Getting the Most out of Promotional Products
So, you want to make more money, have some fun and be more important to your customers than ever before. And, you don’t want to make any investment or have to learn too much or think too hard! Well—promotional products sales are just what you are looking for. OK—stop laughing and I’ll let you know how easy it can be. You probably think you have to join an organization and pay dues, organize a complete office and become familiar with about 3,400 supplier companies where you won’t have credit and you don’t know anyone. Well, that could all be true, but let’s look at some less painful ways to add this nice profit center to your business.
As with any business, if you narrow your focus and specialize, you can give concentrated service to a specific group of clients or market segment. For example, to service the retail automotive market (automobile dealers) you may need to regularly only work with five or six good lines. Some sellers have chosen to be even more specific and sell only a certain type of promotional product. Many years ago, when I was still operating a commercial printing company, one of my competitors who printed several weekly “penny saver” supermarket handouts also sold shopping totes by the thousands. The same clients who bought the advertising flyers resold the tote bags in the markets.
Across town in my shop, we did a lot of printing for schools, both public and private, and they were my first customers for promotional items. The high schools had school book stores or “team” shops with merchandise featuring the school’s logos. I supplied that merchandise: T-shirts, sweats, water bottles, locker mirrors, baseball caps, coffee mugs, fun flyers and about 25 other items. I needed six suppliers and one local screen printer to manage that business.
Gregg Emmer is chief marketing officer and vice president for Kaeser & Blair Inc. (K&B). He has more than 40 years of experience in marketing and the promotional specialty advertising industry. His outside consultancy provides marketing, public relations and business planning consulting to a wide range of other businesses and has been a useful knowledge base for K&B dealers. Contact Emmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.