Promotional Products Agency

Do You Know Too Much?

comparing apples to apples

photo credit: bschwehn

With access to information at all-time highs, consumers across the spectrum of buying are entering transactions more informed than ever before.

While such rampant access to data is empowering, buyers need to be cautious that this widespread access doesn’t accidentally lead to misinformation.

We’ve identified three areas where purchasers should exercise caution when jumping into transactions after having done research online.

Apples to Apples

I worked at RIGHTSLEEVE for all of 30 seconds when I first heard Mark Graham talk about “Apples to Apples” quoting in promotional products.

Apples to apples comparison shopping often breaks down to pricing and quality, so that’s what I’ll address.

There are a lot of different variables that affect the pricing of a t-shirt, and they usually align with the quality. Weight, cut, fabric type, fabric quality, and labor standards are a few of the things that you need to consider when comparing quotes.

Think of it this way: the average consumer wouldn’t walk into American Apparel and ask them to price match a shirt from the dollar store.

But, in the promotional products industry that happens on a daily basis.

So, instead of going straight for the price match, make sure all of the other specs align, then decide if you’re comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges.

Product Education

Picture it: A promo website. Early 21st century. You see a product that looks like a fit for your needs. You upload your logo via a fancy virtual proofing tool and it looks amazing. You place an order on-line then whoops, you get an email saying that the artwork you sent won’t work on the product that you chose.

Say what?

On-line tools are so robust nowadays that we expect there to be a computer program to automate practically everything. Virtual proofing software is an example of a tool that’s great in theory, but often falls short of expectations. I get why they’re out there, to streamline a process and provide efficiency. Unfortunately, they’re not sophisticated enough to handle the many products that our industry provides.

Printing on a shirt is different than printing on a mug is different than embroidering a sweatshirt is different than embossing a journal.

It’s a process that can’t always be simplified. That’s why we prefer to work directly with clients to determine the logistics of an order at the beginning of a transaction rather than at the end.

Seeing something work on-line, doesn’t always mean it will work on the production line.

Trend

trendwatching… Trendland… Cool Hunting… The Coolhunter… NotCot…

There’s a whole slew of websites devoted to keeping on top of trends nowadays.

And, while there is a mass of information about what’s hot in retail spaces there aren’t quite so many folks producing content on the latest B2B product marketing trends, so it can be hard for folks not immersed in the day-to-day industry of it to stay on top of things.

Engaging an industry professional in a consult can help your product marketing stay current, but can also be a double-check to ensure the products that you’re using to deliver your message are on-target.

Never turn down the additional exposure, experience, and extra brain power that comes with engaging a consult from someone within the industry.

Your marketing will be the better for it.

In the end, we’re firm believers in the power of knowledge, but we’re also firm believers in trusting the insight of experts. So, search and research to your heart’s content, but remember that Google doesn’t know everything. Yet.


RIGHTSLEEVE is a promotional products agency helping companies establish emotional connections to their brands through tangible, logoed merchandise. Please say hi on Twitter or Facebook.

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