A while ago, I was fortunate to bump into an old friend who had just taken the decision to move from corporate employment to start-up his own company. I of course offered my advice and company’s support should he need any marketing requirements. This did lead him to engage us to create a brand logo and stationery as initial requirements, and we established a business relationship which still continues to this day…
Further down the line, we quoted for some pens and branded USB’s (which we import direct from China), but unfortunately received feedback that “we were more expensive” than another quote he had received. Not by much, however the fact remains that there will always be someone out there willing to offer ‘something’ cheaper whatever it might be, so I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. Plus, the company was just starting out so looking after the pennies at that stage was important.
The pens turned up, yes they were pens; the only similarity to our offering. They were not on par quality wise to our suggestion (pens may look the same design but there are often quality differences hidden underneath). The USB’s were unfortunately cheap plastic shells which we never offer as a solution, and only 512mb in size (rarely now a keeper), but worse they weren’t even branded though were expected to have been!
We were asked to produce labels to apply to them – we declined! They would have looked awful. We will always offer our opinion to our clients if we do not think their investment is right. But, what I subsequently found out made me question even further whether his statement “we were more expensive” was really true…
Picture this…Your hard work and persistence has paid off, you’ve been invited to present your services and products to the board of a prospective client and everything is going well. You’ve handed out your proposal along with a branded pen and a USB containing your presentation. You’re midway through…you’ve got this! You have the attention of everyone in the room, the chairman is sat back in his chair focusing on your every word, with the pen you gave him, in hand unconsciously…clickety, clickety, click…PING!
In that split second, in your mind it was like a hand grenade, the pen detonating in all directions. The room now distracted from your presentation laughs at the shrapnel landing about the room, you feel this overwhelming heat envelope your face as the realisation sinks in that it was the pen you gave him. The room settles, the chairman looks at you, now just holding a hollow plastic tube in one hand and picking up your USB in the other… “So tell me…do these reflect the quality of your company’s products and service?
My friend was mortified!
The moral of the story, everything that you use to promote yourself or your business sends a subliminal message to the recipient and is a direct reflection of your brand, services and products. Make sure they are the best they can be. Merchandise is an important part of the marketing mix and can, if used well, be very successful in keeping your brand at the forefront of your target audience.
Get in contact with us to discuss your needs and budget, and let us help you get the best solution for your campaign.