INNOVATION ON SHOW – The latest products will be exhibited at September’s must attend merchandise show

his September, the product media industry descends on Hampshire where the latest edition of Merchandise World assembles at the new £30 million Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre. The one-day event, on 12 September, is a joint venture between the BPMA and Sourcing City, and is aimed at both frontline teams and business leaders from professional distributors.

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LOOK TO THE FUTURE – How can businesses foresee and implement what their customers want, asks Sanjay Bhalla

Apple has just become the world’s first Trillion Dollar public company. It was only momentary, but it must have been good to be a part of that company, even if just for that moment. It is one of a sea of companies that have changed business fundamentally. In a business market where the biggest retailer doesn’t own a store, the biggest hotel company doesn’t own a hotel and the biggest taxi company doesn’t own a taxi, we are seeing a change to the business environment never seen before.

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SNAP ADDS FASHIONABLE TOUCH TO RANGE

Digital print company Snap Products has added Pierre Cardin branded premium notebooks to its range of 23 notebook lines. As official Pierre Cardin licensee in the UK and Ireland, Snap has developed the product in-house. The Pierre Cardin Exclusive notebook features a unique silk-feel hard cover, while the Pierre Cardin Fashion notebook features audacious colour selection.

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BACKING BRITISH MADE

The Briman Group has become an effective voice advocating British manufacturing. Mark Alderson explains its development

Welcome to the launch edition of Briman Voice. Over the coming months, this column will explore a range of topics affecting British manufacturing within the promotional industry. It seems sensible to start at the beginning and look at the formation of the Briman Group and some of the benefits its members have already shared.

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The Fisher Space Pen To boldly write

It may be 50 years since it was designed, but the iconic Fisher Space Pen still looks, well, space age. This is hardly surprising as it is a genuine product of the Space Race. Astronauts had been using pencils, but these were hazardous as the lead could break and float around in the gravity free capsule.

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Apprentice winner Sarah Lynn is looking to expand her business further into the corporate sector

The ambitious and enthusiastic winner of TV’s The Apprentice 2017, Sarah Lynn caught up with Product Media magazine to discuss her future plans. Sarah started her business in 2010 after travelling the world with her husband to be. She thought that many companies that were provided sweets were selling sub-standard product with poor packaging.

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THE NEXT IN LINE

There are several options to exiting a business. Blair Carroll explains why he is looking at a bigger picture when it comes to planning for the future. Where have the last 21 years gone? Before they know it, any business person has to start thinking about their exit plan. I have no wish to work until I drop and so for a couple of years I’ve been thinking about the best way out, not just for me but also for my staff, the majority of who have been with me for the long haul. A couple of years back I considered selling and spoke with a couple of interested parties. Eventually I turned down what was an attractive offer.

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Micromarketing moves to one-stop site

Promotional product agency Micromarketing has relocated and up-scaled to more environmentally friendly offices in West Oxfordshire with a new local warehouse and quality control facility. Paul Faulkner, managing director of Micromarketing, said the spacious new offices allowed the company to grow its offering of services and brought together all functions on one site, to the benefit of clients.

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What’s new? This is the question everyone asks at Merchandise World

We asked some of the exhibitors and her are some of the products they suggested.

Briman member Sow Easy will be tempting green shoots with its custom printed Seedsticks, one of its most popular eco-friendly promotional products. The branded Seedsticks are impactful, memorable and fun to grow, helping to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Planet EcoBags will be showing its range of bags, including jute, laminated and DuraPaper, a super-strong combination of woven polypropylene wipe-clean interior bonded to a heavy brown or white paper bag exterior.

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GO BEYOND BASIC – A creative design overlay can make a great product something that really engages with an audience, says Graham Arnold

In more than 10 years in the merchandise industry I am often amazed at the missed opportunities by distributors for delivering real impact to the end user. Without design, a promotional product is just a product. A pen in an office drawer, a mug left on the shelf or a bag for life discarded to never fulfil its purpose.

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WINNERS TAKE ADVANTAGE – Merchandise suppliers and distributors were lauded by their peers at the annual Advantage Group event

The Advantage Group held its 19th annual catalogue launch and awards dinner at Sopwell House Hotel and Country Club in July. Outgoing BPMA director general, Gordon Glenister, was on hand to see the awards being presented at the St Albans’ venue. He was also recognised with a cake presented by Advantage boss Lawrence Angelow, and presented with a commemorative trophy by former BPMA president Gill Thorpe.

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Act Global, Sell Local. UK and US distributors are increasingly looking to work together. Paul Bellantone explains why

In the past decade, the movement to support local businesses has taken on an added dimension as distributors across the globe have expanded their operations far beyond their own borders to deliver a more personal experience to far-flung customers. Leicester-based distributor EverythingBranded, reportedly the largest distributor employer in the UK with 130 staff and projected 2018 sales topping $29 million, is investing $1.1 million in the coming months to open its first US office located in Las Vegas. It will accommodate approximately 70-100 new employees and will focus on serving customers on the West Coast. The company, which was founded in 2010 as part of the Charles Alexander Distribution Group, currently has a UK-based call centre that services the US eastern and central time zones.

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Three-year growth plan revealed at OBcon

Outstanding Branding outlined its global vision for the next three years at a revitalised annual company conference that brought together team members from around the world. The event, titled OBcon, was the first of its kind to be held by the company. Held at Devere Theobalds Estate, the full day and night event was designed to put the global team at the centre of proceedings.

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COMPARED WITH U.S. – BPMA head of education and best practice, Daniela Arena, had an opportunity to measure up the American attitude to education

On a recent visit to the ASI (Advertising Speciality Institute) education day and trade show in Chicago I was lucky enough to meet some truly amazing industry folk. They are just as passionate and committed to raising standards, sharing knowledge with others and supporting and inspiring businesses to grow as we are here within the BPMA community.

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New finishes for BIC Media Clic

BIC Graphic Europe has added two new barrel options to the existing palette of the best-selling Media Clic range. Alongside the current matt and frosted barrels, customers can now choose clear or polished finishes in a range of colours, giving tens of thousands of potential colour combinations.

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A new service allows distributors to offer a range of printed products to clients

Saxoprint is launching its new solution for resellers, Saxoprint Partners, at Merchandise World. The service provides a white label print solution, that can be branded for distributors to deliver a scalable robust print solution to their existing and new clients. With wholesale pricing, distributor discount and an invoicing solution, Saxoprint Partners will enable distributors to offer a range of printed products.

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A QUESTION OF TECH

Our resident technology expert, Matt Pluckrose answers more questions on how tech is influencing product media.

Q. What external technology do you see affecting promo tech in the coming months?

A. As always technology is racing and currently the buzz areas would include the Internet of Everything, artificial intelligence, VR and AR, with 5G to come plus new updated software and hardware such as Bluetooth 5. Such changes are developing new product markets including smart home speakers (Alexa, Google home, and so on), internet/wireless security devices, self-driving cars, wearable technology – the list goes on.

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The BPMA Brexit Summit aims to answer questions and provide some clarity over the looming event

With the industry’s main exhibition and networking opportunity, Merchandise World taking place in Farnborough on 12 September, it makes sense to use the gathering to share advice and air views on one of the biggest issues facing business in Britain – Brexit. The BPMA Brexit Summit takes place on the afternoon prior to Merchandise World. With Britain set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, businesses have only six months to prepare for an event that still has many question marks around it.

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A Helping Hand

Awareness of NABS within the promotional industry is limited, but a deal with the BPMA means it is there to help, says Diana Tickell

NABS (the National Advertising Benevolent Society) has been working in the UK advertising, marketing and media industry for 105 years. Our century-plus of offering industry advice, support and guidance, at no cost to the employee, has helped countless people get their careers and lives back on track.

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