Strategic use of promotional merchandise can deliver results

David Lynn, managing director, Dowlis Corporate Solutions talks about the power of promotional merchandise.

What are the benefits of brands using promotional merchandise?
Promotional merchandise is a great way to get your brand into customers’ hands. With experiential marketing on the increase, brand owners are using branded merchandise to attract new customers, retain current spenders and reward loyalty. The products have a long life and people value receiving and using them.

What merchandise trends are you currently witnessing?
We’re seeing a definite trend towards companies wanting to consolidate promotional spend under one supplier, and as one of the largest, most experienced in the UK we are reaping the benefits. Our experience of working with some of the UK’s largest brands means we are perfectly positioned to deliver a branded merchandise service that fulfills the needs of marketing, finance and procurement decision makers. With marketers wanting more value and an increased ROI, we are seeing a positive trend towards the strategic use of promotional merchandise, which can deliver proven results.

People tend to want new ideas and products, how does Dowlis stay at the forefront of innovation?
All of our clients want the latest product trends, things they have seen in the retail environment and sometimes they want to source retail brands too. We operate a key supplier programme, which encourages a partnership approach between Dowlis and our suppliers. This is key to our seeing new products as soon as possible and keeps our suppliers working with our clients in mind so that they can specifically match potential new products to our client portfolio.
How is Dowlis moving with the times?
In tough economic times marketing budgets are being squeezed and are tighter than ever, with every brand owner looking for more value. With this in mind we have launched a new division called Dowlis Online. This new web-based business offering reflects the desire for many brands who want a simple, straightforward and, most importantly, cost-effective way to source their promotional merchandise.

What then does the future hold for Dowlis?
With a new management structure directing the Dowlis operation, we have rebranded and also adopted a much more open approach to marketing and communications. We are keen to spread the Dowlis message to new markets and target audiences both internationally and in the UK. We want to position Dowlis as a flexible, creative business focused on excellent customer service, a range of solutions and a consultative sales approach. Sales are 38% up year on year compared to 2011. This positive growth is great and we are planning for the future, making commitments to improve every aspect of the business and continue our growth. We have benefited from London 2012 and the team shows great pride when talking about seeing items they have produced every night in the national news.

For more detail, visit or call 0844 225 7070.

Latest viewpoints

A gift for engagement

Gail Cohen, Director General of the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association (UKGCVA), says this is an exciting time for an industry that is poised for growth

Taking the initiative

Jamie MacKenzie, Marketing Director at Sodexo Benefits and Reward Services, tells us about the company’s latest projects