What’s The Value In a Promo Provider’s Feedback

There are a lot of signs of a good promo products provider, from a wide assortment of products to best pricing, fastest delivery to quality execution and beyond. One key trait that might not often be considered though is their consultative approach. A promotional product provider’s consultation is different than many other marketing solution providers.

What does that mean? What are the keys to search for in a consultative provider?

Wheeling and Dealing or Methodical and Purposeful

There are certainly times when you need an item fast and you don’t want to spend hours deliberating customizations of the piece. The convenience of an online ordering platform that requires minimal work from a company representative is impressive for these projects. You can rely on finding thousands of items to choose from, reliable quality products, information about where and how your branding will be done is included in the detail. It’s all in your hands. As often as possible, it is better to plan well in advance, take the time to strategically select your items and plan your branding, even if you are ordering on your own online.

With more time, you also have more opportunity to work closely with a provider to ensure that the final product or collection of items meets all of your criteria. A provider who can answer your questions over the phone, via live chat on the web or face-to-face can make a big difference. They will bring to the table something you won’t find with your standard rush orders – quality feedback.

What to look for in Your Promo Provider’s Feedback

There are two descriptions of feedback that anyone in a creative discipline cringes at: subjective feedback – aka: feedback for the sake of feedback and feedback by committee (although “Frankenstein creative” may be a strong contender for third place – we won’t digress here). As a third party representative it’s a good chance that your promo provider won’t give you feedback that falls into these categories. They should be someone with a wealth of knowledge about product and decoration trends that will help you tell your brand story. Give them a shot to help you make your collections more trendy, more memorable, more useful and therefore, more valuable to your recipients.

How to Ask for Your Promo Provider’s Feedback

There is a catch to all of this: you have to want their feedback, and sometimes that means requesting it. When consulting with you from the beginning there is a strong likelihood they will help you strategize your campaign and work through the promotional items that make the most sense for your project. But, if you are coming to them near the end with everything wrapped up, they are most likely going to take you to the finish line, and assume that’s all you wanted from them.

Working as a Strategic Partner

This is an ideal scenario for any project, but the especially high impact activities. In these situations you engage your representative from the beginning. You bring them up to speed on the project at hand and how you are envisioning the entire project coming to fruition. Your provider will help you discuss your messaging and decoration, they will find the best products to meet your objectives and help you budget and project how to determine the success.

Crossing the Finish Line

While your provider loves to join in from the start to see the project through to the end, it doesn’t always work out that way. In those instances, they are more than happy to just help you cross the finish line. But ask questions to ensure that you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. Show them your creative concepts, give them all the project background information you can, tell them what items you found that fit within your budget; then ask them for their thoughts. Even simply say, “Am I missing something great with my plan?” They can help you find a trendier product to use, or a different decoration treatment that is only available with special customization. And they can show you how those subtle differences take your project from good to great.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Reach out to your Staples representative today to discuss the opportunities for your upcoming campaigns. Or visit StaplesPromotionalProducts.com, the teams online can help you find what you’re looking for and connect you to the right team for further special customization features too.

This article is part of a series titled Promo Buyer 101. This series is perfect for anyone who is just starting to buy promotional products for their organization, or is a veteran buyer but is looking for tips and ideas for branded merchandise needs. Check out the other articles in the series and be sure to share with your colleagues.