By Popular Vote
The presidential election is more than a year away. It will be months before voters determine who will go head to head in the upcoming election. But, when it comes to the business of bumper stickers, lawn signs and rally fans, it's always campaign time. In fact, some say that is the biggest misconception about the election sector of the print industry.
Caitlin Frantzen, marketing associate for Lenexa, Kansas-based Gill Studios, said many people assume political work is seasonal.
"Though there is a seasonal aspect to it, every year there are campaigns," Frantzen noted. "Candidates are working constantly to get elected or re-elected. It is a full-time activity and there are politicians out there all the time trying to gain our support."
Jamie Kirkland, marketing product manager for Wilton, New Hampshire-based Label Art, which has been offering campaign labels for more than five decades, said distributors must remember there are elections beyond national campaigns.
"Although the campaign year 2012 is coming up, there are local campaigns every year that can be a profit for distributors," Kirkland explained. "Do not only focus on the big fish but seek out the local runners, as well; they can be just as profitable for distributors."
In fact, Gill Studios currently is providing products for upcoming campaigns.
"So far this year, we have had a strong emphasis on signs," Frantzen observed. "The most popular item we sell is our patented double-sided yard sign, which is printed on both sides, folded and glued to slip easily over the included wire frame. Currently, there is more emphasis on the state and local elections. In even-numbered years, the state and federal elections will generate more business."
Label Art's product selection is significant and can provide items such as lapel stickers, bumper stickers, window decals, door hangers and other items, Kirkland mentioned.
In addition, the products also have important features. For example, Frantzen noted that one of the most important features of its products is that Gill Studios is a union manufacturing facility.
"Many candidates show their support of unions by having the union bug printed on their materials," she said.
Selection and speed also are key when it comes to election materials, Kirkland explained.
"The varying demands of a campaign necessitate the availability of a variety of promotional products that can be delivered very quickly," Kirkland commented.
Elections can be very exciting for the print industry.
Special interest groups that are involved in the elections are an interesting aspect of elections in the printing industry, Frantzen noted.
"They are not necessarily affiliated with a specific candidate, but are spending money on political products to support their candidates," she remarked. All election years are good for sales, but presidential years provide the most income.
"The 2012 election year provides the printing industry with sales that might only come around every four years," Kirkland said. "In [presidential] election years, the products are in high demand and the industry thrives on the influx of orders."
Profit isn't the only advantage to working with campaigns.
"The size of the political market makes it very attractive," Frantzen said. "Also, in many cases, the race between candidates is very tight which makes it even more attractive for the need of products to help [them] brand themselves."
The only disadvantage to campaigns is that major ones come every four years, Kirkland noted. Otherwise, working with campaigns is very positive.
"Election campaigns order a variety of products in a short time and generally are simple 1-3 color labels," Kirkland commented. "The profit center on items of this nature is large."
Things are good for companies that sell campaign materials and it's likely to stay that way.
"The need for campaign products will always be there," Kirkland said. "The demand for new media will continue to give campaign officials the edge they are looking for in their campaign. Venues like Twitter, e-mail and news media will become a part of every campaign manager, but the labels, bumper stickers and window decals will always be a part of the election process."
For more information about Gill Studios, visit www.gill-line.com.
For more information about Label Art, visit www.labelart.com. ￼