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Trade Comment

Promotional print

With competition in the industry reaching peak levels, Rob Fletcher asks: "how can introducing promotional print to your service offering give you an advantage in the market?"

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Phil McMullin, UK sales manager pro graphics, Epson

Grasp the opportunity

Squeezed margins are often cited by print service providers (PSPs) as a key concern for their business, so any opportunity to enhance profits without major investments should be grasped with both hands. All customer-facing businesses will have myriad needs for printed branding, it’s just a case of unearthing them.

All customer-facing businesses will have myriad needs for printed branding, it’s just a case of unearthing them

One such print opportunity is corporate workwear that helps sell the message. Most corporate workwear is fairly dull with just the company logo embroidered in small letters but why not use much more of the garment to advertise.

PSPs typically already have design and colour management skills so adding an output device that prints full colour garments is pretty straight forward with an investment from only £5,000 to £20,000. Printing a few garments a day will cover costs but more importantly will keep your customer on board and not speaking to other providers.

The technology comes in two flavours; direct-to-garment for cotton items or dye-sublimation for man made fabrics. The former requires some form of pre-treatment for coloured fabrics whilst both require a heat press for finishing the print.

The Epson DTG SureColor SC-F2100 is easy to use and produces outstanding colour prints on cotton t-shirts, polos or other garments. The SureColor SC-F6200 dye-sublimation printer is ideal for man-made fabrics and for no additional investment opens the door to printing rigid substrates from mouse mats to mugs, keyrings and high quality display panels.

Add a small vacuum oven to your shopping list and you can print a plethora of 3D objects such as phone cases and ceramics.

Ensure repeat business

Mark Young, head, Route 1 Print

Studies have shown that people keep promotional products for around a year on average. Plus, the longer people keep, use or interact with a product, the more brand value it brings as it increases chances of repeat custom.

The advantage of introducing promotional products to your range lies in your ability to sell the benefits to the customer. Once a customer understands the benefits, these products sell themselves for a number of main reasons: brand recognition, brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Brand recognition is one of the main reasons customers would use promotional products

Brand recognition is one of the main reasons customers would use promotional products. Every time someone glances at your product they see your brand and come to learn what you represent. Not only does this increase brand recognition but also awareness.

The aim is to ensure your brand is at the forefront of their mind when they come to making a purchasing decision. Finally, promotional items are also about what clients will use and find useful – the more useful to them, the more likely they are to feel positive towards your brand. In a sense, they act as a business card for your brand even when your sales team are not present.

Research conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association states that those who receive promotional items are six times more likely to feel appreciated by the brand. Furthermore, 83% of the respondents can name a brand that has sent them promotional items. Products which we’ve found to work particularly well are notebooks and calendars.

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