When it comes to having promotional items created for your company that will really represent your brand and make it stand out, you need to know that you are dealing with import companies that offer the best quality products and professional design teams, such as Gemline. But, there are a number of good companies out there, all offering similar but slightly different services. What you need to do is figure out what services you need, and which importers are going to be able to provide you with those services, at a cost that fits into your budget. Here are some tips that will help you choose the right importer of promotional products.
- Do Online Research – The first thing to do is to go online and do a search for the various importers from all over the world. Once you have chosen a few to look into, the next step is to visit their websites. The websites can actually say a lot about a business. For instance, if the site is difficult to navigate, you will be left wondering about the quality of service, whether or not they are truly knowledgeable in what they are doing, and if they are not taking full advantage of all of the latest technologies.
- Read Trade Publications – One really good way to learn about various importers is to look for them in trade publications. These magazines, blogs, websites, etc. will give you the down-low on the best, and worst companies in the industry. You will often be able to find reviews, customer testimonials, and more information that will help you narrow down your list to a handful of the top importers, and then you can work on winnowing down that list to your number-one choice.
- Go to Your Local Library – You can get a lot of information about all types of companies from all over the world, including importers, at your local library. There are many different sources of information, from the trade publications recommended in the above tip to newspaper articles and a variety of other useful publications that will help you make your final choice.
- Check Out Facebook – Visiting a company’s Facebook page or other social media pages is a great way to learn more about that company. Take a look at what they are sharing on their pages, and find out if they are offering what you need. You can get a lot of information from their posts, especially if you take the time to read between the lines. A simple post may tell a lot about a company, such as whether or not they are reliable, if they offer the products you need, if they have a professional design team (with photo posts of designs), and much more.
- Stick with the Specialists – One of the most important things to keep in mind when searching for the best import companies is that you choose those who specialize in this industry, and only this industry. For instance, you may find a company that advertises as being a great importer, but you find out it is a part-time company. The owner/operator has a full time job in a completely different industry, and just does importing on the side. This is not what you need. You need an importer that is always going to be there for you, and who knows the business inside and out. Also make sure that the team has plenty of experience in this industry. There are plenty of companies that have been in existence for decades, because they know what they are doing, and these are the companies you should be choosing.
- Quick Responses – Even if you are simply sending a first-time communication and are not a regular customer, the importer should respond to you as soon as possible. If you have to wait for a simple response, it is a pretty good indication that you will be waiting for a lot of other things. You need to know that you are working with a company that is going to be responsive to your needs without making you wait until it is too late to get promotional products for your event, tradeshow, or whatever else you are promoting.
- Meet the Design Team – While you may not be able to actually meet the design team in person, with today’s technology, there is no reason why you can’t communicate with each and every member of the team. You need to know that they are going to be able to fulfill your needs, and this is difficult when you are working with strangers who you have never even spoken with. Take advantage of Skype, VoIP, etc. and speak with the design team. This is the best way to convey your needs, and find out if they are working for you or simply for a pay check.
- Community-Mindedness – While this isn’t one of the biggest priorities when searching for import companies offering the best products and services, whether or not the companies are community-minded is something that you may want to keep in the back of your mind. If you see that a company does a lot in the community, such as donating to charities, hosting charitable events, etc., you can be pretty sure that this is a company that has a lot of integrity. That integrity will translate to the products and services offered to their clients.
- Use Your Instincts – One of the most important factors when choosing an importer is to trust your own instincts. In most cases, if something feels right, things are likely to work out quite well. On the other hand, if something doesn’t feel right, you really should think twice about choosing it. Your gut instinct can serve you well when you choose to act on it.
One of the first companies to check out in your research is Gemline, an importer that can take your designs and run with them, or help you create the perfect designs for all of your promotional needs. When it comes to corporate branding, you need to choose the best, to ensure that your company is going to look professional in the eyes of your clients, as well as within the business community.