Promotional agencies are oftentimes thought of as companies that simply put a logo on a hat or T-shirt and make a profit through one-time transactions. While this may sometimes be true, Go Promo is here to do much more than that.
Go Promo is a creative promotional agency with offices based out of West Fargo, Hope and Bismarck, ND. When sitting down with Go Promo’s General Manager and Partner Casey Glandt, he spoke about the company’s history, some of their wackiest products and what they’re doing to go the extra mile.
Go Promo’s early beginnings date back as far as 2012. The company first began as a side gig for Glandt while he was working at a marketing firm. However, the sales for his “side gig” grew beyond expectations over time and the decision was eventually made to take the endeavor full-time by 2014. By 2018, Go Promo reached $1 million in sales.
Now, a recent business acquisition has pushed the Go Promo name further out west, allowing them to break into new markets and form new business partnerships. “The business that we took over earlier this year was Dakota Promotions & Printing. They’ve been in business for 12 years, and there’s such a huge market here with a lot of potential,” said Glandt.
Quick to address similar business models and competition in the area, Glandt was more than confident in the differentiating factors that justify their expansion. “We do online stores for efficiency in our business and we do them very well. We also warehouse products for the clients. And then there’s the creative, ‘corporate branding’ side of things.”.
For example, they often help set up online stores for many different organizations that have multiple locations. He explained that “approved buyers that are allowed access to the store can go in at any time and order any of the products that are all preprinted with their logo, pre-approved by marketing and HR and warehoused at their office. For instance, they have an event coming up that requires 300 bags with lip balms and notebooks. Go Promo can have their product delivered with a quick turnaround time and lower price per unit, since they’re ordering in bulk. I don’t see many other people doing this type of work in North Dakota, especially Bismarck.”
Today, Go Promo is on track to do $4 million in sales this year, having passed $1 million in the first quarter of 2022.
This recent expansion isn’t their first, however. At the beginning of 2019, Go Promo acquired Green Street Promotions. Since the expansion, Go Promo’s client base, operations and sales have all increased immensely, while also bringing friendly competition together. Now, Glandt and his team are ready to go even further with their journey to Bismarck.
Having maintained consistent success during its expansion, Go Promo is still able to focus on relationships with customers as much as it did before. According to Glandt, they view themselves as a “partner” to other companies, rather than a “vendor.” Go Promo’s relationship with clients goes much deeper than a simple one-time transaction. Focusing on the service and value that they can bring to the people they partner with has continually helped them receive referrals for their service and work.
Glandt stated, “In our discovery meetings, we will ask ‘How many employees do you have? What’s your promotional product budget for the year? How much do you want to give to each employee to spend on your online store?’ We want to learn about their staff, what they like and how we can be productive in helping them.” This extra step of care appears to be working for Go Promo, as over 500 North Dakota businesses partner with the company on projects of various sizes.
When questioning Glandt on what separates them from their competition, he was quick to say “creativity” and elaborate on the unique and outlandish products they can offer.
“You name it and we can put a logo on it,” Glandt said. Products that immediately came to mind for Glandt ranged from the kitchen (air fryers and crock pots) to the outdoors (Rapala fishing lures and pop-up canopy athletic tents).
According to Glandt, the secret to popular products lies within the desire and uniqueness of the product. He stated that, “A product has to be either very functional, something that someone is going to really appreciate and use, or very memorable, like something that you wouldn’t see every day from any other promo supplier.” After speaking with Glandt, it’s clear that they’ve come up with some products you don’t see every day from many other places.
Some of the “memorable products” Go Promo has helped produce include light-up bubble guns, bubble wrap fidget pads and customized rocks. Yes, you read that correctly, bubble guns and rocks. While some of these may not be the most essential products, they’re widely popular due to their catchy, lighthearted memorability.
On the other hand, highly functional products include something for everyone. For the outdoor enthusiasts, they offer gardening gloves and tools, flip flops, durable picnic baskets and Yeti coolers. For those focused on offering self-care-oriented products, they offer essential oil diffusers, custom socks, slippers and high-quality headphones. Other highly functional products advertised include Bluetooth speakers, Yeti tumblers and mugs, along with first-rate backpacks and briefcases.
Did You Know?
When Go Promo works with school programs, they often donate a percentage of sales back to the program. In 2021, they donated nearly $40,000 back to high school athletic teams!
Some products are even blurring the line between functional and memorable. One of the most useful, yet unique products is the personalized hangover kit they have available. It’s filled with earplugs, Advil, Mentos, lip balm, a sleeping mask and much more; complete with your logo advertised on the front.
Another line-blurring product that they offer is a hand warmer that doubles as a portable phone charger. It’s a product that is just unique enough to stand out from the rest, yet also acts as a highly functional tool when in need.
Another one of their most creative products helps solve a very real nuisance. Most people have gone through the stress and frustration of dropping their phone in between their car seat and the center console. Now, there’s a gap-filling pad that can be inserted to prevent that from happening again. Best of all, it can be distributed with your logo advertised across the top.
Did You Know?
Go Promo works with a majority of high schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area, along with colleges including NDSU and VCSU, to create pop-up shops filled with embroidered team gear, fanware and more!
No matter how large or unique the request may seem, Go Promo has emphasized that they will do everything they can to complete a request and exceed the partner’s expectations. According to Glandt, “Go Promo’s minimum for embroidery is 12 pieces, and our screenprint minimum is 24 pieces.” With the company’s recent expansion to Bismarck, they’re opening themselves up to new areas of business that they never could have before. Rather than prioritize a one-time transaction to “take the money and run” from these relationships, they’re focused on long-term partnerships that solidify a future between them and their partners for years to come.
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