Awards & Engraving

January '18

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A&E JANUARY 2018 • 39 TOP 5 SPECIFIC SUBJECTS While there are a variety of customers purchasing academic awards, one thing the retailer needs to keep in mind is that these customers don't typically share pur- chasing habits when it comes to substrates. Different levels have different needs, and different budgets. Those awards retailers who cater to the various needs will turn the most profit. "Elementary through high school tend to purchase medals, ribbons, and more eco- nomical trophies, mainly due to a con- strained budget," Chen points out. But she also adds that plaques span all levels, so offering all your academic customers these items will also score a sale. Garcia also notes that the lower grade levels tend to migrate toward pins and even certificates. She agrees that as you move up through the levels of education, bud- gets loosen up and purchasing tendencies broaden to include more items. Not only are higher levels such as collegiate customers purchasing a larger variety of awards products, but they also tend toward those with a higher perceived quality. "We do see a fair amount of crystal trophies being purchased for academic purposes, though usually only at the col- legiate level or above," Chen notes. "They are looking for the nicest award they can afford to recognize and celebrate important achievements." Along with awards, retailers will also see these customers purchasing other items. Again, this depends on the level of academic customer doing the buying. "Many college and university graduation medals may be 3 to 4 inches with a smaller keychain attached as a keepsake that can be used on a daily basis," Frank lists as an example. Garcia adds to that point, stating that retailers can take this up a notch by offering personalization services. "There are lots By Cathy Garcia, Marco Awards Group • Medals • Plaques • Pins • Certificates • Ribbons Note: I believe, as with all catego- ries of awards, the academic pur- chaser has become more frugal with cost, buying smaller awards (pins/ certificates/ribbons). ACADEMIC ITEMS IMAGE COURTESY MARCO AWARDS GROUP Academic customers at higher levels, such as colleges and universities, will purchase crystal awards as they carry a high-perceived value. Academic awards aren't just for students—they can be given to faculty, education staff, and even the institution itself. IMAGE COURTESY CATANIA MEDALLIC SPECIALTY

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