2) Think Gifts
Pitching higher-end office supplies as gifts can be a great way to increase the perceived value of your items. Gift wrapping is an option for items like drinkware and stationary, but don't forget about personalized pen engravings as well. "When you add a personalized pen to a stationery piece, or even piece of drinkware, the pen is no longer just an item someone may use for work," said Pete Catone, business development representative for Polyconcept North America, New Kensington, Pa. "It becomes an appreciated gift."
3) Be Thoughtful Year-round
Similar to pens, calendars and timeplanners offer an interesting way to add a personal touch. Mahre suggested recognizing and marking dates important to clients on their calendars or planners, such as the beginning of tax season for a CPA firm or relevant trade shows for a software company, as another way to distinguish your items from more commodified offerings.
4) Bundle Creatively
Imaginative bundling of office products, such as filling a coffee mug with treats for example, can add a compelling and person touch to otherwise standard items. "Fill [drinkware] up with something to make it more of a personal gift, like candy, a bag of coffee or tea bags," said Jason Fularz, business development representative for Polyconcept North America, New Kensington, Pa. Keep in mind as well that even conventional bundling, like including pens or key chains, can also be compelling to buyers because it not only increases their marketing reach, but can also reduce the cost of the overall order.
5) Know the supply chain
Guaranteeing product safety and compliance to buyers is becoming more and more another away to set yourself apart from your peers. "It's important that distributors and end-users know they are buying from a supplier who takes safety and compliance seriously," said Fularz. He suggested looking into your chosen supplier's polices and supply chain management to make sure what you've purchased was manufactured properly.