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Do you need a bandage or a solution?

Do you need a bandage or a solution?

Occasionally, a prospective client will ask, “Why do I need a company store when I can just order custom products when I need them from a one-off source like cafepress?” This is a legitimate question. Maybe instead of sticking a bandage on the problem, they need to look for a real solution.

Let’s say you are ordering branded mugs for your next company sales meeting. You have 12 reps coming, so you go online to order. Surprise number one is that you have a choice of only 7 styles. Seven. Compare that to the 15,650 styles we can see in our system. To say the one-off source has a lack of selection would be a huge understatement!

selection

The next surprise is even more painful. Pricing from the one-off source starts at $13.50 and goes up to $23.00. Each. Can you imagine spending $15 (once you add in shipping) for a simple white mug with your logo on it?! For the price of 12 of these mugs, you could have 36 completely custom mugs in your branded merch store. Obviously, price is not a concern for this source.

Of course, you would never order this way. For the sake of this example, though, let’s pretend you did. Then, the week before the sales meeting, you learn the company has hired two more reps and they will need mugs, too. Oh, and why don’t you go ahead and get each person a branded iPad sleeve while you’re at it? Right. No problem. Except the fact that there is only one (again, no selection!). And it’s going to run you $50 a pop.

So the sales meeting begins and you are ready for your third and (hopefully) final surprise: the CEO wants one of the mugs and iPad cases, too! In fact, he’s more than a little miffed that you overlooked him in the first place. Now, you get to tell him it will be a week or two before these items will be here because they are not in stock.

Ouch!

So, let’s go back to our prospective client’s question - “Why do I need a company store when I can just order custom products when I need them from a one-off source like cafepress?” Because you’re running a business, not a little league baseball team. Your marketing efforts (both internally and externally) deserve the care, attention to detail and organization a branded merch store provides. And, your time is valuable! You have more important things to do than upload your logo to the same website to create the same mug three separate times to make sure each team member gets one.

A corporate branded products store helps you control your branding, minimize administration, simplify product selection and streamline purchasing… all in one spot. The store tracks each individual’s usage and provides multiple ways for your team to purchase products. It is a solution to a problem, not a bandage to cover the problem up. An online company store solution has a lower cost to entry than you might expect and a basic store can be set up in a matter of days.

corporate merch store
 

If all you need are 12 mugs this one and only time, and you don’t mind paying a premium price for them, then the one-off source might be a good temporary fix for you. If, however, you are looking for a way to manage your marketing collateral so you can be more effective, then we need to talk!