Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Branding for Corporate Clothing

Corporate clothing is a wonderful promotional tool. But bad branding is like getting a tattoo on your face. You had better be sure before you take the plunge. Many companies use corporate clothing to help enhance their corporate image and also use corporate clothing as uniforms. Companies have large spends on corporate identity, but sometimes get unstuck when it comes to applying their branding to their corporate clothing. Here are some check points when branding your corporate clothing. 1. Know Your Company Logo A logo is made up of the design, but also the pantone colours. Some designs are made with print in mind, but cannot be easily embroidered. We have a client who entered into a joint venture and had lounge shirts done for the project. The designer added text to the bottom of the logo. When we converted the logo into an embroidery format we saw that the letters would have merged into each other making the letting illegible. So we had to recommend to the client that they alter their logo to allow for bigger lettering. When you have a logo designed asked the designer, what pantone colours match the logo. Pantone is an international numbering system for inks. When you know your pantone, you can ensure that you corporate clothing always has the correct colour. Embroidery threads do not match pantone colours, but using a pantone reference books embroiderer’s get the closes thread match for you. When you send through your logo, make sure that you have a high resolution good quality logo. The better the quality of the logo, the better the quality of the branding. 2. Know the difference between different kinds of branding Embroidery on corporate clothing Embroidery is when the logo is made of masses of tiny stitches. Almost like colouring in the logo with a needle and thread onto your corporate clothing. Embroidery adds a quality and expensive look to corporate clothing. Embroidery can be cost effective if your logo is small. But don’t scrimp on stich count. If your embroidery quote looks very low as why. Some embroiderers’ compete only on price and use few stitches, so that they will appear to be cheaper, but that is all that it is, cheap and cheap does not enhance a brand. There must be sufficient stitches to cover the area and not have bit of fabric peeking through your logo. You would use embroidery of jackets, lounge shirts, fleece, caps and jerseys. In the motoring industry embroidery is often used on pit shirts. Heat Transfer on corporate clothing Heat transfer printing is a method of printing fibres with disperses dyes. The dyes are designed and are then transferred from pre-printed paper onto a fabric by contact heat and then the dyes are absorbed by the fabric. Heat transfer is great for producing clear and very well defined images. It works almost like an iron on label, but on a much bigger scale. Heat transfers are commonly used when you need to put a photo onto a garment. It is generally more costly than silk screening. However if there is a lot of definition, then heat transfers can be cheaper than silk -screening. Silk-screening on corporate clothing Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink into the mesh openings for transfer by capillary action during the squeegee stroke. Basically, it is the process of using a stencil to apply ink onto a substrate, whether it is t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or other material. The vast majority of t-shirts are branded using silk screening. Although you can silk screen a number of corporate clothing items, it is not as durable as embroidery, so it is more likely to be used on low cost corporate clothing items such as conti-suits and t-shirts. 3. Know how costing works for branding on corporate clothing Whatever branding you are using for corporate clothing, there is always a set up cost. This is the cost to set up the machine to work on your job. A machine or silk screener can only work on one job at a time. For embroidery your logo has to be programmed into the machines. For silk-screening, the screens have to be placed onto the frames. The process where the machine operator or silk-screening sets up the work station is called the set up and you are charged for this. Some companies will build this cost into the cost of their garments, so it is not visible, but this cost always exists. As the set up cost is done at the start of each job, you can divide this cost by the total number of corporate clothing items that you are branding. For embroidery your costs are calculated by working out many stitches it takes to colour in your logo. This means that the bigger your logo on your corporate clothing, the more stitches will be used and the higher the cost of your logo on your corporate clothing. For silk screening the costs are calculated by how many colours you need to print. New screens are made for every colour. If you have a colour printer at your office, you may be tempted to think that your t-shirt or other corporate clothing will come out nice and quickly like it does on your printer. For silk-screening of corporate clothing, the silk screener will put up the first screen with the first colour and then print that colour. Then he or she will remove the screen, set up a new screen and then print the second colour. So the more colours you have the more times this has to be repeated. That is why you pay per colour of your t-shirt or other corporate clothing. 4. Getting Artwork Approvals A good quality high resolution logo will produce the best quality branding on your corporate clothing. You can think of it as the foundation of your branding on your corporate clothing. Once you have sent through your artwork, then the branding department will produce a layout approval. This will show where the logo will be positioned on the item and will also indicate what the pantone colours are. If you have not supplied your pantone colours, then the branding department will do an estimate of what the colour should be. The responsibility always lies with the client to make sure that the colour is correct. Once you have signed the approval, you are accepting it the way that it is and you cannot have it changed once the job is underway. The layout approval is like a branding contract that you enter into. Some clients prefer to have a pre-production sample. This is a matter of personal preference. Thousands of logos are embroidered or silk screened every day without a pre-production sample. But if this is your first time using a supplier or if you have a manger who micro manages, or if you have very strict corporate identity rules then you will get a lot of reassurance getting a pre-production sample. Many companies will charge you a separate set up fee for this service, as they have to set up the machines for only one item. Even a small company can get the benefits of having corporate clothing. Going through these simple branding tools can help you to get the best results for your corporate clothing branding budget. For more information about corporate clothing contact Belle Regalo on info@belleregalo.co.za or 0829487461 or visit our site www.belleregalo.co.za

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Creating a 2014 Corporate Gift Plan (Part 1)

At the beginning of the year, you should create a corporate gifting campaign, just as with any planning that you will do. Have a look at typical corporate gifting events and see if they align with your overall corporate goals and strategies. Your corporate gifts strategy should cover the following areas. Customer corporate gifts strategy Staff corporate gifts strategy Social responsibility corporate gift strategy Customer Corporate Gifts Strategy Customers are the life blood of your organisation. They choose to spend money with you rather than competitors. So your corporate gifting strategy should include a relationship building strategy. Corporate gifts are an idea way to enhance your relationship with clients. Events such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, hospitality packages and year end gifts etc. work well with client corporate gifts. If you have planned ahead of time there will be fewer emergencies. Valentine’s Day gifts ideas include chocolates, coffee mugs, hampers, heart shaped stress balls, mint tins, novelties, teddy bears etc. Easter Gifts include, chocolates, hampers, Nomu hot chocolate, puzzles, toys Throughout the year there are a number of sporting events that you can invite your clients to such as cricket, rugby and soccer. For these sporting event corporate gifts will include, backpacks, binoculars, caps, clothing, glasses, key rings, scarves, sports bags. In the next edition with we will cover staff corporate gifting strategy…. For more information contact Belle Regalo on info@belleregalo.co.za visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za or phone us on 0829487461.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Your 2014 Corporate Gift Plan – First Half

Don’t wait until 2014 arrives and the year sweeps you away. Start planning now for your corporate gifting strategy. There
are so many opportunities. Here is a list of a few events that you can use for your corporate gift planning. New Years – Wednesday 01 January Champagne Flutes make a wonderful New Year’s Gift. To start off the year give your clients crystal champagne flutes as a welcome to 2014 gift. If you are worried that they make not drink alcohol, find a recipe for a non-alcoholic cocktail and include into with the gift. There are so many delicious non-alcoholic recipes to choose from that you can’t go wrong. Plan to hand these corporate gifts out very early in January. After everyone has spent their holiday money, they will welcome the moral boost of a new year’s gift. Most people will start work around 06 January, so you can hand out gift between 06 January and 17 January. Other new year’s gifts include Conference bags, Dairies or Filofaxes, desk organisers, i-pad covers, mouse pads, notebooks, USBs Back to School – 15 January Children will officially go back to school on Wednesday the 15th of January. However some schools may change the dates a little. Many companies will start a back to school campaign for corporate gifts. Ideas include backpacks, book bags or conference bags, Frisbees, lunch boxes, math sets, pencil bags, pencils, pens, sharpeners, soccer kits, water bottles and yoyos. Conference season – January to end February Many companies will start the year off with planning and conferences. Whether you have your conferences at the beginning of the year later in the year, plan ahead for your gifts. Conference gift ideas include: conference bags, conference pens, custom printed notepads, folders, hampers, lanyards, mints, notepads, speaker’s gifts, trolley bags, USBs Valentine’s Day – Friday 14 February As Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, you can bet all the restaurants will be fully booked, so get your restaurant bookings done
early. Chocolates remain a popular choice, but with diabetes being on the increase, you can choose items that are easier on the hips. For example a Valentine’s Day cookie mug, heart shaped stress balls, mints, red t-shirt. There are a lot of choices for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s is a very big event in the corporate gifting calendar and an essential for corporate morale. Human Rights Day – Friday 21 March We celebrate this day each year to remind us of the great suffering and loss of life that accompanied the struggle for human rights. It is to remind us that people in South Africa will never again be denied their human rights. We encourage people to not only promote this event within their companies, but also to use their corporate gifting spend to help others. Choose a charity for example a children’s home, home for the disabled or an old age home. Items such as beanies, blankets, caps, fleece sweaters, towels and t—shirts are all useful items to give to children, the disabled and the aged. Freedom Day – Sunday 27 April Freedom Day is a public holiday in South Africa celebrated every year on 27th April. On this day in 1994, the first democratic and non-racial national election was held in the country. Corporate gift ideas for Freedom day include, banners, South African caps, South African Flags, South African t-shirts. Good Friday – Friday 29 March Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ. While there are a number of other religions in South Africa, this day is still taken as a public holiday and is the beginning of a religious memorial that has its climax of Easter Sunday. Many people despite religious background will consume vast amounts of chocolate over the Easter weekend and retailers really pack out quite a spread over the Easter weekend. No matter what religion your clients are, many people welcome a tasty Easter treat. Great corporate gifts for this weekend are candy coated eggs, chocolate Easter bunnies, toy Bunnies, hampers, marshmallow eggs, sugar free eggs. A great idea is to host an Easter egg hunt for a local school. Family Day – Tuesday 01 April 2014 This was originally part of the Easter Celebration. Following the first free and fair elections in South Africa the day was renamed family day to include all religions. However originally it was to commemorate the resurrection of Christ who was crucified on the Good Friday. This was part of a prophesy that on the third day the Lord would rise again. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the "Easter Hare", hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that "All life comes from an egg." Christians consider eggs to be "the seed of life" and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Freedom Day – Sunday 27 April It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. In 2013 we bid a sad farewell to Nelson Mandela who was a key player in the journey towards freedom for our country. Corporate Gifts for this Freedom day could include books like “The Long Walk to Freedom, Hand held South African Flags, South African Caps. Workers Day – Thursday 01 May International Workers' Day is a celebration of the international labour movement that occurs on May Day, May 1, a traditional spring holiday in much of Europe. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries, and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. Youth Day – Sunday 16 June The Soweto Uprising, also known as 16 June, is a series of protests led by high school students in South Africa that began on the morning of 16 June 1976. Students from numerous Sowetan schools began to protest in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools. An estimated 20,000 students took part in the protests. The number of people who died is usually given as 176, with estimates of up to 700. 16 June is now a public holiday, Youth Day, in South Africa, in remembrance of the events of 1976. In commemoration of this day focus your corporate gifts on education. Choose a local community school and donate corporate gifts such as backpacks, conference bags, diaries; lunch boxes, notebooks, pencils, pencil bags, pens, stationary sets These are some of the many opportunities for planning for your corporate gifts calendar. With proper planning you should be able to spread goodwill through the year to clients, staff and the community. Here are some planning details to take into account. Plan for Production time Remember the following processes: 1. Plan a budget for your event. 2. Find the gifts that you like. 3. Get quotes. 4. Plan properly, just because a corporate gift was in stock when it was quoted, does not mean it will be in stock when you order. 5. Order your corporate gifts 6. Pay your deposit 7. Send through a high resolution logo. 8. Get a layout approval. 9. Thoroughly check the spelling, pantones and position of the logo an if you are happy sign off. 10. Branding will take 3 – 5 working days after you sign off your layout approval. 11. Pay the balance of your order. 12. Take delivery of the corporate gifts or corporate clothing. 13. Allow for extra days during peak season. For more information about corporate gifts or clothing contact Belle Regalo on info@belleregalo.co.za or (011) 593 2450 or 082 948 7461 or visit our website: www.belleregalo.co.za

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Wish List for Corporate Gifts

Sometimes my friends wonder what to buy me for Christmas as, what do you buy for someone who is a
href="http://www.belleregalo.co.za/">corporate gifts specialist. One of the first things that I would ask for is Diana Carmichael table items. My personal favorite is the range that has the sowroski crystals at the end. I would call them the master is table settings. As they are usually high ticket items, I have bought myself one item a year. I have a beautiful serving spoon, two sauce ladles and a olive spoon. What I have my eye on is the salad servers and the carving knife and fork set. I would also love to start collecting the sugar spoon, cake forks and tea spoons. The Diana Carmichael range adds a distinctive flair to any table setting. For a lower budget, beach towels are a firm favorite of mine. Over December the children a permanently in the pool. If they have friends over there are a lot of towels needed and if you get some rain of December drying towels can be tricky. Stainless steel plates, bowls and glasses are a great gift for those who love camping. They are nice and hygienic and make great all gifts. But I still favor picnic sets with plastic plates. For very young children, these are cooler to the touch and don't glare in the sun. Gazebos also make terrific year end corporate gifts. They provide shade and in the event of a sudden shower, they provide shelter while you collect your belongings. There are many times that we have had to leave the beach as we are just too hot to stay any longer, so beach umbrellas and gazebos are a welcome gift. I still welcome luggage. For a short trip a bag with a separate shoe compartment is wonderful. It trains children to keep their shoes separately and keeps things neat and tidy. If your children have sleep overs, wet towels or bathing suits can be kept in the separate compartments. We have great short trip luggage, but I still need to get larger trip suitcases. Even if you suspect that someone already has some luggage, try a different colour or style. Sometimes, especially women are in the mood for a different colour to match their mood. Other great corporate gifts for the holidays are games. The last time that we visited the Eastern Cape we were bored out of our minds as it rained so much that we could not go anywhere. So games would have been very welcome. But even if the weather is fantastic, games are still a welcome way to pass a few hours. For the beach, volley balls, bat and ball sets etc are great. Recently my eleven year old daughter has developed a passion for darts. So we already have a dart board. But if we got another one, we could have adults and children having their own tournaments. There are so many great gifts to still choose. If you no longer have time for branding, a branded gift tag will do the trick. For more idea on corporate gifts contact us on info@belleregalo.co.za or visit us at www.belleregalo.co.za or call us on (011) 593 2450

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to Tell The Difference Between Genuine vs. Faux Leather Corporate Gifts

We often hear clients but, I found a leather folder and half the price.
It is not always easy to distinguish between faux leather and real leather. It can be quite frustrating to purchase looks like a genuine leather folder or bag, only to later realize it is actually synthetic. Authentic leather is much more expensive than faux, so it is important to tell the difference between the two. Shoppers will be able to easily identify real and faux leather by mastering a few simple tips. Learning how to distinguish real leather from faux leather will ensure an efficient and enjoyable buying experience. Real Leather Real Leather corporate gifts are made from the skins of animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. There are many types of leather. One of the brands that we prefer is the Adpel range of leather corporate gifts. The leather is carefully selected from the finest Italian sources. The vacchetta leathers have been vegetable-tanned in the traditional manner using water and tree bark extracts which highlight the individual graining characteristics and colour variations, thereby adding beauty to the natural leather. The no-uniform colour and veins are a physical appearance of an animal-skin which guarantees the authenticity. The finishing of fitting are of excellent quality and the same yarn used for stitching is high-strength Examine the Pores When making a leather corporate gift purchase, closely examine the pores of the fabric. Faux leather will have pores that are in a consistent pattern, while real leather will have inconsistently placed pores. Touch the Leather Depending on the quality, real leather can feel coarse or smooth, or anywhere in between. Leather is also flexible and soft. If the item in questions feels really smooth or has a similar feel to plastic, it is likely fake leather. Faux leather also tends to stretch more than real leather. To become familiarized with the feel of real and faux leather, go to a reputable leather store and feel real leather to compare it to faux leather. Smell the Item Smell the object for the distinct leather smell. The smell of real leather cannot be replicated by synthetic materials. It may help to go to a department store and smell real leather items and faux leather items to become acquainted with the smell. Choose Based on Your Needs There are many advantages to both real leather and faux leather. While genuine leather adds a look of luxury and prestige, faux leather can be a cheaper alternative for corporate gifts. Buyers should consider which factors are most important and aligned with their leather needs before making a purchase. Types of leather gifts to choose from Leather bags, leather briefcases, leather card holders, leather cheque book holders, leather desk items, leather travel wallets, leather iPad covers, leather Purses, leather wallets, leather trolley bags, leather folder, leather journals What is Bonded Leather Bonded leather is often marketed as genuine leather. However it is manufactured from leather extracts that are bonded together to make a leather feel surface. You will notice that the grain is far more uniform than genuine leather. They make affordable leather gift, but are not genuine leather items. Please make sure that you know what you are getting when you buy. For more information on corporate gifts contact us on www.belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za or call us on: (011) 593 2450

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are Corporate Gifts Still Relevant

There are so many changes happing in the corporate gifting industry. Due to corruption many companies are placing a ban or a limit on corporate gifts. So you may ask if corporate gifts are still relevant. Some people even see corporate gifts as a bribe. So where do you stand? Well corporate gifts are still extremely relevant. While it is very true that some companies have used large and expensive items as gifts that can easily be seen as bribes, the general gifts that fall below R 200.00 per item, can far more comfortably fall into the promotional gift category. After a recessionary time it is far more important to keep working at your exiting relationship as well as building new relationships. Corporate gifts are an excellent way to do this. They need to be relevant and visible. They need to be given after the deals are signed, sealed and delivered and more as a thank you for you business corporate gifts than a plea to get business. Dropping off a pen that is under R 50.00 after a meeting can be classed as a promotional item and not a bribe, because the value of the corporate gift is far too low to be classified as a bribe. Dropping off items such as coffee mugs, mints, hand sanitizers or heart shaped stress balls for Valentine’s Day has a fun element to it and also falls into the promotional gift line. End of the year gifts for clients who already have done business with you also falls within a thank you gift and dairies remain an excellent corporate gift as they are an everyday business tool. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what your motivation is for handing out the gift. If your motivation is to build a relationship and the value of the corporate gift is not very high, then you can be comfortable. Find out what your client’s polices are. There are some who have a total ban, but there are some who just have a disclosure policy if the corporate gift is over R 250.00. To find our more about corporate gifts, contact us on info@belleregalo.co.za or e-mail us on info@belleregalo.co.za

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to make a Difference to Children in 2014 using Corporate Gifts as part of Your Corporate Responsibility Programme.

In the New Year many children in this country will start the year without basic provisions for school. As part of your corporate responsibility you can make a big difference by sponsoring a local school with back to school items. There are many ways that you can impact the children in the community. Before you make a decision, it is important to know that there is a difference between plain charity and empowerment. A basic back to school sandwich box or lunch tin is something that may seem simple to some, but makes a huge difference to many children. If your company is involved in a sandwich run, giving out lunch time to put the sandwiches in at the start of the year makes a huge difference. For a children to bring their own sandwich box to the sandwich table is a small yet powerful thing, it adds a small element of control back to their lives and gives them something that is their very own. A gift has a vastly different emotional impact than charity. Basic back to school stationary items such as pencils, pens and notebook can make big impact. While charity contributions can be allocated for BBEE points, you can have the items branded as well. Back pack and conference bags give children an attractive ways to carry their books, personal belongings or stationary items with them to school. With literacy and mathematics being very important issues in the educational development, items such as pencils cases with contents and mathematics set can be hugely impactful. Play items such as frisbees and soccer balls add enjoyment to life. This cannot be overlooked as play is an extremely important part of development and bring stress relief which is increasingly important issue for children as a stressed child finds it very difficult to learn. We would also recommend sponsoring a few soccer teams with soccer kit and socks. Team sports are an excellent way to build social and emotional development in children. For girls we also recommend sponsoring netball kit of even a girls’ soccer team kit. Through children learn the sports three P’s, practice, patience and persistence. While companies still have the opportunity of sponsoring school in a cash basis, there is always a risk that funds will not be spend in certain areas. However sponsoring physical products can make a huge impact. Your corporate gifting company can supply you with many ideas that can help you to make an impact in your community. While writing out cheques is easy, the long term impact of sponsoring items with your band on it has a longer term good will impact. Many of these young people may even aspire to work at your company once day and be loyal to your organisation. For more information about corporate gifts and corporate clothing contact Belle Regalo on info@belleregalo.co.za or visit us on www.belleregalo.co.za