Cheaper Is Not Necessarily Better With Promotional Products

There are many times in life and in business that we want to go with the cheapest option. Maybe you just need a quick snack at a convenience store, so you go with the cheapest snack just to get you by until dinner time. Maybe you just need a can of green beans from the grocery store and the cheapest generic brand is fine. In business when you are promoting your products or services, cheaper is not typically better. I have access to thousands of cheap promotional products; however, I don’t push those products because I know the quality is not what most people would want and would cause great disappointment. In fact, with most of the quotes that I deliver, there is a cheaper option that I could offer, but I choose not to because I don’t want to be known as the provider of cheaply made promotional items. I often lose orders to other distributors who will quote the cheapest possible option without regard to quality and without thought of the final satisfaction of the client. My message today is intended to get you asking questions about quality. If a distributor quotes you initially on a piece of junk and doesn’t bother asking questions about what you want, you can bet he or she is trying to make a sale and make a few quick bucks. The other issue to consider is that most of the extremely low price distributors have no experience in dealing with art. They frequently will just take the file you send them and use that to print the products. When in reality, about 75-80% of all logos received are not in a print ready format and will print blurry, jagged, or sloppy. The final outcome will be extremely disappointing. Paying a few cents more per product can ensure that you are using a reputable distributor who actually cares about your project. In the end, you will be much happier in dealing with an experienced promotional products distributor.

Below are some guidelines to consider when purchasing promotional products:

  • If you have quotes from multiple companies for an, make sure you are comparing apples to apples and not just comparing the price. Since similar products are produced by different factories, there can be major differences in the quality.
  • Find out about the product specs, including product sizes such as width, height, depth, diameter, etc.
  • Make sure the imprint areas are similar. There are many products that are similar in look and description, but they are produced by different factories around the country. Often, one product will have a larger imprint area than the other leading to better marketing exposure.
  • Make sure the company has graphic artists on staff. If they farm out there art services to India, that can be a problem since that means they don’t understand graphics. They will not fully understand what is needed for the best outcome for printing.
  • Beware of amateur graphic artists who think they know graphic design because they have played around with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for a few years. They will lack much of the insight in regards to spacing, proportions, and layout options that work the best.
  • If the product has some sort of function such as an electronic item, noisemaker, light, or any other function, a sample of each product may be necessary, if time permits. It’s worth paying for a sample to make sure you will be happy with that item before ordering hundreds or thousands.
  • Last, but definitely not least, make sure you are comfortable with the distributor. Do they sound professional? Do you feel like they understand what you want? Do you get a vibe that they don’t know what they are doing? These are all questions that you should address and make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.

The most important aspect when marketing for your business is to portray a positive light toward your company. If you shed a “cheap” light, it can harm your company image. Branding is extremely important and it’s best to not give anything, rather than give out a cheap, non-working, and non-useful products. The take home message is to make sure and plan well and promote a positive image for your business and it will pay off.

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