27 Feb

Canada Having Record Showing At Olympics

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 27.02.10 by John Meloche

We can't lie. We are loving this right now! Here at Synergy Marketing Consultants, we have a lot of proud Canadians who are extra excited about the fact that Canada currently leads all countries with the most gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Securing more medals today was short track speed skater Charles Hamelin who took the gold in his 500 metre race as well as Cheryl Bernard who was just edged out by Sweden's Annette Norberg for the gold medal in the women's curling final. Canada's Kevin Martin is expected to take the gold in men's curling as he battles it out with Norway's Thomas Ulsrud this weekend.

As well, with the women's hockey team fresh off of their controversial celebration of their gold medal finish a couple of days ago (is anyone really surprised that Canadians drink beer when celebrating?), the men's hockey team has secured their spot in the gold medal game against the United States on Sunday. Earlier this evening, Team Canada eked out a 3-2 win against Slovakia.

With a 3-0 lead going into the third period, the Canadians appeared to have had the game wrapped up until the closing minutes of the game saw a Slovakian barrage of shots on net resulting in two late goals. Hanging on to secure the win, Canada will play for the gold medal for the first time since winning it back in 2002.

In fact, the stage has been set for the ultimate sequel to the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. On American soil, both the men's and women's hockey teams defeated their American counterparts to take home the gold medals. With the women already repeating this feat on their home soil, the entire nation of Canada is eagerly anticipating the men's team to follow suit.

Of course, many Canadian hockey fans are still feeling the sting of their team's 5-3 loss to the U.S. in the opening round robin games of the tournament. Needless to say, revenge is on their minds.

Team Canada player Ryan Getzlaf had this to say after the game: “Obviously, we took a different route than the U.S. to get there. But the bottom line is, we're both there and we're both excited to be there.”

Guaranteed more medals as a result of both the men's curling and hockey finals, Canada is poised to experience its greatest medal haul ever at the Winter Olympics. Finishing with 24 at the Games in Turin, Italy in 2006, Canada currently sits at 21 medals.

The nation's current count of 10 gold medals, which could easily jump to 12 by the end of the weekend, is already a Winter Olympics record for Canada. The previous record of seven was set in both the Turin Games as well as the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Along with the rest of Canada, the Synergy team will be cheering on the Canadian men in this final weekend of the Winter Olympic Games. Bring home the gold boys!

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25 Feb

Canadian Women Owning The Podium

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 25.02.10 by John Meloche

This year's Winter Olympic Games are proving to be a beautiful display of talent of the many Canadian athletes who have the opportunity of competing on home soil. And while, at the time of this writing, Canada is tied for first with the most amount of gold medals ? 8 ? there is a noticeable pattern in the type of Canadian athlete that is reaching the podium the most often. Women.

Debra Black reports today on The Toronto's Star's website that ?The Olympic podium is looking decidedly female these days as Canada?s Olympic women continue to win more medals than their male team members.? Especially with Canada's women's hockey team securing their third straight Olympic gold medal in a row earlier this evening, this fact is a hard one to miss.

This, of course, is not to say that Canada's male athletes are not competitive ? they do outnumber the women 115 to 91 ? but the Canadian women have truly been shining brightly on the Olympic stage this year.

Black submits the following proof: ?So far, five of our seven gold medals have been won by women: Heather Moyse and Kaillie Humphries for women?s bobsleigh; Ashleigh McIvor for women?s ski cross; Ricker for women?s snowboard cross; Christine Nesbitt for women?s 1,000-metre speed skating and (Tessa) Virtue in ice dancing.?

It should be duly noted that Virtue did win her gold along with her male partner, Scott Moir. Nevertheless, the ladies are truly doing their thing in Van City. Just yesterday, Canada's women took the silver medal in the 3,000 metre short track speedskating relay as Clara Hughes took the bronze in her 5,000 metre race. Not to mention, Canada truly owned the podium in women's bobsleigh as both the gold and silver medals were captured by Canadian teams.

Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Rudge offered this opinion about the success of Canada's women at the Games: ?My observation is that the IOC has gone to great lengths over the past 10 years to make sport more accessible and to bring gender equity to sport. I do believe in my heart and soul that the IOC is trying to bring about gender balance in this world. You can?t force countries to change the way they are.?

As of this writing, Canada has accumulated 16 medals at Vancouver's Winter Games. Of those, 12.5 (we'll count Virtue's as a half because she did win her medal along with a guy in Moir), were won by women. The nation, as a whole, is currently in fourth place in the medal standing behind only Norway, Germany and the United States.

The contribution of the women to Canada's medal count is truly a remarkable feat. Hughes, herself, commented on this wondrous happening: ?There is, and I hate to say this as a female, but there is a lot more depth in men?s sports, especially in endurance sports. It takes a lot more resources and time for men to develop. Sports at this level are unfathomably hard and difficult.?

Canada's female Olympians are truly amazing role models for women everywhere. We would like to salute all of the amazing ladies of Canada who are doing the country so proud at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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24 Feb

More Business Tips For Elusive Entrepreneurs

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 24.02.10 by John Meloche

Yesterday on the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog, we discussed a number of different tips that may help the introverted business owner get out into the world to promote his or her business effectively. With tips from Vancouver's Anne Brennan of Allegro Editorial Services from her article on GetCreativeShow.com, our blog was so well received, we thought we'd continue with more sound advice for the elusive entrepreneur.

To reiterate, good promotion is key to the success of any business. If you don't believe in your own business, then how will you convince others to believe in it? Keep in mind that word-of-mouth promotion is the best kind of advertising. If others are talking about you and how great your company is, it can be more fruitful and rewarding than the most expensive ad campaign.

As Brennan writes: ?Tell people what to say about you! Advertising will attract new customers, and reinforce in the minds of existing customers why they came to you in the first place.? There are many ways in which you can communicate with your client base, of course. One of her tips is to write a press release when you have news to share.

For example, if your company has achieved a significant milestone of some sort, be sure to tell the local media all about it. Did you recently break a sales record for your industry? Did you win a best customer service award? Did you sponsor a Winter Olympian? Anything that shows that your company is an industry leader is a good thing to write about. ?If it affects or reflects on the community, it's news,? says Brennan.

Make sure to create a headline that will capture the attention of your readers. Also, be sure to edit everything that you write, insists Brennan. Keep sentences simple, but logical. If your piece is not proofread, it will appear as if you haven't truly put any effort into making your company look as professional and presentable as possible.

If necessary, suggests Brennan, hire a professional to write and produce your presentation materials. Not everyone can be a clever and classy author. In addition to your press releases, a professional press kit can really help develop a strong image for your business.

In addition, one of Brennan's most interesting pieces of advice for business owners is to become comfortable with your last name. This tip, she directs specifically to female business owners.

She writes: ?To your western sensibilities, it may be disconcerting to see yourself referred to in print as 'Jones,' rather than 'Ms. Jones' or 'Janet.' But men are referred to that way all the time. If you want credibility, you must be professional. You must be comfortable with your last name and no title, especially in editorial coverage.?

Finally, Brennan recommends that you always be positive. Never inform anyone that you are downsizing or cutting back but instead explain that you are ?streamlining for greater efficiency, or repositioning your business to be more competitive.? Perception is reality, she writes. So whatever people perceive of you will become true.

Accomplishing each of these tasks is not something that can be done overnight. Growing a business, especially a new one, is no simple feat. But hard work and determination can make all the difference in the world. Follow these tips and success will follow you

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23 Feb

Promotion Tips For The Shy Business Owner

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 23.02.10 by John Meloche

Promote. Promote. Promote. That's all you hear around the offices of Synergy Marketing Consultants. Well, you do hear a lot more actually…we like to have fun while we work. But it is a mantra that makes a lot of sense, wouldn't you agree?

Promoting your business is the name of the game. Without constant consideration of how to promote what you do and how well you do it, there is little to no chance that your business will succeed in today's world. As Anne Brennan of Allegro Editorial Services on GetCreativeShow.com writes, ?If you want your business to thrive, you must promote it. And since you probably are your business, you must promote yourself.?

Let's face it. Who truly cares more about the success of your business more than yourself? If you are a business owner, you have no other choice but to ensure that you are at the top of your promotion game in order to secure your company's stability and long-term success.

In her article, ?Promoting Your Small Business?, Brennan offers up a number of useful and unique tips to business owners who are looking to position themselves ?ahead of the pack?. Her advice is mainly directed towards those who possess somewhat introverted personalities and may made need a helpful push in right direction.

One of her very important pieces of advice she gives is the insistence that entrepreneurs learn to network. Perhaps, you weren't necessarily a people person growing up. Now that you own a business and need to promote, it's important to learn really quickly how to communicate with others.

?When you attend a function,? writes Brennan, ?Behave as though you're hosting the party; if someone looks alone and shy, introduce yourself and ask about his or her line of work. By putting another person at ease, you'll feel more comfortable yourself. You'll fit in, and you'll be remembered with appreciation.?

Brennan also suggests that you learn to accept compliments. Intertestingly, this seemingly easy task is not something that many people handle well. She notes that if you negate a compliment, it may be construed as rude or hurtful to the person who offered it. Be graceful, she recommends, as a simple smile and ?thank you? can help to develop a lucrative relationship that you may have otherwise lost.

Never say ?just?, insists Brennan. Citing a former associate who would call her up and say ?It's just Pat?, she is reminded of someone who made himself appear unimportant with this self-effacing word. Respect yourself and others will follow suit in respecting you as well.

Perhaps Brennan's most valuable tip is to understand the differences between advertising and publicity. She writes: ?Advertising is direct communication between you and your potential customers… Publicity is attention you attract by participating in your community.? Using both to effectively market your brand will have you out in front of your competition.

Of her many tips, our favourite is ?Do what you love. The money will follow.? After all, if you don't enjoy what you do, then why do it? We are confident that utlizing all of these tips will help you to love what you do that much more.

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23 Feb

Practical Items Make Best Promo Gifts

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 23.02.10 by John Meloche

We have been well aware for a long time now that promotional gifts do wonders for businesses all across Canada and the United States. Dan Toombs, the Managing Director of CompuGift Limited, has found quite the same success for his promotional gift business in the United Kingdom. Toombs agrees that the promo gift is the ideal alternative to expensive advertising practices that most small business owners cannot generally afford.

In a recent article on EzineArticles.com, Toombs was gracious in sharing his expertise with entrepreneurs who may not yet know what promo gifts would work best for their businesses. He presents his top ideas as to what gifts work best, especially for those business owners who are looking to spread the word about their companies around their respective towns.

His first choice is no big surprise. Toombs considers promotional pens to be ideal as they are available in every price bracket. His recommendation is to invest into a number of good quality plastic pens. Don't go too cheap, he says. You want to ensure that the pens write well so that people will use them often.

Writes Toombs: ?By offering printed pens with your logo and contact details to your customers, you are giving them a product they need often and will use. Each time they do, they will see your details. If budget permits, it may also be a good idea to purchase a small quantity of executive metal gift pens to give on occasion to your key customers.?

Promotional mugs are another of Toombs' favourites. He notes that they are among the biggest selling promo gifts throughout the world. They are great marketing tools for those in your community, as opposed to sending them out through post which can be somewhat difficult, if not expensive.

As Toombs points out, ?Almost everyone takes a coffee or tea break during the day. If they are using your mug, they will be reintroduced to you each time they do.? Mugs are evidently quite practical as they are used so often by so many people. The practical use of an item is always something to heavily consider when deciding what item may be right for your business.

As a result, key chains ? or what Toombs refers to as ?keyrings? – always make great promo gifts. These items, of course, become attached to someone's house, business and car by virtue of their simple function of holding and keeping keys together.

Says Toombs: ?By offering your customers good quality plastic or metal promotional keyrings, you can rest assured that your details will be with them every day wherever they may travel.?

We encourage you to peruse this very website to find out which promo item would be best for your business. Don't forget that we have The Great 2010 Calendar Giveaway still going on with both pens and key chains as part of the promotion.

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19 Feb

Oprah Loves Canadian Olympic Mittens

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 19.02.10 by John Meloche

You know the term, ?any publicity is good publicity?? Well that may be true. However, the following is most certainly even more accurate: ?Oprah's publicity is the best publicity?!

In case you weren't aware of the marketing power held by America's most popular TV show host for the past several decades, just ask Canada's Hudson's Bay Company and they'll tell you that Oprah Winfrey rules!

With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, HBC unveiled the very patriotic red mittens with a white maple leaf on the palm for any and all customers to use to keep warm while supporting their favourite athletes. This past week, Oprah Winfrey decided to sport a pair of the popular mittens as well as give out a pair to each member of her audience.

As Tamsyn Burgmann of The Canadian Press reports today, this gesture has made these already-popular Canadian items the very hottest item going right now. Writes Burgmann: ?If they were hand-wringingly hard to get before, now that Oprah Winfrey has gotten her paws on them it'll be next to impossible.?

NBC journalist and co-host of ?The Today Show?, Matt Lauer joined Oprah on her show via satellite this past week and had this to say to her: ?Nobody can get a hold of these red Canadian mittens and we have scoured the entire country to find one pair for you…And you open the show wearing the darn things.?

If you can find a pair at any of HBC's stores including The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters, they should only cost you about ten dollars. But good luck finding any available pairs. Writes Burgmann: ?The retailer stocked store shelves across the country with three million pairs of mittens, and two million of them sold even before the Winter Games began a week ago.?

Now with Oprah's endorsement, one can only imagine how many more pairs of the mittens have been flying off of the shelves. Apparently, the famed talk show host noticed an audience member wearing the mittens last week, prompting her to order some. HBC ended up sending her 300 pairs.

And although most Canadians find Oprah's praising of the popular Canadian product a welcome delight, some are not so quick to be so generous to fans of her show south of the border. Burgmann points out that one Canadian had a Twitter post expressing his angered sentiments about Oprah's mitten giveaway.

Said the ?tweet?: ?I don't think anyone in Oprah's audience should get red maple-leaf Olympic mittens unless they can find Canada on a map first.? Nevertheless, Canadians are making their marks, not only on the podium, but on the hands of millions watching the Olympics this year.

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19 Feb

Canada Continues To Go For Gold

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 19.02.10 by John Meloche

Looking to promote your business? Why wouldn't you? If you're currently in Vancouver, British Columbia, you won't have a hard time bumping into people that you can introduce your business to. Probably the best way to do so is to ensure that you are wearing a big red maple leaf somewhere on your person as Canadian fans are coming out in droves to support the many athletes who are so proudly representing the nation.

Now would be a great time to hand out your promo gifts to the many people you could be meeting on the streets and at the events in Vancouver. It is a great time to be Canadian as Canada is not only hosting the Games but is doing a pretty good job of competing at them as well.

Just this past Monday, we reported Canada's first-ever gold medal at the Winter Games won on Canadian soil. Just a few days later, Canada's gold medal count is at three, making it seven medals in total so far with three silvers and one bronze. The most recent Canadian to make it to the podium is long track speed skater Christine Nesbitt of London, Ontario.

Earlier today, Nesbitt captured the gold medal in her 1,000 metre race. Interestingly, in an interview with CTV, she claimed to not feel confident about her chances when the race started. “Today really I didn't have a great race, physically I could feel I wasn't skating well. But I just kept going until the end and it paid off,? she said, ?The first 600 meters wasn't good. It happened to me before, but in the last leg I kept fighting and I knew it paid off.?

Kristina Groves, who has already scored a bronze medal in the 3,000 metre race just missed the podium with her fourth place finish in today's 1,000 metre final. Evidently, Canada's gold rush is on. With so many more days left in the Olympics and so many events yet to be completed, this year's Games may represent Canada's greatest showing ever.

Chances are, it's going to continue to be quite loud in Vancouver. Each day, as part of the city's tradition, the first four notes of ?O Canada? are played at noon by giant air horns that sit atop the famed Canada Place. These days, however, these four notes are played each time a Canadian wins a medal at the Olympic Games.

The Toronto Star's Jim Byers explains the origin of this national landmark: ?The Heritage Horns, as they are known, were built as a B.C. Hydro Canadian Centennial project in 1967 and designed by engineer and sound specialist, Robert Swanson. They used to be sounded on the roof of the BC Hydro Building, but fell silent when the company left the building in the 1990s.?

?Canada Place Corporation, site of Expo ?86, acquired and refurbished the horns, and placed them on the roof of the Pan Pacific Hotel. On November 8, 1994, the familiar sounding of the horns returned to Vancouver at noon, just in time for lunch,? writes Byers.

Of course, while the entire nation may not be able to hear these horns, there is hope that they will blare often throughout the Olympic Games. Go Canada!

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18 Feb

Maintain Strong Promotional Practices

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 18.02.10 by John Meloche

Always willing to lend a helping hand to business owners everywhere, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog has been your one-stop source for everything entertaining and informative in the modern business world for months now. Since its inception in October of 2009, this blog has researched various entrepreneurs and other business experts online to bring to you the best in marketing and promotion advice.

Today, we take it back to December of 2001 just to prove to you that steady and smart advertising of your business will last for years. About a decade ago, British web designer Adrian Thompson began designing websites at a time when the technology was becoming increasingly popular. Today, it is hard to find a company without a website. So his advice on how to promote your business online can be very useful for any business owner.

Firstly, Thompson advises that you get listed. By getting your company into business directories, yellow pages and local business websites, you will expose your company to a widespread customer base. In many cases, getting these listings are free.

As he writes: ?Many of these will list your company for free, though some might require you to pay a small fee. This type of promotion is well worth the time and investment, as most people consult these publications when looking for a designer, plumber, electrician etc. You see the point.?

Furthermore, Thompson insists that ?it's now what you know, it's who you know.? Building up your list of contacts is essential to increasing your business. Word of mouth promotion can go a long way. So making as many connections as possible should always be a part of your plan.

Of course, Thompson advocates advertising but believes that big spending on billboards and the sides of buses won't necessarily be your best bets. He encourages owners to work within their communities through lesser expensive avenues like placing ads in local newspapers to target audiences in your area. Take time to research these publications though, so that you know which ones best suit your company's brand before committing to anything.

One of the pieces of advice that Thompson offers that we most like is the offering up of free promotional gifts. Says Thompson: ?Invest in some branded mouse-mats, pens, coasters etc to promote your business. Try to aim for items that executives would keep on their desks. Desk calendars are especially good for this purpose because they'll be in use for a whole year if you're lucky, and cardboard ones are fairly inexpensive.?

One of the advantages of providing promo items to clients over traditional business cards is that they are more likely to be kept in and in open view. Business cards, of course, are often placed in a wallet, desk drawer or even discarded.

Obviously, developing personal relationships with your customer base is always important. Interacting with them on a personal level is a great way to keep your clients loyal. Simple thank you cards can often make an impression that will last a lifetime. Implementing some or all of these tips will surely have a positive impact on your business. You can thank us later.

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16 Feb

Blogging Is The Best

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 16.02.10 by John Meloche

In the many conversations that our amazing staff have here at Synergy Marketing Consultants, we discover that there are a ton of business owners out there who are looking for relatively cheap methods of promoting their businesses. And why wouldn't they? It makes good sense to illuminate your brand in as best a light as possible…without having to worry about paying a hefty electricity bill while doing it.

Oddly enough, we receive a lot of website traffic thanks in part to this very blog. And since we take the time to update it ourselves, it basically provides us with one of the most cost-effective methods of keeping our business on the minds of clients everywhere. Blogging is fun, effective and not at all costly.

The very fact that you are reading this helps to prove our point. But you don't just have to take our word for it. Amber Singleton Riviere of WebWorkerDaily.com believes strongly in the use of regularly updated website content as a means of effective marketing and promoting of a business.

Riviere, in fact, admits that writing is her ?single greatest lead generation strategy.? Through her own blogs, she is able to effectively communicate to her readers to generate interest in her business. Her writing also allows her to filter and screen potential clients by opening them up to her personality and working style.

In addition, the more content she writes, the more often that potential clients will be able to locate her in their search engines. This is especially important in her line of work although the same effectiveness of online communication can be enjoyed by any industry. She writes: ?As a web worker, I can?t imagine being able to build an online business without writing and publishing content on a regular basis.?

For some businesses, taking it to the next level may be appropriate. Riviere also recommends that businesses create and maintain a high quality video blog or podcast. Now although this doesn't necessarily apply to all business types, she admits that ?if you?re only producing one type of media, you?re missing out on a large group of potential customers and clients.?

Says Riviere: ?Although it can seem intimidating at first, audio and video content can actually be easier to produce than written content. Start off slowly by committing to one podcast or video blog per month. If you?re able to keep up that schedule with ease, slowly increase your frequency.?

She also advocates the use of a high-quality newsletter. Admitting that some believe that this resource is a ?thing of the past?, Riviere feels that newsletters have proven to be very successful ways to communicate to her clients, as they encourage them to continue doing business with her.

One newsletter a month will do it, she says. Containing a number of articles and recurring sections, these newsletters also may include new promotions or discounts to those who receive them. As a result, she finds that she attains many immediate sign-ups as well as positive feedback about her posts.

These concepts are all effective and all inexpensive. And all it takes is some creativity. Blogging has most definitely helped us. It can help you too.

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15 Feb

Canada Wins First Gold On Home Soil

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 15.02.10 by John Meloche

So far, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver is shaping up to be an excellent one for its host country. In 1988, when the Games were held in Calgary, Alberta, Team Canada was held to only five medals, two of them silver and three bronze. The gold medal drought on home soil had begun. As of today, however, Canada has won three medals in as many days of competition in Vancouver. And one of each colour to boot!

Over the past couple of days, Kristina Groves captured a bronze medal for the 3000m speed skating event while downhill skiier Jennifer Heil picked up a silver medal for the ladies moguls. To cap off the weekend, Alex Bilodeau was victorious in the men's moguls freestyle skiing, capturing Canada's first-ever gold medal on home soil!

As Steve Simmons reported on The Toronto Sun's website today, ?the drought is over?! As we writes, Bilodeau made more than history but he helped to alleviate the pressure on other Canadian athletes attempting to achieve the same feat. Of course, there is great hope that Bilodeau's gold will not be the only one that Canada wins during the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

Simmons referred to the feat as ?enormous? remarking that it adds a great boost to all Canadian athletes who are searching for momentum in an effort to succeed at this year's Games. It should be mentioned, as well, that what makes Bilodeau's gold medal so special is that he beat ?Australian? Dale Begg-Smith to get it.

Referred to as ?creepy? by Simmons, Begg-Smith left his native Vancouver for Australia after having a hand in inventing ?Internet spam?. More importantly, Begg-Smith was favoured to win the event, making his prowess in the sport, in addition to his abandonment of his birth nation even greater reason to revel in Bilodeau's victory.

There is, of course, another 14 full days of competition left at the Winter Olympics leaving the chances for Canada's record medal count to increase significantly. Many are looking towards attaining more medals as some Canadian athletes who have not made it to the podium have still come very close.

All eyes will remain on Canadian athletes, with a special attention being paid to the Canadian hockey team who is looking to make up for the debacle that was their performance in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. In 2002, the team won gold in Salt Lake City.

Canada is already golden this year! Stand up and cheer Canada. as it appears as if the nation is in for one of their best showings at an Olympic Games yet.

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