Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to Use Coffee Mugs in Your Customer Relationship Strategy

In today’s fast paced, high stress work environments, it’s no wonder we need that caffeine fix in the morning to get going.
Some people are just friendlier in the morning after their first cup of coffee. The explosion of energy drinks on the market shows that people are looking for ways to increase energy. Yet the cup of coffee is more than just an energy boost, it is a social tool and business tool, making it an ideal corporate gift. After dinner it is a way to boost conversation and prolonging the evening. In a boardroom it is a way of boosting ideas and conversation. In the morning in the office it is a way of building team morale. When travelling long distance coffee is quite literally a life saver. It keeps you awake log enough to get home safely. Coffee mugs are used regularly and therefore have a low cost per impression. Here are some top coffee mugs and ideas to boost how to use coffee mugs in your firm. When Do You Hand Out Coffee Mugs? Coffee mugs can be used all year round. Even if you hand our year end gifts, we would recommend starting the New Year off with a coffee mug gift as well. This has a lot of benefits. You stand out from competitors and other non-competing firm competing for your time and attention. You start the year off well and top of mind. Other times of the year that you can had out coffee mugs as corporate gifts is Valentine’s day, Easter, Secretary’s day, Bosses day, and year end functions. What Style Coffee Mugs to Choose? There are so many branded coffee mugs to choose from as corporate gifts. That it can be very confusing. For example, there are Ceramic thermal mugs, chalk mugs, cone Mugs, cookie Mugs, colour changing mugs, fast forward mugs, flair mugs, motivational mugs, jumbo mugs, martini mugs, Slimline mugs, spoon mugs, squared mugs or travel mugs. But here are some of our favourite choices for coffee mugs. Cookie Coffee Mugs This is a relational nurturing mug. It has a cute and functional design. But your strategy should not just end when you give out the coffee mug. Use the opportunity to drop off a bag of cookies every few weeks at your client for them to use with their cookie mugs. Isosteel Travel Coffee Mugs This is the ultimate in travel mugs. In a time where people are looking for cheap deals, you can be tempted to buy a promotional mug that has a low cost and many on the market are functional for that single cup of coffee drank quickly. But the Isosteel mugs are exceptionally well designed. They simply keep hot drink hot for much, much longer. After twelve years, I am still a strong advocate of the Isosteel brand. When my baby was born and I needed to keep water hot next to my bed to heat her bottles, the Isosteel products out lasted every single other flask that I tried. So when you refuse to compromise on quality, then the Isosteel mugs are essential travel mug choice. Motivational Standard Coffee Mug You can start an entire internal campaign for staff and clients with the motivational standard coffee mugs. A standard mug
has a large print surface and brands very well with a wraparound print. This allows you to put a lot of content onto it. For example, if you are running a “quality week”, each day you can give your staff a different mug with a different idea on it. You can even print clues on to the coffee mug if you are having a competition linked to an educational campaign. Jumbo Mugs These are a wonderful way to create an impact. We recommend those that are large enough to make a statement, but small enough to be used for everyday use. That is what keeps the cost per impression practical. The more someone uses the mug, the better. So do not choose a gigantic novelty mug, which is impractical for everyday use. The jumbo cone range has that perfect combination of impact and functionality. Tips When Choosing Your Branded Coffee Mug 1. Choose a comfortable mug to hold. The standard coffee mug is very comfortable to hold for any type of hand. It has a nice rounded handle. Although we love the look of the slimline mugs and the martini mugs their handles are more difficult for larger hands to hold. Standard handles are more ergonomical, thus increasing the use of the mug and hence lowering your cost of impression per use. 2. Choose printing that is durable for coffee mugs. When you are working with ceramic coffee mugs, we always advice using our silkscreen option with kiln firing. These prints are microwave and dishwasher safe. Some advertisers will create a design that is beautiful to look at, but will require digital print. Digital print is not dishwasher or microwave safe. Metal mugs should never be printed. You should engrave a metal mug. Many clients try to insist of printing a metal mug. While this may look good when you drop it off at your client, the print will come off. That will tarnish your reputation with the client and waste your advertising spend as the mug will not be used after the print starts to fade. 3. Personalise your mugs. You can put your client’s individual name onto the coffee mug. We usually recommend on the inside of the mug. Yes, it does cost a little extra, but it produces the result that you want, that your client is important to you. That you value the relationship. 4. Package Your Mugs Spend a little extra on packaging for your coffee mugs. It takes the coffee mug from just another corporate gift, you a relationship building strategy. Box with base and lid. This is a quick and easy way to package and looks more up market. You can add branded ribbon to tie around the box and have an elegant presentation that it quick and easy. Plain corrugated boxes. These are supplied flat and are easy to store and are quick to assemble. This a great solution if you are going to be handing out the mugs over time instead of in one go. You would need to gift wrap these boxes to create the impression that you value the relationship with the client. Gift Bags These are easy to store and quick. The challenge is keeping the mug in place and bag if rolling around in the car can get to look a little tacky. So use this is you have a boot organiser to keep all your bags safe or if you are very careful. Cellophane If you know how to package the cellophane well. This creates a colourful and visible impression. However the downside is that unless very carefully handled, the packaging can easily become crinkled by the time it reaches your client. Custom made packaging Be very cautious of custom made boxes. Mugs are manufactured in batches and sometimes there are very small variations in sizes. If your custom made boxes does not have an allowance for this variance, then your box may not close or be bit lopsided. Manufacturers will not take back a customer box if the contents don’t fit. We recommend using boxes that a mug supplier has recommended. In summary, a coffee mug is a versatile promotional tool for you that can be used all year round and work well to solidify relationships with your client. So why not start 2014 with a well-received corporate coffee mug for your clients. For other corporate gift ideas visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za

Monday, November 25, 2013

Get organised with Year End Gifts

This year I have noticed that organisational skills are critical to any success. So much time slips past us and then we notices that an entire year has gone past and we have not gotten around to things that we consider important, whether they are personal or professional. That is when gifts that help people stay organised are so helpful. I must admit that one of the best gifts that I have received was a birthday calendar. When you get a diary, then you will rewrite all your important events over in it. If you are handing out an organiser or a filo fax as a corporate gift then only the inserts will be changed, so you can keep your old inserts like important dates or contact details. The great thing about birthday calendars is they too remain constant. You don’t have to change them each year. Organisation is about saving you time. In the theme of time, watches still remain an excellent corporate gift. I have also noticed that clutter can really eat into your motivation as well as time. A
/">beautiful corporate gift option is the treasure chest you help keep your magazines together or even catalogues that you want to keep, but which look unsightly lying around. Notebooks with sticky notes are a classical way to keep organised, You are able to highlight important sections of catalogues reports , notebooks and anything else that important to you. Highlighters are also a great low cost corporate gift that works well with an
organisational theme. Watches and clocks still make terrific year end gifts and work well with the
organisational theme. This year a classical corporate gift has been leather travel wallets. When you are travelling keeping organised is a must, as you need to keep all your important items together, so for companies who have clients who travel a lot, this is the ideal corporate gift. Although work has become a lot more casual, there are simply times when you have to look smart. That is why the Executive Gents gift set with a silk tie, pocket handkerchief and matching cuff links in a black gift box is a wonderful year end gift. If you wear a lot of ties, then add this to your collection. If not then keep it as it is in your draw for those days when you have to rush out to an urgent presentation. There are so many year-end gifts that can work with an organisational theme, so you are spoilt for choice. This is just a few of our ideas, for more ideas visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beautiful last minute diaries

As the year draws to a close the words “first come, first served, however realistic, can drive you mad. Currently there is a mad panic for diaries and many clients linger on a decision only to find that by the time they make up their mind the stock is gone. Actually at this time of the year, you have minutes to make a decision and should not be wrapped up in sticky red tape that causes you to miss out on what you want. But now I am going to give you a carefully guarded secret diary option. So many diaries are now out of stock. This year we were introduced to brand new diary design from a new unknown publisher. The range is called the Frameworthy range of diaries. I love this diary. It is the one that I have chosen for our team for next year. Because we want the diary that very few others have. Starting with the cover, I love the luxurious feel of it. It has a soft padded PU cover. And not that hard plastic cover that many diaries come in, but a smooth velvety texture. While many diaries have the date merely stamped or foiled on the right hand, this is a well-designed embossing; that you can has been specifically designed. The cover embosses logos beautifully. I also like that there are perforated tear off corners on these diaries. As a day is finished, you tear off the perforated corner. This means that you can easily find your space, even if you forgot to put the ribbon into the correct place. We have the A5 diaries for our team and ladies may be interested to know that there is even a table of food calories in the diary as well as a BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculation. For wine lovers , in our A5 diary there a vintage chart, with notes on how long you should keep a wine as well as the best serving and storing temperatures. For international business people the world information that includes international times is useful tool and if you need to call internationally these pages also give you the currency required in various countries. Being in the corporate gifting industry, I also like the fact that there are wedding anniversary gifts. This week my husband and I had our eight wedding anniversary, which meant that the gift or this year should have been electric. With the current hear, I should have asked for an electric fan. I also found the international clothing sizes very useful. I usually wear a size 10, but if after too much Christmas feasting, I could always say that I am say that I am wearing a continental Europe size 38 dress and people will just have to think that I bought a dress abroad and not trying to hide too many Christmas treats. The PU cover Frameworthy diaries come in three sizes and three colours. Long Slim Executive Pocket Diary. The long slim line executive pocket that has two page for per and can fit snugly into a handbag. 171 x 81mm (H x W) White paper, ribbon page marker, elastic string closure, stitched over, perforated corners, South African Public Holidays, Personal Memoranda. Contact pages, World Map, World Time Zones A5 Page a Day Diary. The popular A5 size (210 x 148cm) page a day option White paper, Ribbon Page marker, Personal Memoranda, Contact Pages, World Map, World Information, Embossing Management Diary Page a Day. A large format executive diary (270 x 205mm (H & W) White paper, Ribbon Page marker, Elastic string closure, perforated corners, stitched cover, stitched cover, South African Holidays, personal memoranda contact pages, World map, World information. The colours are a brilliant cherry red, basic black and ever classic navy. Although quantities change every few minutes, these are the quantities that were available at 15H00 on 20 November 2013. Slim Pocket Diary: Black, 1700, Navy, 750, Red, 700 A5 Page a Day, Black 1600, Navy, 750, Red 700 Management: Black 1600, Navy, 700, Red 700 Please take care to order very quickly, as stock is being allocated on a first come first serve basis. Yes, sorry, there are those dreadful “First Come, First Served” words. For more information on our diary range and corporate gift range visit us on info@belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za

Monday, November 18, 2013

Travel Gifts

This time of the year many people are taking trips, so travel gifts make an excellent year end gift choice. So let's take trip Together and see what options you can look at options you can use for this years year end gifts. First of all let's start packing. If you are off to a long trip then you may want take a larger suitcase, but if you can only
get away between Christmas and New year, then you could consider a weekend away bag. Many travelers leave very early in the morning to avoid traveling in the ghost sun. That will make flasks and mug sets and excellent idea, as a cup of coffee early in the morning is just what you need to keep alert on the road. If you are traveling with children a knee blanket is also a great travel gift is a great gift to keep them comfortable while on the road. In fact we have one that even folds up into a pillow. While you a in your car, you can still control a lot, but when you have to do those bathroom stops,that's where it is a
challenge. Not all garage bathrooms a up to scratch when it comes to cleanliness and even if the is a good cleaning schedule, when large volumes of travelers come through, that is when staff can not keep up. This is why we recommend the Journey Hand Santitiser. It means that you are able to keep your hand germ free even if there is no soap in the restrooms. You can also go for anti-bacterial wipes. We tend to use this to clean of toilet seats or tables in picnic areas that are not well cleaned. If you a like us, we have a range of supplements that we take and our children take, but to carry all the bottles with us, just means far too many things inside the cars. So a travel gift like the Paramed Pill and Plaster dispenser is a nice compact and low cost gift that fits easily into a bag or car and keeps your medication on hand and you can deal with a quick scrape of the knee by busy little people. Another great gift is the road trip first aid kit. We all hope for the best, but need to be prepared for the worst. This kit has a glow in the dark kit, which will alert people to you when you are stuck on a darkened highway, a rain poncho (no one wants to get stuck changing a tyre on the side of the road in the rain), a fleece blanket, a mini first aid kit, a dynamo torch (no batteries are needed, so you can relax knowing that it is going to work even when it has been sitting in the car unused for a long time), a reflective safety vest and safety gloves, you help you when you are changing tyres. Travel manicure sets also make a practical gift. If you have torn a nail, you could end up biting on it most of the trip, or you could quickly address it. Toiletry bags make terrific travel gifts. In fact now you can get travel sets. There are ranges of travel kit that have the same designs, so that you can introduce the whole range to your clients. For example, a toiletry bag, a back pack, cooler bag a sports bag. Although they are sold individually, you can build your stray around them. For example, a top clients can get a certain part of the range and new clients another part. Sunglasses and neck pillows are excellent Low cost travel gifts for any
traveller. You may be thinking that sunglasses are a very personal item. However, it is a practical gift choice as so many people end up leaving valuable items behind when on holiday, that they would welcome a cheaper alternative to use for the trip. Previously, I would pack one big cooler bag with everyone's snacks. But then everyone keeps on asking who've is closes to the cooler bag, to get something for them. No on long road trips, I pack a
snack pack in an individual bag for each person. That way, they can each take out what they want , when they want it and no one fights about portions. There are so many great travel gift ideas for year end gifts, that you can't go wrong in terms of variety of choice. Happy shopping. For more gift ideas visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beach Holiday Gifts

How I long to be on holiday. To slip off my shoes and feel the beach sand between my toes and to hear the rush of the waves
hitting the shore. Best of all to hear the shouts of joy and laughter from my children, who have walked along side me this year. It is a special time for people who are sending out branded gifts. There are so many opportunities all around us for exciting year end gift ideas. Imagine your brand in these ways….. You arrive at the beach and put a branded sun visor in your car windscreen. Put on your branded beach slip slops and put on a branded beach visor. You grab your branded towel or branded roll up beach mat and grab your branded cooler bag with your refreshments. If you planned ahead you will arrive early and easily find the best spot for your beach parasol or beach umbrella and you, if
you have small children, you will be erecting your branded shade or beach bell. Of course all your personalised items, such as your beach towel and branded sunscreen and branded lip ice are all in your branded beach bag. You may start to unpack the branded picnic bag with all your favourite picnic treats. Perhaps you are not the beach mat type of person and prefer to have a branded
outdoor chair to have a good view of the ocean. If you have some extra energy, you may want to play some beach games that you brought with you. So, as you can see, there are countless ways to use the beach for your year end gift theme. It is wonderful to know that you gift will be part of the happy memories that your clients will have over the holidays. For more ideas for corporate gifts and year end gifts contact us on info@belleregalo.co.za or call us on 0829487461

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What are the Trends in Year End Gifts?

As the year is coming to a close, I like to review what our clients are spending on. It gives us a good feel of what trends are emerging and helps other clients to make decisions. Leather We have seen a strong move towards timeless classics such as leather gifts for year end gifts. Leather gifts have a timeless elegance. We have had a big boost in leather wallets, both personal wallets, ladies leather purses and leather travel wallets. In fact in none of the preceding years have we ever sold as many small leather items. When I say small, I mean in comparisons to leather bags, which are larger in size. After coming through some troubling global economic times, people are looking for security ad hope. Timeless classics like leather have distinguished and established look, which adds longevity and trust to relationships. In the past people have had the misconception that leather is expensive, however the smaller leather items, such as leather wallets and purses are not as expensive as one might imagine. These days decisions are about value and not just cost. Our clients want to know that the gifts that they give are actually going to be used and not just put into the bottom drawer. Another leather gift that has had a boost is the leather notebook covers. These are more visible than a wallet or purse as they are used in meetings, making your brand more visible. We have also had an increase in personalisation, where a person’s individual name is debossed onto the item. Diaries Diaries remain a firm favourite, with sadly many clients still waiting to order until the last minute. The challenge with diaries is that because of the dates on them, diaries that are not sold are counted as a loss. This means that printers would rather under print than over print. It makes logical sense, to minimise potential losses. However this means that at the end of each year, some people will be disappointed if they have not planned ahead. It is understandable that some corporates may wait until they feel more certain with budget. If this is a challenge, then we would recommend organisers instead of diaries. There are great leather organisers as well as PU organisers. The inserts are generic can be changes every year. Travel Gifts We have had a strong growth in the travel market and travel related gifts. Custom made passport covers, leather luggage tags and leather travel wallets has been very popular items. We have noticed a lot of activity in the travel/tourism industry and also with the amount of tour t-shirts that have been ordered. Outdoor Gifts As the holidays approach, clients are looking at giving gifts that can be used in a family outdoor setting. Our clients have shown a lot of interest in braai sets, cooler boxes and cooler bags. Picnic baskets and picnic bags remain a firm favourite. As a family we have a number of them. Some are for two, when you have a special couple date and some are for four, when you are having a family picnic. Alongside that, picnic blankets work well, with many families using two to three picnic blankets at a time. One picnic blanket to place the food on and the other two to sit or lie on. While there are thousands of year end gifts to choose from, these categories have emerged as popular year end gifts for this year. For more gifting ideas contact us on info@belleregalo.co.za or visit our website www.belleregalo.co.za or call us on 0829487461.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

T-Shirts Are in the Media Again

Just this week a big political t-shirt row was in the media again. Three T-shirts were designed by pupils of a Durban high school. T-shirts bearing the faces of President Jacob Zuma, former president Nelson Mandela and African National Congress national executive committee member and former police commissioner Bheki Cele, with derogatory captions, were displayed at the Westville Village Market Mall in Durban on Tuesday 05 November. An enormous row started between the ANC and the DA with regards to the T-shirts. The ANC reportedly moved a motion demanding that education MEC launch an investigation. With the end result being that the three t-shirts which were part of an art exhibition being removed despite DA protests that learners have the right to express themselves in whatever way they want to. This right is enshrined in our Constitution as the right to freedom of expression. No matter who you support, the handing out of t-shirts, although creating huge amounts of debates, is just a clever way of marketing. Colours are chosen so that from a distance it is obvious that the party is that is represented. If you saw a large group of people from a distance with yellow t-shirts on, which political party would you assume they would represent? Now because there are two political parties who both have the same main colour that may be a confusing. Is this because they want to blur the line and make it easier to move over to a new party? Who knows? In the past if we got an enquiry for high volume t-shirts in yellow, we would have assumed that it would be the ANC, but now we would wonder if it would be COPE. Blue t-shirts would be considered to colour of the DA’s t-shirts. In South Africa we have a large number of political parties, each with their own choice of corporate clothing, but for this article, I have chosen images for the parties who have t-shirt images that are easy to find on the web. While you are debating the use of colour for your t-shirts, or other corporate clothing, let’s look at branding. For t-shirts the most obvious choice of branding would be silk-screening. Screen printing is a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade or squeegee and onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. It is also known as silkscreen, serigraphy, and serigraph printing. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design. Screen printing is a versatile medium that can be used to create fine art or commercial reproductions. Of the four printmaking methods, screen printing is the only one which can personalize a wide variety of items, from textiles to ceramics. Sadly many companies when ordering t-shirts or other corporate clothing, done know what their pantone colours are. The Pantone Colour Matching System is largely a standardized colour reproduction system. By standardizing the colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colours match without direct contact with one another. So when you want to have a strong brand identity, it is important to have your pantone colours on hand to brief your t-shirt printing company. So when you want to create a massive impact, then t-shirts with silk-screening are the best option for large volumes and maximum impact. For more information about our t-shirt options, contact Belle Regalo on info@belleregalo.co.za or visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za or call us on 0829487461.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Align Your Corporate Responsibility with Your Clients

Combine your corporate responsibility with your corporate gift spend and build goodwill with the community and your clients
at the same time. Find out what charity or school your clients support and align yourself with them. You would have supported a charity in any case, so why not do it with a charity that your client works with. You can make a much bigger impact with combined forces. Companies often do business with companies who have the same set of values as they do. For example, people who value attention to details will attract clients who also value attention to details. Companies, who can work with tight deadlines, attract clients who work on tight deadlines. One of the great corporate gift and corporate clothing items that we work with are netball and soccer kits. Approach your clients and ask them to partner with you. For example you can sponsor a local school or community with a netball kit or soccer kit and put both of your logos. It will be more cost effective than using your own logo and you will be building good will with both your client and the community. This shows your client that you are aligned with your value system. Then take photos of the events that you work with and place them on your Facebook page, to build awareness. Send a press release to the local newspaper which will help to promote the cause of the community project and also promote both you and your client. Send a small thank you corporate gift to your client for partnering you with the project. Keep using the same school or community project for a long term strategy. For example sponsor that school with the training kit for their sporting events. Belle Regalo sells a wide range of sporting training equipment. Use January’s back to school run to sponsor corporate gifts, like stationary sets, water bottles, pens and pencil and pencil cases to the school that you work with. If you are working with a school organise school visits to your company with job shadowing. For these events you can supply them with conference bags, notebooks, clipboards etc. A corporate golf shirt is also a great way to let the visiting school feel part of the corporate environment for the day and to keep them all visible for the event. Use a lunch cooler bag and pack them a healthy lunch for the day. If you partner with your client and get the school to visit both you and your clients, then they will be able to better grasp the concept of a supply chain and supply and demand. For more information about corporate gifts or corporate clothing, contact Belle Regalo on www.belleregalo.co.za or info@belleregalo.co.za or call us on 0829487461.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Doing Your Part for World Aids Day on 01 December

Corporate efforts to create awareness for AIDS and HIV
prevention are working. By being involved as a corporate and using World AIDS Day gifts, you can help to create awareness and de-stigmatise HIV and AIDS. Just a decade ago a community member having AIDS could unleash death on a large scale. Now with education and awareness creating campaigns babies of HIV positive mothers can be born HIV free. There are now over 1 million babies that are born free of HIV from mothers who have HIV. However there are still many orphans who robbed of their parents "forced to take on the burden of adulthood at the age of 13, 14, and caring for their younger siblings." HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 25 million lives over the past three decades. According to the World Health Organisation There were approximately 35.3 [32.2–38.8] million people living with HIV in 2012. This means that our campaigns to improve awareness of HIV must proceed. World AIDS day gifts play an important part of creating this awareness. Some of our clients have free testing facilities and give out World AIDS Day gifts to those who get tested and know their status. Other clients sponsor children’s home with clothing items with the Getting to Zero logo. Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths". The World AIDS Campaign focus on "Zero AIDS related deaths" signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all. In 2011, 56% of the estimated 1.5 million pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries received effective antiretroviral drugs to avoid transmission to their children, up from 48% in 2010. By being involved as a corporate and using World AIDS Day gifts, you can help to create awareness and de-stigmatise HIV and AIDS and help to keep the rate of infections coming down. For more information on World Aids Day gifts or to request a price list contact us on info@belleregalo.co.za or call us on 082 948 7461 or visit our website: www.belleregalo.co.za