Q: With the understanding that it is the design on the product that one is pushing, would it be wise to send a manufactured product to a company, if you already make the product instead of using Photoshop?
A. Most creators do mock-ups, of course, and they are created for a sales presentation with Photoshop to showcase their art on products produced by that manufacturer. That is the best way to promote your art and get the manufacturer to envision producing their products with your art on it. If you want to send an actual product, it’s important to make sure that you send your design on a type of product that they produce; do they produce tee shirts, mugs, aprons, flags or what?
If you have manufactured products that you now want to license, then yes, you can send a sample to a manufacturer. I wouldn’t go and have a product manufactured to send to a manufacturer, because they are going to find too many things wrong with it. But, if you happen to have it and you want to send it to them, it could get them excited.
I am going to give you some cautionary thoughts, because the manufacturers are going to come up with a lot of questions as to why you sent them an actual product.
A manufacturer may wonder why you’re seeking a licensing partner if you’re already producing the product. Will they be confused? Sometimes at trade shows, if you put the product in your booth, I know a manufacturer might walk by thinking you’ve already licensed that product and they don’t need to talk with you.
Maybe they are going to want the sales numbers because they know that you’ve manufactured and sold this product already.A re your sales good enough to share and keep the manufacturer interested and sell them on licensing your art? Also, will they be satisfied with the quality of the product, or are they going to think that their product is better, and why did you do this?
Just be prepared to answer these and more questions, if you want to send a real product sample, whether P.O.D. or manufactured. Since you can get a manufacturers’ attention by doing mock-ups in professional presentations, whether sent by email and by regular mail, perhaps it’s not worth the time, effort and risk of confusion?