Ad Specialties Are Profitable Additions
Meeting needs for promotional products facilitates one-stop shopping.
Did you hear the one about the forms distributor who added promotional products to his line? He increased his profits!
While some industry professionals look derisively upon ad specialties, many proactive distributors are obliging the need for this unique printed communication, which increases public awareness, reinforces corporate identity, establishes branding and introduces products and services.
Making the Move
Certainly Mike Boyle, president of Murray & Heister, Beltsville, Md., never dreamed he would be handling ad specialties. But about eight years ago, when laser printers started effecting serious market changes, he be-came increasingly aware of promotional product use among his print customers.
Already in possession of customers' logos, Boyle saw the addition of promotional products as a logical move. So did Dave Flucht, president of Anaheim, California-based InForms.
"My first love is still business forms printing," he said, "but in 1991 we were reading all of the gloom and doom predictions concerning the industry and decided to expand into a new niche area. Some customers were beginning to inquire about imprinted mugs and other ad specialties, and since we already had their logos, it seemed like a natural fit."
Flucht credited ASI with providing strong support as InForms gradually entered into the market.
"ASI's structure and organization made it very easy for us to research suppliers to buy from," he said. The company's promotional product sales steadily increased and now comprise 45 percent of InForms' sales volume.
Said Tom Johnson, CEO of Applied Graphics, San Rafael, Calif., "We knew many years ago that customers were buying promotional products through other sources, and we knew that where our relationships were strong, we could get that business."
Johnson pointed out that providing promotional products also facilitates one-stop-shopping, which provides convenience for his customers.