I Am Legend
You may be wondering what more there is to know or learn about calendars, a product that has not gone through any drastic changes in centuries. What could I possibly say that you don't already know about this legendary promotional product? Plenty. Advertising calendars have been a major player in the industry for such a long time that pieces printed back in the 19th century and early 20th century are quite valuable. For example, according to Kovels.com, the well-respected antiques and collectibles print and online price guide, a 19th Century Coca-Cola Calendar can easily fetch around $1,000.
While today's promotional calendars are not bringing in that kind of cash, they are a healthy mainstay for many distributors. "There is a 90 percent reorder rate for calendars," explained Lori Kates, general manager/vice president for Vitronic Promotional Group, Mason, Ohio. "Distributors can create their own retirement plan. We have many distributors that have sold calendars for 20 to 30 years and now only work three months of the year, collecting reorders, and vacationing the remaining months. They are a natural annuity for the distributor and a very effective, inexpensive advertising solution for the end-user."
During tough economic times, calendars have shown to hold on to their share of profitability. Joe Bunsness, national sales manager for Norwood Promotional Products, Indianapolis, noted, "A calendar is seen as an annual gift by many customers. Because of this, many businesses continue to provide them even during tough economic times [because] their customers have come to expect it."
One thing that separates calendars today from those of past generations is their customization. Variable printing and other embellishment technologies make it easy for suppliers to offer a wide variety of custom options. "It is all about custom," noted Bunsness. "Many customers want to be able to make their calendar unique, so they are looking for more ways to add their own touch to the calendar. Today's technological advances make it easier and easier to give end-buyers completely customizable calendars in as few as 50 units minimum."