Behind The Scenes At A Swag Company
Why it’s important to pick the right swag company has become even more apparent lately. During the pandemic, I decided to join additional swag provider and distributor groups. I was already signed up for several but honestly, pre-pandemic, didn’t find much time to read or participate. The pandemic changed that.
It’s been quite the learning experience.
Lots of our suppliers (as well as competitors) participate. The suppliers have shared new promotional items that I was excited to be able to share with our customers. You’ll find many of these new trending swag items here.
What’s surprised me? How many of our ‘competitors’ don’t do things we consider SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) around here. Things that make sure your cool company swag arrives when and where it’s supposed to. (That has also been a challenge with the shipping challenges with UPS and FedEx!)
Let me share with you what I’ve heard in these groups and how the PROMOrx team handles.
Example 1: So many inquiries in these groups from competitors asking if a factory is still in business because they have a problem with an order.
How PROMOrx handles: If we need to use a new supplier, one of our team calls and talks to somebody there. If we can’t reach a live person, we leave a voice mail that includes our email.
No return call? No email? We say NEXT. If you need your company swag quickly, we only go with trusted suppliers we’ve used previously. We’re not risking our reputation or our customers’ reputations! (We also believe in the honeymoon stage – if it’s not good up front, it’s not likely to get better.)
Example 2: Posts saying things like “I assumed the order shipped” are fairly common.
How PROMOrx handles: We leave nothing to chance. If one of our suppliers doesn’t have an online system where we can get tracking; we call or email to get the tracking info. The tracking numbers are placed on our order tracking board where we all monitor.
Example 3: Posts say “client didn’t tell us until recently they didn’t get their order.” These posts stop me in my tracks.
How PROMOrx handles: In the example above, you know we get the tracking numbers. But we don’t just give them to you and assume all is well. The board we use to keep track of orders has a built in package tracker, so we KNOW if an order is delivered.
But you’ll also get an email from us making sure your company’s swag made its’ way to your office and that you’ve opened and checked out your new promo items. And we’ll probably ask you to send us a pic! (One of our clients sent us the best pics of genuine leather garment bags he purchased. They looked even better than the pictures on our website!)
We had several things happen that caused us to implement our tracking procedures years and years ago. We had a 25 box order shipped from our supplier in NY to our client in Texas. There was a master tracking number that showed delivered. When we asked the client, they told us, yes, they’re here and look great.
Well. They couldn’t or didn't count evidently. And we didn’t realize that the master tracking number didn’t show all the details unless you clicked through. There were two boxes that had gone astray. They were actually in Alaska. Seriously. It was a total of 1000 items that had taken a bit of a detour. We had the factory reprint and ship the two boxes. Details matter.
Oh, and the time a client’s order showed delivered, but no one in the office had it. The delivery had gone to another office in the same building even though the address was clearly marked with our client’s suite number.
The other office clearly knew the delivery was a mistake based on the logo printed on the tumblers, but had opened and started using the very cool tumblers. Our client was speechless. So were we. They did get them back.
Stories like these are why we double check.
Example 4: Post after post that says “help me find fill in the blank”.
I’m not talking the unicorns. I’m talking basics like standard pens. But without the details. You know all those questions we ask you, our customers? Like how many, your budget, when do you need, any specific features the swag you need must have, etc. Yeah. None of that info in 99% of the posts.
How PROMOrx handles: We subscribe to industry software that allows us to search items only offered in the promo products industry. We have trusted supplier resources and know their swag offerings.
We also follow our suppliers on social media to see new swag or trending swag. Do we have a problem with asking for help? No. But with the information we gather from you, our customers, we can make the best swag recommendations. Instead of playing darts in a dark room without knowing which wall the dartboard is on.
We also track what ‘big’ or ‘trendy’ companies are doing with their swag programs. As a big SpaceX fan, I can tell you about much of their swag. I recently purchased one of their custom insulated bottles, because, well, it’s SpaceX branded. But it didn’t perform as well as the PROMOrx bottle. The SpaceX bottle didn't keep water cool for long on a hot Florida day. (But it sure looked good!)
Why? Theirs looks identical to the PROMOrx bottle. Here’s the difference: the SpaceX bottle is double wall insulated but not copper lined. The PROMOrx bottle is double wall insulated AND copper lined. As is the case with many custom swag items, looks can be deceiving. It’s about what you can’t see!
Bottom line: If you want to work with a company that cares as much about your swag choices as you do, partner with PROMOrx! We're here to help. And we're all about the details when it comes to company swag!