WHAT MAKES UP THE COST OF PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS? How pricing works in branded merchandise
Some promotional products can be cheap and nasty, some are cheap and pretty nice. Most often though, they are reasonably priced and quite good quality. A full spectrum of pricing and quality exists in the world of promotional products – if you’re willing to pay more money, you will get a branded product that is beautifully crafted.
It’s important to put away the idea that printing your logo on a promotional product means branding a cheap piece of plastic that will likely be thrown away within 24 hours. Readjusting your perception of what branded merchandise is will also open your eyes to the huge range that exists. We guarantee that there are products out there that you have not even imagined could be used for promotions, and they really are available to you.
The cost of branded merchandise is dependent on the following four factors:
There is a myriad of ways that your logo or slogan can appear on promotional products and it depends on the material to be decorated but the main methods are as follows.
Almost anything can be printed on and it is the cheapest way of getting your brand on to the product. The simplest way is screen or pad printing where price is determined by the amount of colours to be printed, e.g. a three-colour pad print will cost more than a one-colour. A direct digital print will use a computer to print directly onto the product with full colour, and a sublimated print is where the print impregnates that material. Heat transfers are another option often for complicated or fine print work where the full-colour image is printed onto heat transfer paper, which is then pressed onto the product. Decal and resin-coating are common methods of enhancing print decoration on hard surfaces.
Think textiles; shirts, hats, bags and jackets. Embroidery is priced by stitch count – the bigger the logo, the higher the stitch count, the higher the price.
Debossing and Embossing is pressing the artwork into the product with a stamp to make a raised or recessed image. This decoration type looks great in leather, paper and cork.
Metal and wood items are the most commonly engraved promotional items. The top layer/s of material are removed with lasers or specialised machinery for a high-end feel. This decoration method is generally more expensive than printing because of the specialised equipment and the additional value you receive with a more permanent finish. Fantastic effects can also be made by laser engraving garments.
Etched branding happens on glass products and the costs are similar to engraving for the same reasons stated above. Etching scratches the design into the surface of the glass, giving a sleek, lasting finish.
As well as decoration type, the number of positions where the decoration appears will influence price. For example, a mug with your logo printed on the front and back will be slightly more expensive, whereas a shirt with large logos embroidered on the chest, back and sleeves will be significantly more expensive than a shirt with one logo on the chest.
Most promotional items are bought in bulk, so factories are used to making high quantities. The more you buy, the less you can expect to pay per unit. While this may not make sense for deluxe items – things that you’d be purchasing small amounts of – the cost of products for trade shows and other events will greatly benefit from a lower unit price per quantity break. It’s helpful to note that the quality of a product does not go down when the quantity goes up.
As stated above, quality varies across manufacturers and you’ll be able to tell by how much you’re being charged. Check out our other pricing article to give you a rough idea of what you should be paying. While there may be cheaper products out there where the quality is just fine, keep in mind that the products you’re buying will be distributed to the people you want to attract to your business. If you’ve only been given cheap products in the past, how have those products affected your perception of the company who gave them to you?
Potential customers will only continue to use the promotional products you give them if they think they have value. Human aversion to waste is a great tool because we hate to throw away something that we think might have cost something substantial. So going above the cheapest possible product will pay off in the longevity of your brand with an individual.
How a promotional product gets to its final destination is a large factor in the overall cost. There aren’t that many options and you can’t always choose how it arrives, but it’s good to know why it costs what it does.
Our offshore factories offer air or sea shipping. Air is faster but more expensive, both in general and especially for large quantity orders. The price comes from the materials needed to pack the items, what they weigh and the space they take on the ship or aeroplane. Items coming from overseas will often spend at least a week in customs and have an extra cost associated that goes under the banner of duties and taxes.
Local and national shipping is easier to control as the cheapest or fastest courier can be selected. The deadline of your items may influence who can carry your products to your door, which is why it is always better to be prepared and order well in advance.
When you’re next thinking of promotional products, we hope that this information can help you understand how pricing works and the number associated. Click here to have a look through some of Impact’s range of products.