Category Archives: Blog


The top 10 marketing trends of 2017

When developing your marketing strategy, it’s always important to stay abreast of trends and developments. What’s new? What’s popular? It can all play a key role in helping to improve your performance and grow your brand.

Here are the top 10 marketing trends for 2017:

1. Mobile video

Mob_vidWith everyone wanting the next ‘viral hit’, video has surged in popularity. This has been aided by platforms such as Facebook, which automatically starts playing a video as you scroll over it on your news feed. In 2015, mobile video views accelerated six times faster than the number of desktop views. In addition to this, by Q4 of 2015, mobile views were the most popular way of engaging with video.

2. Interactive content

int_photoGetting your audience to engage with your content not only helps in spreading your brand message and building loyalty, but it can also help you capture very valuable information about your customers. For example, if you’re offering quizzes or polls, it’s possible to learn how they feel about key issues that could affect the way you market your brand to them. Even something as simple as a quiz about their personality type or where they live can help you understand how to target them and build up a customer profile for your marketing strategy. Ultimately this allows your clients and potential customers to enage with your brand before they have even thougjht about becoming a customer.

3. Promotional merchandise

mason jarsPromotional products are continuing to grow in popularity thanks to their ability to spread your message effectively while also remaining affordable. They’re a key way of sharing your branding with potential customers. Research suggests that, after receiving promotional merchandise, 85% of people will go on to interact or do business with the advertiser. Additionally, it holds longevity as a means of marketing your business – more than half of consumers will keep a promotional product for anything between a year and four years.

4. Influencer marketing

lead_phoWith everyone building their own brand on social media, blogging about their favourite products and experiences, and sharing all this with their ever-growing network, marketing is moving away from the traditional avenues. Rather than focusing solely on reaching magazines and print publications, paying for expensive advertising, brands are now getting influencers to share their products. Not only are they seen as thought leaders, but people who follow them also trust them. They have an intimacy with their audience as though it was a friend recommending a product to them. Typically, influencers will only work with brands that they genuinely believe in, which adds credibility.

5. Virtual reality

augmented-reality-1853592_1920Virtual reality headsets have truly hit the market in recent years, and can now be picked up costing anything from £14.99 (at ALDI), £119 (from Samsung), or £499 (from John Lewis). Given how accessible and popular they are, virtual reality offers a whole new way to share your brand message, and invite people into your ‘world’.

6. Artificial intelligence

gears-1236578_1920Algorithms truly are running the world – a lot more than we realise. They are learning patterns and behaviours that can mathematically compute the best way for a business to react. They predict powerful insights that can be used for analysis and strategy. Through AI you can help to make better, faster and more informed business decisions that will benefit your marketing, e-commerce and product development.

7. Native advertising

dreamcatcher-1030769_1920This is when content relating to your brand is featured by a publication or blogger and resembles standard editorial content but is actually paid for, essentially giving you full control over where your content is seen and who by,  online or offline. This blurs the line between advertising and content, but many people prefer this style of advertising as it feels more authentic, less intrusive and less aggressive. It gives more credibility and approval from the publisher to your brand than just a standard advertisement. It’s less intrusive, can be more informative about your brand, and has better returns than traditional banner or interstitial advertising.

8. Livestreaming

audience-868074_1920Facebook Live has changed the way we look at livestreaming. It has made it far more accessible and recognised than ever before. It’s a great way to connect with audiences in real-time and offers unique interactions and content for your brand. It also helps to show a face to your business, even if that face is an influential blogger or influencer wearing your promotional merchandise and talking about your brand or product.

9. Stories

book-1659717_1920Whether it’s Instagram stories, Snapchat, Facebook stories, they’re essentially all about creating digital stories for your follower that tracks the movements of your brand. This helps to give behind-the-scenes insight to everything you’re doing and make it feel more personal. Customers can connect with you, and feel as though they’re seeing a side to your work that is exclusive.

10. Targeted Data Driven Marketing

custom-2078503_1920With so much data available to us, it is easier than ever to make your marketing more targeted and personalised. Whether this is through adding customer’s names to your e-mails, putting names on products to help market them, or segmenting your audience in your mail-outs to target by age group, gender or geographical location, it’s time to reach people more directly. Customers are bombarded with information from hundreds of brands, so the more you stand out in your communications and connect with them, the better. In addition you gain analytical insight into where your content works and who it is best received by.




A day in the life of our beer-loving-beardy-wanderer, James Shaw


I’m James or Jamie (whichever takes your fancy), Group Marketing Executive and one of the freshest (hairiest) faces at Creative Emporium with a mountainous 2-month stint behind my desk. I’m a half-Irish, former ‘kind-of-cockney’ who has been absorbed by the delights of Yorkshire.



In another life, I studied Chinese-language at the University of Central Lancashire, often called UCLAN (among other things which I won’t repeat). Despite a Chinese major, I have had a passion for marketing since a 3-month internship I undertook in Taichung, Taiwan (臺中), before enrolling in University, which I hoped to eventually centre my career on. After a brief existence in sales, I managed to make the jump straight into the marketing deep end.

Our Group Marketing Manager, Hannah and I are shared between 3 different brands that come under the ‘Infinity Incorporated’ group of companies. The nature of a group wide role means we frequently vault between brands, personas and tones. One moment I can be devising a tactical marketing strategy and the very next nosedive into a brochure expounding the need for moisture wicked fabric on a dry-fit sports top (for the uninitiated, it absorbs your sweat).

While leaping between businesses like a bunch of one legged monkeys fighting over a bucket of marbles is certainly the most challenging part of my role, it’s also the most enjoyable! Keeping everyday varied and constantly facing new challenges means my role could be described as anything but dull. Coming from the decrepit world of Financial Services, where marketing is often stale and feels guided by rails, it’s a bigger plus than the Swis flag to be able to face situations where I get to use my brain and a dash of creativity.

In my own time I’m a lover of food and fine beers, and not so fine ones….in fact just beer in general. I’m always up for a pint and a chinwag, even though my mind (and wallet) is usually telling me no, but my body, my bodyyy is telling me yes. The rest of the time I can be found at the gym where I enjoy training strength to hit PBs and lift big.

I enjoy travel and with a Polish better half, I do a lot of it! We met while I spent around a total of 3 years living in China and Taiwan polishing those language skills to perfection. Travel broadens the mind, and while I’m not a convert, I came back from Taiwan and its heavily Daoist and Buddhist entwined culture with a much healthier view on life.

My secret nerdy passion is an obsessive love of history, I read as much as I can, whenever I can. One of my favourite lesser-known events is the Taiping Rebellion, which sprung up in the 1850s-1860s in central China against the ruling Qing dynasty. Pretty standard, except the whole rebellion and Taiping state were led by a failed local governor named Hong Xiu Quan who found Christianity and started claiming he was the younger brother of Jesus.

Mamas making hotcakes and I’m handing one out to our amazing Account Manager, Emma Killingbeck! You’re next!



Creative Emporium in Kenya

We want to share with you some of the recent work we’ve been taking part in to provide football kits to young players in Kenya, in collaboration with the Maji Safi (Clear Water) Projects charity and their Leeds based initiative ‘Freedom4girls’, who work to provide clean water and sanitary aid, education and improved living conditions for both urban and rural communities in Kenya.


Football in Kenya

For many young people in deprived areas in Kenya, access to sports and facilities presents a way to gain skills in a potentially life long career and in many cases, find a way out of what can be extremely poor living conditions.

With the founding of the Football Kenya Federation and admission to FIFA in 2007, football in particular has become a way for many young Kenyans to find a career path which doesn’t rely on their parents needing to fund expensive education fees for their children to have a chance at a future.


Our kits  

Maji Safi Projects wrote to us to introduce a new initiative supporting local gyms and football teams in deprived areas who could benefit as a community from access to better equipment and facilities.

The charity requested our help to supply kits for a local team in a poor rural area called Kikambala, around 30km from Mombasa.

We of course were honoured to have been asked to take part in a project to provide football kit to a local team in Kenya who had never had any. We created custom garments for each of the members in their team colours, blue for field players and green for their goalkeeper.

Each kit was personalised with the players name and number, with the aim of bringing each member together and creating unity through a kit tailored to their team’s colours and character.

Check out the Kikambala boys in blue below, before and after they received their new kit!

Africa_lads_1 edit (002)_edited


The team very kindly had a message for our Managing Director Darren Cohen, who oversaw the project:

Check out freedom4girls here:



Social media trends in 2017

Social media changes very quickly as a marketing channel, and marketers need to be aware of popular platforms and shifting strategies. It plays a huge role in business branding, growth and development. Facebook alone has (as of January 2017) over 1,870 million active users with an 18% market share, which is 7% more than WhatsApp. It’s a huge space in which you can reach your community.

Here are the top Social Media platforms for 2017:


lead_phoInstagram remains popular, with 600 million active users in January 2017. For your marketing on Instagram to be effective, it requires high-quality imagery. This can be done through hiring a professional photographer and image stylist, or using a really good camera yourself. Adding a strategic bio link is important given that it is the only website link you can have on your profile. Mixing videos and images can help add diversity to your content, and adding in calls-to-action can drive your potential customers into buying from you or following your brand further.

Using influencers or partnering with other brands to share your message can help you tap into new communities and add endorsements to your product. As with Twitter, it can be important to take advantage of any hashtags that are trending, as this will help your timely posts be found by people searching through topics. Emojis can additionally help to add character to your brand and connections with your audience. If you have any promotional merchandise or promotional products, Instagram can be a great way of sharing images of these. Featuring them regularly can help develop a sense of brand identity.

Follow our Instagram account, just search creativeempo!


augmented-reality-1853592_1920Following Instagram in popularity is Tumblr, which has 550 million active users. First launched in 2007, it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Typically businesses within the fashion industry, publishing/broadcast media, or large websites fare best on Tumblr.

While it is predominantly visual, Tumblr has more recently acted as a speakerbox for alternative views and opinions, with it’s extensive, highly-customisable blog offering becoming somewhat of an outlet and gathering place for frustrated groups, or those who often feel that their views are marginalised or wouldn’t be taken seriously in mainstream media.

Tumblr is home to a mixture of artwork, poetry, literature and political voicing, offering a diverse and engaging blogging solution.


gears-1236578_1920The age-old favourite of Twitter comes in behind Tumblr, and has 317 million users. In 2015 it was found that 42% of Twitter’s users follow brands, making it an ideal marketing opportunity for businesses. One way of capturing people’s attention is by posting images with your post on Twitter. If you post from Instagram, these images will just show as links. It is better to post the picture direct to Twitter. This will ensure your tweet gets a good amount of space and attention on people’s news feeds. It’s also important to be strategic with your hashtags and follow relevant individuals and businesses. Additionally, it’s crucial to engage with users and respond to any questions or feedback.

Follow our Twitter account, just search @creativeempo!


int_photoA growing Chinese social media application is WeChat, developed by the same company as China’s first Social Media platform,’QQ’. First released in 2011, by 2017 it has become one of the largest standalone messaging services globally. Reaching out to businesses and individuals in China can hold great value for a company looking to expand their outreach.

When looking to make an impact on WeChat, it’s important to be innovative and creative in your content but also invest in quality. Whether it’s videos or photos, the better you can make what you post, the more likely it’ll get shared. It’s also important you use the language that is native to those you’re looking to contact and offer plenty of incentives. Developing loyalty programs can help to convert followers into buyers, and ensure they continue to repeat custom over time, recommending friends and family too.

Along with these key platforms, there are many others to consider including Baidu Tieba, Snapchat, Skype, Sina Weibo, Viber, LINE, Pinterest, YY, LinkedIn, BBM, Telegram Messanger, Vkontakte and Kakaotalk. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that your audience is watching – closely. Make sure you plan carefully and only post your best content.



A Day In The Life of Our Dog Lover, Ebony Burnett

Hiya (in a broad York accent), I am Ebony also known as Ebs or Eboneezer Goode around the town. I have recently turned 23 and have been a member of the Uniforms by Creative team for just over a year and a half now. I studied Sports Marketing at the mighty Leeds Met and pretty much came straight into my role here at Uniforms. A very important point which everyone should know about me is that I absolute love dogs. Obsessed. I will stop mid conversation to look at a dog in the street (kind of strange) and admire its cuteness. However, no dog is as cute as my little puppy Paris. I am a Liverpool FC supporter and have been since I was little. Let’s face it – I can’t rely on supporting York City.

I am the daily point of contact for some of Uniforms largest clients, ensuring they have the best customer service experience possible! This includes dealing with both existing clients and any new sites which might arise, providing sizing expertise, pricing and suggesting a range of options to suit their individual needs. As well as answering any day to day queries and creating presentations for clients, I see all of their orders through from quote stage to the delivery of the order which I find very fulfilling. This role has allowed me to develop a range of different skills. My favourite part of my role is definitely being briefed on new projects, being given full reign to select different garments and branding options for clients, then devising these into a cheeky prezzie! I have to give a huge shout out to the Uniforms team; we are a great team that work so well together providing support and laughter at all times.

The most challenging parts of my role are the issues which occur with orders (as the production girls know, there can be many!), prioritising my workload and ensuring everything is dealt with in a timely manner. Particularly during a roll-out period, this is very difficult. The Uniforms team pride ourselves on excellent customer service so it is imperative we maintain that no matter how busy we are behind the scenes.

My hobbies include playing netball at least twice a week for two different teams in York, playing a fierce GA (basically a striker if you are more football minded), spending time with my cutie pie dog Paris and socialising with a bubbly glass of prosecco. I love travelling (once I get to the place as I suffer from terrible travel sickness). I recently went to Thailand for just over 2 weeks which was a great experience and I would definitely recommend to anyone. My team would say I am a hard-core Robin Cousins fan; I have a love heart shaped frame of him on my desk so I can aspire to be like him on a daily basis. My favourite song (to the annoyance of the Uniforms team) is definitely C’est La Vie by B*Witched. Yes I know, but it gets everyone on their feet and I have no shame!

To our new Marketing Executive, Mr James Shaw – you’re up next!


A day in the life of our coin collector, Rebecca Burke


Hi I’m Becky (or Shoebecca to some).

I am approaching my 1 year work anniversary (presents welcome) as a Production Co-ordinator for Creative Emporium and Argon Promotions.

Day to day I am processing orders for the lovely account execs, and overseeing production of these to ensure that our clients receive high quality products and garments delivered on time. My role involves a lot of interaction with pretty much every department within the business on a daily basis which keeps me busy!

The main challenge of the production role is problems! Spanners in the works can crop up at every turn and this can sometimes mean delays for our clients which we don’t want. So when a problem occurs it is our job to look for solutions which can be tricky, but well worth it in the end when everything is resolved.

My favourite part of the job is receiving positive feedback from clients and hearing how their events were. Good feedback makes us feel fab and makes all the challenges worthwhile. My other favourite part is the people I work with (especially my production pod pals!). Cheesy I know, but everyone is so friendly and supportive and this really makes a difference to the job.

If I could be any celebrity I would be Blake Lively because she’s just amazing. There is also still a part of me who wants to be Lauren Conrad from The Hills (don’t judge).

Picking a favourite song is too hard, so instead I’ll share one of my all-time feel good films which is Click. If you haven’t seen it before beware, it’s a crier.

That’s enough from me, time to hear from somebody else and so I nominate a little lovely from the Uniform department….Ebony it’s your turn.


A day in the life of our resident DJ, Nick Hancox

I would like to take the opportunity to ‘thank’ Jameson for calling me out for this – he obviously knows how much I like unassumingly talking about myself.

But anyway, let’s kick this off! My name is Nick and I work next to the big blue wall of Argon Promo. I’ve been here almost 3 years now so I’ve sat in pretty much every seat in the house. My job role here is to make sure our awesome clients are getting great products delivered on time for their various needs. I also make sure the guys here are kept nice and busy with incoming enquiries and we’re providing a top service!

It sounds like a cliché but every day is different – which is the challenge! Sometimes you can be working on ideas for developing a client range – or you can be trying to shoehorn a huge t-shirt order in to our in-house print department. We work with a lot of retained accounts (such as print agencies) so it’s really great building relationships with customers and trying to develop their offering to their clients too. It’s all about working together!

My favourite thing about working here is the people. I know I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say it but there’s a great vibe and it genuinely feels like working with all your friends (we work hard though!)

If I could be any celebrity – I’d be that Robert De Niro chap. I think I’d just be constantly talking to myself so I could hear my own voice. He’s a pretty good actor too I guess (Taxi Driver being a personal choice). If we’re picking favourite songs, according to my iPod its Asleep At The Wheel by Transit (sorry guys they had to get mentioned somewhere) and as resident Argon DJ I make sure we’re always listening to what I (and only I ) think is good.

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Anyway I’m taking the pin out of the grenade and throwing it to the lovely girls in production and nominating Rebecca ‘Shoobs’ Burke for the next instalment. Bye for now!










Well hello there, my name’s Jameson (like the whiskey!) and I’m the junior designer/artworker here at Creative Emporium. When I’m not climbing hills, drawing or cooking I can be found hammering away at my keyboard visualising vectors and locating layers.

I¹ve been with this lovely bunch 7 months since moving to Leeds from the gem of the North East that is Teesside (home of locomotion, safety matches and most importantly, the parmo!).

Every day at Creative Emporium has a different and interesting challenge.  My main role as a junior designer/artworker is to help the artwork team with a vast array of tasks. This could include lending a hand to Kris, the King of artwork by making sure jobs are adhering to client’s brand guidelines. I can also be found designing collateral that delivers our client’s message with a visually impactful punch! Recently I’ve been working strenuously on large tenders with Christos, Creative Emporium’s very own Greek god of design!

The challenging aspects of the role will always be juggling jobs and meeting tight deadlines, but that¹s all part of the fun and nothing beats the feeling of seeing your work completed and a happy client.

The best thing about working at Creative Emporium is definitely the people. I’ve made some good friends here in Leeds and I get to work with them!


If I could be any celebrity, it would have to be one of my favourite designers/artists Felipe Pantone, as I’m in awe of the work he produces. Or Tom Hardy because he’s Tom Hardy. My favourite song of all time is a toss up between Baby by Donnie & Joe Emmerson, as it is reminiscent of road trips with friends, or the classic Stand by Me by Ben E King.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Lauren the 3rd for nominating me for A Day in the Life blog post! It’s now time to hand the baton over to the affable Argonaut, Nick!

Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

Creative Emporium Does Fairtrade Fortnight!

Fairtrade Fortnight

With Fairtrade Fortnight starting today and running until Sunday 12th March, it’s time we told you what it’s all about. Fairtrade is an intrinsic part of who we are and we want to let you know just why it’s so important to us and the products we sell.

What is Fairtrade?

Chances are you’ve heard the word ‘Fairtrade’ used before but do you know what it really means? If not, it’s time to put this word on your radar and keep an eye out for it in all aspects of your life – from what you eat to the clothes you wear.

In essence, Fairtrade is about ensuring the farmers and workers throughout the chain of production get a fair share of the benefits and are treated as equally as those at the end. It ensures they get improved terms of trade and a better deal when it comes to their quality of work and earnings.

It’s not about charity; it’s about making sure people get what they deserve. When a product carries the Fairtrade mark, it means the producers and traders throughout the supply chain have met a certain set of internationally-recognised standards.

These guidelines ensure that the imbalance of power within trading relationships, the injustices of conventional trade and unstable markets are all eliminated as problems. It helps the farmers and workers to improve their lives significantly.

Foncho's finca near Rio Frio, Magdalena (near Santa Marta), Colombia. Photo: Eduardo Martino / documentography 01.10.2013

What is Fairtrade Fortnight?

Organised and funded by the Fairtrade Foundation since 1997, Fairtrade Fortnight takes place once a year and aims to raise awareness towards Fairtrade products and what it means to follow Fairtrade standards. The promotional campaign first began in Scotland and aimed to get every supermarket throughout the country stocking Fairtrade products.

This then expanded to the rest of the United Kingdom in 1998 before expanding internationally to countries including Canada, New Zealand and Australia. As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, events take place online, and all over the country at exhibitions and in stores.

Why Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is without a doubt the most ethical way of producing items. It ensures no one is neglected along the production and manufacturing line, and helps impoverished towns and individuals build a more successful, prosperous and consistent livelihood. It’s not about charity but about ensuring workers getting what they deserve and being entitled to fair conditions.

Fairtrade promotional products can have a great impact on your brand and company, showing that ethical behaviour and corporate responsibility is at the heart of what you do. If you want to show you care, this is the way to do it.

What products do we sell that are Fairtrade?


If you haven’t already, it’s time to get to know Neutral; a pioneer of Fairtrade certified clothing. Every product which they produce is manufactured and certified according to the highest environmental, social and ethical standards in the world without compromising style and quality. Nothing feels as fashionable as Certified Responsibility; the knowledge that what you’re wearing is doing good throughout the production chain.

It doesn’t have to be tricky making clothes sustainably, thanks to Certified Responsibility helping to guide brands through the supply chain, ensuring everything from the cotton field to the final product is guaranteed to the highest of standards.

The 100% organic cotton is certified by GOTS. Wastewater and waste from the garments is treated according to the requirements demanded by the EU Ecolabel. Additionally alongside Fairtrade requirements, factory workers are able to work in conditions that meet the international labour standards set according to the SA8000. Furthermore Neutral is also compliant with Oeko-Tex certification. The production facilities in which the garments are produced is powered by renewable energy so no stone is left unturned or product left un-certified.

Cotton shoppers:

For a chic and eco-friendly all-in-one carrying solution, there’s also the Green & Good™ Fairtrade and Organic Cotton Shopper. Forget paying 5p for plastic carrier bags; these re-usable bags are made from unbleached natural cotton in India.

As well as being heavy duty, making them great for carrying both large and small items, they’re also biodegradable making them particularly friendly for the environment. Organic, recycled and fair trade, there’s plenty of good wrapped up into these ethically sourced bags.

Chocolate bars:

It’s one thing enjoying your chocolate bar, but it’s another thing knowing it’s Fairtrade. These chocolate bars are luxurious and high quality, but also completely ethically sourced ensuring that the cocoa-growing communities are never left without.

If you want to make a strong and positive statement about your brand, these are a great way to do it thanks to the digitally printed flat leaf label wrapped around the bar.

Over the next two weeks keep your eyes peeled for our further blog posts and promotional products!


A day in the life of our wannabe Adele, Lauren Stewart

Hi there! Thank you to Sarah Morgan aka Morgs, aka Cat Lady, aka Lady with the Magic Hair, for putting me up to the blogging challenge!

So here we go….

My name is Lauren – the third Lauren to arrive at CE! It’s all very confusing! I’ve worked with the lovely folk at CE for the last 4 months as an Account Executive, and every day brings a new surprise or challenge to my desk! Whether it is sourcing a brand new piece of technology, or providing a bespoke merchandise item for a one off event – I’m your gal!


I spend the majority of time speaking with lovely clients from BBC and intu amongst others, as well as the suppliers that we use to provide their merchandising requests. Everyone is so friendly and the relationships we build are really special.

The most challenging part of the role is juggling all the different jobs you have happening at the same time. From day to day I could be working on up to 20 jobs with a variety of different clients, and knowing what stage they are all at is a job in itself! But once the order is in and everything is agreed, thankfully the lovely Production girls do the rest of the hard work – Team work makes the dream work!

One of my favourite things about being an Account Executive is coming up with creative and innovative ideas for our clients. When someone comes to you with a brief of “I’m looking for something fun, new and exciting, but doesn’t cost anything”, you know you need your creative cap on to come up with the perfect thing. And 9 times out of 10, our team does!

Time for the random questions….

If you could be a celeb, who would you be and why?

I think I might be Adele – she’s a ginger power house, sings like an angel and parties like a legend. I feel like I’m halfway there…if only I could get the singing part!

What’s your favourite song of all time?

This is a horrible question, there are too many to choose just one! If I had to narrow it down right now, I’d choose one of my all time favourites because it makes me cry every time I hear it – “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, by an old school musician called Joe Brown. He used to headline above the Beatles back in the day!


Thanks for your time and for reading my random gibberings. Have a fabulous fun filled day!

Jameson, while you are my favourite whiskey, you are also my favourite Junior Artworker and design magician – so for that reason, you’re up!

Lauren x