30 Sep

Magical Marketing: The Power Of Promo Gifts

Posted in Promotional Products on 30.09.10 by John Meloche

Synergy Marketing Consultants prides itself on providing business owners with absolutely the best promotional items and corporate gifts available. Selecting the appropriate promo item for your business is the first step to help your company expand its reach. However, the ways in which you utilize that promo item are what will truly boost the recognition of your brand.

As John Demalos writes on EzineArticles.com, “promoting the name of your business and spreading the word about it to your prospective clients or customers is not an easy task.” There are a variety of advertising methods that your business can employ to grow your customer base. Some of them can be pretty pricey.

However, as Demalos continues, “promotional items will help you reach out to your clients while having the opportunity to advertise yourself or your business name to them effectively.” Not only do promotional items help get your company name and contact information directly into the hands of more potential clients, but they are relatively inexpensive marketing devices.

He notes the one of the best advantages of using promotional items as marketing tools is the high retention level of the items. Because these gifts are meant to be both kept and used often, they help for your clients to remember you. Demalos lists promotional pens and mugs as two examples of useful items that will have long-lasting effects.

Of course, these items can be used often and kept for a long time. Always having your business name and information readily available to your clients will ensure that your company is the first one thought of when your product or service is needed. The more handy and useful your promotional item is, the more effective it is.

Essentially, your promo gifts work to advertise your business on a daily basis. As Demalos mentions, this form of constant promotion comes with no additional costs after the item is purchased. Strangely, promo gifts are the type of gifts that keep on giving…to you! The fact that they are so cost-effective is an obvious added bonus.

The biggest difference between promo items and other forms of advertising is that they are not easily dispensable. Television commercials appear and then vanish within thirty seconds. Promotional gifts, on the other hand, have that much-needed staying power. Says Demalos: “I can assure you that none of these things will end up in the garbage can as to the reason that they can be of great use to people.”

As a result, the effects of this type of marketing can certainly be “magical”. We will continue to explore this topic in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Magical Marketing: The Power Of Promo Gifts

29 Sep

Cito’s Last Stand

Posted in News on 29.09.10 by John Meloche

Tonight marks a monumental moment in Toronto sports. The beloved manager of the Toronto Blue Jays for twelve seasons, Cito Gaston, will officially manage his last game. Having managed the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993, Gaston will be remembered as one of Toronto’s most successful sports figures.

For many young Torontonians, no home town major sports team has won a championship during their lifetimes. Cito Gaston, however, has helped for this to be the case for anyone older than 17. Tonight’s game will mark the end of Gaston’s second stint as Blue Jays manager but not a complete departure from the team as he will stay on with the organization in an advisor role.

It just won’t be the same, though. One of our Synergy team members recalls his excitement as a youngster when the Jays first won the World Series. “Next to winning hockey gold medals in the Olympics, that win had to be the best sports moment in my lifetime,” he excitedly exclaimed, “Toronto was made a championship city, thanks in large part to Cito Gaston.”

And while the Jays have not seen the same success as their teams from the late eighties and early nineties, Cito Gaston’s presence in the Blue Jays organization over the past couple of seasons has kept fans exciting about the team. There is a feeling that Cito is more than a manager, to many Toronto sports fans. He is more like a family member.

Gaston shared this sentiment in a letter to Toronto Blue Jays fans printed in today’s edition of The Toronto Star. “I call Toronto a second home only because I was born in the States. Deep down I will always consider this city a first home,” he writes, “I still can’t go out to the mound, taking a pitcher out or leaving him in unless people are yelling their support at me.”

Toronto loves Cito. And Cito loves Toronto back. It’s one of, what seems like, the very few great sports stories in the city’s recent history. So after the Toronto Blue Jays take on the playoff-headed, defending World Series champion New York Yankees tonight, Toronto will be departing with one of its most beloved family members.

“I wanted to tell you how I feel about you as Blue Jays’ fans and the city of Toronto,” writes Gaston in his letter, “You have been great to me here and I will always appreciate your support and will always thank you. Without the fans we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we did. Many of you have become my friends.”

Undoubtedly, things will be different in the clubhouse during next year’s Blue Jays season. It is unknown who will be taking over at the helm as the new manager, but fans are certainly hoping that whoever it is will help the team return to its status as a contender for the World Series championship.

We’ll miss you Cito!

Comments Off on Cito’s Last Stand

28 Sep

Promo Gifts Pack A Punch

Posted in News on 28.09.10 by John Meloche

It’s no secret the Synergy Marketing Consultants is a big believer in promoting businesses through promotional gifts. Our numerous clients would agree. But this also appears to be a sentiment that is popular the world over. ArticlesBase.com includes an article that outlines the various benefits of promoting your business with such items.

In fact, the website states that at a 2008 “Promotional Products Association tradeshow, more than 95 percent of business professionals surveyed reported using custom promotional products at their tradeshows and events. Roughly 72 percent of respondents state that promo items are either ‘extremely effective’ or ‘effective’ in accomplishing their goals.”

Printing your company’s name and contact information on merchandise has many great benefits. From increasing your name recognition to attracting new customers, your promo products will spread the word about your business in a positive way. Consider too, that your generous gifts connote goodwill.

Promotional gifts can be an even more powerful advertising tool than you may think. According to ArticlesBase.com: “The Incentive Performance Central completed a 2006 study that found custom promotional products could be used as a stand-alone advertising medium, coming second in ‘information value’ only to television advertising.”

This finding is very telling. Especially considering that television commercials are extremely expensive to both create and run, promo gifts then, may be considered the most cost-effective method of advertising available. As the website also points out, promo products create “at-home reminders”.

Unlike television commercials, which can only be effective if the television is actually on, promo products remain in the possession of the gift recipient and are often kept in the home. Businesses that give out corporate gifts are twice as likely to be contacted by customers compared to companies who do not, according to Promotional Products Association International.

Promo gifts are especially effective when cross-promotional branding is involved. ArticlesBase.com cites logo products that can be worn as example. Sponsoring a baseball team, for instance, helps for your company logo to be worn and seen on a regular basis.

As well, “you can use the popularity of another brand to boost your own popularity, in the same way a testimonial or referral would, and consumers are more willing to trust you with their business,” says the website.

Advertising is not the easiest thing in the world to do. It generally costs a lot of money and requires a good amount of time and effort. Promo gifts make promoting your business both inexpensive and relatively easy. The question is not whether or not to give out promo gifts but which promo gifts are best for your company to give out!

Comments Off on Promo Gifts Pack A Punch

27 Sep

Toronto Great For Business

Posted in News on 27.09.10 by John Meloche

With Toronto being the site of Synergy Marketing Consultants’ headquarters, we often keep our ear to the ground with respect to the business happenings in the city. Today, we’re happy to report that we have apparently chosen a great place to do business in. Not that we weren’t assured of this beforehand, but some interesting news about T.O. was revealed today.

The Toronto Star‘s business reporter Rita Trichur writes that Toronto is the world’s “lowest risk city” for employers. Revealing the findings of a recent study by Aon Consulting’s People Risk Index, Toronto beat out such world class cities as New York, Singapore, London and Montreal for the title.

As Trichur mentions, the study compared 90 cities across the globe on “demographics, education, employment practices and government regulations.” The result: Toronto is “the most desirable city in the world for companies to recruit, hire and transfer employees.”

Among the factors for Toronto and Montreal’s high rankings in this study were “Canada’s low level of corruption, its focus on equal opportunity legislation along with health and retirement benefits” according to the study. Meanwhile, the highest-risk cities for companies include Dhaka, Bangladesh; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Lagos, Nigeria; Karachi, Pakistan; and Tehran, Iran.

Said Rick Payne, the chief research officer of Aon Consulting’s Global Research Centre: “Cities with low risk typically have a government that is transparent, non-confrontational, and deal with employment issues fairly.” However, Trichur notes that even with Toronto topping the charts, the city is at disadvantage due to having a smaller population and talent pool than such U.S. Cities as New York and Los Angeles.

In addition, Toronto and Montreal are “grappling with aging workforces”. So, it remains to be seen for just how long the Canadian cities will remain as high in the “great place to do business” rankings. Canada’s two largest cities pride themselves on being considered global financial services hubs.

Adds Trichur: “Toronto ranked 12th in the latest Global Financial Centres Index and all levels of government are anxious for it to crack the top 10 by 2015.” According to Janet Ecker, the president of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance: “We’ve got talent. It is one of the reasons that we’ve ranked as high as we have on things like the Global Financial Centres Index.”

Comments Off on Toronto Great For Business

24 Sep

Friends And Business Not Always A Good Mix

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.09.10 by John Meloche

One of the most common declarations we hear from our many clients is “never do business with your friends”. Not surprisingly, perhaps, this is a comment we get from many of our own staff members. We all love our friends, of course. They’re great to talk to and share special occasions with.

However, when it comes to either starting up or running a business together, the relationship always seems to change dramatically. This is not to say that friends should never work together. It just appears that, all too often, friendships dissipate when business relationships are initiated.

It isn’t easy to deal with financial matters with someone you know on a personal level. Generally, it is easier to maintain a professional composure when dealing with someone strictly in the working environment. A friend, on the other hand, expects to socialize with you outside of work. So sometimes, this interrupts what a co-worker may really want to say about his or her friend’s performance at work.

Some of our clients have shared their horror stories about working with their friends. One of them disclosed that his friend of over a decade ended up pocketing a large percentage of their joint business’ profits without his knowledge for years. Understandably, when the business shut down, so did the friendship.

On Sitepoint.com, Andrew Neitlich offers some sound advice as it relates to this topic. He writes that you should “be explicit about when you are being a friend/family member and when you are being a business partner/client/vendor. Avoid mixing the two by being (clear).”

Neitlich provides an example of what a conversation should sound like between two friends who work together: “I’m your friend, but right now I’m talking to you as your web designer….”. Good advice, yes. But does this always work? “Not really,” according to some members of the Synergy staff.

“I went into business with a friend once and it was a big mistake,” recalls one of our reps, “Because I owned the business and he worked under me, he started acting out a bit. I guess he was having a hard time not being considered my equal. I didn’t treat him any different than anyone who worked for me, but I guess he expected special treatment. It didn’t work out.”

Neitlich adds a saying that he read on a bus while in Kenya. It is something he advises people to follow if they plan on working with their friends. He notes that this is a country “where family ties and friendships run deep”. Read the sign: “You are my friend, yes.You are my cousin, yes. But in my business, I do not know you.”

Comments Off on Friends And Business Not Always A Good Mix

23 Sep

New Traffic Signal System Coming To Toronto?

Posted in News on 23.09.10 by John Meloche

Anyone who lives in Toronto – where Synergy Marketing Consultants is headquartered – is well aware of the horrific traffic in the city. Driving to and from work everyday is a time-consuming challenge that can really become irritating. Commonly, the city’s major highways including the 401 which runs east and west and the Don Valley Parkway which runs north and south, are jam-packed!

However, for those who are not traveling on the highways, getting from point A to B – especially during rush hour – feels like it takes forever. Many Torontonians have voiced their concerns about the city’s traffic lights as a result. The way some figure it, if the lights actually catered to the traffic flow, instead of trying to control it, it may ease things up a bit on the roads.

Today, Irene Preklet of 680News revealed that these suggestions now have the potential of being met. Apparently, a new and innovative type of signal system is being tested to see if traffic lights can start responding to the traffic on the road to help it move along a little better.

According to Preklet, “researchers in the United States and Europe are proposing a new system where signals respond to traffic instead of trying to control it.” The new system would involve sensors being placed at intersections that have the ability to measure traffic and change the signals when a large volume is approaching.

Faye Lyons is the spokesperson with the Canadian Automobile Association. She told 680News that the new technology would be a welcome innovation in Canada’s largest city. Said Lyons: “Hopefully, we can increase the funding and dedicate some funding into this kind of technology that will improve traffic flow and improve safety on Toronto’s streets.”

Preklet notes that a test pilot for such a traffic system has already been rolled out in Dresden, Germany. It resulted in a reduction in delays for vehicles as well as pedestrians. While this new system may sound like a miracle cure for the woes of the Toronto driver, many readers of 680News’ website expressed skepticism about implementing this technology in the city.

Responded one reader: “For years they have tried their best to stop traffic from moving by any means possible, from bike lanes to roads in disrepair and even programming the traffic computer to maximize red lights. And now someone actually wants us to believe that this is all going to change? Hahhhh!!!”

Others, however, were more enthusiastic about the proposed idea. Said another: “Toronto seems to be light years behind in traffic technology. They are using systems meant for the traffic flow of 30-40 years ago, so any new technology is welcome.” It has not yet been announced if or when this new traffic system will be installed in the streets of Toronto. In the meantime, drivers in the city will be forced to endure the standard long and slow rides to and from their destinations.

Comments Off on New Traffic Signal System Coming To Toronto?

22 Sep

Plan For Safe And Successful Holidays

Posted in Promotional Products on 22.09.10 by John Meloche

Well, it’s officially the first day of autumn. And believe it or not, that means that the holiday season is just around the corner. Undoubtedly, the most sensible part of the year to give out gifts is during the holidays. So if you haven’t been giving your clients and colleagues gifts all year, now is definitely the time to consider what gift would be best for you to pass along.

As well all know, with the holiday season comes a lot of partying, eating and drinking. Unfortunately, this also brings about one of the biggest problems of the year. Drinking and driving, of course, is a combination that should always be avoided. That being said, we are well aware that while many people are enjoying the holiday season, drinking is nearly unavoidable.

Naturally, it makes sense to say safe. And Synergy Marketing Consultants is proud to announce that one of our most special gifts is the kind that is both great for the holiday season and one that helps to keep you safe. The Personal Alcohol Breathalyzer Key Chain with LED is, without question, one of the coolest products that we offer.

As the product description on our website state, it helps for you to always put “safety first”! The breathalyzer key chain is a reusable alcohol limit tester that comes with green, yellow and red light indicators to help you know whether or not it is legally safe for you to be driving. The key chain, which doesn’t require any additional attachments like a mouth piece, is FCC and CE approved!

In addition, the key chain includes 2 AAA batteries as well as a gift box. And as always, there is space for laser engraving of your company’s logo and contact information. This gift is easily one of the most important examples of your generosity that you can show. Obviously, this is a gift that can come in handy time and time again for a worthwhile purpose.

We especially recommend this product to members of the travel industry. This gift is absolutely perfect for taxi drivers, for example. Imagine stepping into a taxi this winter and receiving a gift from the driver. Unheard of, right? Well, we’re sure the impression you give that customer will be one that last a lifetime. Most importantly, we believe that your cab company will be the first one he or she thinks of the next time a ride is needed.

Consider this scenario. A customer enters your cab and you hand him the gift box with the breathalyzer key chain. On the key chain, it reads “Don’t drink and drive, call…” with your company name and number filling in that blank. You have pretty much guaranteed yourself a repeat customer. Not to mention, you’re likely in line for a larger than usual tip by the end of the ride.

The Personal Alcohol Breathalyzer Key Chain with LED sells for just $14.99 each but the cost is reduced on larger orders. To order your key chains, simply click HERE. And be sure to have yourself an excellent holiday season. Even though it isn’t here just yet, we’re sure we’ll be able to help you plan for a successful , enjoyable and safe one.

Comments Off on Plan For Safe And Successful Holidays

21 Sep

Out With Summer In With Fall

Posted in News on 21.09.10 by John Meloche

For many people, September 21st marks a pretty sad day on the yearly calendar. Today is officially the last day of summer. And although it’s a warm and sunny day here in Toronto where Synergy Marketing Consultants is headquartered, we know that the warm and sunny days will soon be gone for several months.

For many others, today is a glorious day as tomorrow is the beginning of the fall season. The changing colours of the leaves, the crispness of the cooler air and the impending Thanksgiving and Halloween festivities makes it a welcome time of year of a lot of people. If you’re a lover of autumn, you’re likely pretty interested in the equinox taking place today as well.

What’s an equinox, you say? Taking place at only two different points of the year – the beginning of fall and the beginning of spring – the equinox is a moment in time “when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator” according to Wikipedia.org.

In many places of the world, today’s equinox is celebrated as a special occasion. As Wikipedia notes, in Iran, the Jashne Mihragan festival is celebrated, in Korea the Chuseok harvest festival is beginning as is the traditional harvest festival in the United Kingdom which is generally celebrated on the Sunday of the full moon closest to today’s date.

For most business owners back in North America, however, the only thing on their minds is the upcoming winter season. Most are preparing for the cold and thinking of ways to promote their businesses during the months when most people would rather stay at home. In Canada, especially, it is joked that there are only two seasons, summer and hockey season!

With that being said, today also marks the beginning of the NHL hockey season. Well, the pre-season is starting, anyway. In Southern Ontario, the battle of the province is all set to kick off with a pre-season game against rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators tonight.

So while many Canadians will be watching the skies, so many others will be watching the ice. We, of course, advise that you get in on the action and check out our hockey schedule pens. They are one of our most popular items during this time of year. We are yet to find anyone who has received this pen that includes the hockey schedules for all six Canadian teams, and not loved them!

As we say “so long” to summer and “hello” to autumn, we hope that you will also say “yes” to promoting your business this fall and winter with a great promotional gift that simply can’t go wrong. We hope you’ve enjoyed the summer. We wish all the best in the coming months.

Comments Off on Out With Summer In With Fall

20 Sep

Google Putting A Halt To Hackers

Posted in News on 20.09.10 by John Meloche

Nearly a month ago, we blogged about search engine giant, Google’s plans to introduce a new “undo” feature. This interesting new gadget would allow e-mailers to retract a potentially damaging e-mail seconds after sending it. A “whoops” button, if you will, this new feature helps to showcase the innovative nature that Google is showcasing to its users.

Perhaps, just as useful, and maybe even more important for those with Gmail accounts, Google is now “making it tougher for computer hackers and other imposters to break into email accounts and other password-protected services.” According to a report published by The Associated Press today, yet another security measure is being put into place for Google account holders.

Introduced earlier today, this new feature will require users to type a six-digit code after their passwords have already been entered. These codes will be sent to users’ mobile phones, says the report. This extra step essentially now makes logging in a two-step process. However, for those wishing to maintain their privacy, the minor hassle may be worthwhile.

Basically, you will now need two passwords to log in to check your Gmail. Apparently, this won’t yet affect the average citizen, however. Writes The Associated Press: “The extra protection initially will be offered to companies and government agencies subscribing to a Google service that provides email and other office applications. Google Inc. also is offering the added security to schools that rely on Google to run their email.”

For those with a regular Gmail account, the new service will be implemented within the next few months. While this new feature sounds like a fairly easy solution to preventing hacking and identity theft, it also brings to light an unfortunate truth. Sadly, it appears as if online scam artists are only growing in numbers.

It seems almost silly that people need new passwords to punch in after punching in their original passwords. But evidently, online crime is only growing. There have been a number of reports lately about the fact that Canadians are getting increasingly concerned about having their identities stolen online.

As well, evidence has shown that more and more people are becoming skeptical about doing any banking on the computer. In spite of all this, the internet is growing in its popularity as an all-inclusive source of taking care of business. Everything from making purchases to paying bills can be done on the world wide web.

Of course, with e-mail and the various social networking websites out there, people are flocking to their computers and smartphones to communicate with just about everyone they know. So, naturally it is important to protect your identity and ensure that no one is hacking into your account. Hopefully, Google’s new feature will be a great success.

Comments Off on Google Putting A Halt To Hackers

17 Sep

Offices Are The Perfect Spaces For Gifts

Posted in Promotional Products on 17.09.10 by John Meloche

There is a large part of the population that works each and every day in an office. This past week, the new season of “The Apprentice” pitted two teams against each other in a task where they had to design a modern office space. Interestingly, by the end of the show, the show’s star Donald Trump was unimpressed by either design.

Naturally, an office needs a number of supplies. Between desks, chairs, computers, printers and so much more, it is essential that your working environment be one that is conducive to productivity. In some cases, it is important to have an open work space so that several members of a team can comfortably work together.

One of Trump’s contentions on the show was with the board room designs that the teams had come up with. They required more chairs and bigger tables, in his opinion. Every office, however, is bound to have the essentials. Pens, paper and mouse pads are pretty much givens for any office you are working in.

That being said, we here at Synergy Marketing Consultants are strongly aware that offices are the perfect places for promotional items to call home. With certain items being essential in the office workspace, providing colleagues and customers with gifts that they may use in the office is an excellent way to keep your company in their minds as often as possible.

We offer a number of items that are essential to the office environment. In the “Desk Top” section of our website, there are a number of incredible gifts that office employees will find most useful, if not amazingly stylish!

One of our favourites is the gold plated letter opener. Very sleek and classy, this letter opener comes in a two piece box set with your company name engraved on it. Available for only $14.99, this item has its price reduced on larger orders. Order the gold plated letter opener HERE.

We also offer the Kressman Torpedo. Perfect for any office desk, the Kressman Torpedo desk set includes a chrome finished metal pen with a holder and sticky note pad. This item also comes in a gift box and of course, will have your company name printed on it. Available for only $9.99, this item also has its price reduced on larger orders. Order the Kressman Torpedo HERE.

Another one of our awesome gifts is the recycled paper pad and recycled paper pen sets. Available in two different varieties, these sets are as useful and convenient as they are environmentally friendly. We encourage you to check out our “Desk Top” section of this website to see which of these items would best promote your business in office spaces everywhere.

Comments Off on Offices Are The Perfect Spaces For Gifts