How One Promo Distributor Navigated Artwork Issues With a Supplier
It’s rare to have everything go according to plan. One mark of a professional is the ability to handle issues as they come and reach an end result as close to the original vision as possible. Here's how Mike Button, senior account executive for Tricor Brand Communications, Portland, Ore., worked through some hiccups in the art process to achieve what he thought was a successful and long-lasting promotion. You can also listen to the Tricor Brand Communications crew talk about it in more detail in this episode of the Promo Marketing Podcast.
Promo Marketing: Can you think of a promotion that stands out as one of your best?
Mike Button: Actually, one that we just finished up was kind of cool. It’s just a bag, but it was a custom bag, and my customers put together some really cool art.
It actually rolled out a three-month campaign, these bags, for [a rail company's] new rail cars that they’re introducing in September at a show. So that’s happening right now. It’s got a hang tag, and it’s all custom and done overseas and everything like that. That’s fresh. I love it, because it’s working toward a campaign. And, I might add, we’re doing sunglasses … with the same kind of art. And we’re doing those overseas as well.
PM: What did you like about this promotion in particular?
MB: What I liked about the promotion is that it’s kicking off a whole campaign that is lending itself to other products that we’re using. So there’s a series of products. It’s cool to see it all come together. We’ve got the bag and we’ve got the sunglasses. It’s kind of all around the theme of camping. So we’re doing metal cups, camper’s cups, with s’mores in them, and they’re going to put them in a little package. They’re going to be at all the tables for all the top execs who are going to be at this show. I like it just because it’s a whole campaign that we’re doing, not just one product.
PM: Did you run into any roadblocks while you were working on this? If so, how did you overcome them?
MB: Oh, yeah. There’s always a few obstacles you run into. We were going to [a supplier] with the sunglasses. They did all the art and we got the proof, they did the paper proof, and then they got the actual physical proof from the factory and it didn’t look anything like the regular proof. And the [supplier] goes, “I told you that the art wasn’t going to be exact.” I said, “Exact? It looks like totally different art.” They chopped and picked it apart. So I’m actually in the process of canceling that order and going with a different firm. And we’re going to do a heat transfer. We can’t do a full wrap around the sunglasses, but we can still come close. We just can’t do the inside lens part. Everything else we’ll be able to do. That was a big downer.
PM: What advice would you give distributors looking to do something similar?
MB: Make sure you understand the information. My team didn’t fully understand the process with this paper proof. So make sure you understand it. Get knowledge. They could have disclaimers all they want, but if they’re not telling you exactly what the disclaimer means, you’re kind of in the dark once you’ve actually seen the product. We didn’t go into production, so I think we lucked out.