You Want It When?
The Perils and Pitfalls of Failing to Plan Holiday Promotional Giving
Terry Goodkind famously said, “Reality is irrelevant; Perception is everything,” and that holds true in most instances. But in the world of promotional products and the deadline driven process that carries an order from being placed to being filled, reality can be a very harsh teacher
At VRA Associates, we pride ourselves on a smooth experience for our clients, but even we can’t control such variables as weather and the whims of a labor force. And that’s precisely why we start talking to our clients in the heat of August about the carefully chosen, designed and created promotional products they’ll hand their clients in the cooler days of December.
Despite our best efforts, on rare occasion, the unthinkable happens. A company plans to make a spectacular impression giving promotions at the holidays, but the plan falls flat.
Because each step in the process — the product choice, the design that will adorn it, the creation of the customized product and even the shipping — have one thing in common: they all take time.
To give you an idea of the somewhat complicated process of ordering a product, say a few hundred of the new Tervis stainless steel tumblers dressed up with a company logo, we’ll take you on a tour. We hope that once you understand the process, you’ll also understand why we like to get started on holiday premium promotional products as early as possible.
It often begins with a call to our office or a submitted form from our website that starts the ball or, better, the stainless-steel rolling.
To simplify things, we’ll break down the process as an outline, like this:
I. Inquiry to order placement (one day — three weeks)
This is where you specify exactly what you want on your promotional product, including the actual product, the artwork that will adorn it, the number of colors, the imprint area size and any change orders to artwork, design or colors.
II Approval to production (two days — three weeks)
During this period, we’ll require your approval on the final product and can take in change orders that can add up to a week in the ordering process. Once this is done, the order goes to production.
Depending on weather and other shipping factors that can be in flux, this can take from one day to one week or longer.
As you can see, each step in the process has its own potential for slowdowns and snags that are beyond our and in some cases your control as well.
So if we seem to nag as fall approaches, if we ask for a product or design decision by a certain date, we do it because we care about the impact of your promotional product. We want your client bathed in the good cheer of the holidays when you hand them a promotional product they won’t soon forget.
There’s a reason we do things the way we do, and we hope you’ll trust us on this.
However trivial it might seem, you don’t want anyone handed the nicest promotional product in January to wonder why your company didn’t make it happen at the holidays.
Because, as you well know, your customer’s mind is one place where perception IS everything.