In Need of Some Retail Therapy
The promotional products industry is full of brand names that already have a strong foothold in the retail sector. While it might cost a little more on the front end, it could go a long way to ensure a piece gets the reach clients want.
"Our customers genuinely like us and they trust us … that reputation is a huge asset for suppliers," noted Newman. The recognizability is invaluable from a marketing standpoint as well. If a company is giving away a polo shirt that a consumer would buy themselves, it instantly adds to the perceived level of quality of a promotion.
Renning, whose company SanMar works with such retail heavyweights as Eddie Bauer and Fruit of the Loom, reported, "Having a logo on an unadorned polo shirt is one thing, but showcasing your logo on a Nike branded polo … adds a level of appreciation that consumers understand."
And the relationship is certainly symbiotic, Renning continued. As retail brands begin to reach the ceiling in the consumer world, the promotional products industry allows them to gain access to a whole new demographic. It's a win-win.
3) Adjust accordingly.
But not just any article of clothing is meant to be a solid promotion. Both Renning and Newman detailed a few ways to ensure retail designs have a strong marketing game:
• Logo placement: It seems counterintuitive, but taking the emphasis off the logo ups the wearability of a promotion. "We are seeing more tonal logos being used and updated placement consideration ... as different ways of showcasing logos," Renning noted. Spots that deserve a second look: back of the neck, on a sleeve, at the hem or underneath the collar.
• Gender-specific styles: The industry on the whole has made huge strides toward promotional apparel that avoids the one-size-fits-all trap, but it always bears repeating: "Women often drive the buying decisions, so fit and design are key to ensuring that the apparel is a want-to-wear versus a have-to-wear item," Renning said. Neckline differentiation, a brighter color palette and a closer fit are three features to look at when deciding on an apparel program that can appeal to a variety of end-users.