The bpma LinkedIn forum

The bpma LinkedIn community has almost 900 members and a number of important industry topics are discussed. Some of the more recent ones include

Computer Virus hits industry: A computer virus hit the industry in November and a number of companies got caught out. The subject heading was Promotional Gifts – Project Draft Urgent. The bpma advice is always to be mindful of unsolicited email. If it looks too good to be true it probably is. Also, check the url suffix.

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New group set up to support British Manufacturers

A new special interest group has been set up by the bpma to support British Manufacturers. At a recent meeting held in Leicester, a group from First Editions, Orchard Melamine and Great Central Plastics will become part of a steering group to help manage and co-ordinate a programme of activity.

The group’s main aims are to:

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Why Senator?

1. Heritage

Our blend of 95 YEARS’ experience, integrity, creativity and future-orientated zeal makes us the ultimate promotional partner for any brand. A member of the Merz Group in Frankfurt (1908). senator® Global was founded in 1920 and operates in 88+ countries worldwide. senator® UK & Ireland was established over 30 years ago (1983).

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Awards – Life After The Acceptance Speech

Jamie Marshall, founder and MD of Premier Print & Promotions ( reports on the spin-off benefits of awards.

Back in September, Premier Print & Promotions and I were honoured to win the Essex Business Excellence Awards for ‘Customer Care & Service’ and ‘Outstanding Business Person’. 

These were awards for companies based in our county, judged by experienced business people from other successful local companies. And before you ask, no, the awards ceremony wasn’t held at The Sugar Hut night club from ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex!

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Electronics into 2016

Bluetooth is set to get faster, longer range and further enhance all our Tech, says Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas.

Bluetooth is an integral and growing part of our digital lives. Whether driving, working, exercising or relaxing this technology has “cut the wires“ over the last ten years and opened up many opportunities for promotional marketers within our industry. This explosion of wireless gadgets has helped to push the gadget sector to above 12% of total spend on promotional products. 

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Just the Two of Us

Sue Moth of Sanders Badges spotlights the Family Business ethos.

I first came into the industry 40 years ago when I was employed in the finance department by Sanders Badges on a part- time basis. Having two small children at the time meant that it was only possible to work a few hours per week. As the children grew so did my role at Sanders, and over the next 20 years my roles changed many times until I became  managing director during the 1980s.

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Looking Ahead to Trends in 2016

Confidence in 2015 was certainly more buoyant in the promotional products industry with more and more companies expressing increase in sales revenue, albeit in some instances with a drop in margin. We asked industry figures for their take on what changes are in the pipeline for 2016.

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Continued exam success

Big congratulations to Carly Prophet from Allwag Promotions for passing her TPM exam in just six weeks with an impressive 100%. Carly dedicated 1 – 2 hours a week to studying, achieved the 125 credits needed to take the exam in just five weeks and decided to book the exam straight away.

Carly says: “I am over the moon with my exam mark. I am new to promotional merchandise and the TPM course was a great starting place to learn about the industry and products. I would highly recommend it to anyone starting out or wanting to refresh their knowledge on the basics. I am looking forward to starting the CPM course in the New Year!”

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Building a happy and profitable workplace

Why are some employers more successful at retaining their workforce over others?

In our modern, competitive and creative environment, organisations can adopt several practices to help attract and retain employees. A business offering a healthy, varied work environment which favours the well-being of employees is more likely to attract and retain staff over those that don’t.

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The Pen Supplement new edition is launched

The Pen Warehouse is has released edition two of The Pen Supplement, its collection of best-selling products. The range offers something for any type of promotion, whether it’s low cost plastic pens for event giveaways, budget-friendly pencils for large campaigns, or high-quality metal pens for executive gifts.

New additions include the Sparta Ballpen which utilises double-injection moulding technology, and the Quad-i Ballpen with four coloured refills and touchscreen stylus. A 360° laser engraving service is now available on their improved version of the Electra Ballpen.

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bpma patrons meet at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant

Another successful patrons dinner was held on the 10 November at the highly acclaimed Gordon Ramsay restaurant, Maze.

Traditionally the events have been held at the House of Commons or the Carlton Club with Brian Binley MP leading the after dinner debate. A new format is now working with a guest speaker, and first up was the turn of Chris Daly, director of customer experience at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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BIC named official partner of COP 21

The BIC 4 Colours pen and the BIC Evolution pencil were the official ball pens and graphite pencils for the COP21 Convention on Climate Change.

This major international conference, which took place from November 30 to December 11 at Le Bourget in France, saw many state and government leaders attend.

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Ready for RemaDays 2016

Nearly six hundred exhibitors from across Europe have confirmed their participation in RemaDays 2016.  Opening on February 16 in Warsaw, this is the 12th year of the Fair for Advertising and Printing.

One of the largest exhibitions in the industry in the world, RemaDays is changing its image this year. Featuring spacious, modern and comfortable halls with a total area of 35,000 sq m, the event will play its part in Warsaw EXPO being attended by a record number of visitors this year.

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Ask Clive – Garment Decoration

Clive Allcott, the Essential Branding guru, on Garment Decoration

Q. Are there trends in promotional clothing?

A. Marketing results are often calibrated on the “impressions and impacts” that the brand will incur from the planned activity, of which clothing can be a major contributor, hence the realisation that fashionable, well-branded clothing will deliver better results.

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The bpma vision for 2016

Matt Franks bpma chair and CEO of Fluid Branding, sets out plans for 2016.

It seems 2016 is set to be another big year for the bpma. Relocating to our new Cambridge offices, and with an expanded team being recruited as we go to print, we’re excited to be offering more value to the industry and our members than ever before.

Having achieved ATO status for the association, we’re delighted to provide government-backed funding for bpma members exhibiting at PSI this month. Helping our supplier members export their goods and services overseas is a double win, bringing external money into the UK market and further strengthening our sector.

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What marketers really think about promotional gifts

Rising demand for electronic goods is among findings in bpma research into marketers’ attitudes.

The findings from extensive research by the bpma into what marketers think of promotional merchandise were launched during Promotional Products Week in September. Brand awareness is the main reason for using branded merchandise but increasingly they have more specific uses for seminars and conferences.

Two-thirds are now purchasing electronic goods, notably power banks and all manner of USB options. Marketers also believe the key to a successful promotional product is finding something that is both high in quality and memorable in some way.

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Mystery shoppers provide insights into industry

The bpma’s mystery shopper programme will help to improve standards, writes Gordon Glenister.

The bpma conducted its first-ever mystery shopper programme in the summer of 2015. In all, 30 distributors were selected by leading researcher Facts International, across a range of turnover bands.

Each distributor was shopped four times, twice on email and twice on the telephone. A number of interactions were measured. With regard to the telephone responses, 73% had their call answered within three rings and 9% went straight to voicemail. At its best, the phone was answered with one ring. At its worst, six calls were made and an answer-machine was noted each time.

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The Great British brands abroad

Phil Morgan, the CEO of SPS, offers tips on exporting.

It may seem a cliché but, with the massive developments in communications technology, the world really does seem a smaller place, especially when it comes to doing business around the world. There are huge opportunities for taking Great British brands abroad, and a wealth of support to help companies do just that. Chambers of commerce, UKTI and of course the bpma offer a wealth of guidance and support.

As CEO of a British manufacturer, I can offer a few “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to exporting your products. 

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Be protected with passwords

With hackers and scammers on the prowl, digital security is more important than ever, but one basic step you can take is to avoid the most popular passwords. Research continues to reveal that the world’s favourite passwords are “password” and “123456”, followed by “iloveyou” and “qwerty”. Pet names and birth dates are also popular.

According to Wolfpack Information Risk, the best way to create a strong password is to use spaces and/or combinations of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (for example, @ # $ % ! ?), with a minimum of seven characters.

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