Monday, February 27, 2017

Low Cost Corporate Gift Focus: Surprisingly Safety wear

I never thought of safety wear as a corporate gift. It always was a must to have item for construction companies. But the humble construction bib and drawstring bag came to mind when winter arrived and there was a decreased visibility in the mornings due to later sunrise. I realised that you can show that you value a client or an employee by investing in those low cost item in a creative way. To have the desired impact, you absolutely have to include an explanatory note, because most people are not going to immediately see what the relevance is of this gift. It is rather like insurance, many people don’t see the point until the day that they actually need it. Some of the several uses for safety ware in day to day living. According to Arrive Alive of the 10 thousand killed every year, more than 40% are pedestrians. In the mornings, when I take my children to school, the sun rises so much later and visibility is very poor. There are many people walking to work, and children waiting for lifts and "die hard" fitness enthusiast jogging in the extreme cold that I simply cannot see until I am almost on top of them. Wearing a safety jacket or even a low cost bib can increase their visibility. Then there is a dreaded flat tyre at night and possibly worst of all when it is raining that increases you chance of be knocked over. You should keep a safety bib in your vehicle for these types of emergencies. We had a breakdown recently when I was with my daughter and as it was just about a kilometre from home, we decided to walk back while my husband waited for the AA. Although the area is quite safe, there was some maintenance on the side of the road, so there were several spots where we actually had to walk in the road or cross the road. In hindsight, a safety bib would have been very practical. If you are building a home or visiting a town house development, you should have a hard hat, which some construction companies do have on site, but having a high visibility bib especially if you visiting when construction is actually is actually essential.
In a study in an Australian University by Philippe Lacherez, who is a post-doctoral fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science – it shows that cyclists could be exposing themselves to greater danger of being struck by a car due to the driver’s inability to see them, particularly when the light is poor, and says reflective, not high-visibility, clothing is the answer to being seen in the hours of darkness. We found that crashes disproportionately occurred during low-light conditions such as at dawn, dusk or at night. Only 34 per cent of cyclists in these low-light crashes were wearing reflective clothing and 19 per cent of them said they weren't using bicycle lights at the time of the crash. "We're concerned that this means cyclists are making themselves more vulnerable by not being adequately visible to an oncoming driver.” Some ways to use the contact bib or high visibility draw string bag for promotions.
Automotive companies Corporate wellness days Cycling Clubs Insurance companies Marathon organisers Running clubs School safety training Staff safety training Trade shows for construction companies So when you are looking for ways to maximise your marketing budget, give a practical promotional gift that will position you as someone who cares about your clients and staff in a way that counts. For more information on other low cost promotional items contact us on or 082 948 7461 or visit us on

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Low Cost Gift Focus: The Car Charger

The mobile office is an option that's increasingly taken up by companies around the world. Instead of travelling to work, technology allows work to come to you. For some types of business owner (especially those who don't need to see their clients face-to-face on a regular basis), an office is no longer essential. Just yesterday, I worked at McDonalds for a few hours, as I had been in the area and was waiting to meet up with someone else close by who had been delayed. In the upstairs section there were five business people all working on laptops and drinking coffee, a common combination for any professional. While McDonalds does not jump out as a top area of work, it has wifi, has recently introduces a café, where you can get coffee in ceramic cups and saucers and some decent cakes, muffins and essential for someone with a laptop or tablet, several plug points. I do have to warn you that not all McDonalds have many plug point options. In fact not all coffee shops have plug points available, so for “the early bird catches the worm”, most definitely applies. For a professional working with a laptop or a tablet, power is crucial. While we do sell a range of wonderful power banks
, the really effective ones are not cheap. In recent years the market has been flooded with fake capacity power banks, which has led to legislation covering the manufacture and import of these devises. Laptop charging power banks are in high demand due to the power hungry nature of modern laptops and smartphone. So these types of devises are more suited for clients where you want to budget for a high end gift. But as this article is actually about low cost gifts, I now tell you about the humble, yet essential low cost technology gift for the mobile office professional. While working from a mobile office, you may you tend to use your devise’s battery up sooner than you would imagine. I use my tablet a lot. I use it to play the motivational songs that I have loaded onto to it, I use it to reply to emails while waiting at reception areas, I use it to take photos of products that I want my colleagues to see and the list goes on and on. However this type of usage does consume the battery very fast. This is when a car charger is a welcome life saver for a mobile professional.
A car charger fits into the car lighter of your vehicle. I doubt that whoever designer the car lighter many decades ago ever imagined this type of use, but we are indebted to them for the multipurpose design of a vehicle. There are some car chargers that are quite flimsy and that means that when you have inserted them, they have the annoying habit of popping out while you are driving, interrupting the power source and leaving you with a flat devise when you arrive at your destination. The ones that I like have a more solid type of body and when inserted in the lighter plug, remain in place. This means that I can concentrate on driving with the comfort of knowing that I will have a charged devise upon my arrival. The car charger is not the lowest cost promotional gift, but the practicality and value are outstanding. It has a good life expectancy and given to the correct client, will have an excellent cost per impression rate as it will become an essential gadget for the mobile professional. If you take few units, your unit cost will go up and if you take more units, your unit cost will go down. I would strongly advice that when handing this gift out, to share a story of how it has been helpful to you and to encourage the recipient to get into their vehicle as soon as possible. Perhaps you could do a covering letter or a card stating how you like to find solutions for your client and this is one way to make their life easier. Some ways to use the Car Charger for promotions. Sales rep visits Trade shows Insurance companies New product launches Consulting companies Automotive companies Virtual office companies Cell phone companies So when you are looking for ways to maximise your marketing budget, give a practical promotional item that will position you as a problem solver in times that it really counts. For more information on other low cost promotional items contact us on or 082 948 7461 or visit us on

High End Gift Focus: Trolley Bags

This week, I graduated to full time mobile office executive. A wonderful side effect of that, that ladies may appreciate, I that I got slimmer due to the extra mobility. Seriously though, we have had so many client and supplier appointments that my colleague and I have been on the road almost the entire week. Just yesterday, I started in Kyalami, then went to the branding factory in Wynberg to get am embroidery swatch, then to a warehouse in Modderfontein to collect an emergency order, then to a client in Bryanston to drop of some 4 in 1 jackets, then to a client in Pankhurst to get a sign off of a sample, then back to Bryanston, then back to Modderfontein and then back to Bryanston again. All in one day. My favourite corporate gift as a mobile office executive has always been a laptop handbag. It is a stylish gift, that compliments the executive suit bearing business woman, but there are times where only a trolley bag will do.
This month, I changed over to the trolley bag. One of the reasons is that we are busy with auditors and I get regular questions about expenses and transactions that I can’t even remember. So I am currently carrying a laptop, a tablet, a charger, one year’s worth of bank statements for two bank accounts, a number of invoices and a couple copies of our new clothing catalogue. As I am not married to chiropractor or a physiotherapist, for this season I have to use a trolley bag or face certain agony at the end of the day. My personal choice is the Europa Laptop Trolley Bag.
Trolley bags are a higher end gift, but an extremely well received gift that has a long life, so your brand gets a boost at the same time. The wheel mechanism automatically increases the cost of any bag in comparison to a laptop back pack. So if cost is a factor for you, then opt for a back pack. However I have found that gents are more likely to use a back pack than ladies. So it would be wise to segment your market and give the back pack to gents and a ladies laptop handbag to your female clients. However, the trolley bag is a unisex upmarket gift, so well received by both ladies and gents. Trolley bags come in a range of fabrics. From nylon bags all the way through to genuine leather. I personally use the Europa Laptop Trolley Bag. It has a nice smooth mechanism and at a size of 51cm x 58cm x 26.5cm can hold quite a lot. The two front pockets are ideal as I can put smaller items, size as a dongle, lip ice, my keys and change in without having to empty the whole bag to find something small. For the AU Summit last year, we supplied the Checked executive Rolling Back Pack. It worked well with the earthy colours of the Summit’s logo and complimented the bamboo usb and pens that the delegates received. While the dimensions 45cm x 31cm x 15cm is smaller than the one that I use, it is ideal for a conference or everyday use where you do not have a lot to carry.
Of course if you are trying to impress that top client. Nothing beats the genuine leather items. You can expect to pay from about R 3 500.00 excl VAT per genuine leather laptop trolley bags and even more for certain brands. There is a lot of debate going on in the market about what constitutes genuine leather, so I would encourage you to do some research and use the tried and tested method that if the price seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is not the “real deal”. Trolley bags can be used for: Attorneys Conferences Medical reps Sales executives Summits Universities where the text books are massive For more information on other high end promotional items contact us on or 082 948 7461 or visit us on

Battle of the Branded Coffee Mugs

Branded coffee mugs can be compared to the food industry. Yes, there are fast food outlets that can give you a cheap, fast meal, but is it actually any good in terms of the long term health of your body? Or you can go to a restaurant that takes longer to prepare the meal, but the quality is superior and the enjoyment factor is greater. At the end of the day, when you are working with relationships with a client, what is the choice that is going to show that you value the relationship? Do you expose your client to the “fast food option” to branding or corporate gifts or the “time intensive” quality approach? As I sit here I have three types of branded coffee mugs on my desk. All of which we actually sell. So my experience is based on actual performance of each process. Exhibit 1: A pad printed mug Exhibit 2: A sublimated/digitally printed mug Exhibit 3: A kiln fired mug Which mug do you think that I as a corporate gifting specialist use for my own company branded coffee mug? I use the kiln fired mugs. Why? I bought these mugs over five years ago and while some mugs did not survive because of getting chipped by being knocked against other hard objects, over years of washing, every single mug still has the print intact. The extreme heat used in kiln firing bonds the material to give a very strong finish. There is no fading or distorting or peeling. In fact, while I would never give away a used mug, the branding is so prefect that five years down the line, that if you were to give away this mug, no one would ever guess that it is not brand new. That is what I call longevity of a corporate gift. The pad printed mug we sold to a client who did not have the budget for kiln firing and did not have the time to wait either. This mug has gone through the same use as that our own branded mugs have, but the last letter of the pad print has finally peeled off. The digitally printed mug faired the best in the low cost area. But over time the print did start to fade, after exposure to microwave and washing. While the pad printed and digitally printed mugs are still good quality, the results speak for themselves, that the print process of the kiln fired mugs out-performed the pad printed and digitally printed mugs. What is Kiln Firing? Kiln Firing is a basically a type of oven,that produces temperatures sufficient to complete some process, such as hardening, drying, or chemical changes. Various industries and trades use kilns to harden objects made from clay into pottery, tiles and bricks. For coffee mugs, the kiln basically bakes the print into the mug. It is one of those ancient technologies that has stood the test over time over centuries and why ancient artefacts can still be considered beautiful these days. What do you need for a kiln fired mug? Firstly you need a logo that is in Vector format. The company who designed your logo can help you with this, or you can have your logo redrawn. Vector files such as AI and EPS can remain editable so you can open them back up in Illustrator and edit any text or other elements within the graphic. We can assist with having your logo redrawn at a fee. Secondly, you will need to plan. The kiln fired mugs take time. The decals have to printed, then applied by hand to the mug and then they have to be kiln fired. Cooling down on the branded coffee mugs takes a minimum of 24 hours and if you try to artificially speed this cooling down process, the mug will crack. In total you will need to budget a minimum of 10 working days. What is the kiln firing process? The mugs are silkscreened; each colour is printed separately, one at a time, which is why the artwork for these corporate gifts needs to be supplied in Vector format to enable the layout technician to separate the colours. The print is first printed onto a decal. The print is then submerged into soapy water which allows the printer to apply the print by hand onto the mug. Full wrap prints are possible this way. After the mugs are decorated, they are then placed into the kiln, which is heated at 800 degrees Celsius for ceramics and 600 degree Celsius for glassware. The end result is a professional job that is permanent, scratch fee and dishwasher and microwave safe. Styles of branded Coffee Mugs available Bullet Branded Coffee Mug Cone Branded Coffee Mug
Jumbo Cone Branded Coffee Mug
Slimline Branded Coffee Mug
Sqaured Branded Coffee Mug
Standard Branded Coffee Mug
Spoon Branded Coffee Mug
Uses for Coffee Mugs Exhibitions Bosses Day Cancer awareness New product launches Year End Gifts Introductory visit gifts Valentine’s Day World Aids Day For more information on other promotional items contact us on or 082 948 7461 or visit us on

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