Evaluating Promotional Products Vendors: 4 Qualities to Look For

Hand holding a marker checking of item on checklist.

Understand What to Look for Before Deciding on a Promotional Products Vendor

With so many choices out there, it can be difficult to find a dependable promotional products vendor with competitive pricing. They must have the ability to identify and anticipate your needs, but there must also be reliable avenues of communication between the customer and vendor. Additionally, the customer must trust that the promotional products reach beyond the standard of excellence that they hold their company to.

As you prepare for your upcoming trade show or promotional event, keep these four qualities in mind when choosing a promotional products vendor:

  1. Customer Service

    A strong promotional products vendor takes great pride in their customer service department. In an effective and caring customer service department, you will find people who are able and willing to put your needs first. They should jump at the chance to provide you with the answers you are looking for as a customer; before you even ask the question. It’s being proactive, not reactive, that will make a customer service team stand out.

    There are a wide variety of different choices that can be made when selecting promotional products. Take advantage of having an expert opinion to lean on; someone who will take the pressure off you as a customer and ensure it won’t be an overwhelming process. The customer service team exists to absorb the challenge of making your experience easy, and maybe even fun, from start to finish.

  2. Industry Certifications

    As the customer, you need to be aware of the quality of the promotional products that you intend to use. For reference, take a look at the report that was put together after five of our reusable bags were put to the test by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company.

    Before sinking money into promotional products that might not reach your expected level of quality, do the research necessary to identify a vendor that has durable and safe options. A commitment to obtaining industry certification, and as an extension of that, passing third-party inspections, displays a dedication to quality promotional products.

  3. Customizable Products

    As your company extends its presence and is forced to become more versatile in how you promote, the hope is that your vendor will be able to be just as fluid. Do they offer a wide range of products that can fill all of your potential needs? Can they help you design a promotional product that is completely custom in terms of shape and material? Does each product have the ability to deliver on the goals, no matter how small or large, that your company set out to achieve? These are questions that must be asked when considering a vendor’s ability to work with you.

    Flexibility from a promotional product vendor is a major plus. It’s wise to make sure that they have the capacity to fill a wide range of needs, rather than filling a niche. Today you might need reusable totes, but maybe at your next event, you decide to go with a collection of customizable pens. Don’t corner yourself.

  4. Durability

    A crucial question to consider when choosing promotional products is “How long will this product stay with my customer?” The ultimate goal is to find a vendor that can provide a product with your branding on it that can serve a purpose in the customer’s life, thus promoting your brand each time they pick up that colorful reusable bag or custom aluminum water bottle.

    Placing your brand name or logo on a product that won’t last is a negative, no matter how you look at it. Durability should be near the top of your checklist. All too often, trade show floors are littered with reusable bags with ripped handles because they were not double-stitched during production.

    According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, promotional bags are kept for an average of 7 months. However, bags that are built to last are the only ones worth using to promote. If done right, your customers will be using a mini billboard for your brand in their day-to-day lives.

Final Thoughts

Not all vendors operate on the same level of quality, and as the customer, it is up to you to choose your best option. A strong promotional products vendor should provide an exemplary customer experience from the first call you make to the customer service center to the final delivery of your item(s).

If you are putting together a promotional giveaway, keep in mind that your customers will appreciate a quality product that has been carefully planned out and you’ll be happy that you worked directly with the best company in the industry that cares about its customers. Contact us today to learn more.


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