In a nutshell, ‘value’ added is trading something (usually money) and getting something of value immediately, or in the long run, that is worth more than what you’ve exchanged. In the instance of the advertising specialty industry, our job as a service-oriented distributor is to deliver a product that will promote an organization. The differentiator between us and an online order-taking outfit is the value-added service we provide: 1-on-1 consultation for clients to utilize our marketing expertise, branding direction, delivery strategy, product selection, fast response, networking connections, vetting of factories and pushing the boundaries of clients’ creative direction. Just in the past year we’ve found multiple new employees for clients, connected dozens of clients to each other to do business and created turnkey marketing campaigns that clients were able to implement companywide. When was the last time your order-taking promo peddler did any of those for you?

We deliver products for a fair price and our clients don’t get a separate invoice for our time (thus, the value-added). The difference is that most websites only have a product offering and they leave you on an island to fend for yourself in navigating the endless & complex possibilities. (Then we hear:  “I didn’t know that existed!?” or “If I would have known we could have done THAT, then….” after they work with us.)

But how do you gauge value?

I’ve had this conversation many times with peers in the marketing industry who also aim to add value in their respective fields.

What I’d like to do is pose to you a rhetorical question: Instead of asking “What is the value of a logo?”, I’d like to ask “What are the negative repercussions of a bad logo?”.

The real answer is: no one can truly quantify this, but I will say that for a fixed cost to create a logo it sure does have a perpetual affect. Especially as the embodiment of your company: on email signatures, letterhead, envelopes, corporate gifts, promotional products, brochures, signs, vehicle wraps, business cards, pop-up banners, tents and digital presentations. Now imagine the negative connotations of a bad logo spread across those mediums. It’s not a pretty sight, and I’m not just talking about to the graphic designing elite.

We don’t create logos, but we sure do see a lot of them – and really appreciate good branding!

If you’re giving Lexus service & Yugo pricing you’re not going to be around for a long time. At the end of the day you’re going to have to service twice as many customers to make the same profit (thus reducing your service level to the point of being minimal for all customers). Bad service is a sure way to have clients leave you in droves, even if you’re the cheapest guy on the block.

The moral of this story is: know the value of your work. Stretch the envelope as far as service goes & wow your customers…BUT, charge a fair price where everybody wins.

Note: For this reason we don’t ‘beat up’ our vendors on price. We value them as partners and know that if they can make a fair profit, and are energized to work with us, then they will continue to add value to our business for years to come. What good is a great vendor if they’re out of business or stretched too thin to give you the service you need?]