced offshore and sea freighted in. The product (lets say its still a Custom Cooler Bag) can have a huge variety of decoration options not available locally, including the fabric being dyed to a custom colour, advanced decoration options such as all over prints may be included, subtle branding such as custom zip pulls can be added, the list goes on.

What the client ends up with is a promotional item that it part of their brand – rather than just a standard item with a logo slapped on the front. It increases the perceived value to the end user who receives, and generally just looks a lot more cool.

Sounds great, but the upside continues! In addition to being able to produce unique promotional items, the price will in many cases be lower than a standard off the shelf product! The reason for this is that while the product itself is worth about the same, the decoration (printing, embroidery) can be completed offshore at the point of manufacture at much lower rates than local production. While lower labour costs play a part, it is also quicker and easier to decorate sheets of fabric which are then sewn to become a the final product, rather than printing it after it’s fully made which is what must be completed locally. The savings made from purchasing factory direct (if your promotional products supplier offers this service) and through not having to warehouse the stock locally will also be passed onto the client in most cases.

Ordering promotional products via offshore production does require a bit of extra time, thought, planning and some reasonable quantities, however the benefits are significant and well worth considering when planning your next promotion.

The Best Promotional Products For Your Company

Many business owners think about promotional products, but are not quite sure what is best for their specific type of business. While there are many great product ideas to choose from, not every product will be right for every business. Take the time to think about your business, your customers, and what would be most effective.

Here are some examples to help you decide what promotional products would work best:

A business that deals with insurance, financial products, or other office-related products and services would benefit from office supplies and calendars. Consider promotional gifts such as pens, magnets, planners and calendars, and even office accessories for employees or highly appreciated customers.

A local market might enjoy the promotion that they get from reusable promotional bags, which are all the rage right now. Of course, any business can give these away to customers to provide a great marketing tool to the now eco-conscious consumers of the world. Many stores sell these bags to consumers, but if you can afford to offer them as marketing gifts, you’ll generate a lot more interest because people love free stuff.

Promotional clothing is great for employee appreciation and promotion through customers, as well. Of course, this will be best reserved in a situation where you can afford to give away free clothing products, which will be more expensive. Consider using these products for prizes, expos, and other situations.

Promotional household items and personal accessories can be great for just about any business. For example, if you have a contracting business, giving your customers free promotional products like appliances and kitchen accessories can be a great way to say thanks for their business and give them something useful for their home.

These are just a few examples of how promotional products can be used. Ultimately, you will have to consider a few elements to figure out which items are right for your company. Think about your budget first, because this is most important. Then, think about the occasion or intended use. If you’re handing out promotional items to everyone who walks in the door, you won’t want to offer high-end or expensive products unless you are a high-end business that needs to set the tone. Consider clothing and more expensive promotional products for gifts with purchases or as a thank-you for doing business with a customer, while using less expensive items for general promotion and to attract new business.

From outdoor products to office supplies, cell phone accessories, awards and motivational promotional gifts, and everything in between, you can find something to suit your needs. Consider the usability of whatever you offer because your business will get the most visibility out of things that people use or see on a regular basis. Products that are used outside of the home, such as bags, clothing, or luggage, can be much more successful in drawing more traffic because more people will see them. If you take the time to browse the available products, you should have no trouble finding something that suits your specific needs for promotional products. Of course, if you’re having trouble, you can always ask a promotional products specialist for assistance.

Fridge Magnets – A Hit As Promotional Products

As competition on the internet increases it becomes more and more difficult to set your business apart from all the others. One particular marketing technique that has been proven to work but isn’t made the most of by some companies is promotional products.

Promotional products are a very simple idea; they can be straightforward household products or other everyday items that have been printed with your company logo, name or message to your customers. Ask anyone about promotional products and the first items that usually spring to mind are pens, mouse mats and T-shirts. However there is a huge range of items available on the market these days and, whatever the size of your company or your budget, you are sure to find something that will fit in with your requirements.

Most businesses now have websites; along with printing your logo on an item to be used in your promotion you should always include your website address. Many people prefer to shop over the internet, and even if they don’t actually buy online and prefer to purchase from the high street, they often will at least take a look at the website before they go.

Before deciding on any promotional items carefully consider your clientele. For example, if you run a motor vehicle company then what sort of items might attract customers? Perhaps a car key chain or small tool set, a torch or air freshener. There are heaps of simple and yet very effective ideas out there so ensure you purchase products that fit in with your client base if you want to succeed.

People often need some kind of motivation to get them to spend money. A way you could facilitate this is by offering them a deal if they buy 2 items instead of just the one they intended. This means they get 2 items at a discount price, plus you could throw in a promotional product too. If you have an online book store they could get 2 books at low prices and a free leather bookmark, if the bookmark is attractive and good quality then many people will be tempted to spend that little bit more.

Don’t forget your loyal customers, it can pay to keep in touch with them and reward them in some way. Customers who buy regularly from you, or consistently buy expensive items, could be rewarded by a quality promotional gift sent along with their order as a small thank you for their loyalty.

This could also be extended to your business associates as a thank you for a successful working relationship, even your staff will appreciate a gift to say thanks for their loyalty and commitment; they could be rewarded with a quality product if they get the highest sales that month for example. As you can see, promotional products can be used in many different ways and are a great way to build relationships with the people that matter to your business.

A winning formula to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter is to regularly organize a competition or lucky draw. If they win, you send them a promotional product printed with your logo and website address. Most people will be happy to take a few minutes to sign up as we all love something for free. If you choose a quality promotional product that is related to the service you provide, or products you sell, then you also aim it at your target audience.

There is a broad range of promotional gifts available to you as a business. Any item that is practical, functional, attractive or quirky is going to be a hit with your customers. Whether you choose simple items like pens, mugs, key rings,fridge magnets or something more exclusive such as leather bags, designer brand clothes, luggage or elegant glassware, they all have their advantages.

Any item with a practical use has immediate appeal for promotional purposes, promotional fridge magnets are such an item as people stick them to their fridge and they can be there for years! Years of free advertising as your message is conveyed to everyone who passes through.