With the warmer weather coming, you may be deep in planning your company or foundation’s big outdoor event for this summer. While the article linked above lists just a few options for giveaway products, there are almost thousands of possibilities that will both catch your attendee’s eye and make them want to hang on to the product (thus, keeping your logo in front of them!). If you need any suggestions, please reach out to a member of our team for ideas or questions!
There are hundreds of corporate web stores that fail every year because of poor planning and execution. The company store that offers your corporate branded apparel and promotional products to your employees and customers should be an integral part of your branding process. A well-planned e-commerce site will not only launch well but also produce sensational results.
Up until a few years ago, only the largest companies, with thousands of employees and customers, could afford to have their own company store. Initially, these were all operated from printed color catalogs that were very costly to produce and distribute. Today, with the introduction of the web based company store, almost every company can afford a company store. Startup costs range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, dependent upon the design costs of the web site and a minimal monthly web-hosting fee. Plan on spending an additional 15% to 20% for your corporate branded products to cover fulfillment costs if you contract with an outside source instead of warehousing and fulfilling internally.
The low cost of entry into the web marketplace has produced more company store failures than ever before. This is often due to poor planning. In order to be successful, you must have programs in place that will drive your employees and customers to your web store and in turn build brand equity through the purchase of your branded merchandise.
There are several marketing programs that will make your company store successful. That a look at all of the departments in your operation and like their operations directly to your company store. Here are some suggestions, by department, on programs that will drive your company's store sales, profits, and brand equity. Budgets for making company store purchases of branded merchandise could be established for any department within a company
Your Executive Offices Department
Outstanding Leadership Award merchandise
Company Anniversary Gifts
Significant Corporate Milestone awards
Your Human Resources Department
Valued Employee Rewards
Length of Service/Retirement Gifts
Company Visitor Mementos
Best Practices Awards
Safety Program Badges
Quality Improvement Certifications
Total Quality Management Items
Process Improvement or Re-engineering Achievement Buttons
Inventory Management Merchandise
Sales Performance Incentives
Customer Relationship Management
Loyal Customer Thank You Items
Product Innovation Awards
Special Occasion Gifts
Company Party Souveniers
These are only a few areas and programs that will make your company store successful while increasing employee morale, sales and profits. A company store, without a well-thought out plan for linking the store to your company staff and customers, is destined to fail.
For those of you who may feel that business is great, that employees are paid well and that you need to spend another dollar on fringe items – think again! To increase your client satisfaction with your company, you might want to focus your efforts closer to home.
A recent Maritz poll found that customers prefer working with happy employees. However, only 25% of employees said they were happy with their job. A study by the Incentive Federation reveals that when it comes to motivating employees, improving performance, boosting morale and hitting business goals, non-cash rewards are more effective than plain old bonuses. Why? Thre out of five employees surveyed feel that a cash bonus and pay is something already owed to them for their normal hard work over the year. A program that awards employees points for use at the company store is a true reward. Keep that in mind before opening your company store.
We’ve all heard the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. This may be true when it comes to books but when it’s your product or service packaging, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s imperative that you attract your customer’s attention-immediately-if you intend to get their business.
Case In Point
Several years ago, our company won our regional American Marketing Association’s first place Diamond Award for the best three-dimensional direct mail piece. It was an invitation to our customers and prospects to attend our annual promotional product and sportswear show. It was a very successful direct mail piece with an extremely high response rate. Why did the direct mail piece work so well?
· It was bulky mail and caught the customer’s eye
· It was intriguing enough to compel the recipients to open
· It provided (inside) an easy method to immediately respond (see photo)
Not only did we have an exceptional event, we had several inquiries to design invitations for our client’s upcoming events.
Case In Point
For several years we supplied a national company with a first-class, low cost presentation folder made of gallery board. This was far different than the standard presentation folder used by many companies. Our client made a press release presentation to the New York Post using this folder with the hope of receiving press coverage for their new product. Not only did an article appear in the newspaper, the writer stated that in his 30 years as a journalist, he had never seen such a cool presentation piece.
If your company sending information on your products and services to customers, prospects and the press, make sure your materials make a “WOW” statement they will notice. This will greatly increase the chances that the materials inside will be read and significantly improve your sales and publicity results.
Whether it’s packaging your products, presentation materials, e-mails or your web site, you only have seconds to capture the customer’s attention. If any of these tools are boring, unprofessional or lack the WOW factor, you’ve already lost the prospect. Don’t skimp on the creative, (it’s probably more affordable than you think) and don’t assume intelligent packaging won’t make a difference. It does!
It takes a substantial amount of money and time to discover the ideal company name and define the unique market position that elevates the value of a business in the eyes of prospects. CEOs that capitalize on every opportunity to optimize their promotional dollars and build brand equity in their market position will build brand recognition faster and profits more successfully.
I work with a client in Florida who utilizes natural architectural materials to craft cabanas at resorts and spas, tiki huts on beaches, grass hut bars in island themed restaurants and theme parks. They called me concerning a party they were planning and wanted to produce an invitation to be mailed to architects and designers.
We were give three objectives for the part invitation.
1. Attract the attention of the invited guests so they would open the invitation.
2. Reinforce the client’s market position in their industry: Delivering Paradise.
3. Make sure our unique invitation packaging would meet postal regulations.
The event was being held at an upscale restaurant in Orlando with an “island escape” motif. We looked for products that would pull together the idea of travel and the exotic destination theme.
A well traveled “trunk” as the package with a ticket and invitation inside. This inventive suitcase, decorated with exotic destinations of the world traveler, measured 10” x 7” x 3”. We shrink-wrapped it for mailing, exposing the graphics on the trunk to insure to get the recipient’s attention. The invitation and the event was a huge success!
The next time you plan and event, launch a new product or re-brand your company, be sure to include a seasoned promotional products expert in the planning process. They are often your best source for position-building, inventive-packaging ideas.
One of the most commonly used buzzwords in business today is branding. When most of us think of branding, we think or our logo, the collateral it’s printed on and the advertising we do to get our company name and brand in front of our customers and prospects. An element that plays a role in conveying our brand, yet is sometimes not considered when protecting it, is our employees.
Employees, their attitude, actions and personality can positively or negatively impact a company brand! Whether you have the best-known brand in the world or you’re working to build one, it’s important to train your staff as to how you want your brand represented.
Several years ago, my company experienced this exact scenario. For two years, I had been providing promotional products to a large well know university. This had been, and still is, a great client, however, I realized that I was only receiving a very small percentage of their budget for promotional products and sportswear. So, we began to work diligently to gain a larger share and finally we received a personal introduction from our contact to the head of event planning for the school. We completed a few small merchandise projects for the contact that went smoothly. Each time the client communicated that they were very pleased with our products and our performance.
Soon thereafter, however, the bottom fell out and we missed the delivery of a product for an annual golf tournament the university sponsors every year. The product was a gift with the schools logo on it. It was to be given to attendees representing major companies from across the country who traveled to Rhode Island to play in the event. Unfortunately, the national shipping company we used incorrectly routed the product to Florida. Our university contact, who was new to the event planning position, was sure she would lose her job because of the problem.
In an attempt to salvage our relationship with this client and the potential for thousands of dollars in future business, we needed to turn this into a “win-win” situation. The plan I presented was to supply another gift at no additional cost to the client. Although it would not have their school logo on it, the item had a much greater value than the one they originally purchased. This gesture cost my company over $2000.00. I addition, I recommended they use this situation to their advantage by suggesting that when the original gift arrived, they send it out after the tournament to all of the participants, with a thank you letter for their participation. We also paid for the cost of the mailing.
The president of the university loved the idea; my contact became a hero for using our ideas and I saved a client, thousands of dollars in future revenue and my company’s brand-our reputation.
Make sure your employees are representing your brand with long-term goals in mind. Brand is much more then the stationary it’s printed on, it’s what your company stands for.
Every year, companies spend thousands of dollars sponsoring sporting events, contests and other public events without receiving much more than their company name on some literature as a sponsor of the event.
How did your company measure the success of its last promotion? In many cases, the idea of measuring results or collecting business leads for future sales in not considered in the planning or sponsorship of an event or promotion.
Take golf tournaments for instance. Gift bags full of promotional goodies, ranging from golf gadgets to polo shirts, are handed out to attendees and participants. Sure, the merchandise may display the logo of the sponsor company, but seldom do these items alone create a measurable increase in business.
When committing you marketing dollars for the next event you sponsor, think about ways your time and money can generate business after the event.
For example, a soft drink company launching a new product chose to sponsor a professional golf tournament because they new their target audience, sports enthusiasts, would be attending the event as spectators. At the event, they set up several taste testing booths and offered attendees a free key chain bottle opener if they agreed to a taste test. Additionally, They directed the tasters to their website to obtain a free product coupon.
Not only did they benefit from their exposure at the tournament by building their brand name, the soft drink company was also able to generate and track sales through the website visits and coupon redemption after the event.
Another example from the same event came from a national investment firm that wanted to generate leads that their sales team could follow-up on after the event. Rather than just handing out company literature at the tournament, the company decided to give away a book on golf tips to anyone that filled out a short profile. After the event they were able to quantify the success of their marketing dollars by selecting the hottest leads and pursuing them.
This year’s resolution? When purchasing sponsorships for events, develop new creative ways to develop more and stronger leads.
Over my 42 years in the promotional products industry, I’ve come across many a client who was confused about my industry and what I do. Am I a manufacturer, importer, printer, middleman or just making sales?
So I decided to sit down and answer these questions, hopefully helping others understand how this industry works. First of all, it’s a large industry that has annual sales of over 23 billion dollars in the United States alone. Most of the products we sell are decorated with a company, school, team, church, or organization name. In addition to t-shirts and other sportswear items, the products we sell include writing instruments, drinkware, headwear, desk accessories, electronics, calendars, and umbrellas, among many other product categories.
This industry holds an interesting model. It is made up of over 3,000 manufacturers located across the United States. These manufacturers purchase or develop products with their overseas factory partners, import the products, and hold substantial amounts inventory that are ready to be printed with a logo when they receive an order. That number doesn't account for the thousands of independent garment decorators in the US not belonging to industry groups who aggregate these statistics. The other part of the model includes distributors, like myself. There are over 20,000 promotional product distributing companies in the US, with thousands of employees and over 100,000 sales people.
You may be wondering how the distributors in this industry connect to the manufacturers? In 1950, a businessman by the name of Joseph Segal, a promotional product sales person, wanted to create his own directory of manufacturers. Realizing that this directory information could be a goldmine for distributors and manufacturers alike, he decided to start a for-profit company called the Advertising Specialty Institute, also known as ASI. Membership in ASI allows distributors to more easily find manufacturers while manufacturers have a wider base to market their products. Generally, ASI manufacturers are only allowed to sell to ASI distributors, who then sell to the end user. Each ASI manufacturer and distributor is assigned an identifying number, enabling each side to rest assured they are either ordering from or selling to a fellow member of ASI. This rule has exceptions, especially for garment manufacturers and wholesalers, as they would be disallowed from selling their blank goods to retail or to the thousands of screen printers and embroideres who are not members of ASI. Most hard good manufacturers abide by these ASI guidelines to this day as well.
When I joined in ASI in 1977 as a distributor, membership qualifications required me to prove by showing invoices that I had purchased from 3 ASI manufacturers. Because ASI manufacturers do not sell to anyone except ASI distributors it was difficult for me to come up with the proof of purchase. Fortunately, I owned Two's Company, a sportswear screen printing factory that had purchased from several garment wholesalers who were members of ASI.
Manufacturers often receive calls from end users looking to place orders, but these manufacturers point these prospective clients to their distributor partners to service these orders. This allows the manufacturers to continue focusing on product development while the distributor is able to focus on the sales of the product. However, with the advent and ease-of-use of technology, manufacturers' websites are easy to find. While most of these manufacturers won't sell to the end user, distributors use them as a helpful sales tool, often replacing the need for lengthy catalogs. Pricing is available on these sites, but you should always contact a distributor, as these relationships can often work to the client's benefit, financially.
With companies likeAmazon offering cost-effective two-day shipping and Zappo's offering free next-day shipping, we're aware that shipping costs are a concern for many of our customers. Because this industry is so widely represented across the US, Payden & Company will always do our best to pair your hard good needs with the manufacturers that are close to you. Purchasing specific brands will call for shipping from specific warehouse locations, however. If you're looking for theKoozie brand of can cooler, the manufacturer keeps those warehoused and decorates in Red Wing, Minnesota. Regardless of whether you order Koozies from a distributor next door to you or across the country, that product will always ship from Minnesota and correlating shipping charges cannot be avoided. A Bic pen is going to be shipped from Clearwater, FL.
You may find that when purchasing garments for decoration, shipping costs tend to be a little higher. Although many ASI garment manufacturers offer decoration, it's often easier for smaller, local decorators to do the screen print or embroidery for an order. This does usually require two sets of shipping costs to be assessed (from the garment mill to the decorator and from thedecorator to the client). However, these garment manufacturers often offer programs for freight allowances, and at Payden & Company, we pass those savings on to our clients.
Almost everyone owns a promotional product with a logo on it. The promotional products industry has become an important part of the advertising and marketing fields. Having your logo or name on a product makes sure that recipients will remember who you are and where you met. In addition, promotional products have staying power. They may be worn or displayed on a desk for years to come, gaining additional advertising along the way for the company that put their logo on it.
Payden and Company, LLC
Corporate branding through promotional products and corporate merchandise, once a cottage industry, has grown to over an $23 billion a year industry with numerous applications.
When I first entered the industry in 1977 with a sportswear screen-printing and embroidery business called Two’s Company, my future mother-in-law questioned the longevity of my chosen career, stating “tee shirts are just a fad.” At the time, few people realized that the tee shirt, and related sportswear items, would become such a powerful branding tool, with individuals of every age sometimes paying to wear your company’s corporate logo and brand on their chest.
According to a study commissioned by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 95% of the 839 businesses surveyed used promotional products. Today, companies in every industry and of every size use promotional products to launch and promote new products, reward employees for their accomplishments and build customer loyalty.
The use of promotional products as a brand building tool has become a staple for many companies and organizations. It has become as important to their advertising budgets as their print, radio and television campaigns. The key to their success is the creativeness of the product and how it ties into their long-term goals and what the measurable return on their investment is. Just think of how many impressions your corporate logo on a tee shirt receives over the course of its life.
There are hundreds of applications for corporate merchandise and promotional products in today’s business world. The key is to come up with a product that fits your company’s image in a creative and effective manner. Your promotional products distributor should offer suggestions that reflect the image of the company, perpetuate your firm’s brand and contribute to annual marketing goals.
Written by Payden
Payden and Company, LLC
Payden and Company has opened Payden On Demand, an online store where customers are able to purchase just one printed or customized item at a time. Product offerings include several styles of tee shirts for both men & women, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, travel mugs, blue tooth speakers, bluetooth headphones and power banks to name just a few of the items that are available. Each item may be customized with a company logo, personal photograph or just a saying, all printed in full color. Visit paydenandcompany.com and click the Buy Just One tab at the top of the page to visit the new online store.
Do you need just one personalized piece with your corporate logo? Maybe for a corporate event or employee's birthday? We're now offering items with no minimum order quantity at our Payden On Demand site!
Our online personalization tools allow you to upload your logo or photos from your social media page and create the exact look and design you want on the product. The user-friendly tools allow you to create your own message and watch it come together before your own eyes!
If you're anticipating a larger quantity order, the design tool is a great resource to visualize how your design will work!
We'll be adding more items and stock design templates soon, so make sure to keep visiting the site!
Check out this great piece to see some amazing alternatives to the big names in the drinkware market. We know many clients are budget conscious and are always looking for quality product that we can brand at an affordable price!
Click Here to read!
We all love to represent our favorite sports teams, actors, and films but always have to keep copyrights in mind! If you're looking to decorate a shirt or hat with your favorite logo, please check out the below article. We're always happy to work with you to find artwork that is original and available for free use!
Click Here for more information on how to spot a copyright image or logo!
Payden and Company announced it has launched a company store for its long time client, Cox Communications. CoxGear.com was launched in the Cox Northeast Region which covers New England, Virginia and Ohio. The store supports Cox's sales efforts and staff with a wide variety of men's and women's sportswear as well as sales tools like pens, magnets and key chains. All items are decorated with either the Cox, Homelife or Contour logos. According to Payden, "we are excited about the store and helping Cox build their brand."
Today, Payden and Company announced record sales for 2017. Overall sales increased 28% over 2016. According to Payden, Managing Partner, "we could have not reached this unbelievable sales increase without the great work by our staff and sales team as well as our many vendor partners throughout the industry. And of course our valued customers, who have become our partners and without them, we could have never attained the growth we've experienced over the last decade. We value our role in helping our customers build their brands through the use of the promotional product and sportswear items we provide them. I'm confident that we will continue with our exceptional growth throughout 2018"
Liz Kennedy is a successful, versatile sales representative, project and account manager. Formally trained as an apparel and textiles designer, she has a unique background in sales and design, for over 15 years. Ranging from the Casino & Hospitality industry to the Retail industry,...she prides herself on providing top notch service to her customers and her knowledge and expertise in whatever product she selects to represent.
Evan March is based in the Atlanta area. He has 17 years of experience in CD/DVD replication, offset printing, and printed apparel sales and has also spent two decades as the owner of an independent record label and music distributor.
Due to his involvement in both the manufacturing and retail sides of this industry, he fully understands the importance of the vendor-client relationship. Evan looks forward to providing both existing and new clients with the extensive line of products that Payden & Company offers.
Check out this article about the hottest hues of the season! If you want to stay ahead of trends, now is the time to start ordering garments in these colors. Contact Payden & Co. for options and pricing today at 401-884-6811.
Madelyn is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Communications. She works out of the corporate office in East Greenwich, RI. She handles day-to-day operations, allowing merchandise consultants to focus on their customers and making sure they have the best products to suit their needs.
Madelyn can be reached at 401-884-6811 or 401-595-8933.