A Memory You Can Touch

A week or two back I participated in PromoChat, a great discussion from PromoKitchen that happens every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST on Twitter.    One of the questions in that particular week’s chat was how you could sell your products as keepsakes that would stand the test of time and still keep your customers coming back again and again.    My answer to that question was as follows:

Focus on the fact that you’re creating a memory or preserving a special moment with something people can hold in their hands and cherish forever. There are always more special moments that deserve recording.

One of the things that people selling sublimation forget is that it’s not just a way to put a name on a mug or a picture on a mousepad.   It’s also a method by which memories can be captured and keepsakes created.    Yes,  some of these items might be one of a kind keepsakes,  only special to the particular person that commissions the work,  but one of a kind generally comes with a premium price.

Humans are,  I think,  in some respect hardwired to be collectors.   Maybe it’s shot glasses or spoons.    Could be dolls or dice.   People have collections of postcards,  playing cards and scorecards.   The one thing that holds a collection together is that the particular items are linked to a particular memory.   It could be a memory of place that was visited.   It could be a memory of a much loved person who is no longer around.  Often it’s a memory of a time,  a wedding,  a baby’s first Christmas,   a graduation or a retirement.   The items we collect and keep and cherish may have no significance or value to anyone other than us,  but it’s our relationship to the items and the memories they symbolize that makes them valuable.

People who sell sublimation can often spend a lot of time debating what to make and how to sell what they make.   One of the things they can fail to take into account when figuring out what they’ll offer is what it is they’re actually selling.   Yes,  they’re selling cutting boards,  or water bottles or necklaces,  but they’re also selling memories  that can be touched and held forever.

Photos fade.  Paper degrades.  Letters and pictures and postcards eventually will become nothing but dust.  The mind forgets,  or gets filled with new memories.   You think you’ll never forget that adorable, perky, ears up alertness when your childhood dog wanted a treat,  or the beautiful sunrises at the cottage where your family summered when you were a kid,  but those memories will get less clear over time.    A sublimated keepsake freezes that memory, and gives it a physical form.  It’s something your customers can hold and hug and keep forever.

So when you’re selling sublimation,  remember that you’re selling more than a belt buckle,  or a puzzle or a keepsake box.   What you’re really selling is a aide-memoire,   a help in remembering a place or time or person that is special to the customer purchasing the item.   Memories can be fleeting or fade,  but a sublimated version of that memory will last forever.  And the best thing of all is that there are always new memories to be captured.

 

Don’t Limit Your Sublimation Success

sublimation blanks. jpgWhen most of us think of sublimation – we probably think of coffee mugs or t-shirts,  which are great items and which can bring in a nice profit,  but which are kind of limiting if that’s all that you do.   The fun thing about sublimation is that there are a number of products that can be sublimated,  some of which can be made into unique gifts or souvenirs.  If you’ve been stuck in a coffee mug or corporate polo shirt rut,  make 2014 the year that you investigate some additional things you can sublimate.   Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Many people put time and effort into creating the perfect kitchen,  and accent pieces can be the ideal way to complete a decorating scheme.    Sublimated cutting boards offer the option of monograms or scenic views,  as well as protection for counters and other surfaces.     Use sublimated tiles to create a backsplash behind a sink or a border along the edge of a counter.    You could also offer unique sublimated place mats that compliment the decor of the room,  are easy to clean off, and which protect fragile table linens.    These placemats can also double as message boards, so that grocery list is easy to write.

Pets are another area where sublimated items can be big sellers.   All pet owners want their pet identified in case of loss,  so sublimated pet tags can be a great seller.     Personalized pet bowls are also a fun idea,   and can help separate Fido’s food bowl from Fluffy’s.    Another big area of animal related products is patches and decals for service dogs and search and rescue animals.  Blank patches which you sublimate can allow you entry into that market.

You should also remember not to neglect the gift and souvenir market.  Jewelry boxes with scenes from well known landmarks in your area can make great keepsake boxes.    Collaborate with local vendors to create boxes that showcase local food items or crafts for a one of a kind souvenir.    Puzzles are another great option when it comes to preserving a scenic view.  Personalized puzzles are even more fun,  offer to put a favorite vacation photo on a puzzle and preserve a memory forever.

The main thing to remember is that there are a number of items out there which can be sublimated,  your job is to find them and figure out how to sell them to your target market.   Money is out there waiting to be made.  Why shouldn’t it end up in your bank account?

EnMart adds New Products for Sublimation

IMG_20130410_162617_212-2EnMart is proud to announce we’ve added a few new products to our sublimation blanks.   The first new product category is one I like quite a lot – tempered glass sublimatable cutting boards.   These are available in 8 x 11 and 11 x 16 flats and a 12″ circle.    These cutting boards have a full 100% sublimation surface area in white and rubber feet for added stability.  Instructions on how to sublimate the boards as well as information on settings for your heat press are included on the EnMart website.

I watched one of each size of cutting board being sublimated the other day and it’s quite easy to make a great item that looks terrific and unique.   You just need to print your transfer a bit larger than the size of the board and then sublimate as instructed by our guide on the website.  The finished product looks beautiful and is also useful.  I have to confess, I’ve been angling for one of the circular cutting boards to make its way to my kitchen,  but that hasn’t happened yet.

The other new product category we’ve added  is black rubber  iPhone cases.   These are another fabulous addition,  and the best part about them is that they’re made entirely in the USA.   If you have customers who are very firm about wanting U.S. made products,  these cases would certainly be an easy sale.  These cases are also antimicrobial,  so they’re great for cold and flu season.   Adhesive is pre-applied and the backing paper is easily removed.  The sublimation insert is high quality white gloss metal.  These look great and they’re made in the U.S.,  what more could be necessary?  Currently the iPhone cases are on backorder,  but we expect our stock to arrive very soon, so we are taking pre-orders for this item.