Everything you need to know about promo products

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We want to ensure that your promotional products come out exactly as you expect, so we’ve included the most commonly asked questions and answers about advertising specialties.

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Everything you need to know about promo products

  1. 1. JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS
  2. 2. We want to ensure that your promotional products come out exactly as you expect, so we’ve included the most commonly asked questions and answers for your reference. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more details or have additional questions. 2 Allen Fogel 602-380-7230 / 866-658-9933 promos@solutionsmc.net www.solutionsmc.net
  3. 3. Promotional Products FAQ
  4. 4. What are promotional products? 4 Called by many names: advertising specialties, swag, promotional items, branded goods, chotchkes (Yiddish), giveaways, promotional gifts, advertising gifts, or promotional merchandise... promotional products are goods that have been imprinted with a company/organization logo, name, or advertisement.
  5. 5. How are promotional products used? There are countless uses for promotional products. 5 • Holiday Gifts • Incentives • Media Kits • Milestones • Prizes • Recognition • Retention/Repeat Business • Sales Promotions • School Spirit • Sports Teams • Staff Motivation • Stewardship • Tradeshows • Acquisition/Recruitment • Announcements • Apologies • Appreciation Gifts • Awards/Rewards • Brand Awareness • Business Development • Conferences/Meetings • Customer/Donor Loyalty • Direct Mail • Events and Launches • Fundraising • Golf Tournaments
  6. 6. What promotional products are available? There are so many promotional product options in a range of categories. We deal with a host of suppliers across the U.S. that carry the following: 6 • Apparel • Automotive • Awards • Bags • Banners • Banner stands • Calendars & Planners • Clocks & Watches • Corporate Gifts • Drinkware • Electronic • Eco Products • Food & Candy • Gift Baskets • Hats & Caps • Health & Safety • Holiday Gifts • Home & Kitchen • Journals • Mugs • Pens & Writing • Office & Desk • Personal Care & Beauty • Pet Accessories • Sports & Outdoors • Sticky Notes & Notepads • Tools & Flashlights • Toys & Games • Tradeshow Items • Travel Accessories
  7. 7. How do I decide which products to use and how? Everything will depend on your marketing objectives. In order to get the best bang for your buck, we recommend that you develop a strategy for using promotional products. 1. Define your audience and what you are trying to accomplish for each one. • Are you buying products to complement a prospect marketing campaign? • Are they being used to show appreciation to customers, donors, clients, volunteers, employees? • Do you want to recognize people’s accomplishments and achievements? • Do you want to attract new customers or donors? There are many marketing objectives for which promotional products may serve your needs. 7
  8. 8. 8 2. Decide how you intend to distribute your promotional products. • Are you giving them out at your place of business or in off-site meetings? • Do you intend to mail them? Keep mailing costs in mind when you select your products. • Are you planning to re-sell your products online as a revenue generator? Again, keep storage, fulfillment, and mailing costs in mind when selecting your products.
  9. 9. 9 3. Brainstorm creative uses for your promotional products. • When you’re using promotional products to gain customers’ or prospects’ attention, you’ll get better results when the product matches a good caption or call to action.
  10. 10. Business Example: 10 After making an error on a small order and rectifying it, a business can send its customer a soft tape measure keychain with a note that says, “Sorry, we didn’t measure up this time. Hope you’ll give us another chance. We’ll make it right!” The cost of the item is typically unimportant to customers (69¢ -99¢ each) – it’s the humor and message that will get attention, soften the mistake in customers’ minds, and retain them. That is, if it doesn’t occur frequently!
  11. 11. Charity Example: 11 A charity is conducting a fundraising campaign to re-engage lapsed donors who previously gave $500+. Fundraisers can mail this compass key holder (68¢-75¢ each) with a handwritten note that says, “We‘ve missed you! We hope you’ll find your way back to supporting our mission to...” A couple of days after the product is received, fundraisers can follow up with personal phone calls. Some donors may be unresponsive, yet after making a positive impression with the compass key holder, they may be more inclined to talk with fundraisers.
  12. 12. 12 4. Ensure your products are consistent with your brand. It’s important to ensure that your organization’s messaging, positioning, and “look” are consistent on your promotional products. When you use your brand colors, standardized typography, and designs in your artwork, you’re sending a consistent message about your brand to help your target markets remember your company or organization. As with everything in marketing, we encourage you to test your tactics to see which gets better results.
  13. 13. Should I order my products from an online company or use a promotional products distributor like you? This is totally up to you, but here are some points to consider: • There are discount companies online that sell directly to end users. Service may be inconsistent or unavailable and you may not receive consultation on your choice of products. These companies typically do not offer creative ideas and marketing guidance. • On the other hand, if you know exactly what you want, some online distributors will sell select items as loss leaders and below supplier cost to acquire new customers. Admittedly, it can be challenging for us to compete. We are in the service business and guide our clients on their selections to build their brands, steer them away from poorly made goods, and research discounted and clearance items to save them money. 13
  14. 14. 14 • Dealing with a promotional products distributor has many advantages. You’ll receive professional marketing guidance, consultation, and advice on the products you choose or that they recommend. Honest distributors will tell you why or why not a product can meet your needs and whether it is a good fit from a marketing and branding standpoint. We’ll steer you away from products we know about that have had problems in the past. We work with select suppliers we know and trust. Plus, as professional distributors who want to wow and retain our clients, we check for closeouts and specials to help you save on your purchases.
  15. 15. As with most business relationships, good distributors want to partner with you, keep your needs at the forefront, and build your trust in them. It’s all about service to you. After all, it’s your brand on the line when you give out promotional products. We pride ourselves on partnering with our clients and providing top-notch service coupled with our marketing expertise. 15
  16. 16. Do promotional products work? Promotional products can be very effective tools in your marketing arsenal. Here are some recent facts and statistics from the 2014 ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) survey: • Just one item can deliver a message for a far longer time period than other forms of advertising. Advertisers can reinforce their brand or a call to action for an average of six months, and up to a year on some products. 16
  17. 17. 17 • Promotional products are not simply thrown away. People keep items because they’re useful or give them to someone who can use them. Advertisers’ messages often go beyond the initial recipient. As awareness of recycling in the U.S. has become more prevalent, so has the desire to pass along unwanted promotional products.
  18. 18. • People will be much more likely to keep useful promotional products. – About 77% of product recipients indicated that an item’s usefulness is the primary reason to keep it. – In addition, 29% of recipients said they kept an item because it’s attractive, and 29% said they keep a promotional product simply because it’s “enjoyable to have.” 18
  19. 19. • 85% of promotional merchandise recipients can identify the item’s advertiser. • Over one-half (52%) of the time, ad specialties leave a more favorable impression of the advertiser. • More than a third of recipients say they are more likely to do business with advertisers in the future after receiving promo products. • Advertising specialties are less expensive per impression than most other forms of media. 19
  20. 20. 20 Which promotional products will work for my organization?
  21. 21. How does pricing work? 21 Promotional products are priced by the unit cost. The unit cost gets lower with the higher quantity you order. For example, the compass key holder (displayed earlier) was priced at 68¢-75¢ each. The higher price is for an order of 150 units (the minimum), and the lower unit cost is for 2500 units. There are prices in between for different quantities. When there’s a closeout or special, the unit cost is typically one price - no matter how many you order, however, there is usually a minimum quantity to meet.
  22. 22. 22 Other charges you need to factor into the price: • Setup Fees. Setup fees cover the cost to create a die, plate, or screen needed to imprint your promotional products with your logo or name. This is often a one- time cost. Should you re-order the same products within a year or two, your setup has already been created. Because each supplier is different, some may charge a repeat setup fee that is less than the original setup fee. We will advise you of these costs when we prepare your quote so you can make an informed decision.
  23. 23. 23 Most items have a setup fee unless the supplier is running a special and the fee has been waived. Each promotional product can have different imprinting specs – that’s why items have separate setup fees. When you imprint your products with more than one color or in more than one location, there can be a separate fee for each color or location. An exception is digital printing which typically has one setup fee. If you use your artwork on the same item, but in different colors, there’s usually no additional setup fee. For example, if you’re printing your logo on a blue bottle and a white one, the ink and artwork won’t change, so there’s one setup cost.
  24. 24. 24 • Rush Production Fees. If you plan to order promotional products with a tight deadline, you may require rush production from our suppliers. In some cases, they will charge additional fees. Some suppliers have select rush production products they offer at no extra charge. • Proof Fees: Virtual proofs are free. If you are placing a large order, have enough lead time, and want to ensure you are completely satisfied before signing off, our suppliers will send you a product proof that includes the cost of the item, set-up fees, and shipping charges.
  25. 25. 25 • Shipping Costs. Our suppliers are located across the country, so shipping costs will vary depending on where you’re located and how quickly you need your goods. That’s why we take your location into account when we work with you, and we’ll try sourcing your chosen items as close to your location as possible. Before you place your order, we can get a shipping estimate from our suppliers so you can budget accordingly. If your products require a split shipment to different addresses, our suppliers usually charge a small additional fee for each additional location.
  26. 26. 26 • Graphic Design Costs. If you have your artwork already created in the required format, you will not have to pay any design fees. If, however, you have your logo in a file format that is incompatible with the required format, there may be a small fee to convert your artwork. It depends on the selected supplier – some will create the design at no charge. If you need any artwork developed from scratch for your imprint, we will give you a graphic design quote based on your need. We keep these costs as reasonable as possible for you. • Taxes. If you are located in the State of Arizona, and your organization is not tax exempt, we will add taxes to your invoice. If you are located outside the state, we are currently required to add taxes to your invoice.
  27. 27. 27 • Under/Overs Cost Adjustments. During the imprinting process, our suppliers may discard products that don’t meet their standards. Some will frequently run extras to ensure they have enough imprinted pieces to fill your order. Typically, the range is between 5% under and 5% over, but for certain products it can be 10% or higher. We will invoice you for the exact quantity they ship or make an adjustment on your credit card after the order ships and we know the exact quantity. Please be sure to order enough items so you’ll have enough products in case there is an under shipment.
  28. 28. What are your artwork requirements? 28 Most of our suppliers require Vector artwork. Vector art is made up of mathematical lines and shapes (as opposed to pixels) and will not become blurry when enlarged. The most common Vector file types are AI, EPS or PDF. These files must be created with all type converted to outlines with a resolution of 300 - 600 DPI. For embroidered products, we require digitized files in Tajima format with color sequencing. If you don’t have this, we can create it for you. Unsupported art file formats include InDesign, Pagemaker, Freehand, and Photoshop. Microsoft Office Programs (Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Excel) are not graphics programs and are unacceptable artwork file formats.
  29. 29. Some of our suppliers use specific ink colors on their promotional products. When this is the case, we will send you a graphic of the available colors so you can choose the ones closest to your brand colors. Some suppliers allow you to match an exact PMS (Pantone Matching System) color for free or a small additional fee. One thing to keep in mind when choosing promotional products is the available space for your imprint. Keeping the design simple is best because many products have limited imprint areas. 29
  30. 30. Can I use images I find on the web in my designs? 30 No. Images taken from the Internet may not only infringe on copyright, they are typically inappropriate for high-end output. They are usually small in size, with a resolution at only 72 or 96 DPI (dots per inch). The minimum resolution required for promotional products is 300 DPI. You should ensure that the images you supply for custom imprinting is unencumbered by copyright and other usage rights connected to the image(s). If you have purchased any stock photography or illustrations, please review the vendor’s rights for usage.
  31. 31. How do I send my artwork to you? 31 If your artwork file is too large to send by e-mail, we will send you a link where you can upload your file. How do I pay for my promotional products? We require a 50% deposit by credit card or business check before placing the order. The balance is due once our supplier has shipped the goods. Any checks submitted for payment of our invoices that are returned for insufficient funds will result in a charge of $50.00.
  32. 32. What happens if I need to cancel or change my order once it has been placed? 32 Once you have approved your product proof electronically, or in writing by fax, and we have placed your order with our supplier, we cannot make changes to, or cancel your order. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly review the proof we send to you.
  33. 33. At which point do we own our merchandise? We will provide you with a firm ship date for your order and will recommend the most efficient and cost- effective shipping methods based on your location and deadline. Our products are sold F.O.B. (freight on board) from our suppliers and you own them once they are picked up by transportation carriers. 33
  34. 34. What happens if there are shipping delays? 34 We always communicate and advocate on your behalf with our suppliers and will do everything we can to ensure you receive your products by your deadline. Occasionally, there may be shipping delays due to bad weather, “acts of God,” or other circumstances beyond our control. That’s why it’s so important to allow yourself ample lead time when ordering promotional products.
  35. 35. What happens if there’s something wrong with our order when it arrives? 35 We encourage you to inspect your merchandise upon arrival so we can facilitate the resolution of any claims on your behalf with our supplier. Should you have any problems with your order, please contact us immediately.
  36. 36. 36 As with any print-related project, please note that we cannot guarantee 100% consistency in color and materials. There will always be minor variations in dye lots, material thickness, and finishes due to the manufacturing process. If you think you may want more of the same product later, it’s prudent to place your order for the total quantity at one time to improve consistency.
  37. 37. Contact us for additional information and guidance. That’s why we’re in business! Allen Fogel 602-380-7230 / 866-658-9933 (MST/ -7 GMT) promos@solutionsmc.net www.solutionsmc.net 37

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