How to Increase the Speed of Unique Promo Item Production

Why does it have to take so much time? What are the pitfalls you are unaware of? Let's concentrate concentrate on points, that will save your time and money on the first steps of product development.

Why does it have to take so much time? What are the pitfalls you are unaware of?

In the world of increasing competition and a need to stand out more and more distributors and companies want to get unique promotional products that no-one else has.
In this article we’re not going to bring up the subject of unique promo items within 2 months or such, you can read about it here. Nevertheless, there are certain moments that can slow the process down drastically.

For this article, I looked at our R&D team’s work and made tech guys share their insight on the problems, not seen by a customer.

Are You Sure You Know What Unique Promo Product Is?
For the sake of understanding what we’re talking about let’s define terms here. If you type ‘unique promotional products’ in Google search, apart from pictures on Pinterest you’ll see websites of actual producers, who position their products as unique - umbrellas, pens, staplers, and tumblers. You can also find mobile pockets and gadgets like speakers or power banks. Does any of this sound unique to you? That’s right, because it’s not. It might be something cheesy or more creative, it might have bigger or smaller level of customization, but none of these items is unique.
According to Merriam-Websters dictionary, unique - means being the only one, being without a like or equal. A unique promotional product is a promo product that has no products alike. So this is what we are going to talk about - swag that has something so special about it that no other product has.

Creating unique promo item involves many levels and many links in one chain. Breakdowns can happen in any link, on any stage. And while some of them are out of your control, like misunderstandings or problems on Chinese factories, other obstacles can be avoided, if you have the understanding of the process.

Our developers split the whole process into 13 stages. We will concentrate on points, that will save your time and money on the first steps of product development.


There’s a long road from brief to manufacturing.

How the right designer saves your time
Have you ever thought of how different designers can be? Why is it crucial for a designer to be professional in industrial design? A graphic designer will create a beautiful imagery for you, no doubt. Same way you can find multiple pictures on Pinterest, and all of them will be beautiful, but practice shows that they probably won’t turn out that way when coming from a Chinese factory.
If a design is made by a person, who doesn’t know anything about production, he will not take into account basic details and further changes would be unavoidable.
Unlike graphic designer, the industrial designer takes into account basic engineering principles when making first drafts. It means that you will avoid multiple corrections and time-consuming explanations.

One Thing You Never Think About
Starting with the stage of ideation things can go different ways. Sometimes companies come up with their own concepts and pass the detailed brief to the third party, sometimes they’d just want to have something unusual, creative and shape the product together with an external collaborator.
Whatever the case is, somewhere on stage 3 to 5 (from ideation to design and engineering) there’s a decision that can drastically improve or decrease the speed and quality of work.

Let’s look at an example
Company A decides to create a custom promotional product. They know what they want so they take a detailed brief to a design agency B. Now they have a finalized image of what their product should look like. It’s final. Next, obviously they need an engineer to work on the inside of the gadget, so they go to a company C, but the answer is: there would be some changes. What? What changes? We’ve already approved the final design! What happens next you can imagine - rope war, who’s right who’s not qualified enough, etc, etc.
So the question is - where did the company A go wrong?
That’s right - they shouldn’t have gone to B. A’s best option is to go straight to C, and by C hereby I mean a production company who has at least 2 people - designer and an engineer.
Giving your project on a briefing stage to such company has great benefits:
- Communication and real-time interaction.
- Efficiency;
- Time reduction;
All in all, no emailing, no unanswered phone calls and text misunderstandings. If a promotional product is to the slightest extent difficult, an engineer could be involved as early as a stage of ideation. Leave your product development to the promo industry priofessionals to cover all your bases.


Working with a team of professionals is much better than giving your project from agency to agency. Photo by rawpixel.com

Only sky's the limit when it comes to perfecting the process of a unique product creation. Here we’ve looked at one part of the project that seems unseen for so many distributors and end companies. We’ve figured out that unique promotional product means swag that has something so special about it that no other product has. Once you understand the complexity of creating a truly unique promotional product, it’s getting easier to see the obstacles most buyers struggle with. Starting with the ideation and design it should be in the right hands - make sure you hand it to a team of professionals, not designer first and then engineer, etc. Moreover, not every designer is the right designer - receiving a good image without adjustments to engineering will cause problems and changes in your final designs. Why is it important? Because making right choices from the beginning saves your a lot of trouble in the future. You can’t be good in everything, but you can be a professional in one sphere, that is why a team of experts creates beautiful things and saves you time and money.

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