Fast, New and Fancy
Drinkware—it's one of the fundamental components of the promotional industry. Maybe it's because our bodies are 75 percent water or maybe it's because drinking is the most efficient way to get sugar, alcohol and precious, precious caffeine into our bodies, but human beings just can't get enough drinking. As a result, nine times out of 10, distributors just can't get enough drinkware selling.
That one time out of 10, though? That's when you hit one of the rare speed bumps in selling to the thirsty. A client forgot to order water bottles for a 5K that is next week, your biggest barware customer is getting bored with the same old pint glasses, or, perhaps most disastrously, a brand-new customer has an unbelievably big marketing budget, but can't seem to find a drinkware piece nice enough to spend it on. All worthy problems, and thankfully for the thirsty and the promotional-distribute-y of the world, ones that are also solvable.
HELP! I need to rush my drinkware order!
Rush orders are great because they can be the easiest of sales, but terrible because you and your client have to make decisions quickly and without error. (As most of you reading this probably know, "quick" and "mistake-free" are the two least combinable facets of human labor.) So, how do you get your drinkware "quick" and "without error"? By squaring away your artwork details, picking rush-friendly materials and checking your work.
Bill Mahre, president of ADG Promotional Products, Hugo, Minn., said that the biggest delay with rushed drinkware orders comes with finalizing artwork for imprinting. "Make sure to provide quality art files, i.e., 300 or higher DPI," he said. "Additionally, some artwork just doesn't fit into a smaller area and/or with a one-color imprint. ADG's high-definition imprint capabilities (full color/digital imprinting) can handle those challenges quicker and easier."
Material choice can also be a cause for delay. "When you are in a jam and need a drinkware item turned around quickly, you probably need to limit your options to plastic," said Matt Hodges, director of marketing for Gold Bond Inc., Hixson, Tenn."Other materials generally require some heat-room time which makes it difficult to produce in a short time."
The last tip, checking your work, is a good idea for any order, but can become especially important when time is a critical element. Kris Fredericks, CAS, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Moderne Glass Co., Aliquippa, Pa., suggested calling your supplier's customer service line when making a rush order to confirm details like delivery schedule, item name and number of imprint colors. "Make sure your order is complete and accurate so there are no delays in processing the order," she said.
HELP! My client wants to see something "different!"
Sometimes worse than hearing the word "no" is the word "meh." If your client wants to buy, but you can't seem to find anything that interests him or her, what are you supposed to do? According to Hodges, you go for something new.
"In today's environment, different pretty much means new," he said. "Right now our hottest drinkware item is the Hydrate Double Wall Tritan Bottle. It is amazingly durable and the double-wall construction both insulates and provides a sporty look."
For something different, Mahre suggested ADG's Wine2Go and Brew2Go items. "Creative is the key with our Wine2Go and Brew2Go offering," he said. "[I] refer to them as 'adult sippy cups' but they are obviously fun and inexpensive and can be used for many events. We have seen them for weddings, graduation parties, corporate events, etc."
"The C500 [Ceramic Alta Tumbler] is a unique ceramic tumbler that is exclusive to Moderne Glass," said Fredericks. "This tumbler fits in a car holder and can be used for on-the-go, but also makes a nice desk item. ... This item can also be sold as a set, which includes a leatherette coaster and bag, both of which can be debossed for a complete logoed set."
HELP! My client needs something high-end!
Having a client who is being picky about having the nicest drinkware possible is a good problem to have for your bottom line, but can be a pain. To deal with such a client, going as expensive as possible is always an option, but Mahre offered another suggestion: Don't worry about price, worry about adding value instead.
"It is not just about price that makes an item impactful or valuable, it's 'added value,'" he said. He noted techniques, such as item-by-item personalization, multiple images on items and full-color wraps, as ways to add perceived value without increasing price. "Anytime you can have a full-color item with a low setup fee with outstanding image quality and an ability to inexpensively personalize the product, it's going to be a home run."
Fredericks recommended Moderne Glass' B720 [Alta Woodgrain Tumbler]. "The B720 is a dual-wall tumbler with a twist-on, spill-proof, slide-lock lid," she said. "This sleek design of this tumbler allows it to fit into car cup holders, but also makes it an ideal desk item."
Hodges had some higher-budget suggestions as well. "If your budget pushes you towards $10, I would look at a vacuum-sealed bottle like our Journey," he said. "It keeps drinks really hot up to 5 hours and it just screams quality. If a customer's budget is a little smaller, I would immediately look towards our newest double-wall tumbler, The Choice," he said. "It features a lid that accommodates a straw, and a twist-action lid for hot drinks. All of this is accented well with a vertical imprint and packaged in a retail-ready gift box."