Decoration Diaries: How IMS Executed a Complex Branded Apparel Campaign for McDonald's Global Mobile Ordering Launch
IMS LLC, Morton Grove, Ill., calls Fortune 500 companies like Home Depot, LG, Nissan, PepsiCo and Wells Fargo its clients. The distributor builds campaigns for these top brands and retailers with full-service creative for print, promo, digital and apparel; technology platforms for online ordering, in-store engagement and internal analysis; and logistics that provide freight, warehousing and kitting abilities.
With all that going on, IMS relies on contract decorators to execute the campaigns it creates alongside its clients. Even so, decoration has always been an integral part of the services IMS provides. Aside from the client’s vision, the distributor lets the product type drive the decoration method, said Mark Lenox, vice president of merchandising and design at IMS.
“For example, in most cases, embroidery on a garment conveys a higher perceived value than screen printing,” he said. “Dye sublimation conveys a bespoke feeling being integral to the item design.”
But the service doesn’t stop there, as there is more to branded merchandise than just the decoration method.
“Our approach to branded merchandise is that product curation and development are as important as decoration,” Lenox said. “By merging the two areas, we can add value to a client's brand across all categories from event merchandise to apparel.”
IMS did just that when it helped McDonald's promote the international rollout of its mobile ordering technology. Read on as Lenox tells us more about the launch’s success and gives advice on executing complex branded apparel orders in this installment of Decoration Diaries presented by Next Level Apparel.
The client’s need: A fast food chain came to IMS to design and launch a collection of products to highlight a new mobile ordering partnership.
The execution: The collection [comprised] multiple items with a variety of decoration requirements. Initial design direction came from the client's agency, which IMS then needed to interpret into items that could be manufactured. Decoration techniques included dye sublimation, embroidery, patch design and application, as well as screen printing. Item types included T-shirts, tops, jackets, sweatpants, footwear and bags. As some of these items were being shipped internationally, labeling requirements for multiple destinations also needed to be designed and implemented.
The obstacles: Complexity of the decorations required multiple rounds of creative review to ensure the finished items met both IMS and the client's standards.
The outcome & advice: Launch was very successful, with notable increases in client's brand and product awareness for the new service. For other distributors, our advice is to ask the hard questions up front, really work to understand your client's needs, and be honest about timing and what you can provide. In the end, this will pay off as surprises will be minimized.
For details on how to participate in a future edition of Decoration Diaries and share your apparel decoration project success, email Amanda Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read more Decoration Diaries, or click here to download "The Promo Distributor's Guide to Apparel Decoration," a free resource from Promo Marketing. Decoration Diaries is presented by Next Level Apparel.