Promotional merchandise buying tips


To really maximise the benefits when sourcing and buying promotional merchandise for marketing campaigns, events and conferences, there are some simple rules to follow that will help you to maximise your return on time and money invested.
Avoid the Rush
Plan ahead and allow yourself and your supplier time to achieve your goals for your campaign or event. While experienced distributors will often be able to achieve tight deadlines, it is important to keep in mind that the normal production schedule for most items will be around 2 – 3 weeks from receipt of your order.
This allows suitable time for checking stock availability, artwork and artwork approval, plain samples, printing and delivery. For larger orders and bespoke products, you will need to allow longer than this as goods are frequently brought in from overseas manufacturers. Remember, short lead times can incur additional express production costs so leaving more production time typically means better prices.
Allowing longer lead times can provide substantial savings for products like bespoke manufactured products and clothing as goods manufactured overseas can be brought into the country of final destination by seafreight rather than by air. 

Choose your Items Carefully
Choose your promotional items carefully keeping in mind your target audience and the message you wish to convey. The right item will have value with your audience and will be retained by them meaning your marketing budget will achieve longer lasting benefits.

One of the best examples we can give on this is that a client we gave a Mini Maglite torch to 11 years ago is still using it and it still carries our own engraved logo and website details.  An item that cost less than £3.00 has remained in daily use on her key ring for a very long time and provide us with a marketing solution that over it’s lifespan has cost a fraction of a penny per day.

Promote from within
Promotional items given to staff are a great way to build company loyalty while increasing brand awareness. Promotional umbrellas, baseball caps and t-shirts are all low cost but high value brand builders.

Of course, promotional items now include high street brand names and incentives so choosing and providing the right products means association and allignment with your own company values, whether they be style, eco performance and sustainability or usefulness.


Promotional Items

Planning Pays
Effective planning of your campaign and promotional events pays dividends. Keep in mind how you will most effectively deliver your promotional items to your audience whether they be clients, staff or prospects. Will you be giving them out at a trade show or conference, mailing them to customers or sending them via couriers?  Choosing a bulky product for a mailout campaign weill significantly impact on delivery and packaging costs while alternatives can be designed to fit within existing mailouts meaning no additional delivery costs at all.

Experienced distributors will help and advise on this from the outset so being open in discussions about your plans will pay long term dividends in terms of costs and time.

Author: Tony Altham –

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