FAQs

ESP Updates

How do I update my products in ESP?

Logging in and updating your products in ESP® is easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Visit connect.asicentral.com
  2. Enter your asi/, username & password. Remember to click “Update Your Products” before hitting “Login”
  3. Review your products for final approval.

Once logged in, you can also search by the product name or ASI® number by clicking on the "Sort by" options. On the left side of the page, you are able to filter by product status, as well as search by criteria entered such as category, product color, product options etc.

Want to know the best practice tips for ESP Updates? Click here! You can also sign up for a free demo; view our web-based training calendar here, and click on the date and time that works best for you.

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What does it mean to confirm a product?

Confirming a product means that you will honor all the data about that product through a certain month of a certain year. For example, if a product is confirmed through December of 2015, it means that you, as the supplier, will honor all the data through December 31st of 2015. To confirm a product:

  1. Locate the item
  2. Click on Edit button
  3. Click on the "Pricing tab". Check the "Prices Confirmed through" option and adjust the date using the calendar icon.
  4. Click on the "Save" button and then click on "Make Active" to make your changes.

You can also confirm multiple products at once on the ESP® Updates Homepage by clicking on the “Bulk Edit” dropdown and choosing Confirm ALL Products to confirm all your products or Confirm Products to confirm only the products in the search you are currently viewing.

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How do I edit pricing on ESP?

From the ESP® Updates homepage, choose the product you would like to edit, click on “Edit” and choose the “Pricing” tab to change your pricing. The Promotional Product Industry works on a system of coded pricing. There are few things you should know before calculating your price:

  • List Price (MSRP): What a consumer would pay for your product
  • Net Cost: What a distributor will pay you to purchase the product. This is the amount you will be collecting and it should be enough to cover your cost, plus any you expect to make a profit.
  • Discount Code: A letter of the alphabet that corresponds to a specific amount. There are two standard industry discount  systems:
    • “A” through “X”
50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 0%
A B C D E F G H I X
    • “P” through “Z”
50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 0%
P Q R S T U V W X Z

It’s important to first know how much it costs you to make the product at minimum quantity, including a one-color logo in one location. Be sure to figure the net price so that distributors are receiving enough of a discount to be enticed to offer your product to their customers. For more information, read our article "How To Set Pricing That Makes Your Business Profitable.

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How do I have my product come up at the top of search results in ESP?

Three words: Pay for Placement! Pay for Placement is a unique marketing opportunity created exclusively for suppliers to target distributors while they search in ESP®. It gets your product there first and it gets you in front of distributors fast. PFP is easy to use and requires no design work:

  • Secure one of only nine top spots in a product category.
  • Reach an audience that is shopping specifically for your products.
  • Target distributors by specific country, state or zip code.
  • Buy it on a set CPM with no bidding.

For more information, visit our ESP page.

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Awards

What ASI award opportunities are there for my brand?

We have many awards that are presented at our sponsored events as well as published in our magazines:

  • Counselor® Banquet Awards: Distributors and Suppliers gather every year at ASI Show® Chicago to honor the industry’s brightest leaders, innovators, influencers and change agents. The winners are also featured online and in Counselor magazine’s Awards Issue.
  • Counselor Distributor Choice Awards: Ad-specialty industry distributors vote and the best suppliers in over fifty categories are honored at ASI Show Orlando as well as online and in Counselor’s February issue.
  • Counselor Best Places to Work: We highlight key distributors and suppliers who create a positive and inspiring work environment. These companies are honored online, in Counselor’s Awards and Best Places to Work issues as well as the Best Place to Work Conference and Road Tour.
  • Counselor’s Hot 25: Hot Party spotlights the annual listing of the hottest and most buzz-worthy people in the ad-specialty industry from Counselor’s Hot Issue. This list is also featured on Counselor’s website.
  • Wearables®Apparel Design Awards: The best suppliers, decorators and distributors in apparel and accessories are featured online and in Wearables February issue.
  • Counselor Power 50: Counselor’s Power 50 Issue features the industry’s 50 most powerful distributor executives. This list is also featured on Counselor’s website.
  • Counselor’s Awards Issue: Features winners in Product Design, Best Ads, Fastest-Growing Distributor, Fastest-Growing Supplier and Fastest Growing Companies.

Click here for more information about our events. For information about Counselor and opportunities to advertise with this magazine, click here.

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What are the Distributor Choice Awards? How do I win?

The Distributor Choice Awards is an annual event at the ASI Show® Orlando. Distributors vote for the 58 top suppliers that consistently deliver in a timely manner, communicate effectively and understand the importance of end-buyer satisfaction.

  • Suppliers are chosen as finalists for the product category awards based on their ratings in ESP®. To qualify for the 2015 awards, suppliers had to: have a rating of at least 4 stars overall in ESP, be one of the most-clicked companies in that category (meaning distributors clicked on their products in ESP), and have at least 20 distributors rating them in ESP. They can be chosen in up to eight of their top product categories (in terms of how many clicks their products receive in ESP).
  • These finalists are then placed on an online ballot and distributors were invited to vote for top suppliers in each of the 58 different categories.
  • The Supplier of the Year winner is chosen from among the finalists and is based on ratings in the various categories that are examined, including: Overall Rating, Customer Service Rating, Problem Resolution Rating and others.

Contact Karen Akers at kakers@asicentral.com. To position your ads among award-winning content, click here.

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I received an award from the Distributor Choice Awards. How do I share this?

Congratulations! To download DCA’s logo to display on your site, click here.

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Where are the winners of the Distributor Choice Awards posted?

After the awards are announced during a black-tie event at ASI Show® Orlando, the winners are listed at asicentral.com as well as in Counselor’s February issue.

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What are the Distributor Choice Awards categories?

The top supplier awards are broken down into 58 product categories and one supplier from each category is recognized. Categories include Auto Accessories, Caps & Hats, Drinkware, Food Gifts, and more.

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Supplier Ratings

What are ASI Ratings and what do I need to know?

The ASI® Supplier Performance Ratings allow distributors to share among the entire distributor network their opinions and comments about purchase transactions with suppliers. Distributors use a one-to-five scale to rate suppliers in six areas: Overall Satisfaction, Product Quality, Communication, Delivery, Imprinting/Personalization and Problem Resolution. Remember, better ratings = better sales! Download and share the Supplier Performance Rating PDF to your:

  • Customer communications
  • Company website
  • Customer invoices
  • Email signature
  • Marketing promotions
  • Order confirmation emails

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How can I get more ratings?

Here are five ways to get more ratings:

  1. Send the Supplier Performance Rating PDF to distributors and attach it to:
    • Customer communications
    • Company website
    • Customer invoices
    • Email signature
    • Marketing promotions
    • Order confirmation emails
  2. Ask distributors after completing a sale
  3. Make a list of current distributor customers and reach out to them to ask for a rating
  4. Offer a contest to get ratings quickly without a huge expense
    • Offer $200 or an iPad drawing at the end of the month. Each rating gives one entry into the contest.
    • This can be promoted through EmailExpress and ASI® advertising
  5. Offer distributors an incentive or a discount on a their next order for a rating

 

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I have 5 stars, how can I promote this?

Congratulations! Download the 5-star logo here to add to your email signature, invoices, website, email marketing, social media accounts, blogs and press releases.

 

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Research

What industry research can you provide to me, the supplier?

​We have a rich database of research available:

  • Counselor® State of the Industry: Published in Counselor’s June SOI Issue, SOI reveals the eight trends that are driving distributors' businesses forward and the opportunities and challenges they provide.

  • Counselor Top 40 Supplier and Distributor Lists: The complete list is published in Counselor’s June SOI Issue and featured on asicentral.com.

  • Advantages Regional Markets: Published in Advantages’ July Big Markets Issue, Regional Markets lists the winners, losers, case studies, sales strategies, and success stories about the top suppliers, distributors, geographic regions, and individual states in America.

  • Wearables® State of the Industry: Published in Wearables’ November/December Sales Forecast Issue. The purpose of the report is to determine expected changes in the wearables industry in the next 12 months. Anticipated sales of types of wearables, decorating techniques and the role of accessories are determined and current markets for wearables are also quantified.

  • Ad Impressions Study: Released at ASI’s Power Summit in November, the study  give our members powerful data that proves what we already knew – that advertising specialties are one of the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising mediums around.

Suppliers have an opportunity to advertise in these key reference tools. Visit our Magazine Section for more details.

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Other Questions

How do I measure up to my competitors?

ASI® offers the MediaStats/ROI (Return on Investment) Report to measure how you stand in the competitive market. It’s a free, easy-to-read monthly report to keep you informed on how much traffic your products are getting, views, clicks, reader survey cards, top five searched products and comparisons to competitors. You can use this report to monitor the impact of your marketing dollars and maximize the results of your advertising. Accessing your MediaStats/ROI Report is easy:

  1. Visit connect.asicentral.com

  2. Enter your ASI/, username and password.

  3. Click “MediaStats” before hitting “Login”.

For more information on ROI Reporting and to view screenshots of MedaiStats, click here.

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How can I reach the distributor’s customers to explain my products?

ASI® offers the Successful Promotions e-newsletter, catalogs and ESP Website solutions that advertise directly to the end-buyer:

  • Catalogs:
    • Idea Showcase®: Annual go-to source for unique products in the #1 industry market
    • Idea Showcase® Fall: Annual source for products in the 2nd largest industry market
    • Spectrum: The most versatile and sought-after catalog in the industry. It’s an easy marketing choice for suppliers who want their products displayed to a large audience year-round
    • Spectrum Celebration: A larger format to give your products twice the advertising space
    • The Apparel Catalog: Speaks to end-buyers looking for trends in the upcoming year
    • The Gift Book®: Contains an impressive collection of timeless gifts and incentives
  • Magazines
    • Counselor®: Delivers award winning content to executive-level distributor salespeople and owners responsible for the future of their businesses. 
    • Advantages®: Exposes distributor salespeople to new products, new ideas and sales strategies.
    • Wearables®: Features special techniques and tips dedicated exclusively for screen printers.
    • SGR®: From new product ideas to strategies for managing global partners, Supplier Global Resource is the premier publication exclusively for North American-based ad specialty importers.
  • EmailExpress   targeted email marketing effort that speaks to the distributors 
    • Basic 60,000 ASI members and non-members
    • Connect Allows Connect users to send blasts to target active ASI® email distributors.
    • Canada – Target 4,500 Canadian distributors. 
    • Green Deliver environmentally friendly products to a targeted audience of 2,500.
    • Platinum Get additional email product exposure by getting included in a weekly EmailExpress product blast.
    • Successful Promotions Reach 17,500 end-buyers. Perfect for distributors to reach prospects.
    • Buyer’s Guide™  Send 12,000 distributors a sample and email blast.
    • Stitches Reach 15,000 embroiders and decorators.
    • Supplier’s Global Resource  Target 10,000 suppliers from our database.
    • Wearables Target 40,000 distributors, decorator and screen-printing executives.
    • Custom List Develop your own targeted EmailExpress list from our database.

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How do I get more PR on my company and products?

ASI® is always looking for content of what’s going on in the industry. Members can send their press releases to our editors:

Members are also encouraged to share information with their account manager.

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How can I keep up with trends in the marketplace?

ASI® has four magazines and nine e-newsletters to keep you in-the-know:

  • Magazines
    • Counselor®: Delivers award winning content to executive-level distributor salespeople and owners responsible for the future of their businesses. 
    • Advantages®: Exposes distributor salespeople to new products, new ideas and sales strategies.
    • Wearables®: Features special techniques and tips dedicated exclusively for screen printers.
    • SGR®: From new product ideas to strategies for managing global partners, Supplier Global Resource is the premier publication exclusively for North American-based ad specialty importers.
  • e-Newsletters
    • Advantages Hot Deals: Great specials each week, along with the scoop on what’s new in the industry
    • Counselor PromoGram: New products and industry updates
    • Counselor PromoGram Canada: News, trends and products focused on the growing Canadian market
    • ESP® Tips: Tips and advice on ASI’s ESP Products
    • ESP Websites Newsletter: Hot tips, shortcuts and insider info on ESP Websites from the ASI technology team
    • Stitches Small Business: Monthly news, product innovations and ideas for the decorating industry
    • Successful Promotions: Monthly product launches, promotions and more
    • Wearables Style: Updates on the hottest trends in the wearables industry
    • SGR e-Newsletter: Hot industry news and product sourcing trends to an audience of the industry’s best suppliers and manufacturers.

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What is included in my membership?

Our membership benefits vary depending on the package that is purchased, ranging from a basic membership, to a platinum membership package.  Our basic membership package includes the following:

  • 500 Products listed in ESP®
  • One (1) Tile Advertisement in ESP
  • Six (6) issues of Supplier Global Resource (SGR) Magazine
  • Access to monthly ROI Report
  • Access to the SGR Sourcing Tool
  • Discounts on Business Services
  • Free Education
  • Access to the ASI® Social Network

For more information on membership packages contact your membership representative.

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What can you tell me about the distributors that want to do business with me?

The three big power players in the promotional products industry are:

  1. Distributor Leaders – Typically owners/principles of their company who influence buying decisions
  2. Distributor Sales Reps – Responsible for selling your product, they help explain and market your product in their conversations, sales calls, etc
  3. End-Buyers – The buying agents of your products are just as important as the distributors! They’re in demand for the goods and information you provide

To learn more about these power players, read our article "Three Critical Audiences You Have to Know."

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