Creating Company Branded Items: Part 1 – Online Provider vs. Local Promotional Company

7 mins read

This article is the 1st in our series on creating company branded items and explains the differences between ordering through online providers and local promotional companies.

Company branded items are an excellent marketing tool that provide a way to promote through visually appealing items. There are many different branded items that can be useful for a company, and we will explain how to create some of those different items throughout this series. Before getting into the individual items, let’s first discuss the differences between ordering through an online provider and a local promotional company to determine what will be the best fit for your business.

Online Provider or Local Promotional Company?

One thing that will need to be decided during the creation process of company branded items is whether the items will be ordered from an online provider, or through a local promotional company. When making this decision, it is recommended to look at both options to see what works best for the company and what you are wanting to get out of the branded item. This decision can be made for each item the company decides to create, as there will be different needs to meet for each item.

When looking for the right provider for company branded items, keep these questions in mind:

      • What price are they charging?
      • Will prices change depending on the quantity being ordered?
      • Will you be designing in-house, or need design services?
      • Do they offer design services?
      • What do they charge for design services?
      • How soon will you need the item?
      • How long will production and shipping take?
      • What options do they have for the item you are looking for?
      • What quality of printing do they have?
      • Do they offer samples?
      • Will they charge for samples?


When looking at online options, there are thousands of companies that create and distribute branded items! This process can be started by simply typing the branded item you are looking to create into your search engine. While there are many online providers that will have lower pricing than other options out there, it is important to check if the pricing is in USD or CAD as many suppliers are from the United States. Another thing to consider is how long production and shipping will take as it can take quite a long time depending on the company and where they are located.

Make sure to check if they are charging for the duties and taxes if being shipped from another country, or if the company will have to pay these fees to receive the delivery. Many online companies offer 1 hour of free design services with an order which is great for companies that don’t do their design in-house. It is good to check if the company offers samples, and if they charge for those samples. If you would like to see and feel the options and quality of the item you are ordering rather than being limited to a screen image, samples will be required which can be trickier when ordering through an online provider.

Local Promotional Companies

Seeing which local promotional companies offer the items you are looking to create is another great option for company branded items. This process can be started by searching for promotional companies within the city you are located in. Another great start is to ask who other companies got their products through if you see an item you like! An advantage of going with a local company is that you are able to see the physical items at their location, and they will usually be able to provide samples of most items. There is great value in being able to speak with an expert in person, as they are able to give suggestions and feedback about the items you are looking to brand.

It is still important to consider many of the same points mentioned in the previous section, as many of the items from the promotional company will be ordered through an online provider anyway. While there is value in seeing/feeling the items and getting to speak with an expert, there can be cost savings by cutting out the middleman and going straight to online providers. It is still recommended to compare pricing between the different providers, as many local promotional companies receive cost breaks when going through the online providers, so they may end up having lower prices in the end! It is also a good idea to ask if the promotional company does the printing and designing themselves, or if they have it done through other companies, as this too can add to the cost and timing of production.

Explore the Options

By exploring the options of online providers and local promotional companies, you will be able to find the right fit for the company branded items you are looking to create. Each option has advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are looking to create for your marketing. Asking the different providers the questions and considerations offered in this article will provide you with the answers and knowledge to make the best decision for your company’s branded items.

Now that we have reviewed your provider options, it’s time to start creating! Next up in this series is Part 2: Creating Company Branded Pens.

Download this resource Creating Company Branded Items: Part 1 – Online Provider vs. Local Promotional Company.

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