Smaller companies typically structure their respective marketing budgets based on how much money is in the bank at any given moment. We try and impress companies that they should budget at least 5%-10% of their annual gross sales towards marketing. So, with that benchmark, what is your budget for this particular marketing campaign and swag?


Whether you are planning to distribute your branded promotional product at a convention, conference, special event or as gifts, it is important to know your audience. Ask yourself – what is the median age? Is there a gender dominance to the target group? Is your target group active or sports-minded? Health care? Political? Non-Profit? Asking yourself these questions in advance can help you successfully proceed to Tip #3.


Swagman – “I need your vector logo please”.
Customer – “What the heck is a vector logo?”

Because vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. If you blow up a raster graphic, it will look blocky, or “pixelated.” When you blow up a vector graphic, the edges of each object within the graphic stay smooth and clean. This makes vector graphics ideal for logos, which can be small enough to appear on a business card, but can also be scales to fit a billboard.

File extensions: .AI, .EPS, .SVG, .DRW


Now that you have your company and marketing campaign logo in a vector format, the next step is to determine if it will be rendered in one color, four-color (CMYK), spot-color (PMS), or full color.

The majority of promotional products have logos pad-printed on the product thus a one-color application is preferred. Many times a company logo is so complex with gradients and detail, that by rendering the logo in one-color diminishes the overall brand. This is not good. Your logo should be flexible and formatted that in can adapt to one-full color and still maintain the integrity of your brand. From a cost standpoint, one-color versus full color can reflect a 500% cost difference.


Now that your logo can successfully render in one-color, the next and important aspect to consider is the imprint dimensions available for the promotional product you’ve chosen. If that $15 coffee mug will only allow a 1″ logo imprint, maybe we need to find you an alternative product that allows for a larger imprint size of your company logo.


The fundamental component of successful marketing is the ability to differentiate yourself from your competition. Letting the market know why your company is better is a better value. Yes, the basic of a well branded pen seems like a no-brainer – but, does the pen render the correct color of your brand, does the pen have unique features that might represent your company better, and most importantly – DOES THE PEN WRITE WELL? If your promotional product can provide a unique utility at the office or home or for recreation, does it reflect the quality and safety standards of your company?


Sorry for the tease. Rarely do vendors offer free shipping. But, did you ask your salesperson what the shipping costs will be? If we have gone through 1-6 and have an idea of what type of product will be best, we might recommend the closest shipping FOB distance from a particular vendor. We have several customers in Alaska and this is a key part of making the choice of which vendors to use based on overall shipping costs.


If we had a potentially new customer call us in a panic needing product yesterday, we will probably encourage them to find another vendor. We prefer to under-commit and over-deliver. The majority of promotional products are manufactured in China and then shipped to the USA for the final steps of logo application. For existing customers, we pride ourselves on the developed relationships with vendors where we can request an expedited turn-around to make your delivery date.


As you can discern, much effort goes into the initial order process. Now we have finalized the logo, we have chosen the promotional product, we have defined the vendor we want to finalize our order – NOW we submit our purchase order to the vendor. Either we will provide you a proof or the vendor will, but this is the most critical component of the ordering process. If you receive your product, and it does not look like you remembered, this is your reference point. TRIPLE CHECK spelling and the logo artwork!


We call you and let you know your promotional products are soon to be delivered. YAY! Depending on your marketing campaign, a great idea is to snap a couple of pics of your new whiz-bang promo products. Post some pics on social media. Present them eagerly to your customers. Watch people’s faces light up and smile as they can really tell you put a lot of effort into letting them you know you appreciate their business.