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Members' Articles

Copper And Gold On Trend For 2014

by Sue De-Ats from Maison Fabrique

04th February 2014

Post Type: New Member Article

For many years the trend for curtain poles, finials and hold backs has been dominated by stainless steel and chrome; however there is now a move towards gold and copper for these items.

Already we’ve seen it in hard furnishings; including copper stools, gilded mirrors and gold products and now it’s being incorporated in furnishing fabrics and decorative hardware.

The reason for this is partly due to the shades of gold now available. the work well with pastels which are also on trend at the moment.

For more details on how to keep in touch with soft furnishing trends and how to transform your interiors with the latest fabrics please contact sue@maisonfabrique.co.uk


The Changing Job Market of 2014

by Lucy Gilmour from Recruitability

04th February 2014

Post Type: New Member Article
The Changing Job Market of 2014

The job market is rapidly changing for both candidates and employers and this article explains more about the challenges that these changes will bring.

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A Curtain Call For Cold Weather

by Sue De-Ats from Maison Fabrique

29th January 2014

Post Type: Other

Well it looks as if the rain will finally leave us, well for a few days at least, only to be replaced by a chilly easterly wind, meaning the heating turned up and increased bills – ouch!!

If you’re looking for a way to bring down the cost of your heating bills then look no further than your curtains.

 It’s a proven fact that interlined curtains provide an extra layer of insulation between the window and room, reducing heat loss which in turn will reduce your heating bills.

At maison fabrique we provide made to measure interlined curtains in a variety of styles which will keep you warm whilst providing a key element to the interior design of the room

For more details on how we can help you save money throughout the cold weather, whilst also providing stylish and high quality furnishings, please contact sue@maisonfabrique.co.uk


Wedding and Honeymoon Abroad

by Norma Fenwick from Your Perfect Travel

29th January 2014

Post Type: New Member Article
Wedding and Honeymoon Abroad

Your Wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It is a day that should be filled with love and unbridled joy. At Your Perfect Travel we understand completely how special a wedding day should be. As Wedding & Honeymoon travel experts, we live and breathe love and romance. Whether you are looking to get married on a Yacht overlooking the New York skyline or on a desert island somewhere in the middle of an ocean, Your Perfect Travel can make your dreams come true. We can organise a wedding or a honeymoon to any destination in the world. Please see below for an idea of what we could do for you.

Imagine an oasis of a million colourful lights sparking like perfect diamonds within the midst of a baron desert. This oasis is alive with excitement, life and love. Each twinkling diamond has its own unique love story which will inspire and enchant you.

This is Las Vegas the real city of love. A place where every dream can become a reality and every love story is like a movie. To marry the person you love in Las Vegas is a truly magical and unforgettable experience. There are literally 100 different ways you can get married in this incredible city.

Your choices range from saying "I do" in the world famous Little White chapel where you will follow in the footsteps of Las Vegas royalty by celebrating your wedding in the same place Frank Sinatra wed Mia Farrow.

Another option is to marry high above the Las Vegas strip in a private helicopter overlooking the splendour of this captivating city. Or, perhaps, you would prefer to have the true Prince and Princess experience by becoming betrothed in the palatial surroundings of the Bellagio Hotel, a world renowned opulent resort which has appeared in countless Hollywood blockbuster films and remains the most iconic property in all of Las Vegas.

In the words of Elvis Viva Las Vegas!

We at Your Perfect Travel are so much more than just travel consultants; we are your dream makers. Let us make your perfect wedding day dream a reality, contact our wedding & honeymoon experts now and let the dreams begin.

              

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"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - make your product stand out this Valentines Day

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

24th January 2014

Post Type: Education Item
We make heart shaped boxes in a variety of sizes

We make heart shaped boxes in a variety of sizes

After Christmas and Easter, the period before Valentines Day is one of our busiest.  Given that we make presentation packaging for chocolate and flowers, you can understand why.

Of course, it’s not only GWD who look forward to Valentines Day for a welcome sales boost.  Following the post-Christmas lull, retailers all over the country look forward to February 14th as an opportunity to boost their sales heading to the end of the financial year.

Despite the fact that the day of Saint Valentine is often derided as a ‘hallmark holiday’ and the preserve of those in long-term relationships, there’s no doubt that it is still a crucial period in terms of generating revenue.

Stack of heart shaped boxes

Stack of heart shaped boxes

 

An asymmetrical heart shaped box

An asymmetrical heart shaped box

Competition

As with any major event that generates revenue for retailers, the trouble lies in the competition.  As we noted, chocolates and flowers are very common Valentines Day gifts and there are lots and lots of retailers selling them.  The question is: how do you get the customers to buy your product rather than someone else’s?

Your product has to be good

This is an obvious point, but one that people still overlook.  Given the competition in your sector, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that your product is worth buying.

By that I don’t mean that your product has to be the chocolate or floral equivalent of haute cuisine; but it needs to have a selling point that makes it a sensible purchase.  It might be that it’s a sensible purchase because it’s cheaper than your competitor’s.  It might be that your unique chocolate recipe tastes better than anything on the market.  It might be that your brand name is so well known that a customer will automatically opt for your product.

I would like to suggest another factor along the same lines: it might be that your product looks good.  You know what it’s like when you go into a shop and your eye is drawn to a product.  The first impression is crucial to the sale, so it’s vital that customers get a great first impression of your product.

That’s where we come in.

A Valentines Day flower container

A Valentines Day flower container

Packaging products proficiently

Let’s take chocolate as an example.  In most cases, if you’re selling chocolate on the shelves of a chocolatier or a department store, your actual product is not visible to the customer.  Your product is placed in some sort of box, and – all of a sudden – you’re selling your product on the strength of the first impression of that box, not the first impression of your product.

Therefore, it’s very important that your packaging can sell your product for you.  Maybe it needs to be eye-catching, giving customers a reason to investigate your product in more detail.  Maybe it needs to send the same sort of message as your product.  Whatever it is, the first impression your product gives off is the difference between gaining and losing a sale.

Declare your love with a heart shaped box

Declare your love with a heart shaped box

A Valentines Day example

To illustrate what I mean, I’ll use an example of a product that is one of your specialities.  In terms of images associated with Valentines Day, hearts come pretty close to the top of the list.  Therefore manufacturers want hearts featured as part of their product in order to say ‘this is for Valentines Day’.

Generally retailers will do this by having hearts printed on the packaging.  But say you wanted to go a stage further and really incorporate the Valentines Day message into your product.  You’d make your packaging (the first thing the customer sees) a physical representation of a Valentines Day gift.  One way of doing that?  A heart shaped box.  Rather than just printing hearts on your packaging, why not make your packaging an actual heart?  It stands out, and it explains exactly what it’s for without any confusion.  As one of the very few companies who make heart shaped boxes, lots of customers come to us for that precise shape.

Little and large heart shaped boxes

Little and large heart shaped boxes

Over the last few years, Valentines Day spending in the UK alone has risen to well above £2 billion.  The retailer’s share of that income is at well over half that amount.  Given it’s size, retailers will know that getting Valentines Day wrong can have catastrophic implications for a business.  For that reason, it’s crucial to leave no stone unturned in order to sell your product.

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Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk