Merchandise Mishaps: Product Development
Proper product development is essential.
Don’t be “that guy”, get branded merchandise right the first time around.
In our final Merchandise Mishaps post, we’ll discuss the last few most common mistakes company’s experience when beginning a branded merchandise initiative. Don’t be these guys – with the help of Staples Promotional Products, we can get your branded gear campaign kicked off the right way.
They create a centralized program… but don’t compel stakeholders to use it
Effective brand merchandise platforms centralize merchandising on a national (and even global) scale, to save time and money while increasing brand differentiation, consistency and strategic control. But…the effectiveness of the platform is directly proportional to the rate of participation.
Being lax about whether or not your stakeholders participate in the program is not strategic to your enterprise in either procurement or brand terms. When users buy outside of the program, they chip away at the brand and fiscal benefits for which you instituted the program in the first place. When the buy outside of the platform, they are:
- Diluting the purchasing scale that allows you to deploy truly differentiated products
- Spending time selecting product, negotiating, reviewing, coordinating purchases instead of on core pursuits
- Using vendors that may not observe the purchasing or brand or product compliance controls you put in place
- Increasing the regional purchasing redundancies you are trying to suppress
- Decreasing spend visibility and the effectiveness of analysis that could make purchasing progressively more efficient
- Reducing achievement of any rebates or other fiscal incentives you may have built into the agreement
- Possibly using incorrect or obsolete brand assets
- Conducting brand merchandising in likely contradiction to your centralized strategy
Promote your program internally from the top down. Communicate the program’s strategies and benefits to internal stakeholders. Encourage non-compliant stakeholders to use it. If it doesn’t serve the strategies or objectives of key stakeholders, have the distributor adjust it for them.
They get complacent
Trends and products evolve almost as quickly as your business and marketing environment. If what you’re currently doing isn’t performing how you’d like, change it! Try something new. Refocus. Learn from mistakes and find the partners, products and strategies that produce the best results for your enterprise.
Ready to try something new? Let us help!