What could promotional products / branded materials suppliers do better?

xeventtech
marketing
tech

(Aman Brar) #1

Hi everyone, been a while!

I’ve been focused on creating a new technology platform for event and marketing professionals to price up and buy branded products quickly. The core websites are due to be released in a few weeks, and now I’m widening my focus to see how we can help even more!

Seeing as EventTribers are usually fairly big consumers of branded marketing goodies, this would hopefully be a perfect place to spark a little discussion and try and improve our industry.

For those of you who’ve bought branded products, I’d love to know:

  • What are the biggest pain points you experience?
  • If you had to improve any aspect of purchasing, what would it be?
  • How do you think technology could help?
  • If you work on behalf of clients, what would make their experience better?

Feel free to add with any experiences!


(Louisa Douglas) #2

The biggest bug bear for me, is I’m yet to find a company who offer a good quality and timely service. Admittedly, when I’m looking for branded items for events it’s one of the last things I think of so am always cutting it fine with the turn around, although with the various companies I’ve tried I find I’m always chasing for samples and proofs, which just adds to the stress.

What I would find helpful, is if there was a technology where I could upload logos, text etc. in advance and see what it will look like before getting to enquiry/proof stage - like Vistaprint do, but better


(Belinda Booker) #3

I think one of the biggest problems in this space is lack of innovation. Event organisers are always looking for something new that will wow attendees, but there’s not that much out there. I think using print-on-demand technologies to provide personalised gifts will be a growing trend.


(Melissa Saunders) #4

It would be really helpful if there was a “something different” or inspire me category - in a notonthehighstreet kind of way - where those not looking for the usual pen, bag, cap, stressball etc. can find something a bit different. This could be where the innovation comes in an perhaps suppliers could be challenged with that. Also perhaps products could be curated into lists for different audiences e.g. office based, outdoorsy, creatives, frequent travellers, on the road etc.


(Aman Brar) #5

The biggest bug bear for me, is I’m yet to find a company who offer a good quality and timely service. Admittedly, when I’m looking for branded items for events it’s one of the last things I think of so am always cutting it fine with the turn around, although with the various companies I’ve tried I find I’m always chasing for samples and proofs, which just adds to the stress.

What I would find helpful, is if there was a technology where I could upload logos, text etc. in advance and see what it will look like before getting to enquiry/proof stage - like Vistaprint do, but better

Hi Louisa, sorry for the late reply on this one! Obviously not doing very well with the timeliness - haha!

This is one of the things that we struggle with too, there are only a few manufacturers in the UK set up with the scale to deliver in a few days - that’s why we always recommend leaving enough time to get all the marketing materials together. We’d like to experiment with a few reminders if you have a regular event or set of events - maybe even a shared calendar where your supplier can get in touch so you have enough time to prepare it all!

Regarding uploading logos and text, this is something we’re looking to do with Printkick however our first iteration is solving the pricing conundrum with the myriad of small UK manufacturers of merchandise and bring it all onto one platform.

I think one of the biggest problems in this space is lack of innovation. Event organisers are always looking for something new that will wow attendees, but there’s not that much out there. I think using print-on-demand technologies to provide personalised gifts will be a growing trend.

Hey Belinda, yep we completely agree! Coming new into the industry, it was a shock to see how it still operates in the dark ages. There are lots of European upstarts delivering great experiences online, so hopefully we can rival that in the UK! We’re also looking to promote the smaller, niche manufacturers (almost like a B2B version of Notonthehighstreet)

It would be really helpful if there was a “something different” or inspire me category - in a notonthehighstreet kind of way - where those not looking for the usual pen, bag, cap, stressball etc. can find something a bit different. This could be where the innovation comes in an perhaps suppliers could be challenged with that. Also perhaps products could be curated into lists for different audiences e.g. office based, outdoorsy, creatives, frequent travellers, on the road etc.

Hi Melissa, this is something we’re totally looking into! The challenge right now is finding the right niche suppliers, and getting their product and pricing data in the right format so that you can have a brilliant ordering experience. There are a few unique craftspeople who I know would fit the bill, and we want to create a marketplace that includes them too!


(Melissa Saunders) #6

Great news. Keep us posted. Thanks, M


(Belinda Booker) #7

Sounds brilliant, Aman. Let us know if you find any suppliers offering something really different!


(Melissa Saunders) #8

Yes let us know about the new exciting stuff first before anyone else! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


(Marino Fresch) #9

I’d like to see more data and information coming from the suppliers. Right now the business model tends to be a catalogue / website where brands can choose what they want, but often the choice is overwhelming and it’s very difficult to understand what works best.

Suppliers should in theory have access to great data about what products are most popular in different sectors. Which branded products have been most popular this month, which are most effective in different sectors, etc.

Essentially, suppliers should give me recommendations for the best branded products for my brand’s goals. Not simply show me a list of everything that is available and leave it up to me. And there’s an obvious role for data and tech to help with that.


(Aman Brar) #10

Hi Marino,

Great thoughts!

Suppliers should in theory have access to great data about what products are most popular in different sectors. Which branded products have been most popular this month, which are most effective in different sectors, etc.

Do you see this more as a news/blog type area, where we write articles about the new products and happenings in the industry, or integrated with the eCommerce experience (so a “Latest” or “trending” products section?)

Essentially, suppliers should give me recommendations for the best branded products for my brand’s goals. Not simply show me a list of everything that is available and leave it up to me. And there’s an obvious role for data and tech to help with that.

I absolutely understand the need for this - we’re trying to get away from the catalogue based offering of products and into the recommendations arena. At the moment i’m trying to think of ways to make it work. To start off, what would you pick out of the following?

  • Monthly/bi-monthly emails with product recommendations?
  • Email/web case studies of our current clients
  • Email/web case studies of marketing and branding from elsewhere around the world
  • Anything else you can think of?

We’re very close to re-launching our niche sites focusing on promotional mugs and umbrellas (mugstore.co.uk and umbrellastore.co.uk) ETA - 2 weeks at the moment. The new platform will be called Printkick, and I’m very much looking forward to taking ideas and feedback from this community to make it a success!


(Marino Fresch) #11

I’d see it as the latter - brand is trying to do X, recommended products are A, B, C. Customers who bought this also bought that, etc


(Marino Fresch) #12

Personally I would do all, as different decision makers will prefer different channels. But for me, I’d engage more with emails of products recommendations, provided they’re as tailored as possible to my industry sector.


(Melissa Saunders) #13

You might want to have a dedicated section for and/or flag fast turn around items.