“C is for cookie and that’s good enough for me. “C” is for cookie and that’s good enough for me!”
A few weeks back a potential client/marketer sat down with us to discuss our business and how we could help each other. He asked me why he should do business with us and after I told him how wonderful, fabulous and amazing we were, he responded with…”how is that different than any other promotional products company?”
OUCH! I was not only stunned by his question, but personally I was hurt. It was like getting hit in the head with a golf ball, which hurts by the way, and I was just a bit miffed and felt that my integrity had been put in question.
For the record, I did not use the words wonderful, fabulous and amazing. I talked about listening to the clients, meeting their needs, their budget, their timeline and all the other things any reputable promotional products and logo apparel company does. Repeat…ANY reputable company.
Time is often our ally and once the the sting went away and the metaphorical lump subsided from my noggin, I realized that he was right and I was left with questions that needed to be answered:
How do we stand out in the crowd?
What is our niche?
Why are we a better promotional products company than the guy or gal down the road?
The answers came to me through a question asked by a business colleague and friend, Marlin Brownell, owner of Foremost Marketing and Media.
At our weekly Salem Chamber Greeters meeting, Marlin asked me if we were threatened by the big online companies that advertise screen printing on television. With my usual zeal, passion and Italian arm gestures I shared why Print Specialties was not intimidated by the big online companies and how we differed from them. I then proceeded to share the story of my ego being bruised. Marlin’s response to my story consisted of a few words that formed while I shared my heart:
Custom ∗ Craft ∗ Considerate ∗ Community
Custom – That is what we do at Print Specialties. Your company logo on the product that you want with 100’s of options to choose from, not just one or two. Whether a client is looking at pens or t-shirts we have options that meet their needs. We almost always have samples and will bring them to you, which shows that we care about your time, but that isn’t one of the “c” words in this blog.
Craft – We live in the “Craft Beer” mecca of the universe and we liken our screen printing and embroidery to that process. We want and actually expect our clients to wear their embroidered logo proudly on their coat or polo shirt. Our tagline is “It’s Your Name, So Wear it Out” for a reason and our goal is exactly that.
Considerate – Our clients are busy, are watching their bottom lines and the majority have no idea of the different processes used to get their logo from their usb drive onto a mouse pad, calendar or coffee mug. So we are very considerate of their time, their budget and their needs. We deliver to our clients. We will take the time to place a logo differently from one garment to the next to meet the needs of different body styles and yes we will explain the different processes and timelines needed to get the project done.
Community – Community is a big part of why we do what we do. Does my heart swell a little when I see a child wearing a Love Reins shirt or a beanie representing Children’s Educational Theatre? Darned tootin! Do we feel a bit of pride knowing that Union Gospel Mission’s message is shared when someone wears their “Walk for Hope” shirt out and about or Marion Polk Food Share’s logo is on a jacket? Yes, yes we do!
The letter “C” has become my favorite letter in the alphabet. Thanks Marlin Brownell.
As I close this writing, I will leave you with two things:
1. Today is December 2nd. It is #GivingTuesday and I have linked the websites for the organizations mentioned above, just in case you are in a giving mood when you read this.
2. Here is a little pre-school nostalgia video, just in case Cookie Monster is still swimming in your head and you want to rock out with him.
As always, thank you for reading and remember. “It is your name, SO wear it out.”