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Marketing and Growing a Business with Sublimation

One of the most significant advantages to digital printing is the ability to print and make one item at a time.

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One of the most significant advantages to digital printing is the ability to print and make one item at a time. Not needing to print 50 or 100 units eliminates inventory problems many other small businesses stress over. It will also create an unfair advantage for you as opposed to the embroidery shop, screen printer, or promotional product company that doesn’t have a dye-sublimation system.

The first thing we recommend to all new business owners is to think about how they want to be viewed in the local business community. For example, are you thought of as a business that prints cool stuff? Or, are you seen as a business that can solve marketing problems for other small businesses? You can play to the printing strengths of sublimation. Here’s an example of the often mentioned and used good, better, best approach.

  • Good: Print and heat press some mugs with your logo and marketing tagline and give them away at a networking meeting or drop off to other local businesses in your area.
  • Better: Take the time to find five local businesses you want to do business with and who might be in a niche you enjoy or where you already have a shared passion. Print and heat press some mugs for them. Try something other than an 11-oz., plain white c-handle mug. Print their names on one side. We mean to personalize them as in JAY or TERRY. Add their business logo on the other side. Next, fill it with one or two Keurig pods or a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks or another local coffee shop. If you know them well or have strong research/detective skills, and have the budget, find out what their favorite blend of coffee is and bring a small bag. Don’t forget to add your sublimated metal business card printed with your usual info on one side and a custom message on the other side. The custom message should say something like, “I’m looking forward to a cup of coffee and our next discussion!”
  • Best: Create a Small Business Marketing Kit. Be creative and come up with your twist. Print and make a collection of items like:
    • A magnetic metal name badge (print their name)
    • Two or three key tags (print their logo and their phone number)as
    • Three or four can koozies (print their logo)
    • A heart-shaped cork coaster (their logo and tag line, “We love our customers… our employees, etc. Or customize it for a specialty niche with something like “We love concrete!”
    • A metal tumbler (printed with their logo and personalized with their name)

These printed and personalized products become your kit, and they fit into a tote bag or anything large enough to be the carrier for the package. Whatever it is, make sure it’s also printed with their logo and cool graphics.

Your job is to explain that you solve small business marketing challenges! One of the marketing strategies you use is creating kits like this for other small businesses. Explain that there is one price for everything. Depending on the product mix, quantity, and how you value your time, you might say each one is worth $75.00, and if you buy five or more, you will save 10%. Make sure they understand the purpose of the kits is to be customized, as you did, to their target audience or for their employees.

Marketing sublimated products is a great way to raise awareness about your offerings and everything that can be done with this often-misunderstood decoration method. In fact, we double-dog dare you to combine all three methods of marketing for maximum results!

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Jay Busselle

For more than 20 years, Jay Busselle has worked in the design, production, and sale of advertising, decorated apparel, and promotional products. He's the marketing director at Equipment Zone and possesses industry-specific experience, business ownership, and a graphic design background. 

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