Profile - 4imprint - A Global Impression (1,432 words)
The newly formed company merged its four distribution channels—direct marketing, corporate program, premiums and partner services—and adopted the name, 4imprint as its global banner in 2000.
A Marketing Marriage
The first catalog launched in the United Kingdom by the new joint company was mailed in the spring of 1997. It was borne of the labor of two teams located on different sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. staff of Nelson Marketing brought its experience of selling promotional products via direct marketing, while Bemrose's field sales reps provided in-depth knowledge of the promotional products markets, including which products would sell. The newly formed company used its distributor's existing vendor contacts to support the launch, and lists were selected with the help of Direct Media's European office for the 500,000 book mailing.
At the time of the launch, copy for the U.K. catalog was written by its U.S. staff based in Oshkosh, WI, and reviewed by the U.K. staff at its global headquarters in Manchester, U.K., to make sure it was appropriate and accurate. The same process was followed for its e-commerce sites.
Aside from anglicized spelling and pricing in pounds sterling, the most significant difference between the U.S. and U.K. versions of the catalog was its merchandise mix. More executive gifts and high-end merchandise, such as clocks and calculators were included for personalization in the U.K. version of the catalog as opposed to its U.S. counterpart. As Iott explains, at the time logo apparel and corporate causal wear were not as popular among Britons. Baseball hats were not as big a seller as they were in the United States, he says.
List selection also proved somewhat difficult. "The list market is not as robust in the United Kingdom as it is in the United States," observes Iott, who is quick to point out that it has improved in the past few years and that it also is a different list environment because it is a smaller market. To supplement its catalog mailings and bulk up its prospecting efforts, the company placed space advertising in industry-related publications and tested a few postcard mailings.