When Logos And Product Specs Clash


Q A DISTRIBUTOR ASKS: My customer wants to use a certain promotional product for an upcoming program, but their logo does not fit well on the imprint area. Should I recommend a different product with a larger imprint area or suggest they use a different imprint instead—such as company name only? What else should I know to ensure the product and requested imprint work well together? 

This happens all the time. The question is, is it the right promotional marketing piece? Is it on brand, is it on message, will the end user find it valuable and, if by printing the client’s URL on the piece instead of the logo, will recipients still be drawn back to the organization?

USBs and pens are well known for not being able to accommodate logos properly. The fact is, most logos are not designed with promotional marketing in mind. The font may be too small, there may be too many colors, etc.

The goal of the promotional marketing professional is to work with each client to meet his specific objectives. I have had clients develop a horizontal logo and go through the approval process with their graphic standards department to move forward on selected promotional marketing pieces after I showed them the challenge [with their original logo format].

What I tell clients is, if they believe the piece best fits the objectives of the particular campaign and will give them the best ROI, then it is fine to substitute their logo with  a URL. But if that is not on brand, then we need to look elsewhere [for a solution].

In short, dig deeper and ask more questions about what, how and for whom the product is going to be used.

Your Brand Marketing
PPAI 384130


My general recommendation to every distributor is to think about themselves much like a shoe salesperson. When you pick out a pair of shoes to try on, does the sales associate ever bring you just the one pair? No. As a result, it gives you a chance to try additional sizes, styles and colors. Quite often, I end up buying not what I had originally selected but one of the pairs the sales associate recommended.  

As promotional products professionals, we should all make this a common practice. Regardless of whether you are a supplier or a distributor, customers should be given a variety of choices. We should recommend additional styles, colors, imprint sizes and locations, and we should certainly offer additional price points. 

Many times, when I include a more expensive option than what was originally asked for, the buyer ultimately purchases the pricier item. My advice is to offer the customer several different virtuals and let the end-buyer decide what is best for them.

Outside Sales Executive
Sweda Company
PPAI 113914


Your client has already selected a product they like. The simplest solution is to explain the issue and offer a solution. Ask if there is an abbreviated version of their logo. Also, ask how much of the information they want to include is imperative to their promotion. Adding a visual (the way the product currently looks with their graphics) and what you recommend for the layout will be helpful.

Managing Principal
Tower One Promotions   
PPAI 682217


I give the client several options: alternative product choices with a larger imprint area, just text if they want to stick with the original product, or other options that solve the problem. When this happens, we often up-sell by adding branding packaging. For example, a client wanted JBL speakers, but the imprint area was super small. So, we printed the web address on the speaker and packaged the speaker in a full color sublimated microfiber drawstring pouch.

Sales Executive
Business Branders   
PPAI 656196


Do You Have An Answer?

A Distributor Asks:
As our business grows, I struggle with whether we should continue to hire independent contractors (such as graphic designers and accountants) by the job, or add to our staff on the payroll. What parameters do other distributors use to make this decision? What types of contractor positions make more sense to replace with staff employees?

What’s Your Answer?
Email answers along with your name, title and company name by January 19 to Question@ppai.org for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of PPB magazine.

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