Anatomy of the Perfect Corporate Gift

When looking for a way to reward your employees or customers, it's easy to turn to the age-old, traditional gift ideas like pens, t-shirts, stress balls and thumb drives. But, are these effective alone? The minds behind Flowtown thought not. They had the brilliant idea of putting all traditional gift ideas together to form one perfect super-gift.

While I can't say with certainty, I'm fairly sure this is a parody. Given the humorous descriptions of each item, I sense that this super-gift isn't going to be at the top of any employee or customer's wish list. But still, it's worthy of a laugh. Can you think of any other traditional items that may be missing from this? Or, did they capture all of them?

Instead of combining all of the traditional corporate gifts together to create one perfect gift, perhaps the best solution is to let your employees and customers select their own gifts. We specialize in points-based reward systems. We understand all of the important elements to a successful reward program and have all of the resources available to support your needs.

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Frames and Candles Help Make Rewards More Socially Responsible

So how can a picture frame or candles make a rewards collection more socially responsible? It all comes down to where these to products come from.

The picture frame is a really unique way to dip your toe in the CSR water. Even though it's a rustic brown color, it's certainly a great example of a "green" product. The 4x6 inch frame is made from recycled bicycle chain. What's more remarkable about it is how it's made. The Bicycle Chain Frame is created by a social enterprise group out of India called Noah's Ark. Artisans working for Noah's Ark receive benefits such as training, education and medical treatment for artisans and for their families. Money made from frame sales goes back towards making the artisan communities more self-sufficient.

In the same way, Dreambean Candles also help those less fortunate more self sufficient. The Deeper Dreambean collection offers candles made from a high quality soy wax and fragrant oils. Poured into round, three-inch tins, the candles can be easily packed for a weekend getaway and has a burn time of around 45 hours. Made by Bright Endeavors, each candle sale goes to help support training, mentoring and eventual job placement for homeless or other at-risk women in the Chicago area.

 Sometimes the smallest things - like candles and picture frames - are the ones that make the biggest difference.

**Both Noah's Ark and Bright Endeavors are partners of Helping Hand Rewards. Learn more about Helping Hand Rewards' parteners by visiting www.helpinghandrewards.org

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Relax with Panasonic's Massage Chair

Frankie Goes To Hollywood had some good advice when they told us to "Relax" in 1984. Panasonic's Urban Collection Massage Chair helps us do that even better.

A more high-end, higher-point reward option, the Urban Collection Massage Chair offers four pre-set programs with eight additional manual modes that result in a combination of 44 different types of massage experiences. One mode in particular, the "Chiro Mode," which is specially designed to provide better muscle relaxation and eliminate tired, over-worked muscles.

The EP1285 model features a 14 airbag cirulation system that provides a more complete lower body massage. An adjustable ottoman is included in the chair that also fails to neglect the importance of a good old-fashioned calf and shin massage. While massaging the legs, the ottoman raises and lowers your legs in 20 degree increments to alleviate the stiffness in your lower back, hips and thighs.

Stress is a common thing in a work environment. Taking care of yourself, even with a quick 15 sitting time in a Panasonic Urban Collection Massage Chair, can do wonders for your health. Releasing tension in over-worked muscles while also helping alleviate stress can help yourself (or any worker for that matter) be more productive and efficient for the next working day.

 

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ViewSonic Brings 3D Recording Home: Merch Monday

We've spoken a bit about 3D technology coming into the home via 3D televisions. ViewSonic is making 3D entertainment even more practical.

ViewSonic's new 3DV5 HD camcorder puts the user in control of being able to create their own 3D enterainment. The device is capable of shooting 2D only stills and videos but it's the 3D component that really makes this stand out.

Want to preview what your videos will look like instantly? No 3D glasses needed! The 3DV5's 2.4-inch LCD screen allows the user to preview their photos and/or footage in 3D without the need for glasses. Should you want to view your media creations on a computer, red and cyan glasses come with the camera for larger screen viewings.

Should you want to share these videos online, ViewSonic makes it easy. The 3DV5 is integrated with ArcSoft Wizard. All it takes is one button for your video creations to go live on your YouTube channel or Facebook page. Of course, the full 3D effect will require glasses for your viewers.

What other ways are gadgets making 3D more practical?

 

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Facebook Likes = Instant Rewards?

We've discussed on this blog before whether or not rewards could improve Facebook engagement. It seems that one company believes this possibility to be true.

According to insidefacebook.com, Momentous Media has released a new app called Insto.re is allowing retail locations to rewards likes. It's almost like they read our post way back when (okay, maybe not but...). The whole idea is to improve the amount of Facebook likes a business can get by providing something to their "Likers" in return.

The app allows store owners to pick which page they want to drive Likes for and set up a promotion accordingly. For example, if you run a coffee shop, you could offer a free cup of coffee in exchange for a Facebook Like. Once the promo is set up, Insto.re sets up a mobile-friendly custom web page for the coupon and even provides a free tent card to display at your store explaining the promotion. The tent card is a crucial part of the process with no loyalty program being complete without a clear explanation of what actions require a reward.

Could we see more things like this? This is one method of using noncash rewards to drive behaviors, even if that behavior is something as simple as liking a Facebook page. The one thing that businesses will face won't be attracting fans as much as doing what they can to keep their fans.

Could a rewards system work to maintain fan relationships as well? What do you all think?

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Canon Taps Into Wi-Fi Printing: Merch Monday

 

Hooking up computers with cables to print is so 2005.

Wireless printing has become a popular (and necessary) trend for home printers for the past year. Many devices now are including less and less port hookups and require more dependence on Wi-Fi networks to do almost any task, including printing. Right now, Canon is ahead of the curve in regards to printing.

Canon's PIXMA MX870 printer is a prime example of what can be done with wireless printer technology. This new device allows users to print from anywhere in there home at any time. What makes this printer even cooler? It even allows you to print straight from your iPad, iPhone or even iPod Touch with the Easy-PhotoPrint  App. Not shabby.

Regarding printing specs Canon doesn't disappoint. The PIXMA prints double-sided jobs without having to manaully flip the paper yourself, has 9600x2400 maximum resolution and has a 35-sheet Auto Document Feeder to make scanning that much faster. Newer Canon printers will include Intelligent Touch technology that allows users to only see buttons associated with the function they need.

There's a lot of fun technology coming down the road with printers. What other type  of printers are coming down the pike?

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Bose Enters the Bluetooth Headset Space

They have surround sound, mini stereos and headphones. It only makes sense that the next step is a bluetooth headset.

Bose, the master craftsmen of sound, have unveiled their new Bose Bluetooth Headset. Famous for their noise-cancellation technology, Bose brings this feature to the bluetooth table. One of the disadvantages of many bluetooth devices is the ability to hear each other in a crowded or slightly noisier area than others. Bose's new product tackles that issue.

According to a personal test done by this ComputerWorld writer, she uses the device in an overcrowded party room with high ceilings and still has relatively little trouble being able to maintain her phone coversation. Bose added noise-rejecting microphone filters to cancel out any unecessary background noise and focuses in on your voice alone, helping the person on the other end. Also, as the previously noted author mentioned, you can hear your calls better as the Bose technology is constantly adjusting the voice levels in your ear to rise above any background noise around you.

The device itself is sleek, attractive and more comfortable to wear than most other bluetooth devices. In addition, its rechargable battery allows for over 4.5 hours of talk time and 175 hours of standby time. Not shabby at all.

So what do you all think? Will Bose's new headset outperform the rest?

 

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