When customers ask me to quote a project, I like to give several options. The obvious options that come to mind are colors, quality, value, special features, size range, and so forth. Sometimes the initial idea for a branded item is very specific (I HAVE to have a royal blue pen that’s shaped like a race car *only a handful of results*) and sometimes there are no real constraints (I want a nice shirt *thousands of results*). Finding the right options can take a bit of research but my favorite options to give come in the form of Good – Better – Best. I take the basic item they request and quote the good version – the one with the good price, decent quality and decent durability. Then I give them a better option – the one with upgraded qualities and finally the best option – all the bells and whistles.
By quoting these three options, customers can see how far their budget will go and see if a small increase or decrease in the cost of the item will help them either:
- Save money by using a product lower in price than they expected that will still fill their needs, possibly adding other items to achieve more
- Provide a higher quality product than they expected but still stay on budget
- Provide a higher quality product than they expected and go above their initial budget because the Return on Investment (ROI) will be worth the additional costs
I have been in the promotional products business for myself since August, 2006. I learned a bit about the industry in the years prior when I worked for another promotional products company. In addition to owning my own business and getting samples from prospective vendors, we have received many, many promotional gifts over the years. My husband worked at Lockheed Martin for well over a decade. Back then, the company was giving out branded gifts for any and all occasions, conferences, parties, trips, the kick ball league etc. One of our favorite gifts was a soft sided cooler bag from a conference in 2003. That was 16 years ago.
The kids and I went to the local BMX bike track last week and as I was packing the cooler for lunch, I did the math in my head. I hadn’t really thought about how old it was, it has just been a fixture on all of our outings that required food kept cold. Sixteen years. This was definitely one of those ‘best’ gifts. It is slowing down and getting ready to retire, one of the zippers works only when it wants to and there is a seam that only wants to be half sewn anymore. It’s got a mind of its own, just like any other 16 year old… It does not owe us ANYTHING. After doing some research, I haven’t yet found the same exact size. Sure, the technology has improved in the past 16 years but I really like the size of the cooler. It fits us well. I’ll keep looking when I get the chance, it’s not completely dead yet so I have some time.
So when looking at good, better, and best options, figure out how long you want your product to stick around. There are occasions where a short lived item will work well but mostly you want your money to work hard and long for you. Sometimes picking the ‘best’ option, even though it is more expensive, really is the best option. (Ha.)
Pick the ‘best’ so that 16 years later, your logo will still look cool.
Have any questions? Have a favorite item that has lasted a long time that you’d like to show off, please email me!