18 Dec

Company Parties The Perfect End To The Year

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 18.12.09 by John Meloche

It's official. The holidays are here. And the staff at Synergy Marketing Consultants couldn't be happier!

Not that we don't love interacting with business owners all throughout the year in an effort to generate greater business for both their companies and our own. But there is no better time to unwind, relax and enjoy your family and friends than this time of year. That, and events offering all of the food and drink you can fill yourself with are now taking place.

Synergy will be enjoying its annual holiday party this weekend. Our only problem is that we can't figure out what we like best. The music, the food, the drink or the company of our fellow associates who have grown into one big family over the past year?

While the true answer is ?all the above?, it cannot go unmentioned that the Synergy staff truly has a good time together. We believe that the general upbeat attitude of our team members is what keeps our business successful year round. We have mentioned before on our blog, the importance of maintaining a valued, happy and energetic staff. And each year, at our holiday party, it is proven true as our team really shows that they can party!

Never underestimate the strength of a work gathering. The cameraderie shared between co-workers in an environment outside of the normal workplace really helps set the tone for the new year. Sometimes, even though individuals have worked in the same place for months, they may not become friends until such a party.

Most importantly, these parties show that you cherish your staff. Without them, where would your business be? Be sure that your team enjoys a fun and safe event to wrap up the year and let them know they are a valued part of your company.

Sometimes these parties can include award ceremonies of some kind where, even in a joking fashion, employees are handed out certificates to commemorate their contributions or even their personalities. This individual recognition shows that you pay attention and truly care about the members of your team.

So enjoy the party Synergy! And to the rest of Canada, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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17 Dec

Drive Up The Spirits Of Those Less Fortunate

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 17.12.09 by John Meloche

We have talked a lot about gift-giving on the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog lately, not only because it is the holiday season, but because it is something we do all year round. It is the nature of our business as we believe strongly in the concept of businesses giving out promotional gifts as a means of generating more interest, and eventually more income for their companies.

The holiday season is most definitely a time for giving. But we should do our best to never forget that there are many individuals out there who are unable to give. Sure, the entire nation has been hit hard by the recession, but Canada is still home to a large number of families who are unable to afford food, clothing and even shelter during the season that is supposed to be joyous for all.

Perhaps, one of the most beneficial things your business can do this holiday season is participate in a drive of some kind to benefit those who have less than you do. Either a food or a toy drive (or both!) can mean a world of difference to so many families out there who depend on the generosity of others during the holidays.

It's simple. Simply set up a box or barrel of some kind that allows your customers to leave either non-perishable food items or unwrapped toys in for those that are less fortunate. In addition, you may even want to consider allowing clients and employees to drop off clothing that can be donated to the cause of your choice.

Firstly, this will be met with great gratitude by the organization that you donate your goods to. It makes sense, of course, to contact the group of your choice who you would like to have sponsor the drive in order to legitimize your cause. You wouldn't want to give the impression that you will be keeping all of the donations for yourself!

Secondly, your community will look very fondly upon your company. The simple notion that you are a generous and thoughtful organization can play a big role in the year-round perception of your business.

Thirdly, and perhaps, most importantly, donating your time and efforts to a food, toy or clothing drive will give you the fulfilling feeling that you are doing something selfless and kind. Now, that's a gift worth receiving!

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16 Dec

Give A Little To Get A Lot

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 16.12.09 by John Meloche

One of our esteemed associates at Synergy Marketing Consultants cracked up the entire staff this morning with his weekend tale of gift-giving with his close friends. For the past six or seven years, this colleague has been engaged in a holiday gift exchange ritual with a number of his buddies and their wives and girlfriends. To the surprise of our staff, this group of jolly individuals go all out by spending upwards of $300-$400 on one gift!

All except one, apparently. One friend, explained our co-worker, has been notorious during this annual tradition for spending the least on his gift. The rest of the group then, secretly hopes to not received him as their gift-giver. While some members of the group have received gifts as elaborate as a new pair of high-end designer sneakers or even an XBOX 360 complete with a couple of games, this one Grinch-of-a-friend has offered up cheap cologne or a flimsy watch.

One member of this particular group has apparently received this stingy gift-giver for the past three years straight! Although the draw for gift recipients is ?random?, this poor individual got stuck again this year with the lamest present of the bunch.

When asked by a co-worker why the group doesn't mention to the cheapskate the unspoken rules of the gift-exchange and its spending expectancy (?Cheapo? also apparently lucks out each year by getting some of the best gifts available), our story-telling associate simply shrugged.

The moral of the story? The true nature of the holiday season is the joy of giving and sharing with family and friends and not making sure that you hit the jackpot! But the story can be an excellent analogy for business owners of all kinds.

A good business owner, of course, makes certain of the return on his or her investment. To spend more money than what you make back is obviously not good for business. So how can business owners ensure that they are not losing out this holiday season and well into the future?

We believe it has a lot to do with perception. You will receive more clients and increase your business' success if your client base believes that you are top-notch in your industry. The promotional items offered by Synergy are cost-efficient but very effective. Our many happy clients are prime examples of those who spend a little to make a lot back. The gifts given to their clients offer them lifelong loyalty in return.

Give yourself that gift this holiday season. We are sure we have the right promo gift for you.

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15 Dec

Holiday Promotions Are Paramount

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 15.12.09 by John Meloche

The holiday season is in full swing and business owners all over Canada are doing their part to capitalize on it. Are you?

This season, is perhaps the easiest one of them all to package your products and services as ?holiday specials?. Regardless of your business type, it is always a wise idea to offer your client base a special deal during this time of year. Known for its bargains, the holiday shopping season is one when business owners must remain competitive to survive.

Do you have any ?gift packages? available? Is there any way that one of your customers can get something extra or perhaps, for free if he or she buys from you? Is your store more festive-looking or does it maintain its year-round appearance?

There are so many ways to diversify your brand during the holiday season. Anita Watts, of FilmJournal.com explains how movie theatres do this in an effort to boost revenue. While some of her ideas are specific to the movie industry, they can be very helpful to business owners of all types.

Watts notes that one of the most creative ways to promote sales at concession stands is to have holiday-themed packaging. With cups and candy or popcorn bags bearing the colours of the season, theatres have managed to ?promote a spirit of community involvement and festivity?, according to Watts. All of a sudden, these popular year-round treats have become holiday items that are, somehow, more successful.

Restaurants, delis, lounges and bars can all take advantage of this concept. She cites Starbucks as a company that notoriously capitalizes on the holiday season by selling its items as gifts.

?Here?s a thought,? she writes, ?Why not sell hot chocolate or Cherry Coke in Christmas cups and actually give it away free if the consumer buys a $20 gift card at the concession stand as a Christmas gift??

The concept, says Watts, is not much different that having promotional items to promote your business throughout the year. Sure, your customers will come to expect a certain measure of quality from you. But what can you do to even exceed their expectations to ensure their loyalty?

?The consumer does not want to see the same thing over and over again without something new and exciting,? she insists, ?That?s one of the reasons why bringing in the promotional cups and bags works.?

The holidays are generally a joyous time for most people. Business owners should take advantage of the season by offering customers holiday benefits that may prove to maintain a stronghold on their competition well into the new year.

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14 Dec

Golf Makes Great Gifts

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 14.12.09 by John Meloche

As many of us are all very aware, golf pro Tiger Woods has been in the news a lot lately. And it's not because of his career as one of golf's elite champions. Nevertheless, as Tiger battles the media and a frenzy of accusations about his personal life, golf remains a very popular sport worldwide.

While some question the very right to consider golf a legitimate sport, others maintain a fervour and passion towards the game. That being said, Synergy Marketing Consultants has long been proud providers of some of today's most handy and unique golf-related promotional items. In fact, we have a very special section entitled ?Golf? that is dedicated to this line of products right here on our website.

One of these fine items is the Franco Serretti© Genuine Leather Fanny Pack which is quite useful when out on the course. The fanny pack is made of genuine lambskin leather and boasts six convenient compartments including a cell phone carrier and adjustable waist strap. The fanny packs are available in both black and brown, and best of all includes a location for the imprint of your business information.

We are unaware, at this point, if Tiger Woods took any personal calls while out on the golf course, but you can be sure to have your phone handy as it rests conveniently in your fanny pack, along with any other necessary items you may need to carry around with you while traversing the greens.

Another great item in our ?Golf? section is the shiny Golf Divot Repair Tool. This tool is solid steel, chrome plated and includes a magnetic ball marker and belt/bag clip. An excellent gift for the client-slash-golfer you know, the repair tool comes in a two piece window gift box . The tool, of course, offers one location laser engraving on ball marker.

You will not only be able to provide an awesome gift to your golf-fanatic associate, but you will ensure that your promotional item keeps your business present in the minds of those who use it. We are unaware, at this point, if the tool would be of any service to the repairs that Tiger Woods is currently in need of making.

And for those who are not golfers, but most certainly golf fans, the replica Golf Bag BBQ Set is a must-have. It includes a golf ball shaped tong, a putter shaped spatula, a divot shaped fork and a basting brush, all with golf grip handles. In addition, this amazing promotional gift comes with a zippered bag cover and salt and pepper shakers. Golf fan or not, this gift is a great edition to any cookout. We are unaware, at this point, if Tiger Woods' goose has been cooked.

Okay, he's had enough, we know. Check out this website's ?Golf? section for more incredible promo items for the golf lover you know.

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11 Dec

Leave A Lasting Holiday Impression

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 11.12.09 by John Meloche

This is the time of year where social networking is at its highest point. The opportunities to meet new clients and business associates are maximized as nearly every business you know is having some sort of holiday celebration. While these parties are great for increasing holiday cheer and spreading the joy of this festive season, they work just as well as schmoozing opportunities for savvy business owners.

It is not uncommon at all for people to meet individuals for the first time at these holiday parties. Just as uncommon is the passing out of several business cards as a means of keeping in touch once the holiday season is through. Of course, doing your part to ensure the increased success of your business should always be a priority. But as we have mentioned numerous times before, standing out from everyone else should be of the highest importance.

So how do you do this? Well, you know your good friends at Synergy Marketing Consultants have the answer to that one. While the rest of your contemporaries are passing out their cards, just imagine the impression you are giving when you hand out a?pen.

It goes without saying that our many innovative and unique pens make handy promotional gifts. They are also, obviously light weight and very useful. The 2010 Hockey Schedule Pens are huge hits at this time of year. They also make the perfect conversation starter to bring your business to the next level in the eyes of your newfound friend and potential client.

Picture it. You?re right there by the punch bowl which is next to the cheese platter. You exchange your names, ?how are yous? and ?what do you dos?. Next thing you know, you?re asking if he or she caught the last Leafs game. Minutes later, you are pulling out a snazzy pen with your company name and phone number on it containing a pull-out schedule for all home and away games for each of the six Canadian teams in the National Hockey League.

Now, do you think that you will be forgotten any time soon? What do you think the impression you left will be in comparison to the countless other entrepreneurs who handed out their business cards to that same person that evening? Even at the number of other holiday parties he or she may have attended, no one made the lasting impression that you did with your cool promo gift.

Of course, there are a number of other promotional gifts that Synergy offers that are great for the holiday season. Our greeting card and holiday music CD combo is a hugely popular item. This gift is one that will be utilized year in and year out as Christmas music never goes out of style.

The holiday season is most certainly the time for sharing and spending time with family and friends. But that does not mean that it cannot be a time when you are thinking about furthering the success of your business.

The holiday season is the opportune to time to give gifts. And this includes a gift to yourself ? knowing that you have left a positive impression on the many new faces you have met celebrating the season. Your promo gifts may just be the key to ensuring that you and your business enjoy a very happy new year.

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10 Dec

Internet Advertising Invaluable

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 10.12.09 by John Meloche

The power of the internet is virtually unstoppable. This very website ? the best of them all, we might add ? proves it. With the impending turn of yet another decade, nearly every business is online. With personalized websites advertising your company?s products and services, you literally have the ability to be in touch with potential customers from all over the world.

Having a website, however, is only a fraction of what will help you develop the success of your business on the internet. Online advertising is extremely popular, and with good reason. Take a look at all of those social networking sites out there that are so successful. Of course, to make use of these websites is free, making them widely used. So it goes without saying that advertising on these websites can certainly boost a company?s profile. It is certain to be quite costly though.

However, advertising online doesn?t have to be all that expensive. Bartering works wonders when talking about promoting your business on the internet. You may want to consider offering the trade of links between your business and your clients and associates. Being present on other companies? websites ? provided that they are not in direct competition with yours ? can be very beneficial.

Sometimes, your presence on other websites will mean the difference between someone making a purchase from you and never having heard of your company at all. This type of bartering system costs you nothing as adding a link to another non-competitor is as simple as having your webmaster upload a logo and a website address.

Online advertising can work in many other ways. Some companies who do a lot of shipping of their products utilize the internet as their primary source of advertising. For many of these companies, the bulk of their advertising comes with no upfront charges. This can be managed by offering up the following agreement.

Have an ad for your products placed on an associate?s website. If a customer clicks that link to order one of your products, you can offer up a percentage of the sale to the owner of the website who directed the customer to you. That way, you do not have to spend any money if you haven?t actually made it first.

We?ve mentioned in the past as well that a regularly updated blog can do wonders for your business. Remember to keep your website and online ads up-to-date and fresh. Offer associates incentives that may prove to be mutually beneficial.

Utilizing the internet is pretty much a must these days. Finding cost-effective ways to do so will help increase the success of your business in ways previous methods never could.

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10 Dec

Give The Gift Of Getting Back In Touch

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 10.12.09 by John Meloche

It goes without saying that the holiday season is the time for giving. But obviously, it?s pretty easy to give gifts to those that you are closest with. This is the time of year where your family and friends are shown your love and appreciation by the well wishes and gifts offered to them in celebration of the season.

However, this season can also help you to provide yourself with a gift that you may not have even thought about for a long time. Is there someone in your life that you have lost touch with? I?m sure we have all had time pass without us realizing that it?s been months or maybe even years since the last time you connected with a friend or family member. Now that the holiday season is here, it is the perfect opportunity to re-connect.

As author and business networking speaker, Allison Graham writes in today?s Toronto Sun, the holidays provide the opportune time to get back in touch with colleagues. Although it might present an awkward situation at any other time of the year, the holidays allow for you to rekindle professional and personal relationships with a simple well wish for the season. There?s nothing awkward about that, right? You may feel strange picking up the phone to reconnect with lost colleagues, but you shouldn?t feel that way during the holidays.

?Consider all the people you've been meaning to call over the last year, but haven't,? recommends Graham, ?Make a list and spend an afternoon on the phone just calling people to catch up and wish them well for the holidays.?

The holidays also allow for easy conversation starters. Once you?ve gotten in touch with your long lost loved ones, consider bringing up holiday plans, family outings or hobbies. Of course, getting caught up on all that has happened in the time that has passed since you last spoke is an easy go-to topic for conversation.

You never know. You may just be giving yourself the gift of a friendship that may have assumed was lost. This friendship, of course, may last well into the new year and beyond. Furthermore, you may also be providing a gift to someone who may just be in need of a friend to talk to. Remember that the holiday season can also be stressful for a lot of people. Do your part to lend an ear and let your friends know that you are there for them. It may just make their holidays!

Business owners should especially take heed to Graham?s advice. Contacting old clients that you may have developed a good rapport with may just get them back to being interested in your business. Letting them know that they have not been forgotten will make them feel appreciated. The return of their business may just be the gift that you need to take you into the new year with a greater perspective on your future success.

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08 Dec

Beware Of Buying Counterfeit Gifts

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 08.12.09 by John Meloche

We have been doing a lot of talking about the holiday shopping season as of late. Shoppers, of course, are hitting the malls in a frenzy to pick up gifts for family and friends hoping to secure themselves the best deals possible. Clearly, bargain-hunters are on the prowl during this time of year. And while finding your item of choice at a great price may seem like you've lucked out, the QMI Agency's Sharon Singleton warns that goods sold at ?too good to be true prices? may not even be worth it.

In today's Toronto Sun, Singleton reveals that ?the sale of fake goods is likely to jump over the holiday season.? Both counterfeit experts and police agree that since so many consumers are searching for great deals, some will end up unknowingly purchasing knock-offs. In other words, if you're looking for the real thing, you better beware of lower-than-normal prices for popular gifts.

Sergeant Sylvain St-Jean, national intellectual property rights co-ordinator with the RCMP admits that putting a stop to the sale of bogus products is not an easy task. In fact, the RCMP has no specific plans for seizures during the holiday months and instead offers warnings to holiday shoppers looking for a good deal.

?We don?t have sufficient resources to combat the problem,? said St-Jean, ?We have to target the things where there are health and safety issues involved.?

Counterfeit products cost businesses billions of dollars a year, says Singleton, noting that this is a problem that is growing in Canada. In fact, ?The International Chamber of Commerce estimates the cost to the global economy is about $429 billion US a year,? she writes.

Lorne Lipkus, a partner a law firm Kestenberg, Siegal and Lipkus, which specializes in tackling counterfeits had this to say: ?For some of the really popular products, it?s almost impossible for us to keep up with the number of cases of fakes…In a good economy people are more likely to buy from a known store, now they will shop around for cheaper prices.?

St-Jean goes on to note the dangers that may be involved in buying fake products, citing the Chi flat iron hair straightener by Farouk Systems Grou as an example. The knock-offs, he reports, are of high quality making it hard to tell them apart from the real thing. It just so happens that the fakes are prone to overheating and are therefore dangerous.

Belt buckles, blue-tooth headsets and Ugg boots are also among the most popular items to have counterfeit counterparts. The spike in counterfeit sales of these items has come with the popularity of internet shopping. So you should definitely do your research before going online to buy gifts.

Says Chris Tortorice, corporate counsel anti-piracy at Microsoft Canada: ?With the growth in the Internet there is a wide variety of products available and an anonymity from detection for the counterfeiter…People really need to understand what they are buying. If the price seems too good to be true it probably is.?

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08 Dec

Compliments And Complaints Both Valuable

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 08.12.09 by John Meloche

As a big believer in excellent customer service, Synergy Marketing Consultants insists on providing only the best. That way, we know what to look for when we are dealing with merchants ourselves. Consumers, especially during this time of year, depend on exceptional customer service to help get them through their holiday shopping.

Imagine what it would be like if the store clerk you spoke to had no idea where to find the item that you were looking for. Even worse, suppose he or she wasn't even kind while addressing your question. It is easy for some people to lose their cool and even get into arguments with those who work in retail stores during this crazy season for shopping. Our first piece of advice is to relax.

Your shopping experience should never become an unpleasant one simply because a store employee was not helpful to you. Your first order of business should, of course, be to locate the item you want. But in order to curb the likelihood of you receiving such poor service in future, you may want to simply report the employee's behavior to a store manager.

Now pay attention. Do so in a polite and cordial manner. This way, the manager is more likely to hear you out and apologize for the inconvenience instead of automatically going on the defensive with someone who he or she may believe is a ?crazy person?. Simply outline the situation calmly. This will generally lead to a change in the way you are treated in that store for future visits.

However, we believe that you should not only complain but feel free to compliment the service when it is excellent. Now there may be less time on your schedule to do so at this time of year, but we encourage you to acknowledge a job well done any time you have a pleasant customer service experience.

It can be as simple as offering the store employee your thanks and appreciation for their help. Taking it one step further, you may also want to speak to a manager to simply commend them for the service provided in his or her store with a ?pat on the back? to the specific individual who helped you.

Especially during the holiday season, it is difficult to not get flustered. And we're talking about both shoppers and merchants alike. So, give the gift of a compliment when you can. Don't underestimate just how good you could be making someone feel by doing so.

In the end, providing appropriate feedback will help for all of your shopping experiences to be great ones, both during this holiday season and beyond.

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