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Ask Clive – discovering what the customer needs

Q: As a distributor, some of my customers do not have promotional clothing requirements, or do they?

A: Over the past few months I have been attending and presenting at some terrific and beneficial end user shows with selected distributors. With clothing and decoration being at the forefront of my presentation, I was surprised at that when I asked visitors about their demand for clothing, the reply would sometimes be that they didn’t have any.

They claimed that they tended to use more generic items such as pen or mugs. I found this surprising as clothing registers in the top ten of promotional items.

Never being one to give up so quickly I revised my question to “do you have a requirement for Workwear?” Here the answer was more often affirmative with companies requiring polo shirts, jackets for shows and fleeces for their outdoor teams.

So where am I going with this?

Standard workwear and promotional clothing are often similar products – fleece, softshell, cargo trousers, polo shirt, apron, and so on. However, in the customer’s mind they may fall into two very different categories. Just by asking a question differently we can identify a need for clothing which may be the opening you were looking for. 

Be aware that general workwear is different from technical PPE (personal protective equipment), which refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection.

Your garment decorator will be able to help you with all your requirements including PPE.

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