Through Its DAC Affiliation, Overture Has Found A Natural Advantage Within The Industry
Established in 2001, Overture has grown from a small two-person boutique agency to one of the largest promotional products agencies with more than 125 employees. This tremendous growth can be attributed to continually investing in enterprise-level technology, offering a full suite of in-house services—warehousing, fulfillment, screen-printing, digital printing and embroidery—as well as implementing rigorous quality assurance practices.
However, quality assurance goes beyond providing high-quality promotional products. The industry’s leading companies understand that a more all-encompassing strategy includes being consistently safe, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious as well. It’s about offering a total brand safety package.
“Providing brand safety is an expectation from our clients,” says Tej Shah, vice president, marketing and e-commerce for Overture. “This means protecting their logo from improper use, sourcing safe and accredited merchandise, and being proactive to ensure the products exceed all local/state/federal safety requirements. Our clients trust and rely on us to keep them out of the media for all the wrong reasons; this starts with responsible sourcing and brand safety.”
While Tej says end buyers tend to ask questions related to the specifics on product safety and compliance (such as if an item is Prop 65 compliant, the inks are child-safe, what exactly is tested during the manufacturing process, etc.), there is much more to sourcing products responsibly.
“Responsible sourcing not only means procuring safe products that are produced with safe materials but also sourcing merchandise that is manufactured in facilities that meet proper social and environmental standards,” he explains. “This includes appropriate sustainability practices and security standards, as well as proper health and safety requirements for all the workers. Responsible sourcing is crucial to brand safety because of its ability to either completely damage an organization’s reputation or perfectly represent its core values.”
Speaking of core values, Overture was motivated to seek out Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) affiliation because the QCA’s fundamentals align closely with sourcing practices that Overture has followed since its inception. “Naturally, it was a great fit for us,” Tej says.
While it’s nice to have brand safety within a company’s core values, it’s even better when it strengthens relationships.
“One of our large healthcare clients has been so impressed by the significance of QCA, the company has asked us to speak at its national sales meeting specifically on the importance of sourcing safe and accredited merchandise,” Tej explains. “Because of our QCA affiliation, this client very much trusts our decision making and sourcing expertise.”
What about adding to the bottom line? Can QCA affiliation help companies gain competitive advantage and land new business? For Overture, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
“Our affiliation with QCA and commitment to responsible sourcing helped us win an RFP in the CPG industry, and this has now grown to become our second largest client today,” Tej says. “The client was so impressed by the importance of QCA that it wrote QCA requirements into the contract to ensure that we only source from QCA Accredited Companies.”
Of course, these kinds of results take effort and commitment. You can’t talk about brand safety without walking the walk. However, incorporating the principles of brand safety into your company’s DNA and then giving the dedication and promotion of those principles can make a HUGE difference in your business—not only for customers but also for employees. Overture has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 50 Distributors by Promo Marketing magazine as well as one of the Best Places to Work by Counselor magazine.
So what would Tej say to other distributors who are considering DAC affiliation? “Do it! QCA is bringing brand safety and responsible sourcing to the forefront of the industry. In addition, today’s end buyers have a strong expectation for socially responsible sourcing, so DAC affiliation provides a natural advantage within the industry.”