How to Sell Custom Caps to Tech Startups

By Emily Potter on Feb 9, 2018 @ 8:00AM CST

Jobs within the technology industry have increased for five consecutive years. In 2015, the market reached a total of 6.7 million workers, more than the financial and construction industries. A total of 45 states saw increased job growth with California, New York, and Texas leading the charge.

There are over 473,000 tech companies in the U.S. accounting for about 7% of the GDP.

Promotional caps serve three distinct purposes for tech startups.

  • Used to entice new and potential talent
  • Given to employees as milestone gifts
  • Worn at trade shows as part of the employee uniform

In this series, we will look at all of these purposes and provide you with extended knowledge of the tech industry as it relates to promotional products. We will also offer tips to help you expand your cap sales into the market.

You will learn how to reach out to buyers and decision makers at tech startups. We will also teach you how to optimize sales among differing promotional product usage behaviors. 

Today, we’ll cover enticing talent and milestone gifts. Next time, we’ll look at trade show uniforms and talk about the importance of knowing your buyers.IMG_9076.jpg

Enticing New & Potential Talent

Did you know tech startups spend more on promotional items for internal use than most other industries year after year? Or that 70% of distributors surveyed said their customers in the technology industry purchased apparel items?

Over the past decade, we have seen the national unemployment rate reach alarmingly high levels. Jobs have been cut and layoffs increased. It is common for us to think about individual workers being in competition with one another for only a few job availabilities. 

For most tech companies, however, things are very different. The technology market’s employment rate was less than 3% in 2015.

It is the employers who are in competition with one another for the workers. It is one of the few markets in which the individual holds all of the negotiation power with regards to employment opportunities.

The tech industry as a whole is growing faster than universities can turn out graduates, so it is common for several companies to be in a bidding war with each other for a highly talented engineer or developer.

This is why you see so many articles about unique and fun work environments, like Zappos, with interesting and sometimes bizarre job perks. Employers know that it takes more than just higher salaries to keep good talent.

In addition to free energy drinks and nap pods, one way to build loyalty among workers is with high-quality gifts. Headwear is great when used as part of the onboarding welcome package for new employees.

It is also a good freebie to use when trying to woo potential new hires during the recruitment and interview processes.

Representatives from the company’s Human Resources team will travel the country to attend job fairs and college recruiting events. Make sure they have packed plenty of trendy logoed caps that college students will appreciate and wear all over campus. This will further expand the brand reach.

One thing to be sure of here, is to know your customer’s target audience before you go into a sales meeting with them. They are targeting primarily young twenty-something millennial males. They want a well-made, comfortable cap with a trendy, casual, laid-back style.

Make sure that the samples you bring to meetings reflect that. Dad hats and modern trucker hats are both good options.

Milestone Gifts

Another way that tech startups use promotional products internally is to celebrate milestones with gifts for their employees. 

We talked about how competitive the tech industry is, and how companies have to work to maintain loyalty and keep their employees happy, so whether it is the startup or an individual celebrating a milestone, promotional caps are a great way to keep employees engaged.

Company milestones include things like:

  • Anniversaries
  • Awards
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
  • New Investors
  • New Ventures
  • New Locations
  • Product Launches
  • System Updates

Individual milestones include awards, promotions, and work anniversaries. If you are working with a small, close-knit company, these can even include personal milestones and accomplishments like birthdays or weddings.

Promotional hats and other apparel items are great ways to commemorate these landmark events. If you can get in with a startup when they are fresh and just getting off the ground, you will be there from the beginning to help plan for and properly celebrate these events as they come.

With all of the competition we talked about earlier, be sure to build a solid working relationship with your buyers. This way, if they do move or switch companies, they are more likely to bring you with them to serve their next employer’s promotional needs.

Now, you have doubled your business in the technology sector!

If you want more information on selling promotional caps into the tech industry, order a Business Development Kit today!

Don’t forget to check back next time as we look at trade show uniforms and buyer behaviors.

What market would you like to see us cover next? Let us know in the comments below. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter

Emily is the Content Marketer for Outdoor Cap Co. She holds an M.A. in AD & PR from the University of Alabama and a B.B.A in Marketing. Emily is an avid Crimson Tide football fan. She has a golden retriever named Opie Winston, and a cat named Tide.