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The Premier Magazine for Promotions, premiums and Incentives

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Olympic Promotions – Sponsors Creating Buzz Click to Enter: Online Contests Lavish – Merchandise Gallery Fashion – Sweats and Sweaters Motivating Employees in a Recession Travel – Resort Hot Spots Hot Stove Gallery Case Study: Starbucks goes all out...

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34 Cover models: Melissa Whigham, Giselle Sanderson

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L etter fro m t h e edi t o r



n November over 76,000 Canadians lost their jobs according to Statistics Canada. It’s an undeniable economic crisis. Besides letting people go, companies are also looking at other ways to trim their budget. It would be natural to think that reducing incentives and rewards would be first on the chopping block, but hold off. If employees and bonuses are being cut all around you, then morale is going to be low. These incentives and rewards are needed now more than ever — even if they are scaled down. I argue that you should be doing more of these things, and more often. Think of this scenario: if you have had to trim staff, a weekly coffee gift certificate can help the apathetic feeling amongst staff. It’s a small gift, but it gives everyone something to look forward to and it can take their minds off what’s happening around them. Okay, so a coffee card might not do the trick, but the idea behind it is clear: Instead of large and expensive, think small and valuable. By valuable, I mean random gifts of kindness that help employees throughout the day. Also, now is not the time to neglect your clients. Remind them why they work with you: give a gift card with a personal note attached thanking them for their business. We don’t know how long the slowdown will endure, but everyone needs a pick-meup gift or reward — that much we do know. Melanie Chambers Editor

Editor Melanie Chambers General Manager Virginia Govier Contributors Will Andrew Greg Fess John Furnish Len Kahn Michelle Morra Aaron Moscoe Lisa Wood ART Director Audra Noble Graphic Design Tom Wolfe Wendy Campbell Photography Greg Fess Proofreading Lisa Wood CIRCULATION Jamie Whigham printing Cober Printing ADVERTISING Jack Hancocks Publisher Steve Whigham © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. marketingedge magazine is published 4 times a year. This issue is volume three, issue one.

marketingedge magazine 25 McIntyre Place, Unit 5 Kitchener, ON N2R 1H1 519.575.5836 Canadian Publication Mail Agreement: 41454022 ISSN 1911-8627 marketingedge magazine

SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscription information visit Imprints and/or trademarks that are shown on products in this publication are for illustration only. The logos can not be purchased or used by anyone other than the owners of the logo imprints and/ or trademark and anyone given written consent by the owners of the logos, imprints and/or trademarks. The appearance of logos on products does not imply or mean endorsement of the product by the owners/representatives of the logos and trademarks.


Cert no. SW-COC-002478

contrib u to r s


Will Andrew is a Torontobased serial entrepreneur, with passion around innovative marketing and rapid growth. Mr. Andrew is the VP of Sales, Marketing & Business Development with Trimark Sportswear, and the president of Elevate Sport. He can be reached at When Michelle Morra was the editor of a safety magaazine, she received some fabulous premiums and incentives in the mail and at trade shows. Her favourites were the toy forklift, the lightup bouncing ball and the styrofoam dinosaur. Michelle lives in Toronto with Bat-Jamie and Super-Bogart. Len Kahn has taken his passion for farming to the business world, working with agribusiness enterprises Chase Econometrics, Cyanamid Canada and Ginty Jocius and Associates. Subsequently Len started his own firm, Kahntact Marketing, which in 2002 merged with AdFarm, one of North America’s leading agricultural communication firms. In 2007 Len launched Marketing911, a marketing services firm. Greg Fess is a professional photographer located in Waterloo, Ont. His career has spanned over 22 years, specializing in commercial photography for the likes of RIM, Sun Life Financial, Home Hardware and Dalsa.

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After graduating from Ryerson University’s Magazine Journalism program, Melanie Chambers wrote for a community newspaper on one of Canada’s most remote islands in northern British Columbia. Over the last few years, she has turned her pen towards freelancing, eding and teaching at the University of Western Ontario. Lisa Wood is a freelance writer and proofreader living in Cambridge, Ont. When she’s not proofreading or writing for marketingedge magazine, she’s juggling her time between corporate writing and proofreading projects and writing life stories. John Furnish is VP of business development for The Promotional Specialists. John led and re-engineered GEAR for Sports Canada through significant growth as president and COO and has served as national sales director for Estée Lauder Cosmetics and Reebok Canada. His experience in corporate merchandise and apparel programs is unparalleled. Aaron Moscoe is co-founder and president of The Promotional Specialists, and the 2007 Promotional Product Professionals of Canada central distributor of the year. As an 18-year industry veteran, Aaron focuses on the creative and effective use of promotional products, premiums and incentive products to address clients’ strategic marketing and measurable performance-oriented objectives.



Olympic Torch Relay – Online Contest

Do you carry a torch for your country? If so, Canadians nationwide can apply to carry the Olympic flame when it comes through their backyard. Coca-Cola and RBC are working together to present the 2010 Olympic torch relay. Its route will be the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history, stretching over 45,000 kilometres throughout Canada. The torch relay route is available at vancouver2010. com. The journey begins on October 30, 2009 and will finish in the Olympic stadium in Vancouver, B.C. During its long journey, the Olympic flame will pass through more than 1,000 communities and within a one-hour distance of more than 90 per cent of the entire Canadian population. Sign up online and to be part of the journey at or

McDonald Monopoly Game – Boosts Sales

The McDonald’s Monopoly game helped drive sales for the fast food outlet — at a time when others are suffering. McDonald’s U.S. store sales rose 5.3 per cent in October compared to the same period last year — new menu items and promotions also contributed. Canada saw a significant sales lift as well, while global sales rose 8.2 per cent. Sales in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa were reporting double-digit sale increases. The annual board game extravaganza has become an October fixture since it was introduced 17 years ago. At the beginning of November, 3.7 million people had registered to play and more than 5 million prizes have been awarded, including a couple of $100,000 winners, said a McDonald’s spokesperson.



Industry buzz

Third Annual STORMTECH Cares Outerwear Donation

STORMTECH Performance Apparel has once again partnered with several missions to distribute over 2,000 pieces of outerwear to people in need in the Vancouver and Toronto areas. The clothing donations began mid December and ran through the18th — arriving just in time for the first real cold snap of the winter. Since its inception three years ago, over 6,000 jackets, fleeces and blankets have been individually wrapped, and labelled by company volunteers — the company’s gifts have totalled over $650,000. The “STORMTECH CARES” campaign is one of the company’s ongoing community support initiatives, which include individual employee sponsorship of children in developing countries through World Vision Canada. STORMTECH donates regularly to local charities and events and provides athletic sponsorships through the company’s TEAM STORMTECH initiative

Energizer Pushes Power Play in NHL Sponsorship

American Express – Incentive Services

Energizer plans a power play themed Stanley Cup sweepstakes as part of its new sponsorship as official battery of the National Hockey League and its players’ association in Canada. The battery maker also plans to introduce a new product during the NHL All-Star Weekend, observing the centennial of the Montreal Canadians on January 23–25. The Energizer Max and lithium batteries are the main product drivers in the hockey marketing plans. The sweepstakes are to be launched in March and will offer two tickets to the Stanley Cup finals. Fans participating in the contest will be asked to predict which players will accumulate the most points on power plays during the regular season, and will also be challenged with a game of skill to win the tickets. “We’re looking at elements to appeal to a hardcore hockey fan,” said Kent Hatton, brand group director of Energizer Canada, who indicated techsavvy males aged 18 to 45 were the prime target for the sweepstakes. Energizer will have signage on the rink boards during the NHL All-Star Game. It will also have three 30-second spots on Jumbotron scoreboards and LED ribbon signage in Canadian NHL arenas. The deal gives Energizer rights to use the NHL logo on products sold in Canada.

This fall American Express Incentive Services (AEIS) announced a new partnership with OSI Restaurant Partners that will bring five new restaurants into the AEIS merchant portfolio, including the Outback Steak House. The AEIS merchant portfolio group includes popular retailers and service businesses that allow cardholders to redeem and use the reloadable gift cards for their products and services. “Restaurant dining is a popular entertainment opportunity and the number one redemption option our cardholders request,” says Tracy McFadden Wright, AEIS vice-president of merchant partnerships. “We are excited to provide our cardholders with such selection.” AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions including store value cards. Its products address a broad array of applications such as employee rewards and recognition, sales incentives and consumer promotions.

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How well do you know your client? BUILDING LASTING RELATIONSHIPS

by Will Andrew



s a global recession of daunting proportions bears down, entrepreneurs the world over are asking themselves how best to maintain a competitive edge while continuing to grow business. In an unstable economy, when expense accounts and consumer confidence are contracting, business owners would do well to invest in an oftenoverlooked aspect of their company: clients. Assessing your client relationships represents an inexpensive — if not free — way to grow business and build loyalty. Clients will appreciate your attention and you will gain a better understanding of why they choose to do business with you, and more importantly, what it will take for them to continue that relationship. Identifying a client’s needs is the key to building a long-term relationship. Their needs may be obvious; they will likely have come to you to fulfill an immediate, often short-term need. However, the simple step of asking them to articulate their needs can do a few things: • r eaffirm their interest and your commitment to helping them accomplish their business goals; • give clues about their likes and dislikes, allowing you to better avoid discomfort and disappointment during a project; and • provide insight into their current challenges. This knowledge will best position your company to consistently meet the needs of a client. At the same time, you will not be handicapped having to react to unforeseen challenges specific to the client. As simple as it sounds, asking a client to be specific about their needs will let them know you are interested in their goals, but it is also important that you demonstrate to them that you have listened and understood their needs. You will be judged on your ability to perform and deliver; therefore you are more likely to be successful if you know the client and their needs, almost better than they do. Working with a client without a clear understanding of their needs, dislikes and challenges can have expensive and far-reaching consequences. Not only will you potentially lose the client, but

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it may also zap your opportunity for referrals and tarnish your reputation — every industry is a small world and word spreads fast. Your assessment of a client’s needs must be repeated at least once a year. Consider how much your own business has changed and evolved over time. The same will be true of your client’s business. With business owners under increasing pressure to trim costs, be aware that clients are as vulnerable as ever to competitors who promise results. Don’t take your client relationships for granted. Despite other companies vying for their attention, their relationship with you should be comforting; you understand, above all the others, their business needs, dislikes and challenges. Borrowing from my experience as an entrepreneur, I leave you with the three rules that should govern your client relationships: •u  nderstand what the client wants by asking them to articulate their business needs. • gain an awareness of the client’s environment so that you can observe their business challenges; and • remember that client relationships develop quickly, but can be lost just as quickly to competition. Initiating and fostering a dialogue with your clients is an inexpensive but invaluable way to grow business and build loyalty. Clients will be more flexible and forgiving if they understand that you are listening to them and are committed to helping them meet their business goals. mem


P romoti ons

Olympic sponsors’ promotions from coins to wine, how canadian companies are creating olympic buzz


by Lisa Wood

t may be a year in advance of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, but sponsors are already off to the races with their promotions. The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics brought huge pay-offs for sponsors like Coca-Cola, which nearly doubled its brand awareness amongst Chinese consumers. In the months leading up to the Winter Games we’ll be on the lookout for some exciting promotions from Vancouver 2010 sponsors. In this issue, marketingedge magazine puts the spotlight on some collectibles, contests and merchandise.

How do you get people to collect 15 Winter Olympic-themed quarters? According to Brian Grant Duff, owner of All Nations Stamp and Coin in Vancouver, it could be a challenge for the Royal Canadian Mint. It’s partly due to collector burnout, he says. “Speaking as a dealer, there are so many Olympic coins. It’s such an enormous program — it’s the largest Olympic coin program in world history. It is tough to wrap your head around all the different varieties.” Joining forces with Petro-Canada and RBC to create promotional items, using the coins as bait, could be the Mint’s answer. “It was logical for us to team up and tackle this as a team as opposed to individually,” says Allyson Zarowny, senior advisor of Olympic programs for Petro-Canada. The coins are first distributed from participating RBC branches and Petro-Canada locations. From Petro-Canada’s perspective, this is a great way to attract customers into their retail stores. “If you have a regular quarter, you can exchange that for a special Mint collector quarter,” says Zarowny. But sometimes two collectibles in one is more effective. PetroCanada also offers Vancouver 2010 coin sport cards, a promotion available over the three years leading up to the Games. “People

collect hockey cards and baseball cards — the card is a neat way to take a look at the Games and we’re actually going to be coming out with a tin which will hold four of the sport coin cards. It’s another way to draw in collectors,” says Zarowny. Each card celebrates an Olympic or Paralympic sport and features a special colour version of the circulation coin, priced at $7.95. “The two things that are great about it is price point and it’s a licensed product,” she says. When a collectible may not be popular on its own because of “collector burnout,” combining it with a promotion and with a high-traffic partner can’t hurt: “We have 700,000 transactions a day. There’s lots of opportunity for people to come in and buy one of the products,” says Zarowny. Conducting a joint promotion also creates good brand association, she says. “We find that as a company we align ourselves with the Olympic and Paralympic values and so those products in our sites are a great way to make people aware that that’s the type of company we are. Aside from having a great souvenir, it’s a great brand to promote at your location.” The advice she gives to other companies considering a collaboration, is to partner with organizations that share similar values as you do, and use the opportunities you have through your partners. >>

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Heather Popliger has always wanted to go to the Olympics. So when this Ontario resident heard the announcement that the 2010 Winter Games were to be held in Vancouver, she got on the phone to her west coast cousins. “I wanted to stay with them so I wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on a hotel,” she says. She would have been buying her tickets online like most Canadian fans last fall had an August Globe and Mail contest not intervened. The Vancouver 2010 print media supplier’s Podium Picks contest offered entrants a chance to win two tickets to the opening ceremony plus round trip airfare, accommodations, spending money and tickets to select events. Similar contests were held by fellow Vancouver 2010 sponsors, GE and Petro-Canada. Popliger learned about the Podium Picks contest from a site called Contest “Podium Picks was advertised inhome in The Globe and Mail, Mail, in both external and in-house online properties and through email blasts,” says Sean Humphrey, director of marketing at The Globe. To play, participants had to guess where Canadian Olympians would place in each of the daily sporting events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Correct guesses earned them ballots for the contest and a greater chance of winning. Popliger won the

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gold, but there were also five Plasma televisions and 30 HBC clothing packages awarded. When she received the email saying she won, Popliger felt disbelief. “They enclosed in the email a contact phone number. I called the person back and asked them to confirm that I actually was the winner.” Popliger was already a loyal Globe reader before she won Podium Picks and says: “I am pleased that they offered this contest. I am forever indebted to them.” Humphrey says the contest was enthusiastically received and adds: “Podium Picks was a great way to engage Canadians in the Games and to get to ‘know’ our athletes better too. Podium Picks allowed us to start building a community of Globe Olympic enthusiasts. We will be reaching out to them — and others — in the coming months as we build towards the Games.” Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games is one of the most significant sponsorship commitments in The Globe’s history. “These are truly ‘Canada’s Games’ and we want to bring the Winter Olympics closer to the fans. We are planning a series of reader promotions that will engage Canadians coast-to-coast in new and exciting ways,” says Humphrey.


P romoti ons

Wearing the pride, or tasting it While a hoodie or hat is always good for joining in the spirit of the Games, for those interested in the finer things Canada has to offer — I’m talking wine here — they’re lucky that Vincor Canada was made official wine supplier to Vancouver V 2010. “Because they’re Canada’s largest wine company, Vincor was really proud that they were allowed to win this bid…It could just as easily gone to another country’s brand,” says Leeann Clemens, spokesperson for Vincor Canada. Being a sponsor presents a huge opportunity to shine the light on the fact that Canada has a thriving wine industry, says Clemens. “On a global scope our industry is very small. What they’re hoping is that it will not only put Canada on the world stage but the Canadian wine industry as well.” Vincor is certainly doing a wide array of promotions to get the word out. Wine lovers may have noticed Olympic fever when Vincor’s Jackson-Triggs’ EspritTM Chardonnay and Merlot started showing up on store shelves and in restaurants in 2007. Named to capture both the French and English connotations of the word “spirit,” they are co-branded with the Vancouver 2010 emblem. Clemens says the Esprit wines are selling successfully. “The fact that a $1.25 from every bottle sold goes directly to the Olympic athletes, that’s just a great reason for customers to want to buy it.” Inniskillin, also part of the Vincor family, boasts its own Vancouver 2010 contribution and promoted it with a launch party. Olympic freestyle skiers Steve Omischl and Deidra Dionne, Canadian artist Gordon Halloran and pastry chef Thierry Busset were on hand in November to sign bottles and speak at the British Columbia launch of the Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition. Halloran,

from left to right: olympic freestyle skiers deidra dionne and steve omischl, scott starra of inniskillin Wines, and renowned bc artist Gordon halloran

who is internationally renowned for using ice as his canvas, was a natural fit to create the artwork for the bottle’s label. “The artwork was taken from Gord’s ‘Paintings Below Zero’ installation at the Cultural Olympiad of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy,” says Shivauna Brown, Vincor Olympic project manager. Sold in a tube, the commemorative Inniskillin icewine stands out on the shelf. “Promotions are one the most valuable modes to generating excitement towards our Canadian athletes. Accounts are able to leverage our marketing rights through promotions tied to the Esprit wines,” says Brown. There are more promotions to look forward to from Vincor Canada in its efforts to win gold for Canada’s wine industry. From innovative retail and restaurant promotions, high visibility at Vancouver 2010 events, hospitality programs, and corporate gifting opportunities, it promises to be an interesting year for promotion hounds. Cheers to that! mem

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Click to Enter How to

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streamline your online contests by Len Kahn

Contests — long the workhorses of the marketing world — are undergoing a renaissance. And it’s all because of the convenient and efficient Internet and digital technologies


or many companies, contests have traditionally offered an impactful way to engage customers with their brands, and are a cost-effective way to collect information. Marketing-oriented contests go back to the turn of the last century, where institutions such as the Century Banking Company of Mississippi offered public school students the chance to win prizes including season’s tickets to the local baseball team, or a nickel a week for life for writing an essay on “Why Deposit with the Century Banking Company?” By the 1920s, companies were offering prizes for writing advertising slogans or submitting awardwinning birdhouses. The use of contests escalated in these advertising boom years: everyone from brewers to packaged goods manufacturers, cigarette companies and newspapers were getting in on the act. In recent years, however, many companies have backed away from the use of contests as an integral part of their marketing mix. Why? Simply put, the cost; it’s the cost of creating it, as well as the legal bill. But it’s not just money: retailers are reluctant to act as fulfillment partners for the companies offering the contests, consumers are tired of

“yet another contest,” and even government-run lotteries and games-of-chance are drying up. But now, with the Internet as a mass-marketing vehicle, companies are showing a renewed interest and focus on contests — in essence, utilizing the power of emerging online tools and technologies to breathe new life into this old vehicle. A recent Google search revealed 588,000 results for the keywords “online, contests, and Canada.” Included are sites such as and www.canadacontests. com that accumulate current contests, making it easier for participants to find and enter contests. According to Ryan Kelly, general manager of Guelphbased VLinteractive, digitally-driven contests offer a number of tangible benefits over their traditional ‘paper based’ counterparts. “The best contests will actually take on a social networking aspect,” says Kelly. “Participants not only engage to win but to also rate other entrants, compete with each other and share discussion with likeminded peers. Companies attach their brand to a social building platform as opposed to a one time ‘fill out and win’ engagement.”

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He points to the Guinness ‘Ambassador of Goodwill’ contest as an example. Entrants entered to win the title of Guinness Ambassador; to win , they were asked to upload their own videos and text explaining why they would be a good ambassador, all the while trying to earn votes from their friends and site visitors to earn the title. The winner not only received the Ambassador title, but also a slew of Guinness merchandise celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. “Guinness turned a one-time contest into a social network of tens of thousands of people over the course of four months,” says Kelly. On the business-to-business side, Kelly says one of the biggest upsides of running a contest online is the opportunity to extend the participation level, ultimately building a stronger profile of a prospective customer. “Companies can offer daily or weekly prizes, or more intricate points or prize accumulation functions — all depending on the participation level of site visitors. The more you participate and tell us about your business, the greater your chance of winning. At the end of the day, a marketing manager can turn a contest into a series of ballot generating touch-points, resulting in not only greater prospect insight and sales, but also brand recognition from participants. The best part is that there are almost no additional costs for these activities once the contest engine is built.” Kelly cites www.winwithed, a contest site VLinteractive built for jammaker E.D. Smith, as an example of the type of robust contest engine that manages to run a multitude

of contests, without breaking the bank. One expert believes that online contests are clear frontrunners when it comes to contests. Allen Chankowsky, vice-president of Toronto-based MBC Marketing — one of

Canada’s leading promotional marketing agencies — says that while the administration logistics between traditional and online contests are much the same, (rules, declaration and release forms, prize sourcing, fulfillment, etc.) online has communication advantages over traditional channels. For example, if prizing is offered over the Internet then online offers a tremendous advantage for prize fulfillment whereby the prize can be “sent” or downloaded from a secure source to the winner. Chankowsky also sees the social networking aspect of online contests as one of their strongest features. “The most common add-on feature for an online contest is referred to as a ‘viral’ add-on,” he says. “This ‘Tell-a-Friend’ feature allows for an entrant to share the excitement of a contest or a prize with their own network of contacts via email or text. The communication then ‘spreads’ in a viral fashion, leading the way to more and more people hearing about the contest.” Chankowsky believes that TD Canada Trust’s website (www. has a nice mixture of online and traditional contest elements. “The online media is used to promote the use of the card product and to publish


winner information in a ‘live’ environment. This sort of on-the-fly publishing is particularly useful as consumers generally want to know if winners have been identified and who they are. This can bolster consumer engagement as the data is both relevant and immediate to what the audience may be seeking. Traditional contest executions simply do not allow for this type of immediacy and relevance and could detract from consumers engaging with the campaign,” he says. Even the ultra-competitive brewing industry is taking another look at how contests can help energize their brands. Rob McLean, international brands marketing manager for SABMiller, indicates that that while SABMiller hasn’t been using contests in Canada for the past several years, they are now are now rethinking their tune. “Now, when we think about contests, we think online first,” says McLean. “Our retail partners such as the LCBO have no interest in managing contests for us. Their time and retail space are just too valuable. With online, we can minimize hard costs such as printing and postage, remove the need for front-line fulfillment, utilize our central IT resources to build the online contest platform, and connect with our customers in a medium they increasingly prefer — the Internet.” McLean adds, “With our premium brands such as Grolsch, we want to ensure that if we do run a contest we offer premium prizes, consistent with our brand’s position. The Internet is an ideal vehicle for showcasing highervalue prizes such as trips and tours. Our customers can get a sense of the true value of the prize offer, which we believe gets them more deeply engaged with our brands and the contest itself.” Of course, the online environment does pose a number of new challenges for marketers. “Crawler” engines troll the web for contest opportunities, opening the door for high numbers of unwanted entrants. And the very nature of the Internet means that your competition will be common knowledge to your competitors. According to Kelly, there are a number of technical “blocks” that can be put in place to ensure the integrity of contest entrants. “Things like auto-email entry confirmation and electronically limiting the number of entries from a particular email address are useful tools in ensuring that the folks who enter your contest are actually customers or prospects.” Chankowsky adds, “The gold standard preventative measure for online contests is employing CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell


Computers and Humans Apart) where the entrant needs to copy the letters of an obscured word only readable by humans. The entrant must ‘pass’ this challenge before being allowed to enter the contest.” Lastly, the bulk of contests are still launched and

promoted using traditional media such as print, radio, television, direct mail or point-of-purchase. The Internet remains an inefficient way to broadly get the word out. Marketers must be prepared to “prime the pump” with some up-front advertising dollars to ensure that news of their contest gets out to the right people, at the right time and place. But after that, thanks to the power of the Internet and emerging digital technologies, your online contest will almost certainly deliver more bang for your buck than traditional paper-based models. In part two of this series we will look at the legal and logistical challenges associated with online contests. mem

marketingedge magazine | 17


Badlands Executive Briefcase $600 Rugged premium leathers offer the look and durability of the Old Wild West. Dark earth brown suede cowhide with chestnut brown distressed cowhide.

Photography: Greg Fess

Merchandise Gallery The fashionable side of corporate premiums & incentives.

Canyon Outback

Mica Ridge Handbag $101

100% full grain, buffed cowhide, this handbag features a fully lined interior with a zip pocket. Numerous exterior pockets include double cell phone pockets. It features two lengths detachable straps: one functioning as a carry handle, and one as a 39� strap.


Roots ECO Automatic Watch $265

Roots ECO Automatic mechanical watches run on clean, natural energy – wristpower – eliminating the need for batteries and promoting environmental sustainability.


Sunglasses $48

De-Centered polycarbonate 8 base lens, MaxFlex RILSAN frame. Open bottom frame design.


39 styles




The softer side of your business

What to look for in corporate sweaters and sweatshirts


by Michelle Morra

orporate apparel sure has changed since Richard Arluk was a kid. Born into a family business of promotional products, he had access to the latest corporate sweaters and sweatshirts, but he wouldn’t wear them. “They were very oldlooking,” he says, “not young and youthful.” Today Arluk is account manager of his family’s business, Commercial Marketing in Markham, Ont., and he would gladly wear what companies are now ordering for their employees and customers — even if he were still a teenager. “Today, parents and children are dressing more alike,” he says. “It’s hard to tell if they’re 13 or 35 because everyone’s wearing the same fashionable clothing.” Corporations have caught on to the “think young” trend. If you want people to sport your company logo or message, hip and casual is a better bet than Mister Rogers’ cardigan. Case in point, the hoodie rage. Varying forms of the hooded sweatshirt have made their way from medieval monks to 20th century skateboarders, hip-hop bands, runway models and promotional product catalogues. “Streetwear-influenced style has become a staple in everyone’s wardrobe,” says Harp Chahal, SanMar Canada’s merchandiser, design and development. “Chances are, if you’re given a branded hoodie you are probably going to wear it.” Hooded sweatshirts come in a variety of colours, brands, and fabric weights, as pullovers, quarter-zip pullovers, or with full zip. Not to mention, there are reversible ones with kangaroo pockets, stripes along the arms, or even a furtrimmed hood. In exchange for wearing your company logo, not only do people want to look young but they also want to feel comfortable. Hence the ongoing demand for soft, cozy fabrics like fleece. Both micro and polar fleece continue to be popular because of their versatility and comfort. Add a quarter zip to a pullover and it will mix well with casual and business attire. Fleece also comes in the form of crewnecks, hoodies, full zip with collar, and full zip with hood. Sweaters in stretch cotton or cottonpolyester blends are still in demand,

Coral Harbour polar fleece vests: L740

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f A shion


but in keeping with the “young and casual” look, they tend to be worn with full or quarter zippers, or as sailcloth knit pullovers. bottom line? anyone n nyone who has worn something downy and plush won’t be thrilled with a garment that feels cold or squeaky. iff you want to reward your staff, thank your customers and promote your business with sweaters and/or sweatshirts, the selection is vast. Consider these factors as you narrow it down:

How and where to decorate. the left chest area is still a popular spot for logos on sweaters or sweatshirts. Embroidery is classic and durable, but for a discre etly placed logo, many companies opt for a tone-on-tone look, or have their logo embossed or debossed into the fabric. apparel suppliers say customers want logos on sweaters or sweatshirts to be more inconspicuous than ever. the beauty of a hoodie — corporately speaking — is that it’s a widely-accepted fashion item even with some kind of image or words emblazoned on it. the hood itself has become a popular spot for embroidery, says Chahal, “so that when the hood is off, it is branding for you. it’s the latest popular trend.”

Colour? Anything goes. White is typically less expensive. red, black and blue cost more, and grey is somewhere in-between. people today want vibrant colours, especially on a more casual garment; all the better for companies that want their logo or message broadcast in loud tec t hnicolor. What’s new can stay new looking. remember member when some sweaters or sweats would form those telltale pellets of cheapness after a few washes? that’s no longer a concern with widespread use of anti-pilling finishes. ask sk for it.

Consider ladies’ preferences. Corporate fashions have caught up to the fact that buying men’s Xl for everyone isn’t such a great idea. so take the time to find out people’s sizes and offer a style designed specifically for women. Consider soft knits, micro fleece, even velour, for contoured tops without adding bulk. “Women like the warmth but don’t want to sacrifice showing their silhouette,” says Chahal. “We have been told that our fleece jackets and vests for the ladies are the best fitting because of the princess seams and slightly contoured side seams offering a flattering fit.”

Go green? While you’re promoting your business, why not purchase eco-friendly apparel? the environment, though on everyone’s mind, sometimes ends up on the back burner when it comes to responsible purchases. arluk luk says customers often ask about sweaters and sweatshirts made of hemp or recycled products. stormtech: sAt057 (black) trimark: 98246 (white) trimark: 18346 (moss green)

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Trimark: 18190

“Eco-friendly items are a big, big craze right now. A lot of people want them, but do they actually buy them when they find out the price points are so high?” The good news, he says, is that eco products are becoming increasingly more affordable. For customers that want to make socially responsible purchases, Arluk recommends Me to We, a Toronto-based company that sells high quality apparel of 100 per cent organic cotton or bamboo, manufactured in sweatshop-free conditions. The company gives 50 per cent of its profits to charity (www.

Shop Canadian — or not? Much of the apparel in catalogues today tends to be manufactured offshore, in places as far as Bangladesh, Thailand and China. Canadian manufacturers of corporate apparel are hard-pressed to keep up. “The import market has decimated the marketplace,” says Bram Ordel, president of Billboard Sportswear. “There’s no way for local Canadian manufacturers to compete at all.” Sweaters were the mainstay of his business until the

import market started to strengthen (in 1999–2000) and his business started to weaken. Billboard continues to specialize in cottons, but has shifted from corporate sportswear to workwear that firefighters, truck drivers and others can wear on the job, in industrial settings. It’s even harder to shop Canadian when the alternative offers so much. Chahal says imported goods have “unbeatable prices” and “impeccable quality.” Arluk says it’s really unfortunate that the import market is taking over, but he can’t deny the beautifully-made apparel coming from overseas. “Everyone in their right mind should want to keep the business in Canada to support our own economy,” he says. “But cost is the bottom line, and that, a lot of the time, reflects the purchase. Big manufacturers do keep Canadianmade products in their line, because occasionally you get someone who does want it.” You can’t give every employee, customer and potential customer a big bear hug, but you’ll come close by carefully selecting the perfect cozy garment that promotes your business and shares the love. mem

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Motivation and Inspiration

by Aaron Moscoe & John Furnish

Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Today the importance of attracting, motivating, and retaining employees is undisputed. Times have changed, and the measurable impacts of employee engagement are now finally understood, taking this topic from a relatively “soft” and obscure human resource matter to a respected way to influence employees and company performance. Progressive sales and marketing professionals recognize that the same principles are directly applicable to a company’s relationship with their consumers, distributors, sales and channel partners. They value their company’s

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“employee brand” which is intrinsic to their most critical internal and external business relationships.


With the current economic climate, some companies will examine each expense line item on their income statement to see where they can make cuts. The truth is that making cuts in haste can be short-sighted, so much so that these cuts may be at the expense of the company’s long-term opportunities. Research shows that scaling back on investments in marketing and employee programs is tantamount to being penny wise and pound foolish. In boom times where growth tends to come with


relative ease, small to medium business enterprises tend to appreciate growth but are often less concerned about market share, particularly in fragmented markets. In a stagnant or tightening economy, it’s important for businesses to focus on market share in order to protect the absolute size of their piece of the pie. And in order to maintain volume or growth, increasing market share is crucial. It may sound like a tall order, but the good news is that this is often the easiest time to do so as competitors are cutting back on their investments in marketing initiatives and employee incentive, reward and recognition plans. A recent study indicates that the average cost for lost productivity, attracting, hiring and training a new employee can be as high as $50,000. Taking this into account, it’s easy to see why more companies are investing in well structured employee reward and recognition programs. And a happy employee is a productive one. Increased employee engagement leads to a more creative, productive and loyal workforce — your employees won’t want to leave! In a down economy, some companies will cut back, but hold off. When employees are engaged, believe in the company they work for and enjoy the culture, they are far more likely to be advocates for the company, participate in employee referral programs and spread the message by word-of-mouth. Evidence also demonstrates that increased employee

f eat ur e

engagement results in higher levels of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction and a strong culture are in turn positively correlated to company growth and profitability. From a sales and marketing perspective, there is a definitive relationship between promotional activities and subsequent sales. Study after study confirms that if a marketer increases or decreases their traditional share of promotions relative to that of their competitors, similar changes occur in that company’s market share. One study showed that organizations that did not cut back on their promotional spending enjoyed increases in both sales and profitability the following year by an average of 55 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. Marketers who cut back on their promotional spending did not experience significant growth during the same period and their profits did not keep pace with those of their competitors who continued to invest in customer relationships. Examples in the marketplace are not hard to find. Kellogg’s took over the number one market share from Post by maintaining their marketing budget, while Post cut back in the name of fiscal responsibility. Not only did Kellogg’s investment in a recession provide shortterm results, but that investment has parlayed into market dominance over the long run. The micro focus on expenses might suggest that there is room to cut on employee incentive and recognition initiatives: however, in tough economic times, particularly where companies have had to trim their number of

feA ture


employees, it becomes increasingly important to get higher productivity and greater performance from their remaining employees. these remaining employees need to be assured of their value now more than ever. Cutting back on incentive programs may cause them to worry about the stability of the company. a company’s culture and brand, perceived with the minds of current and prospective employees, clients and channel partners are important, albeit intangible, assets that are most often developed gradually over time. rather her than a slash-and-burn approach, which frequently leaves an indelible mark on culture and brand perceptions, maintaining employee reward and recognition investments recognizes both the short — and long-term value and the developement cycle of these important assets.


Show employees that they are valued: reward them with reminders of why they are valued.

this is the time to do things smarter. Focus on best practices, such as ensuring that all company programs and benefits communicate the same message and are aligned with the company mission, vision and values. re-evaluate current programs to ensure that employees clearly understand both the behaviours and the outcomes desired and that the rewards and recognition are linked accordingly. show employees that they are valued: reward them with

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reminders of why they are valued. such a gift might include a home or family-oriented gift which says that the company respects the importance of the employee’s life outside of work. don’t forget the recognition piece as well. it’s a reminder to them that this place is worth the effort. as opposed to many other areas a company may budget for, one of the unique elements of a well designed employee, consumer, sales or channel incentive program is that 70 to 80 per cent of the total program costs are variable and only incurred with the desired results. With such low fixed costs, risks are small compared with the return on investment beyond the initial set-up costs. post-war st-war recessions in north america have lasted an average of 11 months. Companies that are prudent in the short term, while seeing it as part of their long-term plans, will emerge stronger.


the message is clear. For long-run success, stay the course. by maintaining rather than cutting investments in the short term, companies can take advantage of prime opportunities to build their culture, strengthen their brand relationships with consumers, employees and business partners, increase employee engagement, and increase their future market share. these are the companies that will be best positioned for long-term growth and success. mem

Hot Resorts by Melanie Chambers

With an average temperature in the high 20s and the hurricane season out of the way, a tropical all-inclusive vacation is an affordable way to rejuvenate those winter weary employees. the beauty of an all-inclusive resort is that they can customize packages so employees can relax the way they want; resorts will also offer discount rates to corporate group events or repeat guests. And since all-inclusive includes airport pickup, meals, and activities — you can shut your brain off and let someone else do the work.

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Laluna Love

When GQ Magazine was looking for a place to talk men’s fashion and all things testosterone, they rented out the laluna resort esort on the island of Grenada. one of their top sales executives even won a trip to stay at the resort. With only 16 cottages and a maximum of 32 guests, it’s an intimate and luxurious space for company events. located on what is dubbed the desert corner, the brightly coloured cottages are dotted along a hillside. Every cottage has its own private plunge pool. and for true tropical effect, there’s a thatched roof over the sunset bar full of indonesian lounge chairs. the food is also a step-up. “Guests can start the Caribbean experience by eating our foods fused with amazing local spices as well as fish and seafood,” says

Christine nelles, general manager of the resort. according to Caribbean Magazine, “italian chef benedetto laa Furia melds the tropics with his native cuisine in such dishes as seafood gnocchi, local lobster tossed in olive oil and ‘seafood benedetto’ — shrimp, crab, scallops and fish in a rich red sauce accompanied by risotto.” outside of the resort, travellers can visit the spice market in town, tour the island or visit the nearby rainforest and waterfalls. a favourite of guests is a drive to a fishing village called Gouyave on Friday night for “Fish Friday,” which includes a weekly street festival and of coarse fish, from 20 different vendors serving such marine delights as mahi mahi, tuna, king, sword, lobster, crab, and flying fish.

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Puerto Rican Specialty

Rincón Beach Resort is located on Almirante Beach near a quiet town in Puerto Rico’s west coast. The resort is a water lover’s mecca that includes surfing, deep sea fishing, whale watching and kayaking. Guests return for the laid back atmosphere but also a taste of true Puerto Rican culture: “Our heritage blends Taíno Indian, Spanish, and African cultures and is palpable everywhere, particularly in this region,” says Lorraine Ortiz-Valcárcel, director of public relations for Flagship Services Corporation. “From the music, to beach stands serving cold local beer, cod fritters and fresh squid salad with root vegetables, to patron saint festivities and artisan markets, to the Spanish colonial architecture.” Companies such as Honeywell, Tyco Securities, Blockbuster, and Avon, among others, come for company

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events. And that’s where the real fun begins. The resort’s onsite planner will work with a company to customize the trip: beach volleyball matches, a day trip on a sailing boat, surfing lessons, yoga sessions, wine tasting lessons, wine pairing dinners — the list is endless. There are also opportunities for day excursions just outside the resort: historic coffee plantations and some of the oldest church structures in the western hemisphere — as well as to the Guánica Dry Forest, the largest remaining tract of tropical dry coastal forest in the world (and an international biosphere reserve. But regardless of the amenities, many tired employees just sleep: “It is very common that the stay includes a generous amount of time at leisure to sleep late, lay on the beach with a book, and nap under a palm tree,” says Ortiz-Valcárcel.


Belize Bliss Belize’s Lodge at Chaa Creek Rainforest Reserve, Adventure Centre, and Spa, is a taste of one of the world’s three remaining rainforests. And, located on a 365-acre rainforest reserve on the banks of the Macal River, this grandiose lodge has humble grassroots beginnings. It started as a farm for a young couple in the late 1970s, began to take on visitors coming to lend a hand. The couple decided to turn the area into guest houses and in 1981 the first jungle lodge in Belize was opened. Today, the Chaa Creek has amenities and land enough to suit a plethora of visitors. For the adventurous guests needing to burn some adrenalin, there are kilometres of trails to hike, ride horseback or mountain bike on the Ruta Maya Trail


System; and for paddlers, there’s the calm Macal River. The early risers can take a walk and learn about the hundreds of bird species only found in the rainforest complete with a naturalist guide or guests can take an interpretive tour of the Rainforest Medicine Trail at Ixchel Farm. For those guests who need to relax, like yesterday, there is a spa package at the Maya Rainforest Wellness Retreat. The Belize package includes treatments from the earth such as the locally-made and hand-pressed aromatic oils infused with lemon grass or ylang-ylang. And it wouldn’t be Belize if you didn’t pay homage to the cocoa bean: Maya chocolate is fused into treatments such as the Chocolate Fondue Wrap to the Cocoa Massage, Maya Chocolate Polish and Lovers mem Peppermint Chocolate Pedicure.

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Hot Stove Gallery marketingedge magazine’s Hot Stove Gallery is an excellent reference guide to help you find the right product or inspire ideas that will make your promotion or campaign a success.

Black & Decker

Power Monitor • Displays electricity use in your home, minute by minute, in dollars or kW • Easy to install, weatherproof sensor requires no wiring • Shows day, time and outside temperature • Priced from $114.99


6 pc Manicure Set • Nickel coated stainless steel • Available in red or black • 3.5” x 4” x 1” • Priced from $35.00

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5-in-1 Wobble Clock • Touch sensitive with 5 different functions: time, alarm, temperature, date and timer • Screen changes colour with each function • ABS egg shaped clock • Individuallly boxed • Priced from $8.96

Spector & Co

Eco Perfect Bound Notebook • The lined sheets and notebook covers are coloured with organic-based inks • Perfect bound 13pt soft cover and 80 ivory lined sheets made from recycled material • Priced from $3.25


4-Colour Highlighter Set • Keep your desk bright and colourful • 4 highlighter colours: pink, green, orange and yellow • ABS silver stand • Priced from $10.99

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Spector & Co.

Colourplay Leather Clock • Colourplay leather desktop clock with decorative stitching • Available in blue, black, red, green, orange, pink or chocolate • Packaged in 2-piece gift box • Priced from $9.25


USB Finger Optical Mouse • Innovative lightweight optical mouse adds new dimension to mouse navigation by simple finger movement • Simple and easy curser control using thumb to cllick dual mouse buttons or scroll wheel • Works on most non-reflective surfaces and requires no mousepad. • Priced from $21.29


Yoga Mat • 6 mm extra thick yoga mat •Comes complete with polyester carry bag with mesh and shoulder strap • Available in purple or royal • Priced from $21.27

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Gift cards that go the extra mile



hen regular coffee drinkers began asking about perks and benefits to getting their regular fix at Starbucks, the company delivered. Launched almost a year ago, Starbucks Rewards offers more gifts and benefits to Starbucks’ existing reloadable coffee card customers. “Before we launched Starbucks Rewards, membership didn’t really have any privileges,” says Jessica Mills, brand manager of Starbucks Canada. Since its inception in 2001, the reloadable card only offered users an occasional $5 gift card in the mail, along with the ability to protect their balance and upload money onto the card — not much incentive to use the card over cash. Since the launch of the incremental gifts, where customers can receive daily free additions to their coffee, customers can receive a whole slew of perks. Those perks include free syrups (hazelnut and vanilla) or a free soy option. “Customers shouldn’t be penalized for things they can’t control,” says

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Mills of those customers who suffer from lactose intolerance and must drink soy products. Ordinarily the soy option costs 50 cents, but cardholders get it free. The card also offers two hours free use of Wi-Fi inside stores, a complimentary tall beverage with the purchase of whole bean coffee, and free refills on brewed coffee, both offered on the same visit in-store. It works this way: customers put money on the card at the point of purchase, then they must register the card online. Once they are registered, they also have the option of receiving advance notice, in the mail or online, about new products, and a special promotion to try them out for free. “We wanted to offer our loyal customers daily rewards for being a registered card carrier,” says Mills. For example, in August Starbucks began selling oatmeal for breakfast with a variety of dried fruit and sugar toppings. Cardholders received a direct mail offer to come in and try the oatmeal for free, and tell Starbucks what they thought about it. Along the way there were hiccups. “Starbucks is a world-class retailer but we’re not there yet in being a world-class CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing/Management). But we are working on it.” Case in point: when customers came in to use the card, baristas had trouble swiping the card to read the data — the system wasn’t intuitive and couldn’t read the card easily. This resulted in more time at the cash for the customer, a sometimes frustrating experience. The company also heard through customer feedback that registering the card online took a long time; therefore, the company increased the bandwidth. This customer feedback has been integral to the card’s success and is employed to optimize the cardusing experience. For example, around the same time as they launched the incremental gifts on the card, they also launched My Starbucks Idea, a forum for feedback that asks the customer how they can improve. Customers can fill out cards at the store or they can go online. “They don’t hold back — good or bad — and we take that information and use it,” says Mills. The feedback has improved the use of the card, and the success of the program is evident: registered cardholder numbers have increased more than 54 per cent from this time last year and more than 1.5 million registered cardholders have saved since April 8. mem

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