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Product Safety and Compliance

Like it or not, manufacturing is undergoing a significant shift. Heightened awareness of product safety and compliance legislation is having a huge impact on the promotional products industry.

 

The buzzword is compliance. Not only is product safety necessary, but it requires knowledge of the intricacies of the laws surrounding compliance. Are your manufacturing partners integrating product safety and compliance into their process? Producing promotional products without considering product safety and compliance issues is a risky business.

 

Here are two examples of product safety legislation out there. The most comprehensive U.S. federal law is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).CPSIA was enacted in August 2008 and imposes strict lead limits for children’s products and toys. State law may also affect product safety and compliance. One such piece of legislation  is California’s Proposition 65Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase.

 

A supplier who is doing their due diligence in respect to product safety and bringing a compliant product to market will likely come at a higher price. Product safety and compliance costs more, but the cost of ignorance is much higher.

 

Being knowledgeable about product safety and compliance issues can reduce risk. Asking a few leading questions can give you a better idea of how savvy your manufacturing partner is.

 

EVALUATION & ASSESSMENT

  • Does your supplier have a compliance officer who can understand AND explain compliance issues?
  • If they manufacture overseas, do they have boots on the ground for vetting and securing reliable factories?
  • Does your supplier adhere to a code of conduct that respects human rights?

PRODUCT TESTING

  • Can the supplier provide compliance testing from a reputable third-party?
  • Do they conduct AQLQC inspections?
  • How do you obtain the current test report for each product?
  • Do the test reports include photographs specific to the suppliers products or are they generic reports for similar products?
  • Does the report include all the required tests to comply with U.S. regulations or is it a report referring to European standards?
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Choosing the perfect promotional product: Perception is everything!

Choosing the right promotional product for your budgetPerception IS everything. When next you face the challenge of choosing a promotional product, keep this advertising specialty statistic in mind.

“Owners of promotional products remember the company they came from 87% of the time.”

Low cost might be attractive but it has its drawbacks. Poor quality items might meet your budgetary goals but fall far short in the promotion of your brand or company. With a rate of 87% recall, a cheap or poorly constructed item can have a negative impact that perpetuates itself forward.

Conversely, a promotional product of quality and good manufacture (albeit small) can say a lot about continuing engagement with your brand. Think of it like page ranking. The higher quality the link, the better the link. Well manufactured ad specialties speak well of your brand far into the future.

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Choosing the perfect promotional product: Make it useful!

Here’s a challenge.  Look on your desk and open your drawers. Count how many promotional products you see. Pick each one up. Can you recall the company you received them from? How many of these advertising specialties do you use on a regular basis. Surprised?

According to recent studies, 87% of recipients can recall the advertiser they received a promo product from. That is up 4% from a previous promotional products study conducted in 2010 I blogged about last year. The same study reported that the average amount of time a promotional item is kept is around 5.4 months and is used a little over 18 times a month. So much for the “trinkets and trash” moniker that has plagued ad specialties for years.

Choosing a useful promotional product can extend the amount of time spent with the recipient, increasing awareness. If use equates to value – providing a consistent value can be a great reflection on your company or the brand you represent.

 

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Choosing the perfect promotional product: Who is the recipient?

Knowing your audience and what makes them tick is central to choosing a successful promotional solution. Demographics and psycho-graphics are key to choosing a promotional product that will resonate with your target market.

Creating a persona that describes the individual or group you are trying to reach is a great way of tapping into what kind of advertising specialty product will be memorable. Asking yourself a few simple questions can make the difference between a “thanks but its heading to the junk drawer” and a promotional solution that the recipient uses on a regular basis. Some things to consider when choosing a promotional product:

  • Male, female, or unisex? This might seem simple, but if you choose a promotional product like a tee shirt, you might want to consider what size and cut will work best.
  • Age will give you insight on what popular trends or pop culture references your audience will recognize. The coolest promotional product on earth makes no difference if the recipient doesn’t see its relevance. Speak to them in a language they will understand.
  • What do they do? What are their habits, hobbies, and preferences? Knowing what your target market likes to do can point you in a direction you might not have considered before.

Developing personas is a great way of bringing creativity into your promotional product decision making process.

 

 

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How promotional products can help you tap into growing consumer optimism

How Americans perceive their financial situations is a fairly accurate predictor of consumer spending habits. According to a preliminary reading from the Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan (TR/UM) index of current conditions, Americans are feeling more positive. The index just jumped from 66.6 to 68.7 for February.

Consumers seem to be giving the signal that they are open to explore the possibility of spending again. The timing seems ripe for marketers to amp up efforts to capture mindshare. It takes multiple impressions to get a consumer to take an action. In a fast-paced world that lives on short-term content, you might want to consider adding a longer term delivery mechanism like promotional products to your campaign. Here a few good reasons why:

  1. Promotional products deliver more impressions for a longer period of time than other media. According to a recent industry study, advertising specialties are kept for an average of 5.8 months.
  2. 87% of recipients could identify the advertiser associated with the item and
  3. 31% reported a high likelihood of doing
    business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product. With a strong ROI,
    promotional products are a great addition to a multi-faceted marketing approach.

 

If you are a fact geek like me, check out the ASI study below for more detailed information.

*ASI Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study V. 3