Article written by Joanna Wiseberg from Canada.
A couple of weeks ago I met a colleague at Starbucks on Richmond St in Toronto for a coffee to discuss the launch of his new company. The topic of style and branding was discussed in depth and how important it is to the lifeblood of a company. We came to the conclusion that without a strong brand or unique flair, business isn’t even in the race. The logo/brand is what identifies the company every waking and sleeping moment, big business included. If the logo isn’t interesting, go back to the drawing board.
The conversation then took an interesting twist as I recalled when I started Red Scarf Promotions and my trip to Milan and Germany in 1994. At the time I was attending the Macef Gift Show and then went to Germany for the Igedo Fashion Fair Expo. I remembered how the sense of fashion, luxury, and design experience inspired me created a turning point in my career.
Red Scarf Promotions was under a year old. On the way home I knew I couldn’t keep quiet about what I had experienced. I took a leap of faith and carefully crafted my first newsletter and filled it with my European discoveries. It was jammed packed with European trends, colour forecasts, the fabric used in promotional apparel, business gifts and what Europeans value in terms of how they brand their promotions.
Needless to say the newsletter created quite a buzz and the return on this “huge” investment was fantastic. My enthusiasim motivated me to call one of my dearest clients at Bell Canada and asked her to try some coloured denim for one of her campaigns. The colours were beautiful…strawberry, grape, indigo and mustard. The phone didn’t stop ringing and as I type this blog there is a huge smile on my face. Wendy and I still discuss this from time to time over a glass of wine. We had a blast. The momentum and success of the campaign for Smarttouch Services was astounding!
As my colleague and I continued to discuss how vital the role of branding and style is for a company, I realized that over the past 9 years how much flair can be lacking in the Canadian Corporate marketplace. The promotional products industry has changed significantly in that it has become a sophisticated industry.
In the promotional products industry the selection is vast and products are looking more like retail items instead of boring, run of the mill promos. That white mug has been elevated to a whole new level and I’m thrilled about this as it makes my job easier in some respects.
The biggest challenge is trying to persuade corporate Canada to take their promotional products and “kick their flair up a few notches”. I believe the recession has had a negative and diminishing effect on our feelings of excitement for both the client and the distributor. It has been a tough road and will continue to be a long journey back but we must start feeling passion for fashion and vibrant communication again.
Safe is great but sometimes you just have to “go for flair… even if a bit cautiously!” This is the Canadian way…eh?
Article written by Joanna Wiseberg from Canada
Do not hesitate to visti her blog : www.redluxury.ca