Awards & Engraving

June '18

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A&E JUNE 2018 • a-e-mag.com 27 Sales & Marketing Trends come and go, and for this reason you must stay adaptable and be proactive with your offering to your clients with new items. I have a good friend in our busi- ness that has come up with many different items as his signature products during his years in business because things change and the wants of our clients change. I spoke with him the other day and he is currently struggling with identifying his signature product. I believe he is finding it difficult because of the generational differences, but he will create a product that works because he understands the need for such a product to continue to promote his business. When we select a signature product, it needs to be one that is profitable and has a demand. I know this seems elementary, but we need to keep it simple and set our sights on developing products that address the markets we sell. If we get out in left field and spend a lot of time developing a product that flops, then that can be both expensive and feel like you have failed. I suggest you test the water by asking your clients questions on what might be a good new product and what price point it needs to have. You might already know because of your history of selling these folks, but ask their opinion anyway — your clients will like the fact that you consider their opinion — and listen to their answers. It is also helpful to do little tests with your clients. Experiment with certain colors, sizes, materials, and processes. I have known many who go out and spend a great deal of money on a process that is great but is neither unique or profitable, but because they think it is new, they invest in it. The question to ask is, is this new product going to satisfy a need that you can promote into a want? Perhaps a better approach might be to farm out the manufacturing of your new idea until you test the market. It might cost a little more to start, but it can save a lot of investment and time. Also think about a signature product that can be used in several different mar- kets and ways; a universal product is always better because it can present you with ave- nues to other markets with good business. So often we are so busy making a living that we don't have any time to make any money. If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000 or e-mail me at stephen@a-1awards.com or write me at Stephen L. Capper A-1 Awards, Inc. 2500 North Ritter Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46218 A&E

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