Choosing a new promotional products vendor is not necessarily as simple as it seems as the choice can have a significant impact on the success or failure of a marketing campaign.

The first task is to select a shortlist of companies with in-depth knowledge of the industry, a good reputation and a proven track record. The details of accredited member companies can be obtained from the relevant trade associations such as BPMA, PROMOTA and ISP. Word-of-mouth recommendations are also very useful.

Once the selection has been narrowed down, a few important checks should be made. These include credit checks, plus a careful review of the vendor’s terms and conditions.

As it is all too easy for a brand’s image to be damaged by bad publicity about unethical or unenvironmental working practices, questions about the vendor’s ethical and environmental policies in sourcing promotional products should also be asked.

Quality brands should only be supported by quality promotional products. Equally important is a high quality service from the vendor right through from quotations to delivery. Some companies simply sell promotional products, whereas others are as passionate about the service they provide as they are about the products they design and source.