What Are Promotional Products?
Promotional products are useful and/or symbolic products which are used in advertising and communication as communication vehicles, goodwill reminders, signs, gifts and incentives.
Structure Of The Industry
Two main business categories make up the promotional products industry:
Suppliers make up the production end of the industry. They are firms that manufacture, import, convert, imprint, or otherwise process the wearables, writing instruments, recognition awards, business gifts, and other items offered for sale through the promotional products distributor.
Distributors develop ideas for the use of promotional products as an advertising medium, buy such items from suppliers and offer a variety of value-added services to the promotion buyer/client, including unique product ideas, creative distribution solutions and insight on the different imprinting methods, just to name a few.
Size of the Industry
The promotional product industry sales in Canada are $3.97 billion dollars, according to recent independent research conducted in 2009 by the Association Resource Centre. Latest figures (based on 2008) show that the Industry in Canada is composed of 6,392 distributors and 830 suppliers.
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The Distributor and the Promotion Buyer/Client
Distributor selling ranges from simply presenting products to operating as sales promotion agencies for their clients. The latter creates full-blown promotional programmes and offer such services as copywriting, artwork, catalogue development, warehousing and fulfillment.
By working with a distributor, promotion buyers can save time and energy in their search for the right products at the right price. The distributor's expertise allows him/her to easily find and bring products to the client, thus providing a "one-stop shopping" service.
This type of service also builds long-term relationships between the distributor and the client. Through knowledge and experience, the distributor is better able to ascertain the needs of the promotion buyer in order to obtain the desired results.
EIGHT WAYS A PROMOTIONAL PRODUCT DISTRIBUTOR CAN HELP A PROMOTION BUYER
1. Determine the objective of a promotion.
2. Work out a plan to achieve it through the use of promotional products.
3. Source the required items from suppliers.
4. Or custom design and produce unique items (with the help of PPPC suppliers).
5. Develop support print material such as posters, brochures, fliers and catalogues.
6. Develop and implement a distribution plan.
7. See the campaign through to its completion, and
8. Measure results.
PRODUCT VS. PROGRAMME ADVERTISING
Product sales are made on the basis of being in the right place at the right time with the customer asking a have-you-got question.
Idea or programme selling is rooted in product selling as it requires a knowledge of what promotional products are available and appropriate. Yet it also requires an understanding of how a client's business works, including their goals and obstacles. Idea selling requires having insight into specific promotional or communication problems the client might be facing and being able to solve these problems with promotional products applications.