30 Jun

Great SWAG for Canada Day

Posted in News, Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 30.06.16 by John Meloche

Canada Day is tomorrow and it’s going to be a beautiful day. With the great weather we’re getting it would be crazy not to embrace the outdoors. Companies are doing exactly that as they’re celebrating with all sorts of great outdoor events. In addition to this, there’s been a lot of corporate swag giveaways. But we’re wondering what the best swag to give is? Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Hats. A classic corporate gift. This is perfect for the outdoors and those beautiful sunny days. Not only this, but it allows your employees to represent your brand almost anywhere they go. It’s a great promotional gift that has multiple purposes, something that’s good for everybody.
  2. T-shirts. Another classic summer gift. Really part of the ideal summer attire, and again another effective means of company representation. A great travelling advertisement.
  3. Steak Knives. Speaking of outdoor events, BBQ’s are a Canada Day staple. They’re perfect for the summer weather and great for celebrating our great country. Nothing’s better than a nice BBQ on a nice summer day. Steak knives just help that idea and let your employees enjoy their Canada Day that much more.

While it is Canada Day and we are celebrating our country, this is a great excuse to hand out SWAG and celebrate your employees. We’re celebrating the country and the great people living in it.

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29 Jun

The Business Landscape Of 2016

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 29.06.16 by John Meloche

A few blogs ago, we talked about the modern business world today vis a vis social commerce. This is just one of the many hot trends present in today’s marketplace. So let’s look at some other notable trends in today’s business landscape.

  • Skewed Demographics. Baby boomers have always dominated the marketplace, however with their increased age their market force is declining. That being said these boomers are still outnumbering their youth counterparts, providing a skewed age pyramid. This still leaves a debate for how impactful the baby boomer demographic will be. A cohort of their size will surely remain prominent even after their departure from the marketplace. The Baby Boomer cohort will certainly provide more opportunities for elderly care, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • Social Commerce. We touched on this before, but it’s so important that we have to bring it up again. Social media is a hub for mass communication. In today’s world, it would be much easier to reach a teenager over social media than anything else. In addition to offering maximum reach, numerous social media platforms provide specialized advertising programs that essentially allow you to advertise to exactly the person you want to target. It’s actually amazing how effective this advertising may be and it will only continue to impress.
  • Diversified Advertising. When you mention social commerce, it’s hard to neglect the effectiveness of online advertising. This in turn may create questions surrounding our traditional advertising platforms such as the television. We’ve relied on TV commercials for ever. However there is a change occurring and the TV may not be a part of it. With the rise of streaming media platforms such as Netflix, Crave, Shomi, etc., there’s no doubt TV ratings have taken a fall. A piece by Mike Vago from avclub.com discusses how even the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has admitted that the audience for live TV is dropping at a rate of roughly 10% per year. Television ads are used for mass advertising, however with a dwindling audience, it may be ideal to start looking for new advertising mediums.

The business world of 2016 is dynamic; trends are starting and ending every day. However these trends are here to stay. This market is not synonymous with ones we’ve seen 30,20, or even 10 years ago. So if you want to succeed today, you may need to abandon traditional business proceedings and lose that old school mindset.

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28 Jun

The Business History Of Iceland: Is It Worth An Investment?

Posted in News on 28.06.16 by John Meloche

There was a huge upset yesterday in Euro 2016, although with all respect to the soccer pundits, I did call it!! The tiny nation of Iceland defeated soccer giant England by a score of 2-1. So today let’s pay homage to our friends to the east. However for today we’re not going to explore their athletic history, instead we’re going to dip into Iceland’s business history.

The best description for Iceland’s economic climate over the past years would be fluctuating and unstable. Amidst a financial crisis in 2008, the Icelandic economy was shaken to the core. The country was forced to develop a centralized banking system after their 3 largest domestic banks ran out of money. In that same year the country received funds from the International Monetary Fund(IMF), a large bailout that surely helped.

After 2008, however, prosperity came Iceland’s way. A strong resurgence of the fishing and tourism industries has led to debt repayment and increased economic strength. According to Karin Hammar from the IMF, macroeconomic conditions in Iceland are at their best since the crisis. Mrs. Hammar even went out to say that the country has rebounded since the crisis and will soon surpass pre-crisis output levels. The financial sector has almost completely been healed. The country has been trending in an upward direction for some time now as the IMF has credited Iceland as one of the top economic performers in Europe over the past several years.

These gains have also been generated through increased trade and a better balance of trade. Iceland has also increased its trade with Canada, strengthening the bond between Canadian and Icelandic investors. Iceland is worth consideration for an investment, however, it hasn’t necessarily completely recovered from its previous financial troubles and thus creates doubts towards public stability and investment viability. That being said it should continue to prosper and overcome its economic woes soon enough.

Regardless… well done Iceland!

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27 Jun

What Social Commerce Means For Your Business

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 27.06.16 by John Meloche

When thinking about the online component of a business, people typically focus more on E-commerce and online transaction processing. In this process we tend to understate the importance of social media. There is a new subset of E-commerce that’s becoming more and more relevant these days: Social Commerce. Social Commerce can be defined as “a subset of electronic commerce that involves using social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions. to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services.” (Cohen, 2011)

What does social commerce mean for your business? Social media can drastically impact your businesses’ sales and operations. Advanced advertising campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram now allow you to zoom in completely on your target audience, no matter how specific that may be. Not only that, but most social media advertising campaigns (including Facebook and Instagram) charge on a “per click” basis. Meaning that your advertising is truly charged on its effectiveness. This in turn allows you to optimize your spending and permits you to be more efficient with your advertising.

Social Media is a huge forum for businesses to attract potential clientele. Social Commerce is a big trend and is continued to grow. Brian Hughes from Small Business Trends noted that the top 500 retailers earned $3.3 billion from social shopping in 2014, a 26% increase over 2013, and well ahead of the average 16% growth rate for E-commerce. Its clear Social Commerce is an up and coming trend and will continue to grow rapidly so long as social media remains a mecca for communication. So do yourself a favor and make sure your business isn’t a #throwbackthursday and get on social media now!

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24 Jun

The Business Behind the NHL Draft SWAG

Posted in News, NHL, Promotional Products on 24.06.16 by John Meloche

Yesterday we discussed the NBA draft and the extraordinary value that promotional products bring to their brand. Well the same can be said for tonight’s NHL Draft. Yesterday’s blog really focused on the sentimental value created by these items, today let’s really focus on what it’s all about… dollars and cents!!

While these promotional items at their core resonate a lasting memory, they also serve as lucrative business strategy. These items help capture all the feeling behind these events and as a result they become wanted, not only by players, but by everybody. Draft hats are a great example of this. Kids look up to these players and aspire to become hockey players themselves. These hats allow them to enhance their imagination and can help them recreate their dream to become a professional player. Not only that but these hats can be a reminder; these kids are working towards a common goal: to wear that hat for real. This is a highly effective marketing campaign as according to nhl.com, overall merchandise sales gained 15% of the league’s revenue. It’s cited to say “growth was driven by strong category sales in lifestyle apparel, headwear, etc.” These promotional items contribute to a lot of growth and sales, and will continue to do so as long as their reputation is maintained.

The draft is a special time, it’s a chance to get your career started and make your dreams come true. These small items are the quintessential symbols for hope, perseverance, and hard work; all the ingredients needed to make your dream a reality. Good luck to all the draftees, congratulations on being able to finally wear that hat.

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23 Jun

The SWAG in the NBA Draft

Posted in NBA, News, Promotional Products on 23.06.16 by John Meloche

The NBA draft is tonight! All the anticipation, excitement, and anxiety is going to be coming to an end. If you’re as big as a basketball fan as I am, you probably won’t be able to take your eyes away from the screen. But while you’re watching the draft, keep an eye out on all the swag being featured.

The NBA draft is a place of hopes and dreams. It serves as the starting point for many illustrious careers. What the league does so well, is capture all the angst, joy, and happiness of the draft in swag. While the draft hat may seem negligible at times, it’s really the opposite. That hat seizes the exact feeling that draftees have. That mix of uneasiness and enthusiasm that you’re likely never going to experience again. Those hats serve as a tangible introduction for many hopeful careers. That is something that’s irreplaceable, and thus is an invaluable item for every player.

Years of swag use has given this hat an above worldly meaning and really symbolizes a player’s hopes and dreams. The draft hat is the tangible recreation of what every NBA draftee wants: a chance to live out their dream. So good luck to all the draftees and embrace your NBA swag, that little hat is going to become a big part of your life very soon.

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22 Jun

The Branding of Vegas

Posted in News, NHL, Promotional Products on 22.06.16 by John Meloche

With the NHL Awards taking place tonight and with the much anticipated announcement of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, we’re digging deeper into the Vegas scene. What happens in Vegas is not staying in Vegas for this blog. Vegas is a hub for promotional products. More specifically, Casinos are a mecca for promotional products. These items have been used to to strengthen their brand amidst a deluge of competitors. With 25 casinos all being located in one concentrated area, you have to compete that much more to put your name out there and keep it there.

When you walk into a casino, you’re essentially surrounded by branding items. The t-shirts, the pens, the hats, everything. Casinos are masters of swag, and they have to be. How do you reinforce your brand in such a highly competitive city like Vegas? You put it everywhere. That’s what these promotional items do; they give the brand life in places where it would otherwise be non-existent. They allow the brand to flourish and grow by branching it out to places all over. That t-shirt you got from a Vegas casino serves a purpose. Not to clothe you, but to serve as a lasting memory of your time from Vegas. Since you’re not supposed to tell anyone about your time there (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas), your shirt serves as a lasting link to the good times you had. Also it serves as a reminder that if you want to have fun in Vegas, you have to go back to that casino. A great promotional product serves as a memory, a memory that connects you to a certain place and binds you t
o a brand. So whether it’s the MGM Grand or John’s Auto, that hat you are wearing creates loyalty.

Behind all that Vegas flash and fun there are some serious business tactics. While it may not seem like it, promotional products contribute to a large part of a casino’s marketing strategy. While your stories should probably never leave Vegas, your Caesars t-shirt does.

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21 Jun

3 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy For The Summer

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.06.16 by John Meloche

It’s officially summer! With the first day of summer upon us we’re looking at ways to keep your employees happy, while maintaining a fun summer theme. Everybody loves summer, it’s the best season. Summer is a season for fun and play, and we’re finding ways to make sure your office is just that. Here are 3 ways to make sure your employees are loving their jobs and maintaining productivity this summer:

1. Office BBQ’s. This is a great excuse to get everyone out of the office and embracing the outdoors. Not only that, but it allows your employees to enjoy the comradery around the office. BBQ’s serve as a classic summer event filled with fun and delicious food: you can’t go wrong here.

2. Employee Gift Bags. Now you might not relish the outdoors theme (pun intended!!) but this option sends a message. If your sending your employees customized presents then it just shows that you care. And when employees know that you care, then they put that much more effort into their work. Showing your commitment to your employees will strengthen the commitment between your employees and their work.

3. Working Outdoors? Now this is a tricky one that doesn’t apply to all offices. But if it’s technologically and physically feasible, then try it out. One day take the employees outside and let them work. It’s a great way to let your employees enjoy the outdoors and it’s been linked to boosting employee morale.

These are all great ways to keep employees happy and they all revolve around a common idea: care. If you want to unlock your employee’s potential, you have to show that you believe in them. If you show that you care, then your employees will be more productive then you can imagine.

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20 Jun

The Marketing Behind the NBA Championships

Posted in NBA, News, Promotional Products on 20.06.16 by John Meloche

Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers on their championship. It was a great series and had one of the best game seven’s in NBA history.

Last week I talked about the Stanley Cup and all the promotional marketing that takes place within that championship. Well the same applies to the NBA championship. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lebron happier than after he donned his NBA champions hat and t-shirt. Just like the Stanley Cup championships, these promotional items become more than simple clothing items. They become engraved in the moment. They’re walking proof that you’re a champion. All the blood, sweat, tears, and hype that go into winning a championship all resonate within these items. Like the NHL, the NBA has been able to create immense value out of these promotional items.

Not only does that value translate into happiness for the victors, but it also translates into sales. After Golden States won the championship last year, Golden State jersey and merchandise sales skyrocketed. This was seen throughout all of this year as according to NBA.com Steph Curry’s jersey sales had passed Lebron’s. Not only that but Golden State merchandise sales had surpassed Cleveland’s amount and became the most popular team merchandise. These augmented Golden state sales, then contributed to producing the largest Black Friday and Cyber Monday figures for NBAstore.com as their combined sales had been up 20% from the previous year.

The NBA championships have served as a great host for promoting merchandise. The league has done a great job of preserving the championship effort, determination, and memories all through these promotional merchandise. So congratulations Cleveland, wear those hats proud and remember how it all happened.

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17 Jun

What You Can Do To Make Father’s Day Memorable For Your Business

Posted in Promotional Products, Small Business Advertising, Social Media, Synergy Suggestions on 17.06.16 by John Meloche

It’s that time of the year again. Dad’s anticipating a great day with the family meanwhile everyone else is shopping for a gift to buy. Father’s Day is a great holiday and like all great holidays that means shopping. A 2012 H&R study found that spending on Father’s Day was $9.4 billion. Father’s Day serves as a great opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the increased material demand and optimize their profits. Here are a few marketing ideas businesses can use to make their Father’s Day more memorable.

The most obvious promotional strategy would be discounts. Holidays are a great excuse for sales and discounts. This simple strategy can be extremely effective as nothing lures customers to a product like good prices. Not only that but these discounts can be easily applied to your whole store and thus can allow you to promote the inventory you want out of your store that much more.

Another great promotional strategy would be gift guides. Sometimes finding the perfect gift for your dad can be extremely hard. Why not make your customers’ shopping experiences that much easier by giving them a list of products that fathers are surely to love; making a list of products that are directly related to a father’s interests. Not only does this help your customer’s shopping experience but it also generates positive perceptions of your company and strengthens your brand. The fact that your company would go out of their way to make it easier for customers to shop, especially on a day such as Father’s Day, is appreciated.

This next strategy pertains more to a company’s online presence. Since Father’s Day is such a popular holiday it gets looked up a lot on search engines. Putting more Father’s Day material on your website will allow you to improve your SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and thus give you more opportunities to be seen via organic search. Not only is Father’s Day prominent on search engines, but it’s also a very notable holiday on social media. Using relevant Father’s Day hashtags in social media will allow you to effectively promote your posts and businesses.

Another strategy related to online presence is improving your company’s presence in the online marketplace. E-commerce is becoming more and more present in today’s shopping world. This is especially true on Father’s Day. Fundivo reported that almost 30% of all Father’s Day shopping last year was conducted online, an increase of almost 10% from 2010’s total (20.5%). This trend is only expected to continue so anticipate an expanded amount of E-commerce to take place this Father’s Day. Companies need to improve their E-commerce platforms and ensure that they allow for an easy ordering process for customers to follow online. This is a growing marketplace that you don’t want to miss out on.

It’s obvious that discounts are now not only the suitable promotional strategy. Today’s marketplace is changing and now more than ever there is an emphasis on digital transactions. If you truly want to make sure your Father’s Day is memorable then start by making sure the family can order those golf clubs that dad really wanted on your website.

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