Author Archives: hannahp14

Wireless Charging

The future of charging…

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The concept itself has been on the fringes of main stream technology for a couple of years now, however it never quite broke the mould in terms of reliability, consumer trust and even design.

Previously there was no direct contact charging, you needed to attach a special case to the back of your phone which communicated with a chargepad. However, with the release of the latest Iphone models wireless has come galloping to the forefront of branded tech products.

The Iphone 8/X are two of the first phones to offer built in wireless charging, this has encouraged designers and manufacturers alike to release a raft of sleek designs and interesting takes on the concept, each competing to make their product the goto item.

Convenience:

ZESC05B00_HR_3DOf course! You simply put your phone down, pick up and go.

Each wireless charger has built in fast-charging, meaning you can grab some juice on the go in record time.

You may also notice a ‘Qi’ logo on our pads. Qi are leading producers of the batteries used in wireless charging, their logo on a wireless product is assurance of its quality, longevity and health and safety.

Spread:

ZESC07B-A-Stand-charger-Black-IphoneIphone 8/X are at the forefront of championing the wireless cause, but these aren’t the only products on the market offering the option.

Wireless charging is now supported by ASUS, Google, Blackberry, Cat, HTC, LG, Kyocera, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. With these big brands supporting this kind of charging, we can see wireless bursting onto the market early this year.

Security: 

ZENS-PuK-Wireless-Charger-IntroducedChargepads improve data security!

Why? Well it’s simple, a chargepad doesn’t directly connect with your phone or tablet like a cable does. That means your items aren’t exposed to malware or other unfriendly types of software that can be uploaded to unlicensed or cheap charging cables.

So, your operating system stays squeaky clean!

Branding:

zens-single-wireless-charger-black-3d-viewOf course, as branding specialists, this is why we love wireless chargepads, the huge branding spaces they offer.

Chargepads are by nature a little bigger than their cabled companions, this creates an opportunity to take advantage of some huge branding options, with full colour print, plastic covers and debossing available on these already sleek looking products.

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2018: The Latest Tech Concepts

Our brand new tech range is out! Don’t forget to contact your Account Manager for our full catalogue…

There was a time when tech products were low in variety and quality and high in cost. The last few years however have seen promotional technology become one of the most competitive, sexy, functional forms of promotional merchandise and corporate gifts.

Offering a range of product types, including branded power banks and Bluetooth speakers, tech has become a product category that can adapt to match any budget limit or specific requirement.

2018 is set to see tech evolve even further, to mark the release of our brand-new range, we’ve picked some of our favourite product trends:

1. Wireless Charging

ZESC02B-Wireless-charger-and-iPhoneHow many of your clients, their children, their children’s children and even their children’s children’s children have received an iPhone 8 or even an iPhone X for Christmas? Now could be a great opportunity to give them a breakthrough branded product that ties in directly with a central part of their life, their phone.

While the idea of wireless charging has been in the works for the past couple of years, companies like Zens have charged to the forefront and released sleek, unobtrusive charge pads that enable you to quite literally put your phone down to charge, pick up and go.

We’ve added these incredible products to our range of tech this year, which means not only can you purchase wireless chargers for your clients but you can add your logo directly onto the pad. What’s more, the Iphone 8 is the very first phone that has built-in wireless charging, so you can show off your brand while also showing your market awareness and on-trend tech expertise.

2. Bespocable 

2211-CC.450x450x1Until Wireless takes off, there’s a 100% chance that you are going to be holding onto to that charger cable. It’s an essential accessory to your smart-phone experience and the experience of every other smart phone user world wide. Why not make it stand out from the crowd?

With our Bespokable Cable…or just the Bespocable as we’ve come to affectionately call it, you can create completely customisable 3-in-1 USB cables in full colour print, personalisable with your own logo to the USB head. These funky charging options will work with just about any smartphone or tablet you can imagine.

We’ll admit, a cable on its own works great as a promotional giveaway item, but may not impress too much as a corporate gift. We recommend combining your custom cable with a branded powerbank from our range.

3. Full Colour Sounds

gillie1Bluetooth speakers have long been a mainstay of branded merchandise, over the past decade they’ve grown to offer a range of size, shapes and household brands that put them well into the premium product category.

2018 is a year for speakers to become more customisable than ever with the Gillie Speaker. Offering powerful sound, high durability and long battery life, the super soft Gillie Speaker is a breakthrough for the branding industry in terms of the options available when it comes to personalisation.

The Gillie is the first speaker on the market to offer full colour print with virtually no limitations. Want something more than just your logo on your speaker? no problem. Utilising the latest print techniques, you could print Salvador Dali’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus to the front of your speaker if you wanted to…though we’re not sure why you would.

4. Long Distance Relationships

SELFIE2For a while back in 2016 the world developed a brief obsession with an item known as the ‘Selfie Stick’. While the product itself was relatively short lived, it’s legacy has lived on and the internet community have been trying to take selfies from further and further away, utilising some rather creative means.

Well we think we have you all beat, with our super slick ‘Selfie Ring’. The Selfie Ring connects via Bluetooth to your phone, and slips comfortably onto your finger, enabling you to set your phone up and take a picture from up to 10 metres away.

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A day in the life of our sock fighting party animal, Charlotte Rhodes

Hi, I‘m Charlotte or Rhodes/Rhodesy to everyone here at CE! Most recently famous for dislocating my thumb taking my sock off (…no really).

I studied Law at The University of Hull and worked for a bit in the legal industry before starting here as an Account Executive almost 12 months ago. I have loved every minute of it – time flies when you’re having fun!

Day-to-day you will find me liasing with clients about their new and existing orders, brainstorming ideas with my team and giving the best customer service I can.

I would say one of the most challenging things about my job is juggling all of the different aspects of the role at once; organisation is key! It definitely pays off however seeing our clients happy after putting in all the hard work and effort.

 

One of the things I love most about my job is how diverse it can be, one minute I could be fulfilling a brief for an overseas conference for a big corporate company and the next a wedding fair for one of our retail clients.

There really is no telling what a day may bring. It’s also great getting to work with such a fun and helpful group of people; it definitely makes the busiest days that bit easier with such great support from all the different teams in the office.

In my spare time you’ll probably find me on a night out with friends, at a gig or down at Headingley watching the rugby (league of course – go Rhinos!).

For the next Day in the Life I am going to nominate one of my favourite production girls, Megan Hanson!

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Global Marketing: up to the challenge?

We’ve written blogs before about marketing your business when it is smaller, but what about marketing a global corporation? It’s a huge task and the way in which global strategies need to be executed couldn’t differ more to managing those of an SME or large national company.

What does it take to super-size your campaigns?

The Challenge

globeDespite having exponentially bigger budgets and larger teams, it isn’t a challenge-free feat. Research conducted by Forbes in 2009 with more than 20,000 marketers supporting over 200 top brands found that the biggest challenge is being able to find the right balance between local vs. global. Not many global brands leverage their scale effectively, despite them gaining importance. Many are also slow to roll out successful marketing initiatives across the whole company.

The question may come down to how do you use the budget you have? if you’re a conglomerate, how do you ensure that you don’t overreach and burn through the finances you have without making any kind of impact on your target market? Big data, monitoring of ROI and analytical reviews play an important role in keeping this in check.

But data and monitoring arn’t the only considerations that need to be made when operating on a global scale…

The Objectives

chess-424556_640So what needs to be done in order for global marketing to be a success? Ultimately, it’s all about mindset. In order for one to achieve big, one must think big. The teams charged with conducting the marketing at both local and global levels need to think with a global mindset, regardless of the scale of the operations. This includes thinking about what competitors are doing across other continents, how communications will be understood by different competitors, and what structure will transcend global boundaries.

It is all about creating a connection with the various aspects of any campaign, ensuring there is a common understanding of the different market realities and destinations. There must be a sense of interdependency, in which the local teams all have the belief and understanding that what they are doing will have an impact on a global scale. It is the small pieces of every puzzle that work together to make the bigger successes. They should be looking for similarities between the work they’re doing and local marketers, rather than differences, ensuring they are always driving the global goal.

The Motivation

dreamenciyrageWhether the teams are made up of 10, 50 or 100 employees, global corporations succeed when they inspire all of those working within it. This inspiration will transcend into motivation, which will help in attracting customers. All staff need to understand the core message that the company wants to convey, and how they hope to be understood. Before opening new rides, Disney always gets their employees to have the first go. This is a great way of getting them involved and inspiring them to share the fun of their experience with the people they meet. Global brands ignite passion internally and nurture this.

In global corporations, there is also a vigilant focus on what is being done with pre-agreed goals and priorities. This is then coordinated across the whole company through a series of initiatives, in which everyone is working towards a common vision, mission and strategy. This avoids time being wasted on less essential work. They are also organised in outlining what everyone’s roles and responsibilities are, so everyone is focussed on the task in hand. When all of this comes together, global marketing becomes a success.

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A day in the life of our wine & cheese loving Account Manager, Ashleigh Lawson

 

Hi, I’m Ashleigh and I’ve been with Creative Emporium for just over three and a half years. I first joined the business as a Production Co-ordinator in our sister company Creative Emporium Online before joining the CE sales team, becoming an Account Manager earlier this year.

 

I spend my days here at CE supporting quite a few of our key clients, acting as their main point of contact for all things merchandise related. Having developed great relationships with these clients I assist them to come up with exclusive ideas which will boost their brand and campaigns, while ensuring they receive high levels of customer service from the team.

 

My favourite thing about my job has to be the variety of briefs I can receive on a daily basis, making every day unique. However, juggling them all in one go can still be a challenge, so organisational skills definitely come in handy as a part of my role.

 

Outside of work, I like to stay healthy by going to the gym quite frequently, either before or after work and I love going on a long walk at the weekends – generally ending up lost! Alternatively if you can’t find me out and about you will find me most likely in front of the fire with friends having a wine and cheese night.

 

Next up I’m going to pick our amazing Account Executive, Charlotte Rhodes!

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Marketing: small business vs big business

When it comes to small businesses and big businesses, the challenges and everyday operations vary dramatically. This applies to their marketing too. While both will require an effective marketing strategy and will follow a similar marketing process, the similarities stop there. That’s because of differences in budgets, staffing, time scales, creative approaches, size of the market, audience responsiveness, and communication techniques.

The Key Differences

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Where Coca Cola may be able to afford to send hundreds of branded trucks up and down the country at Christmas, staffed with a team wearing promotional merchandise to meet and greet with customers, backed by a full-scale television promo advertisement, this isn’t so achievable for the everyday business.

There’s a lot you can achieve with big budgets, although that’s not to say they’re mission critical. Many successful campaigns have gone viral despite being very simple and cost-effective. It’s simply about thinking creatively and making the most of what you do have to hand. Every decision you make should be scaled to the size of your business and budget.

For both business sizes, the marketing process is the same. It involves a circular motion from customer, product and competitive research to product development, pricing to labels and packaging, distribution to advertising, promotions and public relations, sales to customer service and so forth.

The Right People for The Right Job

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It’s also important to consider that small businesses won’t necessarily have highly skilled (and expensive) marketing directors and managers, a permanent team of social media executives, and so forth. You have to be gentle with yourself and appreciate that you can only do so much with a smaller team. Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t compete with the big brands. Your business will still be okay. Many smaller businesses hire freelancers to fill in the gaps, which can be more cost effective as you can just use them as and where required.

As time goes on and your business grows, you can then consider bringing someone on full-time, as long as the return-on-investment makes it a suitable decision. While resources are stretched though, it’s best to adopt the approach of ‘quality over quantity’. Often it is the business owner trying to juggle the marketing with everything else in a small business. Rather than trying to do everything and do it badly, simply find what is most important and successful in communicating with your audience and try to do that well, with focus, and consistency.

In Summary

chess-424556_640Unlike big businesses, small businesses won’t be able to spend as much money or time focussing solely on brand recognition campaigns. Instead, the attention will be much more on specific products or promotional offers. These will be important as every piece of marketing needs to create immediate, measurable action. However, they will help to double up as brand awareness campaigns too.

Smaller businesses need to work much harder to ensure their marketing inspires purchases, as the marketing costs need to be accounted for and a ROI visible. It is a balancing act – creating clear and effective communications on budget, articulating a brand identity, while also inspiring a customer to enquire, generate leads and prompt a sale. That all being said, the results can be just as fruitful. With successful marketing, the sales will grow, as will the company, and the marketing budget and creative potential can expand too.

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A day in the life of our tech loving outdoorsman, Dave Lister

 

 

Hi, I’m Dave and I’ve been with Creative Emporium for nigh on a decade now. I joined as the business’ first Production Coordinator, then swiftly became our second Account Manager. Quite a few years ago now, I made a move to become our first Systems Administrator.

 

In my role I manage our internal software, aspects of our IT hardware and also the functionality of our client-facing websites, ensuring that everything works smoothly for our customers and that they integrate with our internal processes, allowing us to provide effortless service.

 

The biggest challenge in my role is also the thing that makes it the most interesting and exciting; the sheer variety of different clients and suppliers we work with and the diversity of products we offer our clients. Keeping every day fresh, but also making it necessary to find hugely flexible tech and systems solutions.

 

Being involved in systems, websites, and IT here at Creative it’s probably not too much of a surprise that I’m interested in technology, how it affects our lives and how we utilise it. I love science fiction, especially the ways in which it often predicts technology and ideas way before they actually materialise. I also love music and I find it fascinating to find out about innovators who have used music technology in ways that were not intended by the inventors, sometimes creating whole music genres in the process (the Roland TB303 and Acid House, or turntables and Hip Hop are my favourite examples).

 

Although I’d not count myself as an innovator I do like to dabble with various music; I used to play guitar a lot but these days I prefer pressing buttons on various enigmatic machines that I only roughly know how to operate. These days though I’m likely to have a small mammal strapped to my chest whilst making noise so volumes are a little quieter than they used to be.

 

When not in the office I love to get out into the outdoors: camping, wild swimming, running, cycling, hill walking… I’m not too picky; if I can see some trees and a hill I’ll probably be happy. I also enjoy a good challenge and have previously done a marathon, cycled the coast to coast and Liverpool to Leeds canal rides, and done the Yorkshire 3 Peaks & National 3 Peaks walks. I hope to tick off all of the fells in the Lake District before my legs stop working!

 

As many at Creative will know I love my coffee; learning different techniques for making it and even sometimes try a bit of latte art, though my skills are still a bit on the hazy side! I also enjoy cooking, especially making pizza from scratch. My current favourite is a white pizza with brie, black grapes and caramelised onions (shamelessly stolen from Dough Boys’ Queen Brie pizza at the Belgrave in Leeds).

For our next ‘day in the life..’ blog, I nominate our awesome Account Manager, Ash!

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The Top 10 Marketers of All Time

One of the best ways to learn about creating successful marketing campaigns and engaging company messages is by studying those who have come before us and carved the way with their marketing prowess. Many of these men and women developed this sector of business long before they even knew it was a ‘thing’. So, who are the top 10?

 

 

lead_pho1. Henry Ford

Founder of the Ford Motor Company, he played a key role in developing the automobile industry. He sold a lifestyle, rather than a product, but people quickly brought into it and were driving round in his cars. He converted automobiles from expensive to practical, teaching marketers to focus more on ‘why’ someone would want something, rather than ‘what’ it is. For his customers, the ‘why’ was freedom.

 

 

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2. Ray Kroc

His name may not be household, but he was responsible for turning McDonald’s into being the fast food chain it is today. He led the way with creating a uniformed, consistent service across all the chains, ensuring the quality was standardised throughout. He always put his customers at the heart of his campaigns.

 

 

lead_pho3. Walt Disney

How can he not be on this list? His media enterprise and theme parks are a second to none experience that end up on many people’s bucket lists and dream vacation plans. His magical experiences take the customer on a journey, away from their everyday reality, while still leveraging authenticity and quality. His experiences speak for themselves, meaning word of mouth played a crucial role in his strategy.

 

 

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4. Steve Jobs

A pioneer of marketing in modern times, his innovative designs, high-quality products and simple marketing messages have led to thousands queuing overnight to buy into his brand. His products sell themselves.

 

 

lead_pho5. Simon Clift

The former CEO of Unilever had wise words when he noted that “a brand is the contract between a company and consumers.” It’s all about ensuring you’re holding up on your side of the deal when marketing to customers and selling your product.

 

 

 

lead_pho6. Dale Carnegie

American writer and lecturer, his philosophy was to make relationships with people through being interested in them, rather than getting them to be interested in you. You can make more in two months by adopting this approach than you can in two years through the latter.

 

 

 

lead_pho7. The Kardashian family

Love them or hate them, they have marketed themselves from a little-known American family into a globally famous, multi-millionaire tribe headlined across all of the biggest magazines and newspapers, with their everyday lives played out on television. People follow their every move. They have used modern technology to their advantage, telling their story through Instagram and creating their own emojis.

 

 

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8. Mary Frances Gerety

Another lesser known name, Mary was a copywriter. She was charged with the task of kickstarting the sale of diamonds after the Great Depression. During one night, she came up with the timeless slogan of “A diamond is forever”. It has been used in various advertisements by the largest jewellers throughout the years, and has turned diamond rings into the go-to item for engagements. Advertising Age named it the ‘Slogan of the 20th Century’ in 1999.

 

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9. Milton Hershey

Founder of chocolate brand Hershey’s, Milton had a very simple yet effective philosophy: “Give them quality”. With this, his products would sell themselves. And indeed, it has worked.

 

 

 

lead_pho10. Beyoncé

Another modern marketeer of millennial proportions, everything Beyoncé does is an instant success, from teaser videos to a visual album or an Instagram account followed by millions to concert tours packed with promotional merchandise, or launching music on Tidal to prime time performances, such as at the 2016 Super Bowl. Known globally by her first name, she constantly adapts and develops her image, with her core philosophy of female empowerment at the heart of it all. When there were calls to boycott her following her 2017 Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé even turned this on its head by selling ‘Boycott Beyoncé’ t-shirts while on tour!