Archive: Interesting Market information

custom pens

Posted on 08/10/2017 by Renske Visser
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colorful custom pens!

everyone uses a pen at least once a day.

why wouldn’t you print your company name on it? these pens with print have been the most sold promotional item for years on end, and not without reason. at school, at the office or at home; not only do you use pens everywhere, you also wouldn’t just throw a nice pen in the garbage.

that’s why these pens are still a very popular promotional item. pens are always accepted. each time the pen is used, people will see your company name/logo. this way, you’ll have a ton of promotion for a sharp price.

here you see a variety of pens including the touch pen. is the desired pen not included? please ask us if the model you want is available. the models shown  are just a fraction of our assortment.

if you are interested, please contact us.

mailto:hello@horizonsources.com

and our phone number: +44 20 70 99 21 66

 

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wobblers!

Posted on 30/09/2017 by Renske Visser
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wobblers

wobblers are one of the most understated promotional articles.

once you’ve got to know the wobbler you’ll soon appreciate their promotional worth.

the wobblers  will make your message stand out, because they’re attached to a surface with a flexible strip, making them wobble. this will attract extra attention

the wobbler is an ideal marketing tool for big products and stores. we love to think together with you on how you can achieve the wanted effect with use of the wobbler.

we have a wide arrangement of shapes for the wobblers, but you can also design your own shape.

standard shapes:


 

the wobbler is standardly printed in full color. you can also combine the wobblers with our winnies (a.k.a. weepul)

the standard wobblers are to be ordered with a starting amount of 250 pieces. custom made wobblers are to be ordered with a starting amount of 2500 pieces.

for more information please contact us:

mailto:hello@horizonsources.com

and our phone number: +44 20 70 99 21 66

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customised buttons!

Posted on 18/09/2017 by Renske Visser
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buttons are one of the most timeless commercial items, and they are getting more and more popular as well. to show everyone what you stand for or what you’re a fan of, you can order buttons with your own design or logo

these buttons with print are a way of expressing your opinion, character and emotions. if you’re a fan of something, everyone can know.

the buttons we provide are of the best quality and are available in a wide arrangement of shapes and sizes.

we can print one or more colors on the buttons, or we can print them in full color. if you want to order these

buttons but are not yet sure what kind of design you want, we are more than happy to help you decide.

 

these buttons are very easy to spread during a (business) event or festival. and the more people have your buttons, the more people will know about your business. the big buttons (almost 8 centimeters in diameter) are very popular amongst children.

  • we offer buttons with a beautiful and good quality
  • we can print the buttons with single colors or full color
  • you can order these buttons starting with 250 pieces.
  • on the backside of the button is a safety pin so it’s easy to wear
  • they’re available in the following sizes: 32mm, 45mm, 57mm and 77mm

if you are interested in buying these buttons, please contact us.

mailto:hello@horizonsources.com

and our phone number: +44 20 70 99 21 66

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Disney and its fascinating promotional products

Posted on 21/06/2012 by Yuliya
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disney-333x400If we were to cite an example of a success story, Walt Disney would definitely fit the profile. Everything started even before the World War Two with the creation of Disney Brothers Studio on October 16, 1923.

A little after that, the company started making feature films and experienced its first success with Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (released in 1937). Cult cartoons followed: Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi and many others that you have seen at least one in your life.

The company has had 32 Oscars and as a result, it is now on the pages of the Guinness Book of Records. In 2011, the turnover of this public company, whose headquarters are located in Burbank, was estimated at 40.9 billion dollars and its net profit at 8.8 billion USD. Its subsidiaries are numerous and its employees continue to grow in number (144 000 in 2009). Starting from 2000, the company has been a distributor and a license manager.

Today, it is very diversified. The cartoons are not the only thing that the kids all around the world are so crazy about; they are also keen on amusement parks. There are five of them: in California, Florida, in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Each vies with the others for the most fantastic attractions that the fans are desperate about trying.

Disney also has 2 water parks, 32 hotels, 8 cinema studios, 11 cable TV networks. This is definitely a perfect way to increase your turnover.

disney-s-california-adventureBut the real goldmine is elsewhere. Disney stores, present in all big cities, especially in the capitals, are a blessed bread for the company. Leave your child in this temple of dreams and he’ll be in heaven. Everything is personalized in the image of his or her favorite character: starting from a pair of panties to a real costume, from a basic necessity (a toothbrush) to the most unimportant accessory (magic ward of Tinker Bell).

These boutiques are of course popular among children, but not only among them. Adults become like crazy when they enter what we could call « a time machine » that can take you back in time. Just imagine: you can see the most serious businessman lapse into his second childhood in the twinkling of an eye when he marvels at the Peter Pan costume and regrets not having had the same one when he was 10 !

145076_candlestickDisney stores count on what we call the emotional purchase. They have understood how the system works and take advantage of it to its full potential. Their challenge: to create an emotional connection with the fans. Disney products make us want to buy them, they create emotions and most importantly childhood memories. The universal theme and the desire of our society,  more violent and blasé with every coming day, is to keep a soul of a child.

The success of Disney brand also shows how consumption has evolved for the last few years; it has passed from rational to emotional. The stores must adapt their offer to their clients’ desires in order to increase their sales: the atmosphere in a store with its music, its odors and its colors has to meet their customers’ expectations. These expectations are sometimes fantasies, but as soon as they are satisfied, they lead to a feeling of immediate trust with the client who lower’s his guard and his emotions prevail. The emotional relationship is « born ».

Thus, Disney promotional products fulfill their role: they strengthen the brand’s image among the fans. Fans’ satisfaction goes together with Walt Disney Company’s profitability.

If you too you wish to personalize promotional products with memories from your childhood, do not hesitate to contact Horizon Sources.

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Survey: stylish and not expensive, but toxic!

Posted on 23/05/2012 by Yuliya
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Written on 24/11/2010 by DocLogo+

Source: Marianne

In order to produce clothes or shoes, take some tissue or leather, threads and of course..toxic elements of different kind. According to the Arte TV channel report taken up by Hexaconso, Asia has turned into fashion paradise that kills; more and more factories use toxic substances when making clothes. Obviously, you look at your wardrobe from a different point of view.

Last summer Arte broadcast an extremely fascinating report on the process of manufacturing in Asian countries; in such sectors as textile and leather. Interesting, but above all enlightening and frightening!

Toxic products used in agriculture were already pointed fingers at in the past, and now we also find toxic elements in our clothes and accessories.

Everything starts in Europe, where chemical industry makes various toxic products,  which are more or less harmful to humans and to the environment; then it exports them to the  « low cost » countries. These products will be then used to make jeans, T-shirts, underwear, shoes, toys..that we will then find in our shops and afterwards in our homes.europe_abroad

By the way, these toxic elements used without any precaution in such countries as India or Bangladesh have already poisoned workers and their families. This concerns the greatest fashion brands and they are cited in this report: H&M, C&A, Esprit, Zara (hmm..I’m sure I have seen these brands somewhere..)

Among currently used poisons, we can mention dimethylfumarate (DMFu) that we usually find in small plastic bags in shoe boxes for example. At room temperature, it has the form of white crystals, almost without any odor, and it has antifungal (anti-mold) proprieties, that is to say it destroys and avoids fungus development.

It is used mainly to encourage the preservation of seeds, textiles, leather products, furniture, especially while stocking and transporting these items. Theoretically, the usage of the DMF against fungus and mold is forbidden in Europe according to the 98/8 EC guideline, called « biocides » guideline. However, this product is still used for the manufacturing of most products in Asia, for example shoes, sofas, chairs, leather goods. This merchandise is rarely controlled, especially when they do almost no good because there is no obligation to take them out of the market; the company that imports them is not punished either. In France, there have been about a hundred cases of irritated skin every year, sometimes very severe, due to the skin’s exposure to the DMF.

BangladeshFor some time, China has not been able to meet the world needs for leather. Therefore, Bangladesh has become one of the most important leather exporters. We can find calfskin leather in abundance there and the workforce is the cheapest one too. What is more, the regulations concerning the environmental protection and the protection of the workers is almost inexistent. Whereas, European tanneries follow the European Community strict rules regarding this and therefore they pay a lot for processing the wastes and for protecting their employees. This is one more reason for European brands to go and get cheap leather in such a country.

toxic_chemicalsThe list of chemical products potentially dangerous to humans and to the environment used for tanning leather is very long. Among them we can count chromium salts, one of which is hexavalent chromium (chromium VI), which is carcinogenic if you inhale it and it is an allergen if there is contact with flesh. We can also cite chlorinated organic substances that attack respiratory roots, ethylene oxide that affects the gene pool, various heavy metals (aluminum, nickel, lead, mercury..), and products based on cyanide… Bengali workers, totally ignorant about the toxicity of these products, work with them without any protection, very often barefoot and bare-handed, without a protection mask. Wastewater, full of toxic products, is poured into the streets without being treated, polluting the towns and agriculture land little by little.

Kept in containers, poisoned leather is then brought to European ports. According to the Hambourg Port Occupational Healthcare, one container out of two coming from Asia is contaminated by chlorinated substances. In order to avoid opening them and inhaling the gas coming out of the container, the contents are controlled by introducing a special probe into the closed container! However, the customs do only random checks, there is no legal regulation to prevent the contaminated containers from  circulating around Europe freely. Therefore, it is the employees that will be opening these containers and stocking the products who will be exposed to these toxic gases.

Textile industry

In addition to the leather, textile industry is a sector that uses a lot of chemical products potentially dangerous to humans. Thus, in the central warehouse of the H&M brand, at Hambourg Port, 70% of the employees complain about pains that might be the result of poisoning by the products they are working with.

An employee of Esprit, whose work consisted in ironing the jeans as soon as they were taken out of the containers, suffers today from severe respiratory problems. They are most likely caused by the dichloromethane (one of the galling paint removers) that you can find in jeans manufactured in Asia.

jean-qui-tueWhen fashion kills! It’s because of the faded, worn out and jeans with holes in fashion that hundreds of Turkish workers have died. The technique used to make these jeans « fashionable » is called the sandblasted effect (you project sand particles on the jeans to wear the out). It was of course practiced without any suitable protection for the employees. Today it is forbidden in Turkey but not in Bangladesh where some workers are only protected by a small tissue on the nose. This does not protect their lungs from tiny particles of quartz, that eventually asphyxiate them completely.

Another activity that involves a lot of toxic elements, is the dyeing. For products made of cotton, this happens in India. Tirupur, located in the South of India, is a new « Eldorado of textile » with around 10 000 factories that produce clothes for European brands nonstop.

The dyeing is the activity that uses a lot of elements harmful to humans and to the environment. Indeed, Azo dye is used, which is forbidden in Europe, as well as chlorinated one together with heavy metals (for brilliance)… The darker the color is, the more important the concentration of toxic elements in it will be (black underwear, so popular for being chic and sexy, is a real concentration of poison…). Indian workers are not aware of how toxic and dangerous the elements they are working with are  if they use no protection or no precaution. We are not taking into account the number of explosions and fires in Tirupur factories.

The workers slosh barefoot in the wastewater of dye and bleaching, in which they pour, very often without any masks of gloves, tip-up carts of toxic products. In order to get rid of the wastewater , they evacuate it using shovels and plastic bags and  make fields full of dirt. These bags are thrown on the piles of toxic residues that invade Tirupur, whose water and land have been both entirely contaminated in only twenty years or so. Doctors of Tirupur raise the alarm bell. In 10 years, the number of people having cancer has doubled; even some clinics specialized in oncology had to be set up in Tirupur. However, there is no question of the authorities doing research on the possible link between cancer and textile industry..

Tirupur has only textile factories. There are also very beautiful hotels where European customers stay; they come to buy textile at cheap prices. These hotels are so comfortable that they never leave them; it is the managers of Indian companies that come to meet them there in order to prevent them from seeing the conditions of work in the factories as well as from inhaling some toxic odors…

At the hands of this sad truth, some choose organic cotton, on which H&M counts a lot,  for instance. In India, however, organic cotton and normal one are next to each other in the field, and we can ask ourselves if there is anything organic left when adjacent land is flooded with pesticides. In textile factories, organic cotton and normal one are simply divided into two piles and there is a small piece of paper to indicate which one is organic. This makes the factory manager interviewed for this report laugh. What is more, the dye for organic cotton is the same as the one used for T-shirts sold at 2 euros! This is not surprising that a few clever people, trying to use this new organic trend, offer organic T-shirts of various colors at very competitive prices. According to the specialists, today there is more organic cotton sold than there is organic cotton actually grown! There is no mistake: the brands offering real organic textile are very rare.

Last tiny detail: do not even expect to read on the labels of your shoes, T-shirts or underwear Made in India, China or Bangladesh which elements have been used for their production, no one has ever dared do that! Chanetelle prefers putting « Designed in France » on its black underwear full of toxic products! It is so much sexier!

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The « weight » of promotional products in France

Posted on 12/04/2012 by Yuliya
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silicone wristbandsPromotional products are a very effective means of communication and therefore they are more and more used. Very often companies make themselves known by giving out promotional gadgets to their potential clients.

It is true that because of this detrimental economic recession that has been hanging over France for several years already, some tend to reduce their budgets originally intended to be used for advertising. Alas, we are talking about a big mistake here! Advertising is what allows you to come to the surface faster than the others and to conquer new markets! Actually, as everybody cuts his or her advertising budgets, you will do the opposite and this will let you be visible and win the 1st place! When your competitors disappear from the advertising arena, clients will think of only one name: YOURS! This will be the sign of good « company health » and stability!

Communicating through promotional products is particularly efficient when you realize that they are used by clients in their everyday life!

Consciously or not, consumers will think about you and your company when writing with a promotional pen customized in your name, when wearing a silicone wristband that will remind them of the moment when they got it as a gift (probably a festive event, so a positive association with you) or when jogging and wearing your logosocks or your personalized lanyards!Transfer-Printing-Lanyards-with-Plastic-Buckles

Despite the crisis, Media and alternative Media communication reached 31.4 billion euros in France, according to the 2FPCO and France Pub. Promotional products represent 4.4% of this figure (that is to say 1 billion 400 million euros in 2011!)

In April, we will have the opportunity to discover the origin of these products and their destination. The 2FPCO will publish the results for its subscribers. Do not hesitate to have a look at : www.2fpco.com

If you too, you want to remain visible and you wish to seduce your clients by producing promotional products in you your name, contact the specialist in the matter: www.horizonsources.net

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Quality control of promotional goods: top 10 problems

Posted on 16/06/2011 by Henk KROON

Importing promotional goods is a risky activity. Purchasers are often in contact with tens of different suppliers located in developing Asian countries. To make matters worse, they often select suppliers on the basis of price alone. This is a recipe for frequent quality problems.

We have performed thousands of QC inspections on promotional goods, and we have compiled a “top ten” list of the most frequent defects:

1. Proportion of visual defects on the products

Most products are made by hand in Asian factories. The products’ workmanship and finishing are seldom perfect. And, for the Western consumer, too many imperfections are a sign of poor quality.

In nearly 30% of cases, the proportion of defects on the products is above the limits. In most of these cases, the buyer asks the factory to rework the products because they are unsellable in their current condition.

Defect_1

2. Labeling & marking

The logo is often the most important aspect of promo items. Yet, once the order is in production, the buyer’s requirements are not always respected. For example, the colors might be off, or the placement might not conform.

Mistakes on general labeling and on the cartons’ shipping marks are also frequent. Often times, they are printed incorrectly, or they are in the wrong place.

3. Function test

A lighter might not work, a bag’s zipper might resist normal use, or a calculator might be unable to perform the most basic operations.

The fact that a product works as intended is fundamental. Unfortunately, if you place one-shot orders and if you negotiate prices hard, you cannot assume that the manufacturer will respect his commitments.

Defect_2

4. Tests relative to importing country’s regulations

If you purchase sweaters for kids, did you think of limiting the length of the strings in the neck? If you buy flip-flops, did you remind your supplier that you need a composition sticker?

The European Union has developed an impressive body of directives designed to protect consumers. Make sure you respect them, or be prepared for heavy consequences (confiscation of the goods by customs, or legal action after the products are on the market).

5. Colors or general appearance of the product

The average Chinese engineer does not know about the consequences of using the wrong shade of red on your products. Yet it can be essential, in case several items from various suppliers are side by side on store shelves. This is a frequent cause of misunderstandings and disputes.

Defect-3

6. Inner packing

If the gift box does not look nice, has a printing defect, or was crushed during transport, the accompanying product often has to be thrown away, too. Make sure you explain this to your manufacturers.

7. Export packing

Many importers forget to define the export packing requirements. They tell the supplier “you can use your usual packaging materials”, which actually means “you can buy the cheapest cartons you find” in the hears of the factory managers.

Defect-4

A common procedure, during pre-shipment inspections, is the “carton drop test”. The inspector checks whether the products will be broken if a carton falls down during transport, and if the carton itself will remain closed.

8. Size & weight

It is very tempting for a factory to save on the materials used during production. For example, for a T-shirt, they might use a thinner fabric. They might also use a pattern that is a bit too small, resulting in “L” garments are actually in “S” size.

9. Drop test

What good is a pen or a key ring if it breaks the first time it falls on the ground? It gives a feeling of “cheap product” that your brand might not want to be associated with.

The free-fall test, from about 150cm, is another test that inspectors frequently perform in the factory.

10. Wrong assortment or wrong quantity inside cartons

The employees in the packing department of factories are often the lowest paid and the least trained. If they have to pack the whole order before the container arrives at 2pm, and if their working environment is a mess, the result won’t be pretty. They often will not count the pieces when they place them in the export cartons.

How to avoid receiving products with the above defects?

First, make sure you describe what you require clearly, with a drawing whenever possible. Don’t leave the choice to the factory.

Second, approve a perfect pre-production sample, and make it clear that you expect production to be up to that standard. Keep a sample for you, and send one to the factory.

Third, send an inspector to the factory to check quality. Most buyers schedule quality control after production is finished. However, if you deal with an untested supplier and you need to deliver an important customer on time, you should also send an inspector during production. This will allow you to catch the problems early and to push the manufacturer to take corrective actions.

Renaud Anjoran works at Asia Quality Focus , an inspection agency helping importers avoid the problems mentioned in this article.

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Bpma Launches new Industry charters

Posted on 16/12/2010 by Carletti mathilde
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Some news about the BPMA from Gordon Glenister

« The British Promotional Merchandise Association launched its new charters for both trade distributors and suppliers.
The organisation is set on driving up standards, professionalism and transparency within the industry.

At the heart of the charter is a sharp focus on customer service.
Members will be able to give greater confidence than ever to buyers in an increasingly competitive promotional marketplace.

To read the continuation of this fascinating article, click here

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