Over the past few months, the practice of “kitting” has become increasingly popular across a number of industries. As people continue to work from home, and events like graduations and tradeshows are pushed to a virtual format, companies and organizations are sending people custom packages or “kits” that include a variety of products as an alternative to the in-person event they’re missing. These kits can be fully personalized to a company’s branding and include anything from apparel and printed collateral to high tech promotional products like mobile chargers and wireless earbuds.
The process of creating these kits involves working with a distributor to find the right products and packaging for your specific goals. From there, you’ll provide the distributor with a list of contacts you’d like the kit sent to and find the right timeline for when you want it to go out to those contacts.
We recently spoke with Mike Milluzzi and Randy Hearley about why customers are sending out these kits, what they’re including in them and the recent kitting projects they’ve done.
What are some of the main business objectives for sending out these kits?
Mike: A lot of our clients are using these kits for employee recognition purposes, care packages for their customers and gifts for their prospective clientele.
Randy: We’ve seen a lot of these kits being used as “welcome back to the office” packages that include PPE and other safety items. We also see them being used for season ticket packages, virtual graduation and virtual trade show gifts.
What products are most frequently included in the kitting projects you’ve been a part of?
Mike: Tumblers, pens, backpacks and company literature are the most popular, but we’ve also had customers include more high-end items like Bluetooth® speakers, headphones and duffel bags as well.
Randy: Branded apparel is huge, especially for companies who are still hiring, but can’t have these new hires in the office yet. We’ve also seen a lot of drinkware and technology items like mobile chargers and earbuds.
What industries in the past three months have you received kitting orders from?
Mike: A lot of the clients we’ve seen doing kitting are in the beverages/food packaging, financial, entertainment and technology industries.
Randy: A lot of universities have used kits for their graduations and freshman welcome events. We’ve also seen professional sports teams and subscription-based companies increasingly use them over the past few months.
Tell us a story about a unique kitting project you’ve worked on in the past three months.
Mike: We recently put together and shipped welcome kits to new employees for one of our clients. Normally we ship these kits to offices and their managers deliver them by hand, but with the current work-from-home model, the client requested we ship them directly to the employee’s home.
Randy: One really interesting order we recently did was for an employee appreciation kit. The theme for the kit was “Piece of the Action” and we actually included a pizza cutter along with other promotional products in the kit. In total, the order included 4,500 pieces and was shipped to 46 different countries.
What is the most common type of packaging being used for these kits?
Mike: The most common are corrugated cardboard cartons. Many clients order custom printed tuck-fold cartons, while some others are okay with poly-mailers. It all depends on the contents of the kit and the value the client puts on presentation. The top of the line product is definitely a printed carton with a custom insert.
Randy: Our laminated litho wrapped mailer boxes are the most common. But we now produce one and two-sided litho wrapped boxes without lamination, which really reduces the price for those competitive situations.
Have requests started to change as parts of the country are opening back up?
Mike: Although, parts of the country are beginning to open up, we’re still seeing an increase in the quantity of requests for kitting services.
Randy: Absolutely. Keep an eye out for what happens with back to school events in your area. Homework boxes might be the answer for transporting documents in a safe way!