It’s true what they say: everyone makes mistakes, even when it comes to product design.

But, you’re not just anyone. You like to get things done and get them done right. Staples Promotional Products is here to help you avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes by outlining some of the most common mistakes companies make when selecting branded merchandise. Here are just a few examples.


Settling for “logo slaps”

Most companies assume the primary benefit of consolidating merchandise spend is price leverage. While that’s important, using your aggregate economy of scale to ensure the products are differentiated by your brand is a far more compelling opportunity. The most effective brand merchandising combines this differentiation with thoughtful strategy. Accordingly, your distributor partner should leverage purchasing scale to give you completely custom products that are not identical to what everyone else is using. Many distributors will take your purchasing volume factory direct so the product is built around your brand from raw materials through finished goods.

Not enough scale for completely custom products? Not an excuse! The best distributors should have strategies to elevate products from mere logo slaps to a more custom brand presentation.

When you consolidate spend, make sure your product is differentiated by your brand, and not just your logo. Expect trend and audience relevant products that are distinct and on-brand. Challenge your distributor to give you highly-customized products that more effectively broadcast your brand into minds and marketplaces.


They don’t involve enough stakeholders in program and product design

If your distributor isn’t talking with key stakeholders to ensure product assortments and platform designs revolve around their objectives and strategies, your program will fall short of its potential.

Good distributors want to build programs that contribute to your organizational objectives. Give them access to key marketing, brand and HR executives. Let them speak with your ad agency. Put them through formal brand training. Have them experience your products and services. Challenge them to assemble a marketing calendar with product concepts that intersect with your upcoming company events, product launches, key messages and ad campaigns.

Expect your platform to have utility in achieving the results that are most meaningful and productive for your enterprise! Ensuring your distributor really understands what’s important to your team should result in products and programs that better serve your team.


Need help getting started?

We can help! And stay tuned for the final post in our Merchandise Mishaps series.