No Single Raindrop Believes it is to Blame for the Flood
Our industry has been much maligned. We may dislike it, but the proven effective branding strategies we offer have been devalued in many ways. We've embraced terms like swag and tchotchkes, because the terms are so commonly used. It may be argued this contributes to the image of our industry as trinkets and trash.
I might offend some folks, but in my opinion the promotional products industry is missing the opportunity to show the power of our branding medium. Is the perception some have of our marketing medium our fault? Does the blame lie with us? Clearly, there are suppliers and distributors who are creative and innovative in how they reach the marketplace, but are these the exception and not the rule? As a flood of bad PR has come to devalue what we do, it seems we all can share a bit in the blame.
What appears to be missing is the solutions provider mentality that we could have. Most communications between suppliers and distributors tends to be focused on product and price—not how the products offer a promotional marketing solution. The solutions provider focus has been taught for years, but perhaps we need a refresher course?
When we first added promotional products to our apparel decorating business many years ago, I was impressed with the promotional products industry's focus on education, networking and creativity. When I started publishing FreePromoTips in 2005, it was with the vision of helping others as I was helped. This came from my experiences that started with that first PPAI Expo in Dallas many years ago. The goal has always been to showcase promotional marketing solutions while covering relevant topics that affect our businesses.
Our industry and its association are so good at education, why do we appear to drop the ball when it comes to learning more about the products we offer so we can teach our clients about their value?