Go With the Flow

How to still get great swag during ongoing Covid complications

Covid has certainly disrupted many aspect of life… work, school, travel, dining, entertainment, even healthcare.  Sadly, swag is no different!  Between stock issues, production disruptions, shipping delays, and higher prices, it’s tempting to just assume it’s too much to tackle right now.  But here are some pro tips on how to make swag still feasible (and even easy!) during such a difficult time.

1. PLAN AHEAD- in the past, we have worked some serious miracles when it came to in-hands dates.  There was even one order that we produced AND delivered in the same day for a customer that was in an emergency!  Sadly, those days are LONG gone.  We now have very limited options even for 24-48 hour rush, and those options have more restrictions and higher fees.  Additionally, standard production times are longer, as suppliers battle staffing shortages.  Your best option is to PLAN AHEAD.  Most suppliers are currently at a 7-10 day production after art and order approval, plus shipping.  So we encourage everyone to give themselves a good 3 business weeks to have access to the largest variety of options.

2. BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR CHOICES- stock issues have meant that everyone has to be a little flexible with the products they choose.  We highly recommend that you have a few backup choices so that if an item is out of stock, you have a second, third, and sometimes even a fourth choice to fall back on.  It’s better to identify these “alternates” when you’re making your initial product selection so that no time is wasted making new selections if an item is out of stock.  We are also really happy to help you find items!  If you’re able to provide us with a budget, quantity, and deadline, we can pull together a selection of items that we know are in stock to meet your needs.

3. BUDGETS MAY NEED TO CHANGE- as we’re sure you’re feeling at the grocery store, hardware store, car dealership, etc., prices are going up.  Worldwide supply chain issues means demand is outpacing supply, and labor shortages means that the cost to produce any goods is higher.  So naturally, the price to the end user is higher as well.  This is important to keep in mind, as your dollar may not go as far as it did on the same products even just a few months ago.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good value though!  We can help you find items that haven’t seen such a large price increase, and we can certainly help you find items that are produced closer to you to cut down on shipping costs. 

4. WHEN IN DOUBT, REACH OUT- if time has gotten away from you, or you need something very specific, it doesn’t mean we absolutely CAN’T come through with what you need!  It’s always best to ask, but know that we are doing everything we can to meet needs, without setting unrealistic expectations or making promises we can’t keep.  If we feel confident we can meet a deadline or get a product, we’ll do it!  But if we don’t feel totally sure, we’ll definitely tell you… and then suggest some other options that might still work.

Now is a GREAT time to start planning for spring and summer events, when hopefully germs, quarantines and cancelled activities won’t be such issues.  Give us a call or email us today to let us get started on helping you plan!

sales@barefootswag.com http://www.barefootswag.com

866-247-4320

Some Assembly Required

My Dad didn’t “assemble” anything when I was growing up.  Nothing.  My mother tells the story that they went to  buy a bike for me at Christmas and when the salesperson  brought it out of the back it was in a box. My Dad refused to take it.  He told them he bought the one on the floor that was assembled and if that wasn’t what he was getting, then he wasn’t buying.  Thankfully the store gave in or I would have been a really disappointed kid on Christmas morning.

While this example may be a little extreme, many people approach their marketing the same way.  If you want a cohesive marketing plan you have to “assemble” all the right parts.  You can’t expect everything to be handed to you in a neat little “pre assembled” package and it work perfectly for your specific needs.

Think about your end goal (the assembled bike).  Is it to introduce a new product, make people aware of a service you offer, draw a crowd to a grand opening, get more traffic at your trade show booth, increase your visibility on social media?  Maybe you need to cut lost time accidents in the workplace, increase employee morale, reward staff for the completion of a large project, announce a merger.  The goal is what ever you need it to be- and it’s ok if you have more than one goal.  The important thing it to clearly identify the goal so you know what “parts” you need to put together to reach that goal.

Now, lay out all the parts you might need (even if it’s just in your head).  Print, direct mail, email campaign, radio or TV advertising, promotional products, packaging, delivery, follow up, etc.  This is just the review part.   Look at all the options you can use then start narrowing it down.  You don’t have to use every “part” (this is not true when assembling a bike, just saying).    Kinda like this:

assembly

What key elements do you need; what parts are crucial to the outcome.  Think of this as the “frame”.

For example, if you want to draw potential clients to your trade show booth, then you really need to focus on your actual booth first.  Do you need a backdrop, lights, shelving, brochure display, a table and chair to sit down with clients or will a table cover with your logo and an retractable banner work?

Now that you have your frame, are you just going to stand behind the table and hope people stop? No, not if you expect to be successful.  What “parts” do you need to get people to the event or to get those registered to stop at your booth?  A pre-show mailer? Social media campaign? Booth giveaway?   Brochures of your product/services? Samples?  An in-booth game to get people involved?  Free popcorn?

So you had a great booth, people loved your product and took away samples or information. Now what?  Social media follow up?  Direct mail piece to those that stopped by? Packaged gift to your top leads?

This last portion is the key to showing a nice ROI.  Sure, all the other pieces fit together and work and can get you to your goal. However,  the follow up is like the bike bell, not totally necessary to the function of the bike, but it lets everyone know you are around.  It makes noise and gets attention.

You can take this concept and apply it to any marketing or business goal you have- frame, parts, bell.  It’s a very simplified breakdown, but an easy way to remember to think about the finished product as a whole and to plan out the assembly before you start.  Then you can ride away on that shiny bike ringing your bell.

Need help with the assembly?  Give us a call, email or chat with us on our website and we can work with you to help you put all the parts together to achieve your goal.

866-247-4320   sales@barefootswag.com

http://www.barefootswag.com