23 Dec

Holiday Wishes From Us To You

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.12.10 by John Meloche

Sometimes the staff at Synergy Marketing Consultants can be a wild bunch! We’re sure that further evidence to this fact will be presented tonight at our annual Christmas party. We can’t help it. We simply enjoy having a good time. In fact, our youthful exuberance is generally expressed and shared all year round!

Our clients often tell our staff members that our energy and enthusiasm is what helps to set Synergy apart from our competition. Well…that and the superior quality of our incredible promotional gifts! With today’s blog being the last one of the year, we would like to take this opportunity to pass along one last gift to all of our colleagues and clients.

Of course, we are in the business of providing gifts all throughout the year. But we would like to wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of new years. It’s been awesome building relationships with our clients over the past year. Here are some holiday wishes from a few amazing members of our team:

“Have an awesome holiday season. It’s all about friends and family. The more you have, the more you go broke! No actually, it’s great to be able to spend more time with the people you love. Eat lots and have fun. The Christmas season really helps you to remember how many people you have in your life that mean so much to you.”

“Happy Holidays to all of our clients. It’s been great working with you over the past year. We truly hope that our promo products are giving your business the boost that they always have in previous years. Here’s to more success and prosperity in the new year. Merry Christmas everyone! Now, can we get to this party, or what?”

“It is not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you. Forget about the business outlook, be on the outlook for business.”

“Have a holly, jolly Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing some members of my family that I haven’t seen in a while. But I’m also thinking of those less fortunate who may not have the ability to either spend time with loved ones or afford to give gifts. I hope we all remember, this holiday season, to spread the cheer to those who you don’t know as well.”

“It’s been an awesome year. Hopefully this will be a great holiday season for everybody. I know we all deserve it here at Synergy. We’ve all worked very hard. Our clients are the best. I wish them all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Congratulations on investing into your company’s future. We look forward to talking to you all again soon.”

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22 Dec

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Posted in News on 22.12.10 by John Meloche

It’s been no secret that we, here at Synergy, have been a bit surprised by all of the snowfall in Toronto this past month. As we have mentioned in previous blogs, Torontonians have been getting used to waiting for the new year before the ground is covered in white. In fact, yesterday Pat Hewitt of The Canadian Press wrote that “Toronto has had a 47 per cent chance of a white Christmas over the past 55 years.”

So those Torontonians who have been dreaming of a white Christmas for the past several years, the wait is finally over. Hewitt also notes, however, that not all of Canada will be experiencing the same type of Christmas this weekend. If you live on either the far west or far east of Canada, there will be no snow for you.

Hewitt writes that Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips anticipates no snow for British Columbia or the Maritime provinces this weekend. On Canada’s east coast, a big rain storm is actually on the menu. Doesn’t sound very ‘Christmasy’ does it? With the lone exception of central New Brunswick, the Maritimes are almost certain to not receive a white Christmas.

“There’s just no chance for a white Christmas in Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, St. John’s and Corner Brook, N.L.,” writes Hewitt. Adds Phillips: “It’s unfortunate with all of this triple whammy, these three storms they’ve had in December. You would think that nature would have at least given them a break by giving them a white Christmas.”

Most of B.C. will also be without a white Christmas. This, however, isn’t a big surprise to the province’s residents as it has only had an 11 per cent chance of getting snow at this time of year for the past 55 years. Vancouver and Victoria, have especially been known for their mild winter temperatures.

And while there is already snow on the ground back in Toronto, it is not expected to see any further snowfall between today and Saturday. In fact, Phillips thinks that it may “be a little tricky in the Toronto area” as snow can sometimes disappear through evaporation. However, with temperatures just below freezing expected over the next few days, this isn’t likely to happen.

Two other cities in Ontario, London and Sarnia, are guaranteed a white Christmas this year. Hewitt writes that it just might be the “whitest Christmas ever” in those cities as there are nearly 50 centimetres of snow covering both towns. Last week, in fact, hundreds of motorists were stranded on Highway 402 due to massive snowfall.

On behalf of the entire Synergy Marketing Consultants staff, wherever in the country you may be, we wish you a very Merry Christmas…no matter the colour!

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21 Dec

Winter Solstice Brings Rare Lunar Eclipse

Posted in News on 21.12.10 by John Meloche

As cold as it is throughout the country, it’s hard to believe that today is the first official day of winter! How many more months of this do we have again? Here in Toronto, where Synergy Marketing Consultants is headquartered, there has been snow on the ground for well over the past week.

In recent years, Torontonians have become accustomed to waiting until the new year for the snow to arrive. Today being the first day of winter isn’t the big news, however. As Peter Rakobowchuk of The Canadian Press reports today, a total lunar eclipse took place early this morning. According to NASA, this is the first lunar eclipse to take place on a winter solstice since 1638!

As Wikipedia.org describes it, a lunar eclipse “occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon.” Also, “Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.”

Therefore, people all over Canada were able to take in the lunar eclipse late last night. Having no direct sunlight shine on the moon, it took on a deep red and brownish colour. In Toronto, reports Rakobowchuk, the sky was pretty clear for all to see the lunar eclipse. King Edward hotel employee, Andrew Scott remarked that “it looked really cool.”

Calgarians weren’t so lucky. Across the country in Alberta, the skies were so cloudy in some areas that some eclipse watchers unfortunately didn’t see as much as they would have liked. Montreal skygazers had a similar experience. “I had a thick cloud deck to deal with, but even with the cloud, I was able to see the first part of the eclipse,” Andrew Fazekas, astronomy correspondent for The Weather Network and National Geographic, told The Canadian Press.

Fazekas noted that the extremely rare winter solstice lunar eclipse captured the attention of many Canadians. He spent a good portion of his evening communicating with his Facebook friends about it. “People love to hear what other people are seeing (and) are really keen on hearing observational reports from people who do have clear skies,” he pointed out.

The president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Mary Lou Whitehorne added that the next lunar eclipse that is expected to be visible in Canada will take place nearly a year from now on December 10, 2011. “You can have as many as five lunar eclipses a year in Canada,” she said, “Generally it’s two that are nicely visible.”

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20 Dec

Tips For Last Minute Shoppers

Posted in Uncategorized on 20.12.10 by John Meloche

Christmas comes this weekend. Are you prepared? A lot of people have already completed their holiday shopping. Meanwhile, the malls are still packed to the brim with shoppers. What does that mean? Evidently, not everybody has completed their shopping yet. In fact, many of the reps here at Synergy Marketing Consultants haven’t even started yet!

Busy at work, speaking to business owners in order to get their promotional gifts to them before Christmas, some of our staff members have forgotten how quick time can fly. “I can’t believe we’re a week away already!” exclaimed one of our surprised reps, “I better hit the mall pretty quick, I have a lot of people to shop for.”

There are, of course, a number of ways to escape the long line ups in the malls. Shopping online is an increasingly popular way to go through your Christmas list without having to leave the comfort of your own home. However, with Christmas less than a week away, it is doubtful that any thing you order will arrive in time for the big day.

“Get someone to do the shopping for you!” suggested another one of our staff members. “My sister loves shopping,” he continued, “so every year I give her my list of things to buy and the money to do it. Either that or I’ll reimburse her when she’s through. The only person I have to shop for is her. I don’t let her buy her own gifts!”

Not a bad idea if you’re not the shopping mall type. If you’re a last minute shopper, you may want to go the easy route and pick up some gift cards. As good as these simple gifts can be, they may, however, highlight your inability to get to the mall in time to get your loved ones gifts that they would really appreciate.

Sometimes, though, gift certificates that one can use for an experience rather than a product, make the best presents. “I take my parents out every year,” revealed another one of our reps. “They’re getting older and don’t do a whole lot on their own. I also don’t get to see them too much. So when they unwrap a restaurant gift card, they know that it comes with an evening out with their son.”

After all, that’s what the holiday season is really all about, isn’t it? Sharing and spending time with your family and friends are what really make this time of year so special. So if you haven’t done your shopping yet, be sure to consider the ways that you can show your loved ones that they are truly loved this Christmas!

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17 Dec

Succeed Through The Spirit Of Giving

Posted in Promotional Products on 17.12.10 by John Meloche

Time is running out. Christmas is almost here. The holidays are well on their way. You only have one more week to get those promotional products into the hands of those customers that are rushing into your store to buy gifts. Well, to be honest, there really is no time limit on gift-giving, but wouldn’t it be nice to do so while the shopping season is at its peak?

All month, our amazing Synergy reps have been excitedly promoting our various promotional gifts to business owners all over Canada. Knowing that December is obviously the busiest shopping month of the year, we encourage our clients to make sure that each of their customers leave with a little “something extra”.

The key, of course, is to promote repeat business. You want to leave each of your clients with a feeling of warmth and satisfaction that will make them each want to come back into your store well after the holidays are complete. This has always been the chief purpose of giving out promotional gifts.

Since we are right in the middle of the season of giving, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not being a Scrooge! One of our reps recently told the rest of her team about a client who couldn’t be happier that he began handing out promo gifts during the holiday season.

Last year, he picked up our Christmas Card & CD combo and began handing them out to customers in his electronics store. Usually these cards are sent out as mailers to regular customers, but this store owner thought it to be a good idea to give them out to his new customers.

Establishing these new relationships, he thought, would be a good way to grow his customer base. Considering that many of his customers were buying CD and DVD players anyways, the card and CD gift went perfectly with each of the customers’ purchases. Naturally, he ordered more this year knowing that his customers base will continue to grow as a result.

Especially since its the holidays, people are generally in an extra good mood. Receiving the Christmas Card & CD from someone who will be considered a “former stranger” will make customers feel the true spirit of the season. Of course, this store owner is seeing greater success because of his generous deeds, as well. Shouldn’t you?

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16 Dec

Canadians In The Spirit To Spend

Posted in News on 16.12.10 by John Meloche

To spend or not to spend? That is the question. The answer, apparently, is to spend. At least, that’s what a recent Scotiabank study suggests. According to QMI Agency, Canadians are more likely to increase their spending on Christmas shopping this holiday season.

Last year, a Harris/Decima survey found that Canadians were spending an average of about $891 on gifts which was an increase from $884 the year before. This year, however, it appears as if Canadians will be spending upwards of $968 each. Apparently, Santa Claus (or his generous qualities, at least) is back with a vengeance after the recession ravaged the national economy.

Perhaps, this is a welcome sign for both the nation’s financial status as well as the hearts and minds of Canadians everywhere. Clearly, the global economic downturn brought about hard times for many people. With more people showing signs that gift-giving is back to being all the rage, it signifies a victory over these hardships.

Said Scotiabank deputy chief economist, Aron Gampel, “For the most part, Canadians appear to be happy shoppers this holiday season…And though concerns have mounted over the continuing run-up in household indebtedness, the survey indicates the responsiveness of Canadians to manage their finances and spend more responsibly.”

Of course, this all comes as great news for retailers. Previous studies had surmised that spending would actually be down this holiday season. According to the QMI report, the consumer research group, TNS predicted that holiday spending this year would drop to its lowest level in five years.

Gampel sites “stable employment, strong output in commodity-producing regions of the country and a strong housing market” as factors as to why the opposite is true. Proper budgeting would also have to account for the consumer confidence that has grown in Canada over the past year.

The new Harris/Decima survey found that almost 50% of its respondents believed that they had saved enough money to cover the cost of gifts as well as their other expenses. Albertans were found to be the biggest spenders at $1388 per person compared to Quebecers, who are spending the least, at $776 each.

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15 Dec

Halt Holiday Overeating

Posted in Uncategorized on 15.12.10 by John Meloche

“Eat and be merry!” This is a phrase often heeded during the holiday season as parties celebrating the wonderment of the season become the norm. In fact, Christmas parties and other festive get-togethers are what some people cite as their favourite things about the holiday season. Never without a wealth of snacks, filling meals and of course, desserts, these parties can certainly help pack on the pounds.

Today, a number of our reps were speaking about last night’s finale of “The Biggest Loser”. The reality show puts overweight contestants through rigorous workouts and diet routines that help them to lose a significant amount of weight. It has been very inspirational to the majority of its viewers.

So in keeping with the will to be healthy, we would like to offer some tips as to how you can avoid becoming the biggest ‘gainer’ over the holiday season. WeightLossForAll.com insists that while the holidays can be a great time of joy, they don’t have to be seen as opportunities to gorge yourself!

No doubt, there will be plenty of opportunities to fill up at the many events that you will be invited to this holiday season. WeightLossForAll.com suggests a number of tips that will help you not enter the new year with a new, expanded waistline. “Eat at home” is the first tip. According to the site, eating proper meals at home will help deter overeating at holiday parties.

Essentially, this will ensure that you don’t go into your holiday party hungry. “Have a snack” suggests the website. This is a great way to help you avoid cravings. Especially when you have a healthy, filling snack that is high in fiber and protein, you will ensure that your party will be enjoyed without gaining any extra weight due to unnecessary and unhealthy snacking.

“Rest while you eat” says WeightLossForAll.com. When you’re at a party, it makes sense to socialize. Often, this is done while standing and conversing with several people at a time. However, it is advisable to sit down and rest while you are eating instead of being on your feet. When you are not in mid-conversation, you will eat more slowly, unworried about resuming talking and inevitably eating more.

“Socializing more” is, in fact, another tip provided by the weight loss website: “At any holiday party, try to socialize more with your family and friends. You can bring up a wide range of topics that have nothing to do with food in order to take your mind off the food offered. The more you talk, the less you’ll eat.”

Finally, “opt for water”. Since alcoholic drinks and sugar-loaded beverages are the norm at holiday parties, you’ll want to do your part to avoid these. Consuming sugar makes you crave it even more. Alcohol has the same effect. Water, however, is both a healthy and filling alternative. So eat and be merry this holiday season. But do so wisely and have yourself a healthy new year!

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14 Dec

Folks Face Firing From Facebook Faux Pas

Posted in News on 14.12.10 by John Meloche

The holidays are almost here. Most businesses throughout Canada are set to take a break in just a little over a week from now to prepare for Christmas. In the meantime, people are still hard at work. Well…most people. Some workers, however, are taking time away from the job to peruse the internet.

Facebook, as we all are coming to know, is one of the most popular websites on the world wide web. So popular, in fact, that the social networking site is often logged into by employees while on the job. Even worse than taking time away from work to chat with friends and update statuses though, is what some people are actually posting.

Last Friday, The Canadian Press released a report detailing a new phenomenon in the world of work that is seeing employees lose their jobs due to things that they have written on Facebook. The article notes that two workers at a car dealership in British Columbia were out of jobs after writing about their employer and managers on Facebook.

Perhaps, it’s not the brightest thing in the world to vent your frustrations about your employers on a site that everyone seemingly has an account with. The “Facebook firing” is apparently the first one on record in Canada. Evidently, there have been job losses in other countries where Facebook is all the rage.

It’s hard to argue that these two employees deserved to keep their jobs after bashing their bosses. According to The Canadian Press article, “the two employees left few defamatory stones unturned. One or the other slagged their employer, accusing the business of being crooked…and mused about committing acts of violence against them.”

Adding insult to injury, some of the insulting posts were made using computers from the workplace! Not to mention, one of the managers in question was a Facebook “friend” of one of the two employees. Does the point need to be made that making any unfavorable remark about your boss online is NOT a good idea?

These days, what one says on Facebook is often perceived as a person’s true feelings. A status update is generally regarded as a genuine declaration of one’s opinion or personal mood at any given time. The fact that the degrading remarks were made on Facebook, then, can be regarded as being as disrespectful as saying them to one’s face.

Said Randall Craig, a consultant and author of the recently released “Social Media for Business”: “Facebook just does what it’s supposed to do. It broadcasts what you’re thinking to your network. In this case, there’s hundreds and hundreds of people. It’s not just a case of a bunch of guys sitting at a table in a bar.”

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13 Dec

Toronto Hit With Extreme Cold Alert

Posted in News on 13.12.10 by John Meloche

Synergy Marketing Consultants proudly boasts numerous relationships with business owners all over Canada. With that being the case, it’s not uncommon for one of our reps to get into an age-old “how’s the weather out there?” conversation with one of our esteemed clients.

Just as uncommon is for many of the responses to include “freezing”, “icy” and “snowy” as adjectives to describe the weather across Canada during the winter. Not excluded from frosty winter conditions, Toronto and the rest of the Southern Ontario region are used to having their extreme cold hit closer to the new year.

Well, this is not the case this year! Hey, we love chatting with our clients nationwide, but that doesn’t mean we want to share their wintery weather conditions with all of them. And with the wind whipping around Toronto tonight, the city has issued an extreme cold weather alert. Needless to say, it’s time to heavily bundle up or just stay inside.

According to Jaime Pulfer of 680News.com, the City of Toronto has also added additional support services to assist homeless people with getting in out of the cold. Most Toronto residents are well aware that when it’s freezing outside, the obvious thing to do is to get indoors. But what exactly constitutes an extreme cold weather alert?

Pulfer explains that this takes place when Environment Canada “predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill,issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area, and/or predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature.”

Just how cold is it in Toronto today? Pulfer notes that it is, in fact, so cold that “the CAA has been flooded with calls for battery boosts.” Said CAA spokesperson Silvana Aceto: “It’s going to be a particular busy week for us, and that means that we’re going to have all hands on deck to make sure that we can service all of our members in all regions.”

What’s lost in all of this is that somehow, it isn’t officially the winter season yet! 680News meteorologist, Jill Taylor notes that although this week marks the last official full week of autumn, Toronto will be hit with its coldest air since last winter. Said Taylor: “Big drop in the temperatures, a lot colder, and a very cold wind. So, last week, yes, we did have that extreme cold weather alert, but it was barely for one day.”

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10 Dec

Advertise During The Holidays

Posted in Uncategorized on 10.12.10 by John Meloche

During the holidays, business owners everywhere are experiencing their highest sales of the year. Some may even take for granted that customers are bound to head into their stores in droves. And while sales should certainly increase during this time of year, there is definitely no reason why entrepreneurs should lay off of advertising.

The idea that one may not “need” to advertise his or her business during the holidays is one that should be quickly dispensed! In fact, the opposite approach, should be practiced. As Joshua Bailey of eHow.com writes, “In order to boost your sales and profit, you need to advertise in a way that will give your company an advantage over others.”

Advertising, continues Bailey, is a key reason that consumers will buy your products. The holiday season, especially is a time when shoppers are carefully considering how to spend their hard-earned money. The better your advertising, the more opportunities you will present for your business to draw in customers.

Bailey recommends that Christmas-themed advertisements should be released around the end of October. It is around this time that many consumers begin thinking about what they plan to buy as gifts to celebrate the holidays. Bailey also recommends that you make your Christmas advertisements stand out.

His advice echoes something that Synergy Marketing Consultants has long believed in. Writes Bailey: “To be different, set up an account online or even a personal blog. Make sure you are repetitive with your company’s name so consumers can replay it in their minds.”

“The Internet plays a huge part in consumer buying these days,” he continues, “so chances are people will start there before even leaving the house. It is easy and simple for people to do, and if you are one of the companies who has put effort into this realm of advertisement, your ad has a higher chance of being seen.”

Bailey even suggests using Santa Claus himself to lure people into your store. Based on his advice, it doesn’t seem as if there is any copyright on the image. So if Santa can give an endorsement to your product, you may want to consider utilizing the big man’s rapport with the buying public!

As well, be sure to grab the attention of your customers by offering them money-saving discounts. There is nothing a shopper likes better than the feeling that a good deal has been received. Free shipping, for example, is always a popular idea. Finally, Bailey reminds you to keep the advertisements going. Remember, you can continue to profit well after the Christmas season is over.

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