Choose Carefully So You Don’t Get Soaked

On Tuesday, I shared some research on the value of including umbrellas in your promotional marketing program. To put it simply, consumers love them and hang onto them longer than almost any other promotional marketing item. Even better, they say they’d likely do business with a company that gave them one.

But I’ll be straight with you—if you don’t pick a quality promotional umbrella, none of those claims hold water. No one is impressed with an umbrella that is cheaply made, doesn’t work well, fails quickly or is just unattractive. People expect little from promotional marketing beer koozies or golf tees. But a lousy umbrella can really put a damper on things. So do your research.

What to Look For in a Promotional Umbrella

A good place to start is right here at Superior. We have a wealth of experience in promotional items. So I think I can offer advice on what things are important in choosing a promotional umbrella ─ and promotional umbrella supplier. Here are a few of them.

  1. Go with a Good Name

Yes, there are umbrella brands that have solid reputations. Ask around. Look in stores. It is better to trust a “name brand” than to base your decision on price alone. If you’ve never heard of them, why take a chance on them?

  1. Check Out the Warranty

If there is one, of course. A trustworthy brand will back their products. Look for as long a warranty as possible, with as few limitations. If your brand is going to be on it, you need to have confidence in it.

  1. Ask for Samples

Quality manufacturers are proud to show you their products. If you can’t get a sample, it’s fair to wonder what they might be hiding. Why take the chance?

  1. Ask about Spec Samples or Renderings

This is good on two fronts. First, you’ll get to see what your branding will look like on the umbrella you are considering. Second, you’ll get an idea of their customer service. How do they respond to your requests? If they’re not accommodating now when they want to win your business, it’s not likely to get any better once they have it.

  1. Check Out the Pricing

First, my advice is to ditch the poor-quality candidates. They’re not a good idea regardless of price. But once you are comparing well-made products, then get quotes for the quantities you need. Efficient spending is critical for all promotional marketing efforts, umbrellas included. And don’t forget to find out if screens and imprinting is an added cost.

  1. Compare Production and Delivery Dates

Naturally, this is important unless you are working far in advance. Learn which providers can offer fast turnaround on those quality products. Ask questions about the production process. Are there minimum quantities? What is the expected time frame for the quantity you need?

Now, About That “Good Name” Thing….

Our experience has also taught us that with umbrellas, no company does it better than ShedRain®. It’s the number one umbrella brand found at major U.S. retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom. You’ve certainly heard of them. And you know they only carry quality merchandise.

ShedRain is a family business, started in rainy Portland, Oregon over 70 years ago. They built and grew their business by making the best umbrellas available. And they’re the only umbrella company that still maintains a manufacturing facility in the U.S.

All the Right Answers

At Superior, we know ShedRain quite well. We have partnered with them often. And whenever we do, our customers are very pleased. Why? Well, just look at how they would answer the questions I posed above. (I mean, besides the ‘pick a good brand name’ thing. We’ve already covered that.)

ShedRain offers:

  • A lifetime, unlimited warranty.
  • Up to three blank product samples
  • Free “spec” samples, with NO set-up charge
  • FREE renderings to show your logo “in place”
  • One FREE screen and one FREE imprint included with production
  • Three-day delivery for orders up to 250 pieces

And what about pricing? Well, even with all our experience, we’re amazed at how ShedRain can offer such quality products so affordably. But hey, we’re not complaining, and I don’t imagine you will, either. And wait until you see the selection of umbrellas they offer. I’ll be showing you a couple of those next week, so stop back on Tuesday.

For Umbrellas, We’ve Got You Covered

Take advantage of our relationship with a world-class umbrella maker. You’ll get more than a great product. You also get our nearly 100 years’ experience, and benefit from our own high-quality service. It’s earned us an ISO certification, and two consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards from our satisfied customers.

Contact Superior today, for umbrellas or any other promotional marketing need that arises. Including golf tees and beer koozies. (And very good ones, I might add.)

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