“Wait, wait, then quick, quick.” Corporate Gifts are urgently needed, but rarely purchased in advance of that need. Buyers simply, and correctly, calculate that the advantage of buying before the product is needed are small, while the costs are high. A rational corporate might keep t-shirts, caps, pens, keychains around for their regular need but is unlikely to keep various other business gifting items ready which are more theme and event dependent.
Most of the time products and services under corporate gifts are, almost by definition, unimportant, uninteresting, uninvolved categories so they are delayed till the last moment. However when the occasion or event dates comes closer….suddenly the need to solve the problem is overwhelming. Now your determination to get the problem solved right now and, more important, get it done right, so right that the colleagues or team members have no reason to complain, can lead literally, to a rapidly increased heartbeat, cold sweats, team arguments, and so on.
Precisely because corporate gifts is generally low interest categories, the opportunity to make a visible mistake is large, and you know that. Whether or not you bring a lot of internal emotional baggage to the buying experience you are still confronted by external phenomena and the word typically use to describe such time is wasted which you still have to calculate as compared to spending on some more important activities around the bigger event.
Buyers rightly look for a convenient, trained sales organisation, assurances on quality, deliveries and the best of new products which serves their purpose. Look for a gifting organisations which understands that your end objective is to excite your target audience, by giving them chance to connect better with your product by higher brand recalls. Avoid smaller one man army outfits as their knowledge and bandwidth limits your choices. Be extra careful with new outfits as they are learning at your cost and may not be there tomorrow if the flirting fails. The reason you see so many fly by night operators is that one can start with minimum of investments and infrastructure. The entry is easy but survivability is very difficult and to grow without a team is next to impossible.
Corporate gift suppliers with a big team has advantages like choice of products, scale, backup system and experience of serving large corporates. Further if they are present in multiple locations then their capability bandwidth is another advantage when you need deliveries in multiple locations as they can use local factories to cut down on transportation and taxes. Do check on the various industry segments they are catering to get a good hold on their domain knowledge, experience and expertise. You can consider speaking to their good regular accounts to get a current update on their credentials. Insist on a finished samples before you place your order to ensure that there are no surprises on what you ordered and what you received. Finally try to understand the supplier’s intentions as they must believe in acquiring and retaining customers for their long term growth instead of jumping from account to account and surviving by cutting corners.