Let’s Make it Personal
THE FACT IS, people enjoy taking care of themselves. And with this innate self-preservation quality of humankind, it comes as no surprise it would bring rise to a bustling promotional product category that proclaims: “It’s just me, myself and I,” as was so
eloquently put by ’80’s hip-hip pioneers, De La Soul. Distributors looking to freshen up their bottom lines (and their sales pitches) should consider personal-care items. Manufacturers of these products say there are few other promotional product categories that offer the same repeat-order consistency.
A 2005 survey conducted by PPAI showed
personal-care products accounting for 1.58 percent of total industry sales. Just one year later, the category reported a 28 percent increase—making up 1.86 percent of total industry sales. These numbers may not seem very significant in the grand scheme of things, but when compared to other categories, such as electronics—which made up only 1.74 percent of industry sales in 2006—they are quite impressive.
But, all the talk has been about the repeat-order potential of personal-care items. According to Paul Weber, owner/president of Ingersoll, Ontario-based Profile Accessories—which specializes in abrasive products, including manicure files, foot files and nail buffers as well as specialty items, such as travel-size matchbook files—his company has enjoyed repeat orders at a rate of 30 percent over the last four years. “Many people would order two to three times a year,” he said. “It shows you that people like the product and ... are willing to [try] it again.”
Mel Ellis, president of Milwaukie, Oregon-based The Humphrey Line, agreed, stating personal-care items work well as promotional products because of reasons that characterize all effective ad specialty items—“Everybody uses them and they get repeated use, thus the advertising gets numerous impressions.”
Today’s end-users are looking for personal-care items that are “useful, have good quality and represent a good gift value,” Ellis continued. Consequently, in 2008, The Humphrey Line is introducing a full line of all-natural products packaged in recycled bottles. “We think these are going to be very attractive with the interest in all things green,” Ellis noted. The new products will include hand sanitizers, sunscreen, hand lotion, shampoo and conditioner, and lip balm.