The Year That Was Not At All What We Expected Or Hoped It Would Be
As 2021 comes to a close, it’s safe to say that it has not been the year that many of us expected it to be. While some of us – perhaps naively – hoped that we might return to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, that clearly didn’t happen. But we sure have learned a lot. Just about every business discovered an urgent need for promotional products and materials. I am grateful for this surge brought about by necessity, the true Mother of Invention! When we cannot meet prospects and clients in person or brainstorm with our teams under the same roof together, the need to reach out in creative ways sparked an upsurge in promotional marketing. However, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on business as usual.
Between limits on inventory and our supply chain, plus challenges with hiring and technology, it has been difficult to provide you with the level of customer service you expect and that I am noted for delivering. For those circumstances that are out of my control, I am truly sorry.
The good news is that trade shows are coming back strong in early 2022. I’m getting requests for fresh new trade show signage and leave behinds that far surpasses what happened this time last year. In addition, we are still sending engagement and loyalty items to employees at home as well as product and company introductions to our clients’ prospective customers.
The fact is that we are not going to see a change back to the “old pre-pandemic” times any time soon. Inventory issues, labor shortages, raw material issues are not expected to subside substantially until at least the third quarter of 2022 – if then. And that’s not for all product areas.
Very few promotional products are made in the United States. Many items are just decorated here. Items come from China, India, Viet Nam, Honduras, Guatemala, Pakistan and other destinations. All areas are having production issues, shortages and transportation delays. At Gossett Marketing, we will continue to do our very best to source the most reliable, cost-effective options. However, despite our best efforts, most items will see pricing increases in January. In my next article, I will go into greater detail for the price increases as they relate to specific promotional products and items.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during these trying times.