With 500+ locations nationwide and an impressive reputation across the globe, City Electric Supply is a well established and respected brand. They needed promotional products that could showcase the quality of that brand, and for the past year, Dallas Print Factory has been consistently meeting that need. And we’re not talking about small orders (although they’ve done those, too). We’re talking about 500 shirts here, 600 hats there. We’re talking orders for 10-foot long banners and 3,000 branded bags.
For a print shop that’s only recently hit it’s one-year mark, that’s something to talk about.
“I would think that all of the requests would be overwhelming for them, but they just took the ball and ran with it. It’s safe to say DPF has become our go-to source for any need related to promotional and print materials, anything we’re sending out — marketing collateral, business cards, uniforms, apparel,” said City Electric Supply Field Marketing Manager Dakota Fugate.
So far, DPF has been able to provide everything that CES has requested, from hats to banners, but something else has stood out to Fugate even more.
“I have one contact,” explained Fugate. “I know a lot of people work on my projects, but everything gets funneled through one person, which makes everything a lot easier for me. I always get a fast response. Having that personal one-touch person and knowing that when I send something to her she’ll take care of it has made the experience great.”
The attention that Fugate received from his contact, Jennifer Lopez, combined with the quality products he saw DPF producing for CES led him to even use DPF for his personal needs.
“They’re just really good at customizing things,” commented Fugate. “I liked what they were doing for CES, so when I needed swag for personal events, I thought, ‘I might as well reach out to my rep, Jen; she can get me the best deal.’ I did bachelor/bachelorette stuff through them, and everyone raved about it.”
And it’s safe to say the CES merch has gone over well with CES employees and customers, too.
“I just got an email today from a regional manager who hosted an event in Florida,” said Fugate. “He was hosting a fishing tournament to raise money for kids with special needs, and the boat captain he rented the boats from raved about the hats they were wearing — the ones DPF made. We were able to connect him with DPF, which earned them another customer to quote these caps for his team and company.”
On top of that, many branches have received CES shirts with custom branch logos on the back celebrating their 25th anniversaries.
“That’s pretty special, and they love that because no one else in the company will have that specific shirt but them,” said Fugate. “Not only was DPF able to design and produce them, but they were also able to handle the shipping and receiving to all of the branches.”
DPF is excited about the relationship they’ve formed with CES and even more excited about what lies ahead in year two.
Milwaukee Tool. A market leader in their category of power tools, accessories, and hand tools. A company that’s doubled in size in the past five years. A company that takes branding seriously and made the bold move to work with a print shop less than a year old on orders as large as 10,000 bandanas and 6,000 hats.
“Branding is a huge part of the Milwaukee name. It’s got an exceptional reputation. The brand is so strong and so good locally,” said Milwaukee National Account Manager Sandy Johns. “That’s what made me want to work for them.”
What makes Milwaukee so different from their competition? For one thing, an aggressive approach to the market.
“For example, we don’t invest in advertisements in national-level sports,” explained Sandy. “We invest in trade associations. We invest in the next generation of plumbers, electricians, maintenance people, and product users. We invest in our partners.”
Their dedication to these investments have given them an impressive reputation — one Sandy commonly runs into at the airport.
“The brand is so known for excellence and being the fastest-growing in the market that there’s actually a passion around the brand,” said Sandy. “If I’m wearing anything with the Milwaukee logo at an airport, people will stop me to tell me they love the new light or the new chainsaw. They tell me they can’t believe how much they love their tool, how much they love the brand. It’s fun to see the passion from total strangers on a regular basis.”
And that’s where merch comes into play. Milwaukee Tool is so widely admired and loved that to settle for second-rate promotional products isn’t an option. So their decision to work with Dallas Print Factory, a very young print shop, might seem surprising to some.
It all started about a year ago with a conversation Sandy had with CEO Thomas McShane.
“About a year ago, Thomas talked to me about branding with DPF. Swag is a huge deal for Milwaukee Tool, and we make a lot of it internally, so I said a challenge with going external would be the logistics, the invoicing,” said Sandy. “But Thomas said they’d figure it out and make it easy, and I have to say, it’s been phenomenal working with them. They’ve done a great job on the last two large-scale projects, and I’ve been thrilled with the quality of products.”
What made those branding successes even sweeter? They came from Thomas’ own recommendations.
“Thomas recommended the last two big orders we’ve done — hats and bandanas — and we’ve had a really good response to them. He’s really two for two on what he’s recommended,” said Sandy. “People in the field are really excited about the hats from DPF. Reps have talked about how they’ve gotten orders specifically because of the hat promotion. Not to say that we wouldn’t have been successful without them, but they’ve really accelerated our success.”
To put it another way, Milwaukee’s branding hasn’t been successful just because of merch but because of how well the merch has been able to represent and build off of the already successful name.
And there’s another name that’s been key to the entire process, and that’s DPF’s very own Promotions Director and Account Manager Jennifer Lopez.
“Jennifer is the only person I have to talk to. She answers all of my questions quickly, and she sends me lists, confirmation numbers, everything,” said Sandy. “I’ll go to her and say, ‘Oh, no, can you order this overnight?’ and she can do it. The ability to be flexible coupled with DPF’s ability to hold inventory and Thomas’ great recommendations? I couldn’t be happier.”
DPF is proud to have Milwaukee as a client. As the last two big orders have proven, you can do a lot when you match a quality brand with the right quality products.
If you’re interested in what DPF can do for your brand, reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.