Profile - 4imprint - A Global Impression (1,432 words)
Prior to the U.K. operation assuming responsibility for the British catalog, all prepress catalog work was done in-house in the United States. Files were transferred to a U.K.-based printer for printing and mailing in the domestic postal stream. Today, all creative for the British version of the catalog, including copy, merchandising and pagination, is handled by the U.K. staff.
The Supplier Side
When selecting merchandise, 4imprint heavily relies on its trade division, Products Source Select, that has extensive knowledge of what products sell in the marketplace. This information, in combination with 4imprint staff's own observations as to what products are selling at the retail level, is used to select products for the catalog. Thumb through the pages of the 4imprint's prospecting catalog and you'll find numerous pens, baseball hats, mugs, stress balls and umbrellas that can be imprinted with messages and corporate logos. And while the pen remains its most popular product, according to 4Imprint's U.K.-based marketing executive Cheryl Jackson, one of the hot new items is a small deck chair for a mobile phone.
4imprint acts as a middle man of sorts, says Jackson, in the fulfillment process. It takes the order and sends it to the appropriate supplier who then fulfills the order and dispatches the product directly to the consumer. Most items are available within 10 days; however, special orders, such as an umbrella, may take a couple of weeks, Jackson adds.
Approximately 90 percent of the merchandise 4imprint sells is purchased for an event, such as give-aways at a trade show, which makes customer service and timely turnaround essential, says Iott. "We have to be able to get it [the order] right, and get it there on time, not a day later. No one wants to receive products the day after a trade show" he explains. For example, McDonald's needed 750,000 mini-footballs delivered for its World Cup promotion.