Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gender Differences in Gift Giving

In a recent advertising pitch from a publication, I was advised to advertise my business in a publication aimed at secretaries. This reminded me that many of our corporate gifting clients are in fact women, even if they have a final decision maker who is male. This made me delve a bit more into the gender psychology of gift giving. It is not that men do understanding the importance of gift giving. In fact the saying “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, stems from a final Greek vs. Trojan strategic move after a ten year battle, in which the cunning Odysseus, a Greek military strategist came up with the idea of a Trojan Horse created a very strategic gift. When the "Trojan Horse" was left at the gates of Troy, the Trojans thought the Greeks had left it as a pious parting gift because they had given up and sailed home. The Trojans welcomed the gift and took it within their walls; little knowing the belly of the beast was filled with armed soldiers who would soon end this battle. Some researchers believe evolutionary forces may have favoured gift giving. Men who were the most generous may have had the most reproductive success with women. Men do make excellent gift givers if motivated to be involved in the process. I can remember as a girl that my father always chose perfect gifts for me that showed his knowledge of me as a person and these gifts were always well received. However, generally women have a higher involvement in the process of selection, particularly where there are many people to give gifts to. Gender differences in gift giving seem to emerge early in life. Researchers at Loyola University Chicago studied 3 and 4-year-olds at a day-care centre, all of whom had attended the same birthday party. The girls often went shopping with their mothers and helped select the gifts and wrap it. Boys, meanwhile, were often unaware of what the gift was. “They’d say, ‘I took a nap while my mom went shopping for it,’” said Mary Ann McGrath, the associate dean of the graduate school of business at Loyola. Margaret Rucker, a consumer psychologist at the University of California, Davis, says men are typically more price-conscious and practical when it comes to the gifts they give and get, while women tend to be more concerned about giving and receiving gifts with emotional significance. Many corporates make use of the benefits of gift giving. Corporate gifts make a more personalised form of marketing and corporate gifts definitely help to strengthen bonds and in some cases gift giving can ease tension between enemies. At the beginning of the year when the motivation to go back to work, corporate gifts can certainly help improve morale and get staff’s excitement levels to be back to work a boost. So where does the gender difference come into making corporate gifting decisions? Women’s natural skill at gift selection can assist in choosing something that is special and theme appropriate. They are also able to select items for a varied group of people. Before we stereo type everyone, I have to point out that I have known women who are clueless at gift giving. I have family members where I have wondered, what on earth were they thinking when they give out gifts. But if it be foolish to not recognise that genders have a trend of natural abilities and the best leaders acknowledge that, while being mindful of individual skills. So harness the strategic, budget setting and emotional intelligence of your team to make the best corporate gifting selection. Should you require any additional information about corporate gifts, please contact us on: or call us on 082 948 7461

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Small Items that are Suitable for Table Gives at Year End Functions

By Kim Vermaak 27 September 2014 When organising a function, you need to have smaller sized gifts that are easy to transport. If it is a gala evening, you would also need something that is upmarket that adds to the prestige of the evening. These are some of my favourite items that are below R 200.00. Maglite SOLITAIRE AAA PRES
I love the Maglite brand, it is a quality brand that is respected in the outdoor and leisure market, but I have used them for years particular with power outages. It is a good safety item for both men and women to have on hand. The Solitaire is slim, stylish and compact and operates on one AAA alkaline battery. Simply rotate the head of the Solitaire to switch your unit on and off or to focus the beam from a spot to flood light. Twist - Spot to Flood. Spare Lamp in Tail Cap. Aluminium Alloy Casing. Compact & Lightweight. Innovative Extended key 1m lead allows the light beam and keys to be used together in the same direction. Stock is usually not held in large quantities, but there are various colours, so if you are willing to hand out a mix of colours, there are great compact gifts that easy for an event coordinator to carry and pack on tables. Wine accessories in a bottle shaped container
For wine lover, this is a compact and funky design that is well received. Wine accessories in a bottle shaped container – consists of a pourer, bottle opener and drip stopper. It has a magnetic closure. On the plus side, there are usually very good stock levels, but you have to know that your market does not have any religious objections to alcohol, although there are current some very good non-alcoholic brands of wine and champagne on the market, minimizing your risk. USB Car Charger
This little item is a great and convenient gift. It is life saver when your phone, tablet etc. runs out of battery and you really need to communicate. USB car charger for your camera, smart phone or MP3 player! It is also available as a Car charger with 2 USB connections for hassle-free charging of smart phones, tablets and cameras. Wooden meteorological station "Zurich"
The Wooden weather station with clock, hygrometer and thermometer is a super upmarket gift for your exucutive clients. Business card case "Mainz"
For a business person’s function the Business card case "Mainz" is very practical as this business card holder has two separate compartments (for 10 cards each), so that you can easily separate your own cards from the ones you receive. These are just a few of the many corporate gifting items that can be used for table based gifts. For more ideas visit our website or e-mail us on

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Beat the Cold with Promotional Gifts

By Kim Vermaak Corporate Blankets When I used to be a reading mom at my daughter’s school, we had to sit outside the class and in winter this was terrible. Small children in skirts and long socks. Where designed that style of uniforms obviously did not have any nerve endings in their bodies, Nevertheless, I used to pitch up with a trusty blanket which we draped over our legs and reading became a lot more pleasurable. Headwear When I first found about some of the real culprits of heat loss, I was amazed. But because the brain is a vital organ, heat gets transferred to it to keep you alive. If you are do not have a head covering like a beanie, or hat, and then you will lose heat far more easily. Knitted beanies have a great classical look. But a fleece beanie is soft and really warm. Both the fleece beanie and the knitted beanie are excellent choices; it just boils down to personal preferences. Jackets The natural choice is the winter jackets when temperatures plummet. In the past we would opt for a great padded and heavyweight jacket, but the move these days is towards performance tested soft shell jackets. My personal favourite brand is the First accent jacket. What I like about the First Ascent Jacket is that while there are many soft shell jackets on the market, the First ascent range of jackets are performance tested in the field. The brand specialises in extreme conditions and so their jackets are designed with top materials in mind, Another first favourite is the 3 in 1 jacket. What makes this a great jacket is the versatility of the jackets. It is an end winter garment featuring removable fleece inner jacket. Outer jacket features concealed zip off hood with nylon aertex lining throughout zippered storm flap, welted outer pockets, inner pockets and phone pouch. Available in four colour way options When the days begin to warm up, many people like to wear a body warmer. These are fashionable and versatile garments, ideal for outdoor or casual wear. Water resistant outer jacket. Fully lined. Features include two side pockets, quilted padding, and polar fleece collar trim and top stitched panels. A cost effective jacket is the Hi-Tech Bomber Jackets, which is Also available in a stylish ladies fit with curved side panels. Best value in a classic bomber jacket. Zip away lining panel for embroidery access. Water resistant outer fabric. Available in four colour ways. for more information visit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beat Cold Stress

By Kim Vermaak 09 July 2014 At the moment, the weather is getting extremely cold in the morning. Personally I would like to be a bear and spend my time hibernating for the next few months, but alas, we have to work through these cold times and that can produce cold stress. Cold employees aren’t just uncomfortable, they are distracted. It is estimated that a drop in performance costs employers 10% more per hour, per employee. When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight. In regions relatively unaccustomed to winter weather, like South Africa near freezing temperatures are considered factors for "cold stress." Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal and as wind speed increases, heat can more rapidly leave your body. These weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems. Employees should avoid exposure to extremely cold temperatures when possible. When cold environments or temperatures cannot be avoided, employees should follow these recommendations to protect themselves from cold stress: Wear appropriate clothing. You can assist staff by providing a warm winter jacket. Although many businesses are concerned about cash flow, loss of productivity through staff who are suffering from cold is a factor that needs to be seriously considered. Cold stress is not just for outdoor workers. Many factories and warehouse environments are very cold. I can attest to this as in the very early weeks of if winter, I was in the new branding sections, which is in fact a warehouse and I just could not get out of there fast enough. The high ceilings and poor insulation make warehouses terrible to work in. Wear several layers of loose clothing. Layering provides better insulation. Tight clothing reduces blood circulation. Warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities. So recommend to your staff to get a jacket that is one size bigger than they would normally take, so that they can put other layers under the jacket. When choosing clothing, be aware that some clothing may restrict movement resulting in a hazardous situation. Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold weather. Boots should be waterproof and insulated. Wear a hat; it will keep your whole body warmer. (Hats reduce the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.) Beanies make an excellent form of protection for staff. Employers can also assist by: Scheduling cold jobs for the warmer part of the day. Reducing the physical demands of workers. Using relief workers or assign extra workers for long, demanding jobs. Providing warm liquids to workers. Giving each staff member a flask and having access to hot water, tea, soup etc. will go a long way in supporting them. But use a brand name like Isosteel that will remain hot for many hours. Warm, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks should be consumed frequently. Caffeine is a diuretic and causes dehydration, which is linked to heat loss. Provide warm areas for use during break periods. Warm-up and Stretch. Working in cold environments may increase the risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries. Workers should perform warm-up stretching exercises before handling heavy equipment and material. In the last stretch towards the end of winter, keep yourself and your employees warm to beat cold stress, improve morale and productivity. It just makes sense.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Protect your Skin at Winter Golf Days

Even in winter the sun has the potential of damaging your skin. That is why it is good
to be able to protect your skin during all seasons. Some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, but too much sunlight can be dangerous. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause immediate effects such as sunburn and long-term problems such as skin cancer and cataracts. Sunlight consists of two types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, UVB and UVA. Both UVB and UVA radiation contribute to freckling, skin wrinkling and the development of skin cancer. If health is a focus of your company there are gifts that you can choose that can assist in this area? Types of promotional gifts that can help are: For golf days Some golf clubs offer winter golf day specials such as the Killarney golf club that offers 50% discount on venue hire over July and August. If you want to protect your skin at a golf day buy a panama hat instead of caps. While caps come in a wide variety of designs and colours, they leave the ears exposed. However a panama hat is as stylish alternative headwear for the corporate, amateur and professional golfer. Many people think that umbrellas are just about rain, but they also offer protection for golfers from the sun. A good idea is to invest in a couple of gazebos, which can be stations near the tee off and the end of the hole, so that golfers can stop for some refreshments. You can even get branded event coolers. Please remember your sunscreen bottles and sachets for the players, which you can hand out at registration. Additional items that make great golf day ideas are: Chinos Golf club covers Golf gloves Golf tees Golf Towels Water bottles You can have a lot of fun and by taking care of a few extra details like protecting the skin of your players; you can show that you can about your customers as well. For more information contact us on:, or visit us on or call us on: 082 948 7461.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to Choose a Winter Jacket

The long term weather forecast for Johannesburg put us with average low temperatures of between 8 and 6 degrees. While the days remain a pleasant temperature, much to my delight, like most people I have to get up early to get to work and those chilly mornings and the sudden drop of temperature at sunset and not to my liking. To see the long term view for weather have a look at That is why a good winter jacket is essential at this time of the year. Initially jackets are worn primarily in the early morning s and after work, but as winter progresses; a good jacket is an essential element for a corporate winter wardrobe. Choosing the correct winter jacket for your staff and clients can seem a bit tricky. But if you use some basic guidelines, you will be able to choose the most suitable style for your company, based on the average type of use for the winter jacket. 1. Choose your budget. On average companies who are paying for the full price of the jacket, will choose a style every second year. This means that you need able to choose a quality jacket that will last and still look good after two years of wearing. So there needs to be a balance of cash flow and value. For companies who get staff to pay for their own jackets, budget works around what the average employee can afford. The more advanced the technology of the jacket, the higher the budget will be. However it is important to consider the cost per usage value. I have jackets that I have worn for years and then I have jackets that I have only been able to wear for a season. A quality jacket that lasts may initially seem price, but given the cost per usage of the jacket, it makes it a good value for money option. 2. Choose the best jacket for your needs. Where your staff are working on site and primarily outdoors, then an insulated padded jacket is a must. However if you staff will wear them primarily around the office, then a good soft-shell jacket will work. While jacket that works well for the rainy season, such as a Drimac Jacket or a MacJack, these are very casual looking jackets and are not suitable for corporate wear. 3. Consider the brand for your jackets. There are a number of promotional jackets on the market, Such a Barron and Altitude. These are good value for money options and often have a large selection of styles and colours. Popular winter jackets from the Barron Range include • 3-in-1 Jackets4-in-1 jacketsStudio JacketsWeatherproof Polyamide Jacket Another brand which has a limited range, but is an excelent corporate choice is the Caddy Master jackets. The Tony jacket by Caddy Master is a Showerproof micro peached outer fabric with 200g micro fleece lining for warmth. Another very corporate choice that makes a good all year round jacket is the Ernest Jacket by Dunbar, which has a cotton outer with poly/cotton lining and ribbed collar. Many retail brands are designed around fashion trends are do not always work for a corporate unless you are willing to stick to black and as good base colour. However certain brands available at a retail level are performance driven brands. Brands such as First Ascent are performance tested and due to the fact that they last a long time, they often value for money in comparison to servicing an immediate cash flow issue. The First Ascent Soft-Shell fabrics combine the insulation benefits of a soft fleece with the water & wind repellent benefits of a hard shell. Fusion Soft-Shell fabrics are research inspired fabrics developed to move fast and light and simplify your wardrobe. Fabrics are lightweight, durable, and easy to wear and for the most part outperform a traditional hard shell, except in extended rainy conditions. In the First Ascent Jackets, the jackets that use this technology include • Ladies Bernina Body WarmerLadies Minstral XT-2 JacketLadies Oracle XT-1 JacketLadies XT-2 JacketMatterhorn Body WarmerMen’s Phantom XT-2 JacketMen’s Oracle XT-1 JacketSolace XT-2 Jacket 4. Consider the tasks of the staff members. Warehouse environments are extremely cold and so performance jackets are more suited to this environment. We find that a good 3-in-1 jacket allows versatility, as it can be used as a body warmer, jacket or a jacket with a fleece lining. However styles of 3-in-1s do differ from time to time. However offices often have air conditioning so staff have some protection form the elements during the day. Working on a computer requires upper body mobility, which is restricted with many of the padded jacket options. Once you have juggled, the needs to your staff, the performance of the brand and your budget, you will be able to come up with a good jacket choice. While you can’t please everyone all the time, your can come up with a jacket choice that will keep the majority of your staff happy and attract the attenti

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First Ascent

One of the brands that I love is the First Ascent brand. The brand is a leading outdoor specialist brand. Whether it is cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, triathlons or braving the corporate jungle, the First Ascent brand offers top performance gear for any adventurous person. The soft shell jackets ad body warmers are extremely popular in the corporate market. Besides the technology testing the brand’s performance is tested in the field by serious athletes. Soft-Shell fabrics combine the insulation benefits of a soft fleece with the water & wind repellent benefits of a hard shell. Fusion Soft-Shell fabrics are research inspired fabrics developed to move fast and light and simplify your wardrobe. Fabrics are lightweight, durable, easy to wear and for the most part outperform a traditional hard shell, except in extended rainy conditions. Some of the jackets that we like are the : Men’s Phantom XT-2 Jacket
Description: This soft-shell fabric offers the best of both hard-shell and fleece in one garment – water repellent enough to protect you from a light downpour. Features: • Articulated arms, for freedom of movement • Athletic cut to eliminate excess bulk • High collar for increased protection • 2 large pockets with concealed shock cord for the hem located in each pocket • Mp3 compatible pocket Specifications: • FABRIC > Soft-Shell XT2 • WEIGHT > 485g • SIZES: S | M | L | XL | 2XL | 3XL | 4XLcl Men’s Oracle XT-1 Jacket Tramm5mm
Description: Featuring bonded breathable membrane technology, the Oracle represents the ultimate combination of hard-shell and fleece. The durable water shedding face fabric combines with the membrane to effectively repel snow, ice and most of the rain it encounters. Features: • XT-1 Soft-Shell membrane technology fabric • Athletic cut with articulated arms for unrestricted movement • Aquaguard main zip for increased water shedding • Concealed cuff gusset to keep unwanted snow and ice at bay • 2 large chest cargo pockets and 2 easy entry handwarmer pockets • Sewfree zippered bicep accessory pocket • One hand operational collar adjuster and waist • drawcord anchored in pocket • MP3 Compatible pocket Specifications: • FABRIC > Soft-Shell XT1 • WEIGHT > 550g • SIZES: S | M | L | XL | XXL | XXXL Ladies Oracle XT-1 Jacket
Description: Featuring bonded breathable membrane technology, the Oracle represents the ultimate combination of hard-shell and fleece. The durable water shedding face fabric combines with the membrane to effectively repel snow, ice and most of the rain it encounters. Features: • XT-1 Soft-Shell membrane technology fabric • Ladies specific cut with articulated arms for unrestricted movement • Aquaguard main zip for increased water shedding • One hand operational collar adjuster and waist drawcord anchored in pocket • Concealed cuff gusset to keep unwanted snow and ice at bay • Sewfree zippered bicep accessory pocket • MP3 Compatible pocket Specifications: • FABRIC > Soft-Shell XT-1 • WEIGHT > 495g • SIZES: S | M | L | XL Ladies Bernina Waistcoat XT2 Description: A flattering, wind blocking body warmer designed to keep the torso warm and dry. Fleecy lined for warmth with an easy maintenance outer fabric. Features: • Fleecy lined Fusion XT-2 fabric is windproof and water resistant • Zip secure hand warmer pockets, with hem draw cord neatly stowed inside • MP3 compatible pocket Specifications: • FABRIC > Soft Shell XT2 Fabric • WEIGHT > 260g • SIZES: S | M | L | XL | 2XL Mens Matterhorn Body Warmer
Description: This next generation softshell fabric offers the best of both hardshell & fleece in one garment – the wind resistant outer blocks natures fury, while the soft fleece traps the warmth to insulate your torso. Features: • Reflective logos • Athletic cut to eliminate excess bulk • Chest pocket to carry an energy bar • 2 large pockets • Elasticated hem to seal in the warmth Specifications: • FABRIC > Fusion Soft Shell XT2 Fabric • WEIGHT > 310g • SIZES: S | M | L | XL | 2XL | 3XL