29 Jul

Sweet Summer Selections

Posted in Promotional Products on 29.07.11 by John Meloche

It might be too late to pick up some of these amazing promotional gifts for tomorrow’s Caribbean Carnival Parade, but it’s certainly not too late to get some for the summer. As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the annual event formerly known as Caribana, is in full swing here in Toronto. It’s known as one of the biggest parties of the year!

Revelers will be in need of water all throughout the day tomorrow. With the humid Toronto heat that has been present for weeks baring down on over a million people, there is sure to be some major hydration requirements taking place. Wouldn’t it be great if all of these masqueraders had water bottles with YOUR company name and logo on them?

The 500ml PC Water Bottle with Ice Stick is the perfect solution! Firstly, these bottles help to keep drinks cold with its freezable ice stick. Secondly, the bottles are made up of BPA-FREE Poly-Carbonate materials so they are both good for the environment and your health. They come in transparent black, blue and red, and of course, allow for a one location imprint to promote your business!

Weather forecasters are calling for sunshine this weekend. The perfect weather for a parade, the sunny skies will also create the perfect opportunity for revelers to use another of our great promotional items. No doubt, many parade-goers will be wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun.

Now wouldn’t it be great if many of these shades included your company’s name on them? In one of our recent blogs from earlier this month, we went over the various sunglasses that we offer our clients here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. We’d just like to remind you to check out the Sunglasses section of our website to grab a hold of some pairs that you think your customers would like best.

Making good use of promotional gifts is the key to building your business’ success. Of course, you could give the gifts to just about anyone. But you want to consider the various ways in which your customers can use your gifts. After all, the more the gifts are used the more your company is being promoted.

That’s why it’s important to look into different promo gifts depending on the time of year. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our Summer Sizzlers section to see all of the great items that are ideal for this season. Summer isn’t over yet. And the season of promoting your business never stops!

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28 Jul

Get A Jump On Caribbean Carnival

Posted in News on 28.07.11 by John Meloche

It might now be called “Caribbean Carnival”, but to most revelers, it’s still “Caribana”. Even though a trademark dispute forced the name change a couple of months ago, the festival that celebrates Caribbean culture, costumes, food and music is in full swing in the city of Toronto this weekend. It’s time to get ready for one of the biggest parties in North America!

The big parade takes place this Saturday along Lakeshore Boulevard and tonight is the King & Queen Show at Lamport Stadium. As they do every year, representatives of the various bands who will be flaunting their stuff in the parade, will be showcasing their elaborate costumes to compete for the titles of King and Queen.

“It’s a fantastic event,” described one our Synergy representatives earlier today, “I don’t know if people realize just how much work goes into each one of these costumes. They literally take months to design, prepare and put together. Tonight marks the culmination of many long weeks of hard work.”

Caribana, or the Caribbean Carnival as it’s now known, was introduced to the city of Toronto in 1967. Following the tradition of such countries as Trinidad and Tobago, the annual event features an array of musical events that display wondrous colourful costumes.

In addition to the parade, parties known as Fêtes and J’ouvert (pronounced “joo-vay”) take place that include musical performances from many big name artists from the Caribbean. Calypso and Soca music make up the soundtrack of the festival each and every year and one can’t help but dance when the music is being performed.

“It’s the biggest party of the year,” said another member of our staff members, “You literally don’t stop dancing all weekend. It’s not just for people of the Caribbean. Each year, people from all over the city and all over the world pack the downtown streets of Toronto for Caribana. It’s such an amazing experience.”

Not to mention, with all of the visitors coming into Toronto for the Caribbean Carnival, it provides a major boost to the local economy. If you’ve never experienced Caribana before, this should be your year to check it out. The King & Queen Show kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight at Lamport Stadium and the parade gets going at 10 a.m. on Lakeshore Boulevard on Saturday.

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27 Jul

More Pretty Penny-less Promotion Tips

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.07.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a BrandmakerNews.com article that listed a number of “dirt cheap” ways to promote your business. Of course, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog is always offering up ways to promote your business without spending a pretty penny. And wouldn’t you know blogging happens to be one of those ways!

But let’s review some other tips from that list, shall we? Do you take advantage of coupons? Many consumers do. So perhaps you should offer your customers ways to save on items through coupons. Setting up printable codes online seems to be the newest way to do this.

BrandmakerNews.com also recommends offering your clients free samples. This practice is especially popular in the food business, but there are other ways to let your clients try out your products before buying them. This often encourages them to come back and make purchases once they are comfortable using the items.

Maybe you could set up a presentation centre or informational booth inside or even outside of the store. Do you offer products and services that can be demonstrated? These presentations often attract big crowds, especially when the presenter is an affable speaker and good communicator.

Get in the news, says BrandmakerNews.com. If you can get yourself involved in some sort of community service project that will receive news coverage, you will have done some good for your community while getting the word out about your company to a large audience. It’s a win-win situation!

Have you looked into “bundling”? Suggests BrandmakerNews.com, “Find out if another brand in your network is interested in cross bundling. If so, a small campaign with this partner could benefit both parties. Make sure to establish a real link between the products and how they can be used together.”

The site also recommends that you “celebrate with your best customers”. This is where promotional gifts truly come in handy. Letting your best customers know that you appreciate them goes a long way. Do your best to get to know them so that events like birthdays and anniversaries do not get missed. Your gesture of giving a gift will not be soon forgotten!

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26 Jul

Promote Without The Pretty Penny

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.07.11 by John Meloche

It is the objective of every business owner to set his or her company apart from its competition. Constantly growing to ensure that the needs of one’s customer base is always met is forever at the forefront of an entrepreneur’s mind. As a result, it’s important to keep on top of the marketing and promotional strategies one employs to help grow the business.

Doing so, isn’t necessarily cheap, of course. And this is why the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog so often offers its readers a variety of ways to build business while not breaking the bank. Naturally, our exceptional promotional gifts are on the top of our list of ways to promote your business in a cost-effective manner.

BrandmakerNews.com, a website dedicated to helping small business owners, lists a number of other “dirt cheap” ways to promote your business. We’d like to share a few of those with you today. Topping the site’s list is the use of Twitter and Facebook. Surprise, surprise, right?

These social networking websites are all the rage and their popularity only seems to be growing. Millions of people update and check their Twitter and Facebook accounts daily…and several times per day! The more often your business does the same, the more people you will be connecting with and informing about the great things you have to offer them.

Setting up your profile is free, of course. So if you haven’t joined either site yet, it’s time to get started! Blogging is also an excellent way to build your brand. It provides your company with a personal voice that directly communicates with its customer base. Naturally, our blog is something we promote to keep traffic coming to our website.

It has been a great feature on our website for a long time so we suggest that you get your own blog going as well. If you’re not a writer yourself, there are ways to find bloggers online that will help give your business that personal voice it needs. Having press releases written also helps search engines direct traffic to your company site.

Here’s an interesting tip from BrandmakerNews.com: have a YouTube contest! The site suggests giving your customers their own “15 seconds of fame” by having them engage in a contest where the best video wins a prize. You can even set up a camera in your store to ask them for interesting testimonials about your products.

This way, you are killing two birds with one stone. You are getting free online advertising and you are offering some unique benefits to your customers through contest prizes. Not to mention, you will be creating a fun atmosphere at your place of business that is bound to attract more customers. We’ll continue to take a look at a few more tips in tomorrow’s blog.

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25 Jul

Winnipeg Jets Unveil New Logo

Posted in News on 25.07.11 by John Meloche

We talk a lot about branding here, at Synergy Marketing Consultants. Of course, being in the business of branding promotional gifts with the logos and company information of businesses across Canada, we know a thing or two about it. But it’s the branding of your business that is the true key to success.

Remember, that your brand is not necessarily your logo. Instead, it’s what your customers feel about your business that really makes up your brand. Well, when the National Hockey League announced that it would be making its return to Winnipeg a few months ago, there is no doubt that it gave the entire Manitoba capital an amazing feeling.

That feeling was encapsulated this past weekend when the organization revealed its brand new logo. According to hockey commentator, Don Cherry, the logo couldn’t do the country any more proud. Speaking to the fact that the new Winnipeg Jets logo pays tribute to the men and women of the armed forces, Cherry commented about how great a feeling the logo will help give to fans of the team.

Ross Romaniuk of the Winnipeg Sun quoted Cherry as saying, “I’d be proud to wear that, and proud to have that on a cap. I’ll tell you that. And the players will be, too. How could you do better than to honour the people who lay their lives down for us?…It’s great in showing respect to the troops. I couldn’t think of anything better.”

Romaniuk points out the “the logo is based on the Royal Canadian Air Force roundel through an agreement reached with the military, which involves a total $1-million contribution from True North to a few Canadian Forces personnel funds over 10 years.” So evidently, there will be strong ties between the troops and Winnipeg’s new hockey team.

It seems like the Winnipeg Jets have already done a great job in branding their new team. Not only are hockey fans proud to have an NHL team to cheer for again but they are also going to be donning jerseys that pay tribute to those who fight for their nation. It seems to be a great branding job all around.

Look no further than the new Winnipeg Jets store which, this past weekend, had hockey fans lining up around the corner to be among the first to purchase jerseys, caps, t-shirts and other merchandise baring the new team logo. Eric Fehr will be wearing his jersey while playing for the team this coming NHL season.

Said Fehr: “I really like it. I think it’s different. It’s not what I was picturing, but it looks great. It’s a good tribute to the military, and to Canada.”

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22 Jul

Keep Cool With Caps

Posted in Promotional Products on 22.07.11 by John Meloche

Well, Canada is enjoying quite the summer so far. At least here in southern Ontario, there really are no complaints about the wonderfully warm weather. Okay, well to be completely honest, there are those people who complain that it’s too hot! And with Toronto hitting a record temperature yesterday in the 37 degrees Celcius range, it’s not hard to understand.

That being said, we maintain our steadfast belief that the summer time is perhaps, the best time of year to promote your business with promotional gifts. Naturally, we have many sunglasses available that will help your clients and colleagues shade their eyes from the sun. We spoke of those just a couple of blogs ago.

Naturally, you’ll want to have UV protection throughout the bright summer especially when you’re driving or involving yourself in some physical activity. However, you can’t ever forget to shade your head from the hot sun either! And Synergy Marketing Consultants has the perfect solutions.

Firstly, we have the 100% Brushed Cotton Sandwich Hat! These awesome baseball caps will help you protect both your head and your eyes from the hot rays of the sun. They keep you cool while helping you to look cool as well! These strong, sturdy and comfortable caps come in black, blue, red and white.

Of course, each hat will contain your company name as we include one location embroidery for up to 9000 stitches! This is one of those gifts that shows your customers you care. And naturally, the timing is perfect as weather forecasters are predicting heat and sun for many weeks to come!

Question: What could possibly be a better way to shade your head from the sun than a baseball cap? Answer: A baseball cap with a bottle opener in the brim! In what seems like something out of a movie, this cap really does exist! And we’re proud to offer it to our customers!

The Baseball Cap with Bottle Opener is perfect for any sports fan and lover of the outdoors. Imagine cracking open a cold one using the brim of your hat! Now you can do it for real with this 100% cotton cap that contains a hidden bottle opener in the brim. Available in black, blue and red, these caps also include up to 9000 stitches of embroidery for your company name.

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21 Jul

Stay Cool And Keep Your Cash

Posted in News on 21.07.11 by John Meloche

In previous blogs, we’ve made mention that summer time is among our favourite times of the year, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. One of the reasons we love summer so much is because the beautifully warm weather offers our clients numerous opportunities to hold events that may allow them to generate more traffic to their stores.

But if you’re in the southern Ontario area, you’re in the middle of a scorcher right now! It is hot! Not that we’re complaining (although many others in the office seem to be), but it’s about 37 degrees Celcius, as of this writing. With the humidity that’s so prevalent in Toronto, it feels as if it’s above 40!

In today’s Moneyville section of The Toronto Star‘s website, Jennifer Stewart helps us out by listing a few ways that we can beat the heat without having to spend too much money. A concern that some people tend to forget when looking to cool off is the effect that doing so will have on their wallets.

So to combat a pricey cool down experience, Stewart suggests that you use a programmable thermostat in your home to control the cool. By setting your air conditioning at just a few degrees higher than you normally would, you’ll be able to save energy…not to mention, some dollars on your electric bill.

Make use of those ceiling and table fans. By doing so, this will allow you to raise the thermostat by about four degrees and still feel cool, says Stewart. By the way, in order to make sure you are feeling a cool breeze, you should have your fan spin in a counterclockwise direction, she mentions.

We can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t provide the same breeze in a clockwise position. But, so as not to digress, just make sure your ceiling fan is off when you leave the room. You can also save on the electric bill by shutting the door and closing the air supply vents in any room that is being unused.

There are a few other simple things you can do around the house to save on energy and keep cool, says Stewart. Use your microwave instead of your oven. This generates less heat and can save you up to 90 per cent on cooking costs. Turn off any lights that aren’t necessarily being used as well. Good luck beating the heat!

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20 Jul

Adding That Shock Value

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.07.11 by John Meloche

What is it you like best about your favourite restaurant? Is it just the food? Or is there something about the atmosphere and the service that keeps bringing you back? What is it that helps to make your decision about where to bring your car when it is in need of repairs? Is it just the workmanship? Or have you made friends with the mechanic?

These and so many other questions about your “feelings” towards a company are important to answer when considering where to take your business. As a business owner, the way you make your customers feel should be exactly what you think about when considering ways to make them keep coming back.

“I remember the first time I visited my favourite restaurant,” recalls one of Synergy’s sales reps during a conversation earlier today, “The waitress asked me if it was my first time there, and I responded ‘yes’. She proceeded to take my order and welcome me by saying that my dessert would be on the house. I was shocked! I knew I’d be back again, and I haven’t stopped going.”

Wowing your customers the first time is key to leaving a great impression, of course. But being able to impress them time after time is another thing. For the most, this doesn’t require much but a friendly greeting, calling your customers by name and simply showing that you care about their satisfaction in your establishment.

When our reps here at Synergy Marketing Consultants talk to our clients about our amazing promotional items, we don’t just discuss how great the products are. Sure, they are all of superior quality to other promo items on the market, but we know that their craftsmanship is not necessarily their top selling point.

We discuss how the promo gifts make customers feel. Time in and time out, our clients reveal just how shocked their own customers were when they receive the gifts. It’s not much different than the shock experienced by our team member when she got that free dessert.

Give yourself the opportunity to make excellent first impressions with all of your new customers. Build a loyal client base that will not only remember their first times visiting you, but will look forward to returning to your store for the years to come. Contact one of our reps today to discuss what gift you’d like to give out first!

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19 Jul

Work To Maintain Customer Relationships

Posted in News on 19.07.11 by John Meloche

If it’s one thing that Synergy Marketing Consultants has always been known for, it is the championing of building strong and loyal relationships with customers. As we do our part to grow our own business ties with clients across Canada, we encourage these clients of ours to do the same with their own customers. It only makes sense to keep your customers happy.

Naturally, our client base is made up of entrepreneurs and business owners of all types. And not surprisingly, we advocate the giving out of our great promotional items as a means of encouraging brand loyalty. And it works! What better way to make your customers want to continue coming back?

As a business owner, it hurts tremendously when you lose these relationships. It’s almost like a romance gone wrong. You wonder what happened and wish you could do something to get the relationship back. Toronto Star business reporter, Tony Wong highlights this feeling in a recent article.

He details how companies can spend major marketing budgets on promoting their brands only to find that some relationships with customers have gone “sour”. After all, with so many brands out there to choose from, every business is bound to experience having a once loyal customer turn his or her back on it.

Wong writes that a recent study by the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business confirms that when a company leaves a bad impression with a customer, it is not unlike a relationship break up. The study of more than 400 consumers revealed that many customers actually think of exacting revenge on the company that did them wrong!

Jodie Whelan is one of the authors of the new report. She found that some consumers “threatened the company’s employees with payback, others said they used the company’s resources wastefully to hurt them, others said they outright stole from the company or broke or damaged their property while others said they ‘broke the law’ in order to get back at the company.”

The most dangerous consumer, says Whelan is the “fearful” one. This is the type of person who is most likely to complain to others about the company and obsess about harming the brand in any way possible. They also often seek to get “payback” for even the simplest of things.

Many consumers, it seems, are really opposed to change. In some cases, a company’s choice to make even a minor change sets some customers off! Said Whelan: “You might be buying Kleenex for many years and they change the size of the tissue on you. That could make some consumers really angry. This could be seen as a personal assault.”

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18 Jul

Select Your Summer Sunglasses

Posted in Promotional Products on 18.07.11 by John Meloche

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Well, maybe not a thousand…but a lot! And we’re happy to say it again. We love the summer time! And this past weekend was an example of how warm and beautiful the summer can be. At least this was the case in Toronto, which is home to the headquarters of Synergy Marketing Consultants.

Not everyone loves the summer though. And we truly can’t understand why. In other words, we simply can’t see what the problem could be. For some people, “seeing” is exactly the problem. With all the sunshine of the season, it’s necessary to protect your eyes. So obviously, the summer time brings out shades of all kinds.

It’s a good thing that sunglasses are among the most popular and stylish promotional gifts in the ever-growing Synergy catalogue. Let’s take a look a few of them, shall we? If you’re in the mood for promoting your business this summer (and why wouldn’t you be?), we’re sure that you and your customers will love our selection. Remember your company name appears on all gifts you give out.

The ProVision Sport Glasses are awesome for athletes who want to make sure they are shading their eyes from the sun while playing their favourite sports. These great shades are equipped with high density, shatter resistant, polycarbonate sport lenses and new sweat guard technology. You also get a carrying case, micro fibre lens cleaning cloth and one location laser engraving when you order these great gifts.

The Europa Sport Sunglasses are also great for the athletic types who plan to be active while wearing shades. These awesome glasses, however, come with lenses that are equipped with 400% UV protection. Protecting your eyes from the sun has never looked so cool! You also get a draw string pouch with each pair.

If playing sports isn’t necessarily your thing, it is likely you’ll still need shades this summer when behind the wheel. The Europa Driving Glasses are ideal for seeing the road without worrying about the glare of the sun. These spring-hinged metal framed sunglasses have 100% UV protection driving lenses. You’ll also get a draw string pouch that can be used as a cleaning cloth as well.

Finally, be sure to check out the new ProVision Xtreme shades. You may recall from a previous blog that we recently introduced these bad boys. Also providing 400% UV protection, these sunglasses also have spring hinges and shatter proof lenses. We’re convinced that there is no better way to promote your company this summer than to give your customers any of the above mentioned shades!

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