Why invest the time in relationships?

  • Aug 28, 2019

A recent Friday at 5pm

I am ready to shutdown for the night when I receive an email requiring my attention. 

The situation:

The email was from a client I knew was in the process of new brand work.  A client that I reached out to a month or so ago to offer guidance — to provide my feedback on the newly designed logo in regard to its application in the promotional product market.   Make no mistake, I was not looking to have an opinion on the new design but rather offer my thoughts on the logo's feasibility in reproduction on promotional products and apparel.  When you are a promotional professional, you are often playing Monday morning quarterback working with logos chosen and finalized — I did not want to play Monday morning quarterback here if I could help it.  I have a great relationship with the client and knew I could add value.  As such, I expressed that from past experience logo design is often done with every media in mind, except promo.  The client replied to my message and sent me the current brand deck for review and comment.  Boom!

The result:

Excitedly, I reviewed the deck looking at the findings and details of the new brand and landed on the page where the new logo options were shown.  Immediately I knew there were concerns with both.  You see, promo has some specific challenges, small imprint windows, non porous sub-straights (define this here), standard colors, minimum text size and line thickness to name a few.  All of these are potential problems when placing a client's logo on the products we provide so getting in on the ground level here is huge. (Had to get off train// will keep edited later))  I emailed the client back asking for a meeting.  She agreed.  Now, I had to demonstrate my concerns in a visual way so the issues I was concerned about would show themselves.  I took both logos and did a quick layout to size for one single product.  Armed with a sample of the item and a layout with there logo, I set off for lunch with the client.  Lunch went great, I got a further understanding of their pain points and concerns and she got to see what my concerns were an why.  Don't you love it when the partnership and collaboration work?

Post lunch, the client asked if I would provide layouts and additional options for the upcoming brand launch events so she could share the with the design firm at their next meeting.  I put together 15 or so items with logo options A and B for review at the meeting and sent them to the client (offering to sit in if she wanted).  Now I wait.  A week goes by and here is an excerpt from the email I HAD to open today:


Hi Kevin-

We had a great conversation yesterday with the agency regarding the brand launch events. I have a laundry list of potential items broken out by event in the attached Excel spreadsheet. I’d like to focus on these items and narrowing down the choices within each category. I am starting to input quantities into the spreadsheet so we know how many to order once we decide on a product...

Thanks for all you help!

Here was my reply:

I am very pleased to hear you had a good meeting and you are welcome for whatever help I provided.  Only two other times in my career (yes 25 year career) selling swag I have been included in the branding process at this stage and I am very exited to have been, so thank YOU.  You will be able to read my gushing nerdy joy in my next blog (thanks for the inspiration).  THIS is why you have a relationship with a promotional professional!  Partners who are interested in and invested in helping each other reach mutual success.  THIS is why we do what we do...when it's done right, it sings!

I am looking very forward to helping the client with a successful brand launch.

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