30 Nov

Give Gifts To Get Greater

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 30.11.09 by John Meloche

As we have excitedly mentioned a number of times before here on the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog, we have officially entered into the season of giving. So season's greetings! Now, of course, generosity plays a big role in securing the happiness of others at this time of year. So it's no time to skimp on the gifts!

Who doesn't love to receive gifts? Keep that in mind when you are planning your gift-giving list and you will be sure to reap the benefits in return. Of course, if you own a business, this is a very special time of year for you too. Gift-giving can be an especially effective marketing tool for your company if it is done right.

Some businesses spend tons of cash doing television commercials. Others put their money into radio spots, which do not always draw the most attention nowadays. Some companies prefer to go the print media route using magazines and newspapers as places to advertise their products. This practice, however, is quickly decreasing with the ongoing rise in internet popularity.

Your best bet may just be to invest in cost-efficient promotional gifts. Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will be able to deliver that personal and long-lasting touch that the standard ad cannot provide. It says a lot about your company when a promotional gift is given. It reflects a clear and confident message that you are willing to go to the next level to satisfy your customers.

One of the messages your gift sends is that your company is both generous and mindful of the concept of paying attention to your customer base to maintain their loyalty. Having clients that feel that they are important, respected and valued often equates to the continued success of that business for years to come.

Not to mention, when a customer possesses an item that carries your brand name and logo, it is a long-lasting tangible piece of advertising. Unlike a TV commercial or newspaper ad that only lasts as long as the time it airs or is run, your item has the potential to remain with your customer for a lifetime.

Keychains, pens and mugs are just a few of those items that have practical everyday uses that will remind your loyal customer time and time again about the generosity and high-quality of your business. As well, the others who come into contact with your customer may also come to know your business through him or her and the promotional item that he or she owns.

What better way to ensure that your customer base grows? To have your brand continually chosen over your competitors, an impenetrable impression must be made. 'Tis the season to be giving. So give yourself the opportunity to have your company's brand garner greater respect and adoration by giving out promotional gifts this holiday season.

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27 Nov

How To Have Holiday Fun

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 27.11.09 by John Meloche

Take one look around the Synergy Marketing Consultants office and one thing will become automatically clear. We have the most energized, upbeat and excited staff you can imagine. And this is never truer than around the holiday season. Maintaining a fun and nurturing work environment is always important. But when the holiday season comes, it can sometimes become that much harder to maintain.

This is because some people worry about not being able to afford their holiday shopping. So we take it upon ourselves to make sure that making our staff excited about coming into work is that much easier. There are a number of simple things your company can do to spruce up the working environment to keep your staff happy during this time of year. Really simple.

No matter what you are celebrating during this time of year, there are a number of easy steps that can certainly liven up your moods. First off, decorate your office! Each and every year, you would swear that the Synergy offices were decorated by the same people who spruce up department stores for holiday shoppers.

Having decorations put up help to bring that holiday spirit to everyone who walks into the office doors. They help to set a mood that carries within oneself throughout the day and certainly becomes contagious.

Wish your customers a ?happy holidays? greeting. And while this phrase has become the politically correct term of the times, feel free to offer up specific greetings if you are aware of what your client is celebrating. Today, in fact, marked the beginning of the celebration of Eid al-Adha for those of the Muslim faith.

Also, as a customer yourself, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you enjoy your holiday season. A few tips offered up by eHow.com include this simple piece of advice: shop early. Doing so will help you to avoid the classic fight for parking spots at crowded malls or struggling through crowds once you get in them.

Another excellent suggestion given by the website is to do something nice for someone else. Sometimes there is no better gift than a helpful or courteous gesture that makes someone else's day just a bit better. You will feel great for offering up that helpful hand as well. This could be as simple as shoveling a neighbour's driveway once the snowfall hits.

Perhaps, the most sensible tip is to not spend more than you can afford. Even during these tough economic times, this time of year is known for heavy spending. Once the holidays are over however, there is no reason to have yourself beset with overblown credit card bills.

At home or at work, there is plenty that can be done to truly enjoy this time of year. So take advantage of all of these ideas and have yourself a happy holiday season!

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26 Nov

Colour Your Ads Carefully

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 26.11.09 by John Meloche

As we all know, there are a variety of ways to advertise your company. Everything from television commercials to highway billboards to magazine ads have been employed by companies from all over the world to assert their brand's relevance in the general public. Of course, some types of advertising are more expensive than others. And some types of advertising are more effective.

One factor that assists in the effectiveness of advertising is the colours used in the ad. Choosing the right colours should never be overlooked as an unimportant task. Deciding upon what the right colour is for your brand has everything to do with type of product or service your promoting.

Sherry Holetsky of wiseGEEK.com discusses the purposefulness behind the various colour schemes that can be used. ?The best colors for advertising are those that make people comfortable or stimulate their senses,? she writes.

According to Holetzky, in an effort to promote warmth, comfort and relaxation, restaurants often choose deep burgundy and burnt orange as colours for their advertising. These hues, apparently, connote the concept of enjoying a leisurely meal in a comfortable and pleasant environment.

Hot colours, however, are generally used when promoting fast food. Bright red and yellow indicate a fire-like excitement around the brand. Writes Holetzky: ?Virtually all logos, advertisements and menus of fast food chains feature these colors, which is no accident. Companies rely on the extensive research that has been done in this field, to get the most for their advertising dollars.?

By contrast, companies advertising health products often employ cool colours such as green and blue. Blue, says Holetzky, conveys tranquility and is most often associated with water to represent a life force. Interestingly, she notes that the colour blue can actually slow a person's heart rate and reduce appetite ? a reason why restaurants tend to stay away from blue.

When it all comes down to it however, black and white are often seen as the best colours for advertising. They are known to signify power and professionalism, says Holetzky. Sometimes adding a ?splash of colour such as red? is incorporated to emphasize the simplicity of the ad, giving it a new attitude, so to speak.

Good advertising is key to strong sales. Choose your colours wisely, and you could be seeing a lot more green.

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25 Nov

Being Thankful For Black Friday

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 25.11.09 by John Meloche

Apparently, nothing beats a good price. And like Boxing Day in Canada ? the day after Christmas, Americans enjoy Black Friday ? the day after Thanksgiving. In other words, the day after tomorrow when our friends south of the border get done with their turkey dinners, they will be heading to the shopping malls in droves in order to take advantage of the best prices available all year.

For Canadians who may not be entirely aware, Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season in the United States. According to Wikipedia.org, the term ?Black Friday? was coined sometime in the late sixties in Philadelphia, referencing the heavy traffic that occurred on that day. While it is not an official holiday, many employees are given the day off to take advantage of the significant sales being offered by merchants everywhere.

Some retailers, in an effort, to capitalize on the occasion open their doors to customers as early as 5am or earlier. This practice is something that is not only reserved for small businesses. Major department stores including Sears, Best Buy and Wal-Mart have also been known to begin their reduced-price sales craze at the stroke of midnight.

Many Canadian shoppers have gotten up on the Black Friday celebration, if you will, by crossing the border to take advantage of the extreme discounts. Some stores go so far as offering items at a discounted price of up to 90 per cent off! Even some of our Synergy Marketing Consultants associates can remember picking up a new pair of jeans for under fifteen dollars and t-shirts for under five during Black Friday sales events!

According to a QMI Agency report in today's Toronto Sun, many Canadian shoppers are avoiding the car trip but locating Black Friday deals online. A poll conducted by Visa Canada found that 23 per cent of their respondents would be bargain-hunting over the web on Friday.

Says the report: ?Canadians are willing to open their e-wallets wide. The survey found that 75% of online shoppers plan to spend the same amount of money or more this holiday season than last year, with the average person spending approximately $225.50.?

So on Thanksgiving tomorrow, we get the idea about what many Americans and even Canadians will be thankful for. The following day!

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24 Nov

Unlock Your Luck

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 24.11.09 by John Meloche

Touting the benefits of promotional items is not just our business, but it is reflective of our sincere belief at Synergy Marketing Consultants. When a promotional item bearing your company's name and logo is passed on, it presents an aura of professionalism and success that is hard to argue with.

Not that we're trying to start an argument. But we have plenty of examples that prove that promotional items can help your business. There are, of course, a variety of promo gifts to choose from. But one of the most practical and useful items that we offer is the key chain.

Nearly everyone uses key chains as nearly everyone uses keys. Makes sense, right?

Well, one of our esteemed clients owns a modest fitness centre that he wanted to garner more exposure for. His objective was to find clever ways to get potential members into his gym for free trials. Based on his experience in the business, he was confident that the more people who attended the free trials, the greater the chances were that he would increase the fitness centre's membership.

As an incentive to get customers and would-be members through the doors of his gym, he placed an order for several hundred promotional key chains. The key chains were then distributed via mail to neighboring areas along with a pamplet outlining the benefits of his gym and the details of the free trial that he was offering.

The almost immediate result was the gym owner's significant increase in memberships to his fitness centre. The incentive was so successful that he placed more orders for the promotional key chains and continued with his free trial campaign.

Many of his new clients admitted, he tells us, that the key chains were what really caught their attention. Not only did they appreciate the free gift but the mailer stood out from all of the rest that they had received prompting them to go so far as to at least open the envelope ? something they would generally pass on over tossing the envelope in the trash.

Unlock your own success with ordering some promotional key chains of your own business. Coupled with a clever campaign, these promo items may just be the next step up in your company's ladder of success.

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23 Nov

Give Your Gift That Personal Touch

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 23.11.09 by John Meloche

With the holiday season practically here already, consumers everywhere are preparing their shopping lists. For many business owners, the gift-giving season is literally year round. It goes without saying that Synergy Marketing Consultants is a big believer in the power of the promotional gift. We especially believe in its positive effects as they come with a personal touch not given by most gifts.

When a customer or employee receives a gift with your company's name and logo on it, it conveys that he or she is somewhat part of your business. It helps develop a sense of loyalty as well as belonging to your brand. This is why personalized gifts in general are considered to be so thoughtful.

In a recent team meeting, our dedicated staff shared some of their most interesting gift-giving ideas over the many holiday seasons of the past. Noticeably, many of these memorable gifts had a personalized element to them, which allowed for their lasting effects. In many ways, the personalization of these gifts gave them a sentimental feel.

One of our reps recalled a time that he created a special T-shirt for his father. He remembers growing up always hearing the word ?regardless? used as one of his father's catch phrases. No matter what he did, the rep explained, his father would justify his position by saying ?regardless?.

He cited an example of a time when, as a teenager, he came home one night after partying with his friends. Having reached home before his imposed curfew, our associate was sure he would avoid punishment. His father, however, questioned him about the late hour of his arrival home. After explaining that there was no cause for his dad to be upset since he was not late, his father's reply was simply ?regardless?.

Apparently, his father had won the argument with a point as flimsy as that. The T-shirt, of course, had the word ?REGARDLESS? printed clearly across the chest. The shirt, he recalls, is now among his dad's favourite possessions.

Perhaps, a personalized gift simply connotes the idea that some thought was truly put behind the gesture. We think that business owners should always have this thought in mind. A personalized promotional gift will, at the very least, have your company in the thoughts of the gift's recipient.

Thoughtfulness, of course, can go a long way. Peruse our items, and we're sure you'll find the perfect gift for those that you thinking about this holiday season.

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20 Nov

Word Of Mouth Both Good And Bad

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 20.11.09 by John Meloche

Word of mouth promotion is likely the most common form of passing on information about a product or service. It can be one of the most helpful sources of advertising for your company. It can, however, also be one of the most damaging.

While it is not uncommon for friends to recommend to each other a favoured restaurant or clothing store, it is much more common to hear people complain about the bad experiences they had somewhere. For whatever reason, people are quick to jump to their stories about the times they received horrible service, were treated rudely or did not receive the product or service that they were expecting.

When a company delivers something that is below the expectations of the customer, chances are someone else is going to hear about it. Author, seminar/workshop presenter and trainer Tom Egelhoff recognizes word of mouth promotion, be it positive or negative, as a powerful tool.

For some businesses, says Egelhoff ? those that are home-based, for example ? word of mouth may be the only affordable type of advertising. Again, there are both good and bad aspects of this type of promotion. As alluded to earlier, negative aspects of a business are usually pieces of news that travel faster than the positive ones.

In addition, Egelhoff believes that when a person is pleased with his or her experience with a company, he or she is generally less enthusiastic about telling the story than if a negative experience was had. ?Negativity is a much more powerful emotion than being positive,? he writes, ?Positive is comfortable. Negative is uncomfortable.?

Negative feedback is often generated when a business attempts to deviate from things that it usually does well. To overcome this, Egelhoff suggests to do the opposite of the ?no comment? approach. Instead, he recommends that business owners tackle the problem head on and go so far as exclaiming commitment to resolving the issue so as to not ?add fuel to the fire?.

As well, it is important to have a happy staff that will support the company and of course, not spread the negative feedback that could ruin the business from within. Seek the positive from the negative, says Egelhoff, and work with it.

With employees exclaiming their love for their workplace, this feeling will soon translate into the moods of the customers. Says Egelhoff: ?Successful businesses know the secret to long life is providing a stable consistent environment for each customer from the counter person to the delivery person. You can't have word of mouth without something to talk about.?

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19 Nov

The Booming Business Of Blogging

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 19.11.09 by John Meloche

By the end of this coming weekend, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog will have celebrated its first full month in existence. And already, it is being heralded by many as ?The Best Blog On The Internet?.

Okay, maybe by ?many?, we mean ?us? and by ?already? we mean ?since our first post?. But the point is, having a regularly updated blog has done wonders for our company and it most certainly can do the same for your business.

Darrel Zahorsky of About.com recently posted an article commenting on the importance of daily blogs for today's businesses. Short for the term ?weblogs? coined by Jorn Barger in 1997, blogs really began to take off at the turn of the century when blogging software and tools were getting developed.

According to the Zahorsky, the number of blogs on the internet has ?exploded from a few thousand to over 100 million? over the past ten years. Business blogs, of course, have become especially popular tools for communicating with customers and employees to share both knowledge and expertise.

Business blogs have also become extremely effective in building additional web traffic to a company's website. They have been proven to greatly increase the potential of new customers through their informative and quickly updated nature. Daily blogs on business websites connote the forward-moving, into-the-action nature of a company. They convey a sense of keeping on top of things as well as staying fresh and ahead of the game.

Blogs can be especially useful for small businesses, says Zahorsky. Firstly, they are quite easy to create and maintain. Generally, blogging software is very user friendly, allowing nearly anyone to simply write his or her thoughts and publish them with the click of a few buttons.

Blogs also represent a fairly low-cost alternative approach to advertising. For those companies who cannot afford a web designer, blogging can be an effective yet inexpensive method to get your company's name out on the internet.

The process of updating a blog is also a very quick one. It also gives business owners the luxury of updating the blogs as often as they wish on their own without the need for contacting a web designer.

Blogs can be very powerful resources is used correctly. They are only growing in popularity. So if you haven't started one of your own, now may be the time to get writing your very own business blog.

Not that it would be better than this one though.

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18 Nov

Boost Morale While Saving Your Cash

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 18.11.09 by John Meloche

Especially during times of financial hardship, a company's employees are of great value. It is integral to the success of a business to have satisfied and happy employees. Keeping them comfortable, confident and content is one way to ensure both loyalty to your business and therefore, your business' longevity.

Some business owners, however, feel that maintaining a happy staff equals spending big bucks to do so. Not necessarily so, says Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees. “You can do things for employees that don?t cost anything, but are worth a million dollars,? he says, ?small businesses can do (these things) because they aren't constrained by a 500-page policy manual.?

After conducting a survey for his doctoral dissertation, Nelson discovered that employees do not necessarily have to be showered with cash in order to be kept happy. There are a number of very economical ways to boost employee morale, he insists.

In an article published by Forbes magazine and written by Jane Applegate, Nelson's finding are revealed. His studies allowed him to discover that most employees covet involvement, communication and autonomy. A simple pat on the back or extra attention for doing a good job makes them feel appreciated and valued.

Says Nelson: “Every employee should be given the chance to determine how best to do their jobs, as well as increased authority and leeway in the handling of company resources.”

Applegate's article also notes that taking an interest in the future of your employees can go a long way. When training and development courses are offered at your place of business, it gives workers the confidence that they too, can grow alongside the business. There is great pride in knowing that one's contributions can help both one's self and his or her employer gain greater success.

Stop spending money on company picnics, writes Applegate. She believes that employees not only don't care about them, but find them to be a burden. ?Better to grant the flexibility for personal time to handle family obligations,? she says, ?If possible, consider letting people work from home one day a week.?

Boosting employee morale is certainly a key factor in the success of a business. It doesn't take a lot of money to do and most definitely keeps your work environment a pleasant one.

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17 Nov

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 17.11.09 by John Meloche

In 1984, author Jay Conrad Levinson released the book, Guerrilla Marketing discussing the various unconventional tools used by entrepreneurs with a limited budget to promote their products and businesses. As Wikipedia.org describes it, the concept of ?guerrilla marketing? relies heavily on time, energy and imagination instead of cash..

Generally, this innovative type of advertising involvs interactive activities that are sometimes unexpected, targeting consumers in unsuspecting places. The objective, naturally, is to present a unique and engaging concept that may generate a large buzz without having to spend a lot of money to do so.

Since the release of his book, Levinson has made the term ?guerrilla marketing? a popular one. By today's standards, promotional campaigns using ?guerrilla marketing? are not that uncommon. It is not so unusual these days to witness timely public displays, street giveaways of products and other PR stunts. The intent, each and every time, is to attain ?maximum results from minimal resources.?

As time goes on, the approach to this type of marketing evolves. There are a number of ?cutting edge mobile digital technologies? now in use to engage consumers and create memorable brand experiences. Visiting the Rogers Centre in Toronto to watch the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays during the Major League Baseball season is an experience fraught with guerrilla marketing tactics.

To both maintain fan loyalty and promote its products at the same time, contests involving text messages on one's cell phone are often announced throughout the game. This often results in a winner being declared by the end of the event.

Sports fans, especially, are not even required to leave the comfort of their homes to engage in this type of marketing as television broadcasts of sporting events often call for the text as a way to gain further info about a product or brand. These texts, of course, may not only cost the cell phone user a fee, but will ensure that they are kept abreast of future promotions and giveaways.

However, the principles of guerrilla marketing, believes Levinson, include that it is specifically geared for the small business or entrepreneur and that instead of money, the primary investments of marketing should be time, energy and imagination.

According to Levinson, regardless of the tactic used to engage the consumer, small businesses and entrepreneurs are expected to ?deliver the goods?. He writes: “In order to sell a product or a service, a company must establish a relationship with the customer. It must build trust and support. It must understand the customer's needs, and it must provide a product that delivers the promised benefits.”

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