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Distributor Case Study: Retail-Inspired Promo Apparel

When XAXIS, a high-end international media agency, was planning their annual Global Management Retreat (GMR) Outing, Axis Promotions (asi/128263) stepped in to help this discerning client source and customize a branded high-end apparel giveaway.

For the 2015 Outing, held in Germany, Axis was tasked with finding a piece of apparel with a retail look that would appeal to both men and women. “Apparel is definitely a challenge on larger orders, because of the different sizes required,” says Johanna Gottlieb, senior branding specialist at Axis. “We finally chose Marmot vests, which we agreed would be a perfect fit for an event in March; it’s still a bit cold out, but it’s no longer the dead of winter. We also made the branding super subtle with a small woven label on the back neck and a custom front zipper pull. We wanted them to look like the recipients walked into a retail store and picked them out."

But then, the real challenges began. Looking for over 100 vests, Axis found it difficult to find suppliers that had a sufficient number of pieces in their current inventory.  “They just didn’t have enough in stock, but we didn’t want to lose the order,” says Gottlieb. “So we went to outdoor retailers like Patagonia and REI to get the number we needed. Of course, this all had to happen really fast.”

In total, Axis pulled inventory from six vendors at the last minute. To add to the challenge, not all the vests were sold at the same cost per piece. “We were honest with our client, but they were fine with that,” says Gottlieb. “We were just praying that everything shipped on time.”

All the vests were shipped to a New Jersey-based embroiderer, who sewed on the woven labels. They were then sent to California where each front zipper was removed manually and replaced with a custom pull. Finally, they made their way to Germany and arrived at the event…on time.

“When things got challenging, we just really pushed,” says Gottlieb. “We’ve been working with XAXIS for about eight years now, and we had to get this order in. We try to outdo ourselves each year for the GMR Outing.”

Check out Axis Promotions’ archive of XAXIS branded items on Pinterest: http://bit.ly/xaxisbranded