“I made my first investment at age eleven. I was wasting my life until then.” – Warren Buffett
Many, many potential customers see our ads. Many come to our site. When on our site, a lot wonder, “If I go ahead and do this, is there really going to be a return on this investment?”
In our increasingly data obsessed world, when the benefits of attempting a fourth down play relative to punting is calculated out to the 5th decimal, it is fair to ask if there is any proof that custom embroidered and screen-printed logo apparel and other promotional products truly benefit a business?
Perhaps somewhat indirectly, exhibit number one for the case that custom logo apparel and promotional products do benefit our customers is our high re-order rates. Over half of our customers who order a first time from us order a second time, which is a very high “retention” rate for any kind of online business. Of the customers who place a second order, over 75% place a third order. After that, reorder rates notch up a few more percentage points for each subsequent order until topping out in the mid 80% range.
If there wasn’t a benefit to the business, why would so many keep ordering?
On the apparel side of our business, there are a couple of basic needs our custom logo shirts, hats, bags and other items seem to fill. Outside of the office, a salesperson or technician in a custom logo shirt or hat looks professional (at least if the shirt or hat was clean and looked good! We’ve seen an awful lot that haven’t looked that great). For an employer, no doubt there is comfort in knowing there will be a consistency in the appearance of company employees in the field, particularly as current norms of dress have become increasingly casual.
Also, many feel that custom logo apparel provides a degree of authority and reinforces to the public a person’s connection to his or her organization. Imagine a police force without uniforms!
Inside of the business, custom logo apparel brings a team together. Imagine a professional sports event where the players were not wearing uniforms! Certainly, uniforms help in the heat of the action to know who to pass to and who to defend against, but that alone would not explain all the fans watching from the stands in their expensive team jerseys. A uniform brings a group together and at least lets you know who you want to stand next to watching a game in a bar.
On the custom promotional products side of the business, what is the benefit of giving away pens, water bottles or other items often referred to as SWAG? In case you didn’t know, SWAG may mean either Stuff We All Get or something else, but generally refers to relatively inexpensive items with company logos that are given away to benefit the brand by either creating awareness or enhancing the possibility of a first or subsequent sale.
The custom logo apparel and the custom promotional products businesses are each multi-billion-dollar parts of an even bigger industry.
Is it possible this industry could exist and be so big if it wasn’t bringing value to the buyers of these products?
At Queensboro, our mission is not “Help our Customers Look Good in the Field”, “Create that Team Feeling in the Office” or “Build your Brand win New Customers and keep old Customers”
Our mission is “Helping People Share Who They Are with The World”. We want your folks to look good in the field and feel good at home. And we want you to grow your businesses. But what we really want is to help you shout from the mountain top “This is who I am, and this is what I do!”. Our hope is that you will say that for the entire world to hear (that would be a pretty big order!)
If we are helping you do that and doing it in a way that earns your trust and respect, that is what we think matters.
100 or so years ago, John Wannamaker had a really big department store in Chicago. One of the first and biggest of its kind. He was pretty famous for that. He is almost as famous for a statement that he may never have made which was “I know that half of my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
In his great book Influence, Robert Cialdini tells the story about how effective it was back in the 1980’s for the Hari Krishna followers to give away worthless little paper flowers in the airports. Just by giving that little gift, a person’s chances of donating to the cult increased dramatically. So effective was this simplest of premiums, laws were passed in airports all over the country making it illegal to give away free stuff in airports.
We need to invest in growing our businesses.
We have to advertise and be willing to try all kinds of things to find what works for us. At Queensboro we feel that the best way to grow your business and make money is to develop great relationships with your customer by working hard, being responsive, and being as honest and transparent as possible. Custom logo shirts, hats, apparel, and gifts of promotional products with your logo can help with that job, but they are no substitute for the real work of taking care of your customers.
Do a great job and share who you are with the world! You take care of the first part and we’ll help with the second!