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June 5, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by Interstate Office Products.
Don’t tell Jeff Bowar swag doesn’t sell.
The marketing manager at TSP Inc. recently learned about a client who had pulled out a golf ball with the firm’s logo on it while golfing with someone from his industry.
“He gave it to that second person, who eventually became a client too,” Bowar said. “So you never know when and how these products might be shared.”
When TSP needs to order customized promotional products, it turns to the Sioux Falls expert: Curt Reinschmidt, leader of the corporate apparel and promotional products division at Interstate Office Products.
“Working with Curt is great,” Bowar said. “He suggests hot items or trends and is always willing to run over and show me an item or get me a sample if he can. And then Curt follows up after a sale, checking in to make sure things are right. He makes it easy.”
Reinschmidt and IOP started the new division last fall and have taken the time to ensure it offers a huge variety of options with outstanding client service.
“We’re at a point where we are full steam ahead,” he said. “A lot of our clients appreciate finding that one-stop shop for their promotional products, office supplies and corporate apparel.”
TSP has worked with Interstate Office Products to order branded lip balm, hand sanitizer and credit card-size USB drives in addition to the golf balls.
The firm deliberately chooses items with broad appeal, so they can be handed out at everything from industry trade shows and conferences to job fairs.
“We want the recipient to find them useful and to keep them around,” Bowar said. “We also like to have items on hand to give to the different groups, clubs and organizations that come to the TSP offices or when team members visit classrooms or other industry events.”
It’s smart marketing that works, said Gary Gaspar, president of Interstate Office Products.
“When you give someone something useful that they use on a daily basis, you’re getting your brand and your message directly in the hands of your customer,” he said. “It’s hard to get much more targeted than that.”
Stockwell Engineers has found that to be true too.
The company has used pencils, golf balls and travel coffee mugs as promotional products.
“We give the products to employees to have, so we have a cohesive image, and we also give them to existing and potential clients,” president Jon Brown said.
The firm attends a number of municipal, parks and agriculture conferences, as well as community events, and gives away the products to attendees there.
“It helps keep our name in front of clients and helps promote awareness of our company and what we do,” Brown said. “We also appreciate the work our clients send our way, and giving them some of these branded products provides us one of many small ways to say thank you.”
Stockwell Engineers is still generating ideas with IOP to add new and unique items to its inventory.
“They have been a great partner. We’ve used them for office supplies, so it’s been super easy to switch to also using them for promotional materials,” Brown said.
“We love that they are a local business and just down the street, so it’s a quick pop into our office to discuss ideas or bring over samples. We’ve been very pleased with the quick turnaround of promotional products from there.”
Other companies have worked with IOP to customize products for celebrating business anniversaries, grand openings and customer appreciation packages.
So what does the company that provides the promotional products give away itself?
IOP has a few current favorites, including handy tape measures and a popular wireless device charger.
“The hot items right now are tech gadgets – mouse pads, pop sockets, camera concealers, microfiber cleaning cloths,” Reinschmidt said. “Pop-up calendars are always popular because they sit on your desk, and think about how many times during the day you look at your desk.”
If you’re in a rush, IOP generally can accommodate you too.
“It depends on the product, but some vendors can turn it around in 24 hours, or we can generally get something in less than a week if we have artwork ready to go,” Reinschmidt said.
“Each client is different, so we’ll start by visiting about your overall needs, whether it’s T-shirts for a trade show or a branded product. I feel it’s probably the most effective way to promote your company. People remember when they receive a gift.”
They put their company logo on a golf ball, and ended up connecting with a new client on the course. Here’s how to put the power of promotional products to work for your business.