Branded merchandise – bespoke or not bespoke – that is the question?

There are thousands of standard promotional products available to choose to from – many are available in multiple colour ranges and can be decorated with your brand and message in just a couple of weeks. However, if you really want to create memorable, stand out merchandise for your brand you may want to go ‘bespoke’!

Here at The Sourcing Team we started out as a global sourcing company, creating totally unique branded products for our clients, specifically produced for product launches, gift with purchase, uniforms, behaviour change, point of sale (PoS) and much more.

It is a really exciting area of our business – working with our designers on your behalf to create something special, something totally unique.

Bespoke or not bespoke?

It’s all in the detail!Bespoke Products produced  by The Sourcing Team

When you decide to go for a uniquely designed product or range of products, you have so much more opportunity to delight and excite your client or customer with details that cannot be branded or included on standard off-the-shelf gifts or products.

In order to go bespoke, you will need to purchase a minimum quantity, which will depend on the type of item in question.  You must also allow sufficient lead time for the production process. This will again depend again on the type of product. Typically printed/branded off-the-shelf items can be provided on average in between 10 and 20 working days. Once you move to bespoke, you could be looking between 6 – 14 weeks.

Design is a key element in creating bespoke or tailor-made items. We generally work with our clients' design agencies, or we can provide a total service working with our tried and tested designers. We find that being part of the design adds value to the client, as we can ensure our designers create something that not only looks amazing but is also achievable at the right price.

So where do you start?

We suggest considering the following points when looking at bespoke premium merchandise:
• Expertise of your partner: Check credentials and ask about their bespoke work, requesting actual case studies and testimonials
• Ask them to explain their process in sourcing the right factory
• Investigate how they ensure that they are working with an ethical supply chain
• See what are they able to provide from a design perspective
• Find out about their project management and client service
• Ask to see what steps do they have put in place to protect your brand and reputation

What should you expect?

For a campaign to be successful, it is important to understand up front what will be expected from you as the customer and what you should expect from your chosen sourcing agency.

When working on bespoke premiums, you will probably be asked to complete a briefing form. This is an important part of your process as it ensures that you provide the key elements to your requirements – such as budget, timing, brand requirements, target market, target recipient, objectives, etc.

Creating stand out bespoke premiums can really deliver for your brand – just make sure you carry out the right due diligence in your supplier selection process – it is an area that requires many areas of expertise both in the supply chain and in managing the product safety and compliance.  Here at The Sourcing Team it is an area we love and we're proud to have provided so many exciting bespoke premiums for our global clients.

If you would like to include us on a brief or, discuss your future requirements, why not call our Client Service Director and Compliance Champion Becky Fleury on or  0208 666 0781.