How to Make the Most Out of Promo Product Customization

Deciding on customized promotional products think first: do you really need it? The reason to ask yourself this question is….

Deciding on customized promotional products think first: do you really need it? The reason to ask yourself this question is to clarify what exactly are your expectations about the process, the price, and the product.
Head of Aiia’s research and development team Alexey Doroshenko touched some important questions every promotional product business should understand.Exploring custom promotional products here we talk about changing original item according to your wants and needs. So it’s more than just putting your logo on a product or using a brand color. Making customized promotional products is a little less complicated than making products from scratch.

So, when is it a good idea to order custom promo products?
- No analog on the market
- Very specific need or idea
- Desire to create promo product perfect for the event and/or a target audience

If there are plenty of options available, why bother yourself with spending time and money for slight design changes or such? But then again, if the changes you make will fit specific idea or connect with a target audience - customization is a great option. Custom promo products can be great. They can be surprising, bright, and fun. But how do companies achieve a really good result? They might know a couple of things that you don’t, but even the most experienced distributors and brands have some of the misunderstandings we are going to talk about here. Knowing these details will make your customization process easier, your end product - better, and your end user - happier.

At the beginning of the article, you were asked a question whether you really need a custom promotional product.There are plenty of existing options to choose from. If ‘custom’ for you means a bit different design - it’s not worth doing, since it will probably cost you more than you expect. But on that a little later. Changes in design are not enough because customization should serve some promo campaign purpose. Making a custom Bluetooth speaker shouldn’t be only about the sound and fun it gives (that is still important), but also a memorable feeling, a message to the user. Make his or her life better, be useful in a special way. Otherwise, there’s always a possibility to go with popular promotional products that are already on the market.

To make the most out of your product customization, analyze next points before starting the process.

If this is not a product from scratch - it doesn’t mean that the work will be done fast. The process of specifying needs, re-making, adding and extracting details, trying different options to see what works best, is, nevertheless, time-consuming. Why is it important to keep in mind? Because in this case you can plan enough time in advance, and meet deadlines with a light heart. Otherwise, last-minute calls to different suppliers in search of the right amount of more or less suitable promo swag is one of the options.

Many think that finding a product you want to customize and communicating your wants to the R&D; team is enough. Most of the times what you’ll see is that development makes changes in the originally designed product. Sometimes factories just won’t have the ability to fulfill your ideas the way you want them. Or the design is in controversy with engineering. Whatever the case is, you should be prepared because the end result might differ from what you originally planned.

Here’s the way many people reason about making a customized promotional product. Let’s take a speaker, for example. ‘Cheap promotional Bluetooth speaker would cost 2$, and a really good one - 5$. So why don’t we create a custom Bluetooth speaker, as good as a 5$ speaker, but with a cost of 3$ or so? Because custom means we can optimize the product, right?’

On the picture here we have a popular speaker model, and you could think: ‘Look at all those buttons and slots? USB mini is an old thing, let's get rid of it - 15 cents, white buttons also seem unnecessary, ok - 20 cents off, crazing cover can be changed to something simpler. And we don’t need that LED light inside.

’Wow, seems like we’re onto something. Couple more changes and this should cost lesser. Unfortunately, things don’t work like this and here’s why. It is impossible to reach quantities big enough (especially for one company) to compete in the price of manufacturing with mass-market models.

And for the sake of your own reputation, don’t cut corners on certifications. You want your product to be made of non-toxic materials and good-quality elements. Otherwise, you won’t receive a positive impression of a brand and your customers will be far from happy.

A custom promotional product is not about saving money, it’s about finding a perfect product for your promo campaign and bringing your values to the end user.

Customized promotional products are great when created with a purpose - useful and stylish, they will be a great brand ambassador. To get the best out of custom promo product it’s important to:
- Clarify your goal and target audience
- do you need a customized product? What is the reason to make it? Who is the end user and will he/she appreciate it?
- Clarify the purpose of a promo product to the end user - it shouldn’t be just about the design, promo item has to be useful on a daily basis.
- Clarify your budget: it is never cheaper than existing mass-market models, even if you suggest to optimize the item by deleting some of its features.
- Make sure you have enough time before the campaign: customization process is not as fast as you might think.

Analyzing these elements will help you understand whether you need a custom product, what do you want to be customized, how valuable will it be to your end user and, as a result, how beneficial will it be to your brand.

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