So you’ve got a customer looking for a relatively low cost retractable banner and you ask: “Are you interested in an economy or a value option?” It’s likely you are met first of all with a blank look, and secondly with a question – “don’t they mean the same thing?”
It’s true that people these days often confuse economy with value – but they’re not the same, and when choosing the best banner stand for your client’s needs, it’s important to understand the similarities – and the differences.
First, the similarities. All retractable banners are based on the same design – a base cassette with two twist-out feet, containing a spring-loaded roller onto which a vinyl banner is attached. A bungee pole is assembled and slotted into the cassette base, the banner is pulled up and attached to the top clamp bar which is held upright by the bungee pole.
Now the differences – let’s look at economy banners first. Economy simply means ‘cost saving’ – and is a perfect way to describe the low-cost banners many businesses rely on as an inexpensive way to create big impact with temporary messaging. These are the banners that get printed up specifically for a short-term retail or hospitality promotion, a one-off presentation or a low-key trade event. They perform perfectly well in all sorts of settings, and are a sensible option when your client isn’t planning on using their banner repeatedly, or for a long period of time.
Economy banners are typically available in standard widths and are made from lighter, less resilient materials. This doesn’t mean they don’t perform well – but they may lack the durability of more expensive models, and are therefore less suited to long-term use. Economy banners are often shipped in bulk boxes and may need to be re-boxed before they can be shipped individually.
The word value tells us that a product is competitive in terms of cost – but not necessarily that it is ‘cheap’. A value range banner represents a step up in quality while still being very affordable. These banners are the obvious choice for customers who want something that looks and feels a little more premium, and that lasts a little longer – without paying a premium.
Value banners provide four added benefits with the value – a better box, made from double-wall cardboard; a better bag with an extra layer of padding to protect the banner during storage or transit;, reinforced parts for more stability and durability; and a better warranty – typically a full year compared to 3 months for an economy banner.
Value range banners also tend to look and feel nicer – the construction is heavier, the roller cassette is better quality and runs more smoothly, the pole is thicker for extra durability and the storage bag is stronger and more aesthetically pleasing. They’re often available in wider widths, which can really help the customer to differentiate, and may also have small design touches, like colour-coordinated screws and end caps.
For a handy guide to making a choice between retractable banners, check out our YouTube video: