How to Use Promotional Products to Brand Your Business, Stand Out, And Stay Top of Mind

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Tommy: I guess I got to ask the designer, so we throw it back to the designer. Now the designer has to pick which one of those PMS colors, he was actually creating those codes too. And I will not do any work until that is done. Because other than that, I can’t keep you consistent with your branding. And I’ve done that for clients. It has happened before where they did not know what their PMS color was. And I have literally taken the codes, showed them what the closest ones were and said, you tell me what to use. And then they’ve always responded. This is the PMS color to use for that mix. And now we have a base to go by.

JC: Oh cool. And there’s some mistakes that they make. When they’re looking for a company, or looking for products to promote their businesses, what are those? What pitfalls do they fall into?

Tommy: So, if you don’t know what your colors are, what happens is when you get your file for your logo and you send that along to four different companies, because one you’re doing shirts, another, you’re doing a banner, another you’re doing pins and another, you might be doing a brochure. What’s happening is those are on four different machines, reading that file. And without an actual color assigned to that file, the calibrations of those machines are not calibrated together. Machines are only calibrated to the equipment that they send files to. So when you send a printing file to ABC printers, all of their machines are calibrated, but they’re not calibrated to your machine. And they’re not calibrated to the pen company doing your pens. And they’re not calibrated to the apparel company that’s doing your screen printing. So, now you send the exact same file over to them and their calibrated machine reads it different. Now your green comes out a lighter green on one and a darker green on another, and you got three shades of green and you’re left wondering why. There’s four different machines all calibrated differently and even though it’s the exact same file, the calibrations are different. So if you don’t assign it an actual PMS color, they have nothing to really go by for consistent matching.

JC: What about picking the wrong company, waiting for the last minute to order stuff, and expecting it to get there tomorrow?

Tommy: All of that. And really honestly also quality products. People get caught up so much on price and they want to save money. And my motto is “If you only pay on price, eventually you will pay twice” and it is so true in all aspects of life. Or I’ll get – Well, I used someone else before and it didn’t work out or the product was not good, so you’ve already wasted that money. Now you’re coming to me a second time to re-do it and get it right. This is what I mean, with my motto, you actually wasted money because you tried to save money. You’re not saving money by trying to cut corners and get non-quality products. And another thing in this industry is, get free samples before you buy the product if you can.

Tommy: So now you’re buying a product and it’s from a picture or from a write up or from what someone told you, but you didn’t physically have it in your hand and hold it and touch it and see it. And there are huge differences. Let’s take magnets for instance. When anybody orders a magnet, if you don’t ask a question and you just say, I need magnets you will most likely be sold a 20-mil magnet because it’s the cheapest most inexpensive and they can get the largest markup on you possible. And then the magnet folds up and it’s a piece of junk and you’re wondering why my magnet stinks. I have picked up three orders this way and all of these people then take their old magnets and throw them away and start using the 30 mil ones they got form me. Again, they’ve paid twice now, right? Trying to save money, go a different route. Oh, I can get it online, cheaper. They have no sample of the product. And then it’s a crappy non-quality product.

JC: And they usually also fail to check out the company and they end up regretting it.

Tommy: That’s a great one too. Yes, they do. They don’t do their research. And again, a lot of people just get caught up on cost or price and they see a good price, and they just think, Hey, you know, I’m going to save some money and go that route and then they’re not happy with what they get. So, they didn’t do their due diligence and research. Because you don’t have to always pay a fortune to get great service and great quality products. You just got to find the right person and company.

JC: Give me an example of someone that used one of your products or you took on as a client and you help you help them get their promotion items and get their company out there, branded and get their stuff out there?

Tommy: I have a great one for you. So about 12 years ago when I was still in printing, I was working at a printing company.  We had just got into selling promotional items, whereas I had been selling just printing on paper like newsletters, business cards, pocket folders and envelopes. So, we have a client, and their logo was a 2-color logo that was orange and green. However, they took the green and they screened it at 70% making it look like another shade of green to appear like a 3-color job. So, anything they would print on paper would look like it’s three colors when it was actually only 2. It would look like an orange and two greens. When really it was one green with the second green what we call a 70% screen

JC Soto

JC Soto is a Best Selling Author, host of Business Innovators Radio and contributor for Small Business Trendsetters covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.