It wouldn’t be unheard of to hear this question from various departments in the organization. Whether it’s Sales going to a conference/event looking for give-a-ways, HR assembling packages to give to new hires, or someone just looking for a new mug for their desk, there comes a time when you’re going to need branded merchandise. For large organizations with multiple locations and frequent needs, it’s common to have a company store. However, for smaller organizations or those that only need to order things a few times a year a company store doesn’t make sense. In that case you’re most likely ordering small batches through a catalog or vendor.
In any scenario it’s important to develop processes and procedures for acquiring branded merchandise and what’s appropriate for your brand. Here’s a few best practices to follow.
- Whatever has your logo on it is representing your brand. Make sure it aligns with who you are, what you stand for, and leaves a positive impression.
- Make sure the merchandise vendor is able to reproduce your logo accurately and match your brand colors. Get a sample as colors can vary based on the machine producing it. Just because it’s the same pantone or CMYK number doesn’t mean it’s going to match.
- It’s not enough to have a couple of pages in your standards and guidelines, and if you don’t have that you should, ideally there should be an approval loop or at the very least a description of proper usage someone has to review before ordering something.
- Have a single source or point person for ordering merchandise. This will allow you to control what people order and make sure it’s on-brand.
Now get your holiday orders going and a system place to be set up for success!