30 Apr

Providing A Positive Outlook

Posted in News on 30.04.12 by John Meloche

It’s not always the easiest thing in the world to get up on a Monday morning feeling excited about the work week ahead. But then again, maybe that’s because not everyone feels that they are in successful positions. To launch your business into orbit – so to speak – you must first have a positive outlook. It may sound cliché, but it’s important to send positive energy into the atmosphere.

It’s a good thing that the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog is here to do that for you today! This morning, we came across a QMI Agency article that revealed that a recent survey has found that a whopping 85 per cent of Canadian retailers feel that their financial outlooks for the next year are positive ones. Topping the list of happy retailers are those who sell apparel. 95 per cent expect a good year!

The survey, conducted by American Express Canada, also found that 94 per cent of fast food retailers and 85 per cent of gas retailers are predicting a positive next twelve months as well. Hopefully, such news will inspire business owners across the country to feel encouraged about the states of their businesses. At Synergy, we are very well aware of the concerns entrepreneurs have.

“You just never know when the economy will turn again,” commented one of our clients last week. His hesitancy to invest into his business stems from fears of a forthcoming recession. Even though Canada has greatly rebounded from the recession of a few years ago, he remains cautious about spending money, even if it is to promote his business.

Thankfully, our promo gifts don’t cost very much. They remain ideal ways for business owners to spread the word about their companies without spending an arm and a leg. “In my store,” mentioned our client, “my promo gifts go a long way. They let my customers know that they can depend on me. And I’m glad I don’t have worry about going broke by buying the gifts to promote my business!”

Speaking of not being worried, the QMI report notes that the Amex survey also found that 64 per cent of Canadian retailers are not worried about the state of their businesses over the next year. In fact, the only industries that reported having significant concerns were drug stores and pharmacies. 44 per cent of those from that industry answering the survey had a negative outlook for their fields.

Colin Temple is the vice president and general manager of merchant services for American Express Canada. He had this to say about the survey’s findings: “Retail – in all its forms – is often portrayed to be in crisis. What we’re seeing in this report is merchants are more optimistic than anyone might have imagined.”

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27 Apr

Canadians Happy With Their Jobs

Posted in News on 27.04.12 by John Meloche

Are you happy with your job? According to QMI Agency in a report released this past Wednesday, one third of Canadians would answer “yes” to that question. And although that may not sound like a lot – after all, that would mean that two thirds of Canadians are not happy with their jobs, right? – the survey findings indicate that “Canadians are some of the most satisfied employees in the world.”

QMI writes that the survey, conducted by The Randstad Workmonitor, found that Canadian employees are the most satisfied amongst the 14 non-European nations that took the poll. In fact, the only countries that reported higher levels of job satisfaction were Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland. These nations were tops when it came to workers reporting that they were “very satisfied” with their jobs.

The article points out, however, that when combining “very satisfied” responses with “satisfied” responses among Canadians, the percentage of those happy with their jobs jumps to 76 per cent. What was the highest contributing factor to our national happiness? QMI writes that 53 per cent of the 7,000 Canadians taking the online poll felt that job security was the most significant factor in keeping them satisfied with their employers.

Jan Hein Bax is the president of Randstad Canada. In a release about the survey, Hein Bax stated: “There are a number of reasons why Canadians have more on the job satisfaction than other markets. With our strong marketplace, employees often find they have more job security and flexibility than other countries, and better work environments.”

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, it’s important to us that our staff members are all satisfied with their jobs. This is why we offer opportunities to those with winning attitudes. You may have read about this in previous blogs that explained our intent to grow our current staff. With that being said, if you would like to take on a new challenge and find a job that can be very self-fulfilling, give us a call today!

Our staff is comprised of some of the most upbeat and energetic people that you could ever meet. Excited about the products they sell and always happy to communicate with others, our team enjoys helping businesses to grow. This is mainly due to the fact that they get a sense of satisfaction from knowing that they help themselves when they help others. Now that’s satisfying!

Contact one of our hiring managers today by dialing up 1-877-748-9884 and pressing #4. We look forward to meeting with you soon and hopefully adding you to our staff. It is our intent, of course, to have you join the many other Canadians who are “very satisfied” with their jobs. The opportunity to join our team awaits you. Let’s get you in for an interview right away!

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26 Apr

Making Rebranding Work For You

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.04.12 by John Meloche

This week, the theme of our blogs has been all about “rebranding”. Yesterday, we began discussing the ways in which companies can rebrand themselves with the help of a Gilles Bachet article from TheAge.com. He lists three key ways to communicate that your company has undergone a rebranding.

The first is the logo change. This, of course, is the most obvious way to tell your target market that things have been spruced up over at your business. But, it’s not the only change that should take place – it’s only the first step. We ended yesterday’s blog by mentioning that the behaviour of the people in your business also needs to change.

According to Bachet, communication is key. That means that each and every member of your staff needs to be kept informed about the rebranding process. If they are going to be like the Toronto Blue Jays and wear new uniforms, perhaps they should also be informed about the new direction of the business as well.

Does this entail having a new attitude? Will there be new services and features of your business that they will need to learn? Have you updated your customer service regimen? What added bonuses are there to working with your company going forward? Your staff should be well versed on how to answer these questions.

External Communications. Writes Bachet, “depending on the business, a rebranding exercise can involve a brand change covering all or single brand touchpoints including signage, fleet livery, IT solutions, interiors and clothing.” How else are you going to communicate that your company has undergone a rebranding?

Be prepared to do some heavy promoting. As we’ve mentioned many times in the past, this doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – so don’t get alarmed! Hopefully, you will have created an emailing list that you can utilize to communicate that there is a new look and image associated with your company.

Naturally, after going through a rebranding, it would be wise to attach your new company logo to stationary and promotional gifts. As always, our awesome reps are standing by to discuss with you the ways in which the ideal promo gift can help your company reach a greater audience. Talk to you soon!

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25 Apr

Imagine Your Image Overhaul

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 25.04.12 by John Meloche

At some point or another, all companies require a new lease on life. As times change, so do the needs and tastes of customers. So, it’s important for your business to always be on top of these changes, and change along with them. Over the past couple of days, we have been blogging about the concept of “rebranding”.

And we’re not just talking about getting a new logo for your business either. Yes, a new physical representation is often a signifying feature of a company that has rebranded itself, but there is so much more to an image overhaul than a logo change. As Gilles Bachet writes on TheAge.com, “there is a lot more involved with implementing a new brand identity, rebrand or even a simple brand refresh than people first realize.”

He writes that when you are thinking of rebranding your company, there are three main things that business owners must consider. It is a combination of these three things that help to launch a successful rebranding. Without implementing them all, companies may fall short of their goals to grow their customer bases.

Changing The Symbol. The first, and most obvious change is the aforementioned logo change. As Bachet points out, “you will want a visual identity that is keeping with the corporate identity and promise of your brand.” The Toronto Blue Jays pulled this off with great success before the beginning of this year’s Major League Baseball season.

Their new logo is a revisiting of their original design with the head of the Blue Jay with a maple leaf prominently featured. The uniform has also returned to its roots by having a blue, white and grey colour scheme and letter font reminiscent of the days when the team was winning back-to-back World Series championships.

“What is brilliant about the uniform changes,” mentioned one of our great Synergy reps, “is that they are not only going to ensure greater sales of Blue Jays merchandise. What they have done is created a renewed love for the city’s baseball team. By revisiting the past, the new logo and uniforms will bring back fond memories for fans. It was a great idea.”

The Behaviour of the People in the Business. This is the second thing that must change during a rebranding. To reiterate, a physical change is only the first step when looking to present a new image of your business to the public. We will go over this point in greater detail in tomorrow’s blog.

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24 Apr

Rebranding Can Be Outstanding

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 24.04.12 by John Meloche

Yesterday, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog visited the concept of rebranding. And as NBA player Metta World Peace is surely well aware, it takes a lot more than a name change to create a new vision of yourself within the public eye. In many cases, businesses need to go through a rebranding stage in order to be successful.

On TheAge.com, Gilles Bachet writes that successful businesses need to rebrand for two main reasons. The first is to reposition the business and expand its market. The second reason is to retain the business’ market. At the end of the day, it’s all about having an image that ensures that your customer base is retained and that there is room for growth.

A refreshed image helps for your business to never be seen as stagnant. Having a positive public image often entails a renewed look and vision for your brand. This not only works towards retaining current customers but inspires new ones to visit your store. Remember, it’s not just about having a cosmetic makeover.

As Bachet points out, “to be effective, rebranding should be coupled with an evolution of the business operations to ensure that the change isn’t only skin deep.” But how can you tell that it’s time for your business to go through a rebranding stage? Bachet writes that changes in the market usually dictate when the time is right.

One of the best examples of this is the advent of the internet and online marketing. He points to Yellow Pages rebranding itself in such a way that it no longer represents itself as being a print only service. Today, Yellow Pages has adapted so that it is also a digital business in addition to a the widely-known large book of contacts.

A change in customer tastes is another good reason to think about rebranding. But how often does this take place? Bachet writes that the “seven year itch” is a good way to look at the changes that take place in the business world. Based on his research, a business will undergo a rebranding once every seven years.

This depends greatly on the type of industry you are in, by the way. Says Bachet, “For retailers, the average lifetime of an identity is more like five years, whereas for other sectors such as insurance, rebranding exercises are less regular.” In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll take a look at a few of the main ways that a company can rebrand itself.

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23 Apr

Rebranding A Key To Success

Posted in News on 23.04.12 by John Meloche

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, our awesome sales reps often get into conversations with their clients about the concept of “rebranding”. In many ways, businesses are required to go through a rebranding stage at least one time in their histories. It’s a way of keeping up with the times and ensuring that your customers know that you are a leader in your industry.

“It’s almost like having the chickenpox,” commented one of our clients recently, “It’s as if it’s supposed to happen to you at least once. That way, you know you are able to move on to a whole other level of success. It’s important to remember that you have to work every day to keep your company a top contender.”

For some companies, rebranding is required to overcome a bad perception. Some businesses choose to go through complete name changes in an effort to overcome previous bad impressions due to poor customer service. In some cases, individuals do this in order to recreate their self-images.

NBA forward, Ron Artest knows this all too well. Oops, we mean Metta World Peace. The renamed basketball star legally changed his given name before the start of the current NBA season in order to communicate that he was a changed man. As Ron Artest, World Peace was perhaps, best known for inducing a brawl that included scrapping with fans at an infamous 2004 NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons.

And although the name change may have helped to eradicate some of the negative perceptions associated with his past, World Peace has gone and gotten himself into some hot water, once again. Now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, he is facing a possible suspension thanks to an elbow he delivered to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden in a recent game.

As Ashante Infantry of The Toronto Star pointed out in her article covering the story, World Peace’s name change will do little to fend off negative criticism about the basketball star’s return to questionable behaviour. As she writes, “TV announcers reverted to World Peace’s former name and reputation as a brutal, erratic player” immediately after the elbow.

Infantry likened the name change and bad press-inviting incident to those of businesses who have followed a similar path. Robin Ritchie is a marketing professor at Sprott School of Business. He commented on the way that companies need to ensure that their images are truthful about their customer service regimens.

Said Ritchie: “Let’s not forget that companies fall short of their promises every day. The real test of a brand is not whether it fails you, but how it recovers from that failure. Does it apologize, promise to make things right, and then walk the talk? Research has shown that brands that respond well when they let us down generate more loyalty from their customers than brands that are never tested by crisis.”

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20 Apr

Open Up To An Open House

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.04.12 by John Meloche

The weekend is almost here! And for many people, that means getting some rest, and relaxation – followed by some serious partying! Then repeating the same thing over and over until the weekend is done. For business owners, however, partying is something that can still be seen as a business venture.

With the summer time rearing its head from around the corner, more people are thinking about spending their time outdoors. So when the weekend comes, expect there to be barbeques and other get-togethers that are sure to draw large crowds. As a business owner, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t get in on this action.

On the Pitney Bowes website, small business marketing expert, Jane Applegate writes that business owners should take advantage of open houses during the summer season. Perhaps, the most ideal way to take advantage of the weather for an entrepreneur, the open house concept allows you to connect face-to-face with prospective customers.

Create a committee. She notes that hosting an open house will not only be a very inviting way to establish a larger customer base but it will also foster team building activities amongst your staff members. It’s important to engage your team, says Applegate, by appointing a small committee to plan your open house. And your committee should be focused on a few key objectives.

Location, location, location! Firstly, it’s important to figure out where to host your event if it is not going to be in-store. Ideally, your store would be the perfect place to show your customers what your business is all about. But ensuring that you have a convenient location where you can set up decorations will be key.

Decide upon a budget. How much money you spend on your open house is an issue that shouldn’t be overlooked. Will you be serving refreshments? Will there be a theme? Will you need to buy party supplies? Will you have it catered? These and other questions need to be answered before you send out invitations.

Invite and excite. Speaking of invitations, who will be responsible for sending them out and who will keep track of the RSVPs? Perhaps, you can set up your invites online. No matter what, your invitations should connote an exciting experience that is not to be missed.

Provide promo gifts. Don’t forget that your open house will provide you with the perfect opportunity to hand out your promo gifts. Be sure to check out our website to locate the ideal promo gift for your invited guests. The weather is beautiful. Take advantage of it and make an upcoming weekend one that will boost your business!

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19 Apr

Maximize Your Promo Product Marketing

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.04.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we revisited a very popular topic in the Synergy Marketing Consultants offices. The benefits of using promotional products to market your company are many – but there is a certain way that business owners should hand them out that will help to get the most out of them.

Targeting your customers with the right gifts is definitely one way to ensure that they help your business to grow. Determining the appropriate times of year to hand out your gifts is also key in maximizing your success. But as Mariel Milla pointed out in an article on FrugalEntrepreneur.com, getting the most out of promo gifts requires some critical thinking.

She lists four tips to consider when getting involved in the promo gift game. Picking up where we left off yesterday, we’d like to round out that list of tips while offering our take on each point. Remember, your gift is your way of thanking your customers. So leaving a good impression – a genuine one – is truly the name of the game.

Hand out promotional products instead of business cards. We have often had conversations with our customers about using business cards. And many of these conversations go in the same direction. “You rarely hear from those people,” they will say, referring to those they left cards with, “Chances are, they just threw the cards away or lost them.”

The clear benefit of giving out a promo gift over a business card is that it is a useful item. As Milla notes, most people who receive business cards only add them to a stack of millions of other cards that don’t bear any significant differences to each other. So how can you stand out with just a card alone?

You can’t. A promo gift sets your business apart. A practical gift will be used regularly, providing constant reminders to its recipient about your company. When your business name and logo are part of a person’s everyday life, it becomes hard to forget. Promo gifts help you to be unforgettable!

One personalized business gift is better than a hundred. To further the point, Milla writes that “unique gifts that are of supreme class and have a long shelf life will be used over and over again…these gifts offer much more return on investment to a small business.” In some cases, quality is more important than quality.

Of course, Synergy does offer a number of high-end gifts best suited for those very special business partners and associates that you wish to impress. Be sure to contact one of our experienced sales reps at 1-877-748-9884 to discuss what promo gift would be best suited to push your company to the top!

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18 Apr

The Better Way To Boost Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.04.12 by John Meloche

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we proudly offer our clients the best promo products in the business. Now, if you’ve been a reader of our awesome blog over the past few years, then you would have likely read that sentence at some time before. However, you would also know that as much as we stand behind our products, we acknowledge that it is not just the gifts themselves that help businesses to grow.

A successful marketing strategy includes positive interactions with customers that are highlighted by the handing out of your gifts. It should not be taken for granted that a promo gift will bring a customer back. Remember that the gift is supposed to be representative of a kind gesture of thanks. It is one that should be genuine, leaving the customer with a good feeling about you and your business.

Your gift is your way of saying “thank you”. So like all other kind gestures, it should feel to the recipient that you mean it. On FrugalEntrepreneur.com, Mariel Milla writes about the ways that business owners can maximize their profits by getting the most out of their promotional marketing strategies.

She notes that small business owners can get a lot out of their promo products if they are utilized correctly. Milla lists four key tips that entrepreneurs should follow to best use promo gifts to their advantage. As per usual, we will provide our own Synergy-spin on these ideas to help you maximize the reach that you can get out of our products.

Gear inexpensive products towards specific industries. It is important to solidify your target audience, says Milla. The best promo products are the ones that you know will be used by your client base on a regular basis. The more specific you are in the choice of product for the right client, the better.

For example, if you are in the sporting goods industry, you may want to offer your customers sports-related key chains or ball caps. If you sell office supplies, pens and desktop-related gifts are ideal. You want to make sure that your customers remember you for what you specialize in.

Organize limited promotional releases around special times of the year. As Milla points out, this strategy works great for businesses working on a smaller budget. She writes that “your target audience will come to regard a once-a-year promotion as a hot commodity, and the best part is, any day of the year is applicable!” Giving out gifts during the holiday season is always a good bet.

The gifts, of course, don’t have to be expensive. Be sure to take a look at our catalogue of amazing gifts and see for yourself just how inexpensive this marketing strategy is. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog as we round out Milla’s list of tips to getting the most out of your promotional products.

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17 Apr

A Little Effort Makes A Lot Of Sales

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 17.04.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a Lois Knight article from FreelanceFolder.com that listed a number of tips on how to increase sales during the summer. These simple pieces of advice can work wonders for entrepreneurs who may otherwise assume that sales will just automatically boost along with the temperature.

In actuality, a little bit of effort can go a long way. So following some of these tips may just help your business to have its best summer ever. A bit of creativity and a little effort is all it takes. So let’s revisit that list and pick up where we left off in yesterday’s blog.

Start a newsletter. According to Knight, if you offer to put in some work at a local club or church, the opportunity may open you up to a whole new list of contacts that you can introduce to your business. Think of ways to meet new people this summer so that you can make them potential new customers.

Ask for referrals. At Synergy, we have often made claim to the fact that our promo gifts are among the best ways in the world to get referrals for your business. Once customers visit your store, be sure to pass along your gifts and kindly ask them to recommend you to friends and family members.

Keep your eyes open to new opportunities. Knight recommends that you open yourself up to learning new skills. Ask other business owners to tell you a little bit about what they do so that you become more knowledgeable about other industries. Find out if it’s worth co-branding or working in tandem with other businesses to help increase your client base.

Take a class. What better way to learn new skills than to visit a classroom? Writes Knight: “Everyone knows if you fall off the radar for just a few months, you are considered obsolete in this business. Stay up to date by taking a class that updates your skills or adds to them.”

Teach a class. Hey, being in front of the classroom can have as many benefits as being part of one! Why not charge a small fee to local residents who wish to learn more about your business? Share your expertise with others and you will find that you are allowing yourself to meet a lot more people a lot quicker than normal.

Hand out promo gifts. Yes, we know that we mentioned this one already. But it cannot be reiterated enough. Contact one of Synergy reps today to get your hands on the promo gift that is best suited to help you build your business all summer long. Call us up at 1-877-748-9884.

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