The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-02-21T02:20:13Z Tech21 brings parents unlimited fun family time with Evo Play 2017-02-21T02:20:13Z tech21-brings-parents-unlimited-fun-family-time-with-evo-play SYDNEY, 21 February, 2017 – Tech21, the leader in impact protection for mobile devices has launched its new range of cases for the iPad in Australia: Evo Play. “Kids + iPads” isn’t always the safest pairing if your iPad isn’t protected, but it can certainly be one of the most fun for inquisitive minds. Whether it’s watching the latest episode of Peppa Pig or navigating through the back garden jungle discovering new wildlife, iPads can open up a world of exploration, but more often than not, a small chip here or a little crack there means that fun can be cut short. Prolong the play time and keep that shiny new look and feel to your iPad even when little fingers have put it through its paces thanks to tech21’s new iPad case, Evo Play. This comfortable and lightweight case has been designed to offer unbeatable drop protection from up to two metres, and with its iconic design, vibrant colours and handy multi-use handle, this case will remove any glimmer of fear you had in handing over your iPad to your children. This case is constructed almost entirely from tech21’s unique material, FlexShock™ Foam, meaning all sides and surfaces are protected from drops as the material moulds snugly to your iPad. Better still, the case is entirely dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to keep clean, and when it’s on your iPad, its sealed outer shell is abrasion/bite resistant, preventing any bacteria from getting in under the surface. “We’ve designed the all-new Evo Play with kids in mind. We know children love to learn, play and explore, and we recognise iPads are a great way for them to do this. However, they may not love your precious iPad back, so Evo Play is there for you,” comments Jason Roberts, CEO, tech21. “Evo Play is lightweight and comfortable for little hands to hold, yet strong enough to keep your iPad safe from tumbles and drops.” Evo Play is available in pink/purple and blue/green colours from tech21.com, RRP $79.95 for Apple iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3 & mini 4, and RRP $109.95 for Apple iPad Air 2. Much like all of tech21’s products, Evo Play comes with a simple promise: it’s rigorously tested to work harmoniously with your iPad. Like the technology it’s designed to protect, it uses the latest science, ingenious design and unbeatable user-friendliness to make advanced impact protection possible. Tech21 calls it ‘Protection Made Intelligent’. ### For further information, questions, or cases for review, please contact: Jim Barker, tech21/Poem Phone: +61 418 163 770 Email: jim@poemgroup.com.au High-res images: Download here About tech21 Since 2005, tech21 has been developing the most advanced, scientifically proven cases and screen shields for mobile, tablet and laptop devices worldwide. Tech21 combines science, engineering and British design to create products that address three core consumer benefits: style, protection and performance. As the brand evolves to continue meeting the needs of its consumers, tech21 has developed the most advanced impact protection material on the market – FlexShock™. The ultra-thin and lightweight material absorbs and dissipates force and can withstand drops up to 4 metres. In addition tech21 puts all its products through a rigorous testing program, and in an industry first has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop its testing methodology. This ensures that the tests tech21 products have to pass are overseen by independent experts. Tech21 is the number one case brand in the UK. For more information, visit tech21.com. Nail Your Christmas Shopping This Year With RedBalloon 2016-11-15T07:29:56Z nail-your-christmas-shopping-this-year-with-redballoon-1 RedBalloon, Australia’s leading online experience and ‘things to do’ destination is taking the hassle out of Christmas shopping by revealing the latest, must-have gifts as we head into the festive season, with Christmas gift guides for each state and territory in Australia attached. With Christmas just around the corner, RedBalloon promises to take the stress out of present buying this year. And with more than 3500 experiences to choose from, they guarantee you’ll find something to suit everyone. “We’ve seen a strong increase in gourmet experience purchases over the last few years, driven by the growing reputation of Australia’s food and wine our increasingly acclaimed chefs and our passion for home cooking. Last Christmas the gourmet category was our most popular gifting category so we’ve worked hard through the year to ensure we have an even wider range of hands-on experiences on offer including cooking classes, barista courses, wine, beer and cheese tastings and gourmet gifts for anyone, no matter what their taste,” RedBalloon CEO Nick Baker said. RedBalloon gifts and vouchers are available up until Christmas Day, to ensure even the most last minute of shoppers can purchase something unique, meaningful and timely for the biggest gift giving day of the year. Aussies can browse more than 3500 experiences on offer at redballoon.com.au REDBALLOON’S TOP 3 CHRISTMAS GIFTING CATEGORIES 1. Gourmet Experiences Barista training course Patisserie masterclass Brewery tours and beer tasting 2. Outdoor Activities Horse riding activities Scenic cruises Vintage bike ride with picnic 3. Water Sport Experiences Sea turtle snorkel tour Crocodile cage of death Flyboarding experience ABOUT REDBALLOON RedBalloon.com.au is Australia’s most awarded online experience retailer and home of ‘things to do’. RedBalloon has sold almost 3 million experiences since it was established in 2001. Today it offers more than 3500 unique experiences from more than 1000 providers across Australia and New Zealand. RedBalloon also distributes gift cards through selected major retailers nationally, including Coles, Woolworths, Big W, Australia Post, Target, Kmart and Officeworks. Visit redballoon.com.au Further Information: Laura Sedgwick, lsedgwick@porternovelli.com.au / 02 8987 2114/ 0451 041 705 Get Personalised with Brother this Festive Season 2016-09-22T07:16:17Z get-personalised-with-brother-this-festive-season As the festive season approaches, we’re excited to let you know of some fabulous new products from your friends at Brother.While store brought presents themselves are wonderful, there’s nothing quite like receiving something handmade with love. This season, Brother are encouraging everyone to get creative by spending some time creating beautiful wrapping paper for the gifts they plan to give.Brother P-Touch labellers have been loved by many for years for their organisational benefits. Now we’re excited to share that craft enthusiasts can benefit too! Brother have a new range of ribbons and tapes that are compatible with all Brother labellers. They are all 4 metres and come in a variety of colours and patterns including gold on white, gold on pink, gold on navy and gold on red (ribbon). The patterned tapes are available in black on gold geometric, black on silver lace, black on red gingham and black on pink hearts.Perfect for adding those beautiful finishing touches to your gifts, there is now no need to order expensive personalised finishing’s when you can DIY it all with Brother!If you’d like to go one step further with your gift wrap creations, don’t forget about the Brother ScanNCut – the amazing home and hobby cutting machine. With over 600 built-in designs and a generous 12” x 24” scanning and cutting area so you can integrate larger designs than ever before, it’s the perfect tool to get even more creative with your wrapping.For more inspiration on how to get creative with Brother, visit brotherinspires.brother.com.au CanvasChamp has Earned a Google Trusted Store Program Badge 2016-03-15T07:34:41Z canvaschamp-has-earned-a-google-trusted-store-program-badge Thursday, March 10, 2016: CanvasChamp, a recognized home decor and canvas print company has become a part of Google Trusted Store program and earned a badge for their website. The company has been successful in winning-over many customers by offering on-time delivery and great customer service — the reason why it got a chance to participate in the program.  CanvasChamp is known for offering wholesale prices on all the items it sells including photo boards, acrylic prints, and anything related to home decor. Due to its exceptional customer service, it was chosen by Google to join its Trusted Stores program, which is an opportunity given to only those online businesses that reach a certain level of quality and have many satisfied customers.                            When asked about their Google Trusted Store badge, a spokesperson from the company said, “We are much honored to be a part of this prestigious program that digital businesses can only dream of. To many businesses it might seem as if we have been presented with this badge on a plate, but in reality we have worked day and night to get to this position as a company. The entire team at CanvasChamp has invested their time and energy into ensuring that every customer gets superior service.” He went on to say, “The badge means a lot to us as it helps establish our commitment to customer service, and hence brings more clients to us. Now when a new customer visits our website, they can simply hover over the badge and see the statistics of our customer service and shipping. So this is a great way to give every customer the sense of satisfaction and peace of mind that they are purchasing from a trusted store.” CanvasChamp has an outstanding record and scored 93% for on-time shipping and 100% for escalation-free orders. About Canvas Champ CanvasChamp is an online business that has been offering home decor items and canvas prints to its customers for more than 3 years. The company has gained immense support and earned itself a reputable place in the market for offering customisable canvas prints. The print-shop is also well-known for its affordable rates, high quality items, and superior printing technology for all kinds of printing works.  Logoed Winter and Spring Wear Providing High Quality Advertising Impressions 2015-08-19T07:15:59Z logoed-winter-and-spring-wear-providing-high-quality-advertising-impressions Perth, WA, 19 August 2015 - According to the owner of a promotional products firm in Perth, it’s not too late to reap the advertising benefits of custom winter wear and spring wear as promotional giveaway items. Promotional products are items that are given away to prospects, decision-makers and sometimes employees of a business to promote brand recognition and awareness.The idea behind promotional products is to give them away. Every time the person who received the item uses it, the item produces an advertising impression for the business that gave it away. Because the person feels gratitude towards the giver, it makes the advertising impression more effective. In addition, another advertising impression is produced every time someone else sees them using the product. This is more effective than a radio ad or TV ad because each impression comes with “social proof,” which is the concept behind “word of mouth” advertising. In the case of winter and spring wear such as an attractive jacket or sweater, the gratitude factor is multiplied because it is literally “warming up” the prospects. Winter wear can last from five to more than ten years in many cases because it doesn’t get as much wear and tear as a shirt. This means a business can give away a jacket this month and still receive hundreds or even thousands of advertising impressions from it in 2020. Not only are these high quality advertising impressions: they are also highly visible because winter wear and spring wear has plenty of room for a company name, logo and message. Clothing can be given to prospects and decision-makers or it can be given to employees as incentives for performance. Businesses that provide jackets for their employees always report increased morale. A simple gift such as a logoed jacket can make an employee proud to work at a place of business, even if that employee didn’t care before receiving the jacket. Even if the advertising impressions aren’t considered, a business that gives logoed jackets to its employees reaps valuable benefits. But it doesn’t stop there. Employees who are proud of their workplace tend to wear their jackets everywhere. This means they are walking billboards for their places of employment during the winter and spring months. This can produce thousands of high quality advertising impressions.Scott Eaton is the owner of ImagePak Marketing, a firm that provides promotional products in the Perth area. According to Mr Eaton: “Apparel is extremely effective in promoting a business. If jackets are given to the right people, they can provide some of the best return on investment in the advertising business.”Mr Eaton concluded: “I have seen a lot of employees take a lot more pride in their workplaces, just because they were given one logoed jacket. If that was the only benefit, it would still be worth far more than you pay for it.”ImagePak Marketing provides promotional products for businesses in the Perth area. They carry a full line of promotional gifts and corporate clothing, including winter wear and spring wear. They pride themselves on world class customer service, high quality products and quick turnaround time. To learn more or to place an order, call 1300 658 745 or visit their website today: http://www.imagepak.com.au/. Australia’s favourite motorcycle brands revealed 2015-08-18T05:10:26Z australia-s-favourite-motorcycle-brands-revealed At a time when motorcycle registrations are increasing significantly, Australia’s favourite motorcycle brands have been honoured with new awards focused on rider satisfaction. Based on a survey of more than 700 bikers across the country by consumer research company Canstar Blue, the awards recognise four brands in five different categories. They come at a time when the number of motorcycle registrations has increased by 22% in the last five years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The latest figures show motorcycle registrations are increasing faster than any other vehicle type, with 800,000 now on Australia’s roads. “In light of the increasing popularity of motorcycles, we sought to find out which brands are hitting all the right notes with consumers,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle. “Naturally the type of motorcycle you want will have a bearing on the brand you choose, but we wanted to know which are giving Aussies the biggest bang for their buck.” Motorcycles Harley-Davidson led a field of eight brands to ride off with Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for motorcycles, scoring five-star ratings in regards to comfort, reliability and mileage, as well as overall customer satisfaction. “There are a lot of factors that go into determining the enjoyment of a motorcycle but those who ride a Harley are clearly the most satisfied with their overall package,” said Mrs Doyle. “As one of the most recognisable brands in the world, Harley-Davidson motorcycles come with huge expectations, but it seems they are being met.” The survey found the average spend on motorcycles to be $9,912, with one in four respondents using a bike loan or financing to pay. And the average age at which respondents bought their first motorcycle was 21. A significant 58% own a bike because riding is their hobby, 45% cited cheaper running costs as a reason and 12% wanted to join a social group. Ten per cent said their bike makes them “feel sexy”. Motorcycle tyres The award for motorcycle tyres went to Michelin, which achieved top marks in five out of six criteria. That adds to Michelin’s recent award success for car tyres. Survey respondents spent an average of $308 when they last bought a new motorcycle tyre, with one in five (20%) opting for the cheapest available. “Ultimately consumers want good handling and longevity from their tyres, but they’re also conscious of paying more than they have to,” said Mrs Doyle. “Three out of five survey respondents are wary of being ripped off when they buy tyres, which probably helps explain why 32% delay buying new tyres for as long as they can. “Whether it’s for cars or motorcycles, consumers clearly think Michelin is striking a perfect balance between tyre life, handling and value for money. Holding our awards for both motorcycle and car tyres is a fantastic achievement.” Motorcycle helmets The award for motorcycle helmets went to Nolan, which beat seven other brands with a clean sweep of top ratings across the board. The survey found the average spend on helmets to be $380 and one in four (24%) respondents said they have bought a helmet online. Just 16% said they have bought a helmet from overseas and 14% have used a helmet that has been previously damaged. “When it comes to helmet safety standards, most Aussies have really got their heads screwed on,” said Mrs Doyle. “They understand the dangers of using old or damaged helmets and when it comes to quality standards the majority think there can be a big difference between them. They clearly don’t want to skimp on something so important. “There are a lot of things to consider when buying a new helmet and Nolan has achieved a very strong set of results across the board.” Motorcycle gloves and jackets The awards for motorcycle gloves and jackets both went to Dririder, which achieved a near-perfect set of results across both categories. The survey found the average spend on gloves to be $168 and jackets to be $356. “Just one in four motorcyclists opt for the cheapest available gloves, which tells you they are happy to spend a good amount if they know they’re getting quality,” said Mrs Doyle. “The same applies to jackets because more than anything else, bikers want a jacket that fits comfortably and gives them the protection they need. Dririder is clearly meeting their expectations.” ENDS *Please note brands with the same overall satisfaction rating are listed in alphabetical order. For further information or to speak with a Canstar Blue spokesperson, please contact: Simon Downes Media Specialist P: 07 3837 4171 I E: simon.downes@canstar.com.au About Canstar Blue Canstar Blue was launched in July of 2010 by CANSTAR - Australia and New Zealand’s premier researcher of retail finance information for more than 350 institutions across the finance sector. Canstar Blue measures and tracks Australian and New Zealand consumer satisfaction across over 100 different categories to help consumers make the best purchasing decisions for their needs. What are the Canstar Blue ratings? Canstar Blue researches, compares and rates products and services according to customer satisfaction across categories including banking, telecommunications, appliances, electronics, utilities and FMCG. Results are freely available to consumers who are encouraged to use the ratings as a guide to product excellence. The full range of results can be seen on the Canstar Blue website at www.canstarblue.com.au. New Study Proves that Promotional Products Provide the Lowest Cost Per High Quality Advertising Impression 2015-08-14T03:13:22Z new-study-proves-that-promotional-products-provide-the-lowest-cost-per-high-quality-advertising-impression Perth, WA, 14 August 2015 - Over the years, a number of studies have been performed globally about the efficiency of promotional products. Most of these studies have been performed in the US, but the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) has widened the scope of their surveys and studies. The ASI has been conducting a yearly study since 2006. The first study was in the US. Slowly, they expanded their reach. The study culminating in 2014 contained results from the US, Mexico, Canada, Spain, England, Italy, Germany, France and Australia. Though the only Australian study was performed in Sydney, a promotional products provider in Perth feels that the numbers are relevant across Australia.The latest study is entitled, the “Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study.” It was conducted in 2014, but results from previous studies were amalgamated into the current study to provide a more comprehensive picture of how promotional items are helping businesses improve brand recognition and brand perception. Questions were asked to students and businesspeople across the globe. The purpose was to learn how many promotional items they had, how they were using them, why they kept the items and what they think of the companies who gave them the products. PopularityFor the popularity section, participants were asked questions about promotional items they had received in the last twelve months. They were asked to rate up to three promotional items. The numbers for Sydney were strikingly similar to numbers collected across the world, especially in other English speaking countries. 46% had writing instruments, 43% had shirts, 34% had office accessories, 32% had caps and headwear, 31% had calendars, 25% had flashdrives, 24% had bags, 15% had drinkware, 13% had health and safety products and 9% had outerwear. Performance of Individual ProductsWriting instruments, i.e. pens, turned out to be the most popular in every English-speaking country. While this statistic wasn’t computed for Sydney, pens were found to provide high quality advertising impressions for an average of 1/10 of a cent per impression in the US. Bags, which are underrated and underutilised as a promotional giveaway item, were found to provide an average of 5,000 advertising impressions per unit in Sydney. Shirts were found to be very effective. In the US, 52% reported owning a shirt with a custom logo on it. German respondents reported wearing a logoed shirt at least once a week. Desk accessories were found to be an effective office item: 61% of those who receive desk accessories as promotional products said they keep the accessories at work. While drinkware wasn’t as common as many of the other promotional items, it was found that the average US respondent used their drinkware from 2-3 times a week.The statistic that many advertisers will find the most impressive: the average cost per advertising impression in the US was $0.06. That is the lowest cost of any high-impact advertising medium.ImagePak Marketing provides promotional products to the Perth area and beyond. They specialise in having a diverse selection of high quality items from inexpensive giveaway items to high-end executive products. Popular promotional items include stubby holders, silicone wristbands, corporate clothing and custom coffee mugs. To learn more or to place an order, call 1300 658 745 or visit their website today: http://www.imagepak.com.au. Child Care Centre Director in Perth: “Arts and Crafts Help Preschoolers Develop Faster.” 2015-07-27T03:12:27Z child-care-centre-director-in-perth-arts-and-crafts-help-preschoolers-develop-faster Perth, WA, 27 July 2015 - Cuddles Childcare Centres have three locations in the Perth area. They are passionate about helping children learn through play and through the arts. Long before Australia began their National Quality Standard and National Quality Framework for child care, Cuddles Childcare Centres were already offering a program where children were encouraged to develop through play instead of “just being babysat.”Cuddles Childcare Centres offer a plethora of programs for preschoolers, such as Shake ‘n’ Bake, Friday Fun Day, Junior Soccer Goals, Messy Play, Jolly Phonics and Happy Feet Fitness. But they may be the proudest of two that encourage artistic expression and development: Jessie’s’ Art Time and Let’s Squiggle.Jessie’s Art Time provides a different opportunity for children to grow through art every week. Activities can range from making collages to drawing pictures to painting. Let’s Squiggle is for babies, who are provided with crayons or small amounts of finger paint and encouraged to “draw” or “paint” on paper. Michelle Coleski, the Operations Manager of Cuddles Childcare Centres, feels that arts and crafts are not only fun for everyone, but help preschoolers develop a lot of skills they will need for school and eventually result in higher achievement. According to Ms Coleski:“Children are developing a lot of skills they will need later in life when they engage in artistic activities such as drawing, painting and cutting images out of magazines or newspapers to put in a collage. If they were just having fun, it would still be great, but this kind of fun is putting children in a position to succeed later in life.”In a recent piece on the Cuddles Childcare Centres’ company blog, Ms Coleski referred to numerous studies, both in Australia and across the globe, which indicate that children who participate in the arts are higher achievers in school and in life. She cited one US study which found children who participate in the arts to be four times as likely to receive recognition for academic achievements. Skills Enhanced by ArtWhen children are participating in art, they are learning to hone their fine motor skills. Whether painting, drawing or cutting images to paste onto paper, they are developing the coordination that will eventually help them write. They are also developing hand to eye coordination and helping themselves develop their visual-spatial skills, holding images in their minds and transferring them to paper. Art also helps children learn to create and innovate, two traits which help immeasurably in school and in life.Ms Coleski concludes, “Since our inception, we have been committed to helping our children express themselves and learn through art. Even if there weren’t so many documented benefits, it would still be more than worthwhile because the kids love it.”Cuddles Childcare Centres offer child care services at three locations in the Perth area. Their motto is “Learning Through Play” and they provide numerous opportunities for supervised play during the day. Their arts and crafts offerings include “Jessie’s Art Time” for toddlers through 4 year-olds and “Let’s Squiggle” for the babies. To learn more or to arrange for child care, contact any of their locations in the Perth area through their webpage: http://www.cuddleschildcare.com.au/. The unconventional artist with a big heart 2015-07-08T03:01:12Z the-unconventional-artist-with-a-big-heart Animation trained artist, Scott Hanson creates astonishing artwork that are gracing the walls of many Brisbane homes and businesses. The unconventional artist who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy doesn’t use the traditional paint and canvas. He uses his mouth and progressive computer mouse that uses a blow or suck motion in place of clicking. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a muscle wasting disease and while Scott has lost mobility in his hands nothing can stop his incredible spirit and creativity. “I love playing with colour, bright images. All of my work centres around ‘hope’.“ Each piece of art can take between four and six months to create. He has generously donated one of these beautifully unique pieces of art for the charity auction at the Muscular Dystrophy Qld Christmas in July Charity Dinner on 25th July 2015 and he can’t wait to see how much the artwork raises during the event.   For more information or to attend the dinner, please call Muscular Dystrophy Queensland on 1800 676 364. Other details:Date: Saturday 25th July 2015Time: 6.00pm – 11.00pmVenue: Botanicals Restaurant, 152 Mt Coot-Tha Rd, ToowoongDress: Cocktail CONTACT: Celeste Baker, celesteb@mdqld.org.au, 0415 486 052 Vinyl Banners Helping Perth Businesses Increase Visibility 2015-06-24T02:59:28Z vinyl-banners-helping-perth-businesses-increase-visibility Perth, WA, 24 June 2015 - More and more businesses in the Perth area are turning to an old standby to find new customers: vinyl banners. Vinyl banners are not a new item by any means, but seem to be more popular than ever right now. New Technology, Newfound PopularityAs digital printing became a market force, the quality of vinyl banners was sharply increased. Formerly, vinyl banners were basic banners with lettering on a plain background. Digital printing has changed all that. Now, anything that can be photographed can be printed on a banner. This means that design and colour options are infinite.Instead of just lettering or a simple logo, high quality art and artistically attractive company logos can now be easily printed on vinyl banners. Photographic art of the same quality as expensive magazine ads can now be printed, often in life-size proportion, on a large banner.Banners are large enough that they have room for much more than a company name and logo. They can hold a message and product information. They can also hold information that businesses want to convey to prospective customers, depending on the location and purpose of the banner.Banners are UbiquitousA simple walk through a fair, an outdoor event or a trade show is a testament to the popularity of vinyl banners. They are weatherproof and waterproof. They can be seen at sporting events, conferences, open houses, expos and fixed retail locations. Often, retail locations use giant banners to announce sales or even to replace the business sign while it is under repair or being replaced.Banners are DurableBanners are now very durable. Digital printing has produced a new generation of banners that last for years and years if taken care of properly. Usually, as a “rule of thumb,” any vinyl banner will outlast the message that is printed on it. Advertising ImpressionsBecause banners are durable, they provide thousands upon thousands of advertising impressions. The best part: businesses only pay for them once. One reasonably priced banner can produce thousands of advertising impressions over a period of many years. Because people who look at banners usually look at them intentionally, these advertising impressions are of a much higher quality than those from media advertisements.Scott Eaton is the owner of ImagePak Marketing, a provider of promotional products in Perth. According to Mr Eaton: “Over the years, our customers have been extremely satisfied with the results they get from using advertising banners. They are incredibly versatile; they can be used to convey any message you want to send out to the public. They look great, too.”Mr Eaton concluded: “Vinyl banners are an easy, inexpensive way to bring a lot of customers to your business.”ImagePak Marketing provides promotional products to businesses in the Perth area. They carry a full line of flags and banners, including vinyl banners, teardrop banners, flags, pop-up banners and pull up banners. In addition, they carry a full line of promotional items such as personalised mugs, stubby holders and USB flash drives. To learn more or to place an order, call 1300 658 745 or visit their website: http://www.imagepak.com.au/. Custom USB Flash Drives Help Businesses Thrive 2015-06-19T02:53:19Z custom-usb-flash-drives-help-businesses-thrive Perth, WA, 19 June 2015 - Though many vendors of promotional items in the Perth area think of USB flash drives as promotional giveaway gifts, savvy vendors see them as far more. Scott Eaton of ImagePak Marketing, a Perth firm that specialises in promotional items and advertising specialties, sees businesses coming up with unique uses for USB flash drives. According to Mr Eaton:“Businesses are finding out that USB flash drives can help them be more productive. Recently, we provided flash drives for a recruiting company that filled them with data before giving them to clients. We are seeing a lot more companies out there loading USB flash drives with crucial documents such as company policies and hiring paperwork.”VersatilityUSB flash drives can be customised with a company’s name and logo. These are often given as promotional gifts and are very effective when used for that purpose. Especially in the business world, a flash drive can come in handy, especially for those who do business on the road.USB flash drives are available in various capacities and designs. When used only for documents, enough documents to fill an entire office can fit on a drive no bigger than the average thumb. However, they can also be used to store other data. This includes software, videos and PowerPoint presentations. An employee can store his or her entire set of documents and records on a USB flash drive, though a backup is recommended. Some companies are currently busy figuring out which documents are appropriate to be stored on employee’s hard drives and which are proprietary in nature and need to stay “in-house.”Financial Planners and Mortgage BrokersFinancial planners are finding that a flash drive can make their lives a lot easier. They can create an individual plan or presentation for a client or prospective client. Then, it is simply a matter of giving the flash drive, complete with contact information and paperwork, to the client. For mortgage brokers, the plan is similar. Each client gets an individual set of recommendations and paperwork on a customised flash drive. Saving Paper and SpaceComputers, cloud storage and flash drives can help offices and organisations eliminate a lot of paper and a lot of office space. For individual employees, clients and prospective customers, a customised flash drive is an effective solution. It is a way to transfer paperwork and documents that doesn’t waste paper or take up any space. In addition, a flash drive can be attached to a keychain or kept in a pocket, making it convenient to use in mobile situations. According to Mr Eaton: “When we started distributing USB flash drives, we had no idea they would be so successful or so useful. They have transcended the promotional gift category and are now a useful business tool.”ImagePak Marketing provides promotional items and gifts to businesses in the Perth area and across Australia. They carry a wide array of items, such as USB flash drives, custom coffee mugs, stubby holders and a full line of corporate clothing and sports uniforms. To learn more about ImagePak Marketing or to place an order, call 1300 658 745 or visit their website: http://www.imagepak.com.au/. Servo appearance more important than petrol price, say motorists 2015-06-18T02:20:21Z servo-appearance-more-important-than-petrol-price-say-motorists What makes you return to a particular petrol station? Is it the price of fuel, a particular drink or snack, or is it the servo’s overall appearance and cleanliness? For many motorists, it’s the latter. Consumer research and ratings firm Canstar Blue surveyed more than 2,600 motorists across the country and found the cost of fuel was only the third biggest driving factor of overall customer satisfaction, behind service and appearance. Drivers of overall satisfaction % of respondents Appearance and cleanliness of station 29% Customer service 25% Price of fuel 22% Facilities (e.g. car wash, air pump etc) 15% Range of other items for sale 9% Source: www.canstarblue.com.au Service Stations survey of 2,629 adults. Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle, says there is a perception that fuel prices vary little between different service stations, so consumers consider other factors when determining where to fill-up. “For some motorists, the bottom line is the only thing that matters. But others are clearly looking for more when they pull-in for fuel, and they’re more likely to return if they have a good experience,” she said. “That includes having helpful, pleasant staff – which isn’t always something you would associate with servos. “In recent years the big chains have focussed their attention on improving their overall package. They’re no longer just competing over the cost of fuel, they’re competing to offer the best facilities, the best snacks and groceries, and the best coffee. “Would you rather pull into a modern-looking, clean station with lots of others things to buy, or drive further down the road to an old, dingy-looking servo? There’s a reason why the big chains invest so heavily in the appearance of their stations. Image is hugely important.” The survey, of motorists who have refuelled their vehicle at a service station in the last month, found that 39% always fill up at the same place, while 13% often visit a servo to buy things like drinks or snacks even if they don’t need fuel. “It’s fascinating to see the evolution of service stations into more than just a place where you stop to fill-up your car,” added Mrs Doyle. “They’re convenience stores, coffee shops and for some people, a last-minute gift shop. “Supermarket loyalty schemes and discount vouchers also promote service station loyalty, and encourage us to buy other items for sale at that outlet. Consumers are generally happy to go along with such offers if they think it will save them a few dollars at the bowser.” Respondents to the survey were asked to rate the service station they most recently visited across a range of research criteria, including the cost of fuel, customer service and appearance. Australian-owned United Petroleum scored top marks for service, appearance, price of petrol and overall customer satisfaction. “It takes a lot for motorists to compliment a service station on the price of fuel, but that’s exactly what United customers do,” said Mrs Doyle. “They also report friendly, helpful staff and good facilities. Most people are convinced United ticks all the boxes. “This is the fifth year in a row that United has stood out from the crowd with regards to fuel price and overall satisfaction. Congratulations to United on another outstanding result.” Click here for more information on the customer satisfaction ratings. How do you measure up when doing the laundry? 2015-06-10T22:16:34Z how-do-you-measure-up-when-doing-the-laundry One in three Aussies fail to measure the amount of laundry detergent they pour into their washing machine and probably use too much. Consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue surveyed more than 2,500 adults and found they spend an average of $12.52 on laundry detergent. But many will need to replenish their supply more frequently than they should, with 33% preferring to ‘wing it’ rather than follow measuring instructions and 31% conceding that they probably use too much. Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle, said those who use liquid detergent are the most uneconomical. “Forty-percent of consumers who use liquid detergent don’t measure the amount they use, compared to 27% of those who favour powder,” she said. “Liquid-users also pay slightly more to do their washing, so they are being particularly wasteful. “Some people clearly don’t give much thought to the process – they just throw the detergent into the washing machine and away they go. Using too much detergent is unlikely to damage your clothes or washing machine, but it will hurt you in the hip pocket over time. Follow the guidelines and save yourself a few dollars.” Consumers who use laundry powder were found to spend an average of $12.07 on their purchase, while those who use liquid spend an average of $12.84. And what drives their satisfaction varies slightly. Drivers of satisfaction             Liquid            Powder Quality of clean 27% 34% Value for money 16% 15% Feel of clothes after wash 28% 16% Number of washes 15% 17% Smell 9% 10% Environmental friendliness 5% 8% Source: www.canstarblue.com.au Laundry Detergent survey of 2546 adults They may be more wasteful, but liquid-users (54%) are more likely to always buy the same brand of detergent than powder-users (49%), the survey found. But those who opt for powder (28%) are more inclined to buy the cheapest product available than those who reach for liquid (24%). Survey respondents were asked to rate their laundry detergent across a range of categories. Earth Choice topped the liquid detergent ratings for overall satisfaction, while ALDI Almat was the highest rated laundry powder. It is the second time in five years that Earth Choice – from Natures Organics – has won the award for laundry liquids, and the third time that ALDI has picked up the the prize for laundry powders. The two brands have performed consistently well across Canstar Blue’s home cleaning product categories since the ratings began in 2011, said Mrs Doyle. “The two brands always stand out from the crowd,” she said. “Natures Organics has enjoyed notable success in recent months, with Blast Ultra Plus winning our award for dishwashing liquids in January. ALDI also scored favourably in that category and consistently rates highly across all our home cleaning products. “Consumers are convinced that both brands offer the perfect balance between quality cleaning and value for money.” Aussies want vacuum cleaners that really suck 2015-06-04T01:51:02Z aussies-want-vacuum-cleaners-that-really-suck Aussies are spending an average of more than $370 on their vacuum cleaners, but many still aspire to own the best that money can buy. That’s one of the findings of a new survey from consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue, which saw Dyson vacuum cleaners rated highest of eight major brands. “Consumers don’t mind spending a good amount on a vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning the home as easy as possible,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle. “We always want great value for money, but more than anything consumers demand a vacuum cleaner that lives up to expectations and really performs. “But it’s also got to be easy to use. There’s no point having a powerful vacuum if you struggle to manoeuvre it around your house.” Drivers of satisfaction      % of respondents Effectiveness of clean 42% Value for money 26% Ease of use 20% Noise 7% Size 5% Source: www.canstarblue.com.au 2015 Vacuum Cleaners survey of 1364 adults. The survey, of more than 1,300 adults who have bought a new vacuum cleaner in the last three years, found the average amount spent to be $373. Those in Western Australia spent the most ($464) and Queensland the least ($316). Almost half (48%) of respondents were replacing a vacuum cleaner that had stopped working, while 27% were upgrading to a better model and 12% wanted an additional appliance. Consumers who were replacing an old vacuum cleaner were doing so after an average of 6.7 years. Thirty per cent of survey respondents said they tend to buy cheap vacuum cleaners and replace them when they stop working, while 46% have more than one vacuum in their home. And two out of five (39%) dream of owning a top of the line vacuum. “Most consumers are convinced it pays to spend a little more,” said Mrs Doyle. “It can be tempting to take the cheap option when you’re shopping, but when you come to vacuuming your home, you might regret it. “Spending that bit extra may even save you in the long run if you have to replace your vacuum cleaner more regularly because you bought a cheap model.” Dyson delivers overall customer satisfaction Consumers who purchased Dyson vacuum cleaners were the most satisfied with their purchase, the survey found. Vax received notable recognition for offering value for money, but Dyson was the only brand to score five-star ratings for effective cleaning and ease of use. Dyson also recorded top marks from consumers for size and noise levels. It is the third time in four years that Dyson has picked up Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for vacuum cleaners, with Shark finishing top of the ratings in 2014. “Survey respondents who bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner use few words to describe their purchase – because it simply does a great job,” said Mrs Doyle. “They report reliable, easy to maintain, easy to use and powerful vacuums that make cleaning the house hassle free. Most Dyson owners seem convinced they have the best that money can buy.” Would a single-sex gym ‘work out’ for you? 2015-05-31T23:12:32Z would-a-single-sex-gym-work-out-for-you Aussies are spending an average of more than $70 a month on gym memberships, but many would be willing to pay even more if it meant not working out in front of the opposite sex. Consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue surveyed over 1,000 gym members across the country and found that one in four would be happy paying a premium to use a single-sex gym. And men (25%) liked the idea almost as much as women (27%). Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle, said consumers are now looking for more than just barbells and mirrors, as single-sex gyms become more and more popular. “For some gym-goers, a positive, friendly atmosphere is more important than the equipment and facilities on offer,” she said. “Most adults head to the gym to improve their fitness or lose weight, but they also want to enjoy themselves and socialise with likeminded people. And for many it seems, that means working out in the company or other men, or other women only. “In the past there has been a perception that more women feel uncomfortable exercising in front of men, but these findings suggest that a lot of men would prefer a single-sex gym, too. If you’re paying more than $70 a month for your membership, it’s important to feel at ease in your surroundings – otherwise you might end up wasting your money.” The survey found adults in their 30s (36%) were the most likely to favour a single-sex gym, compared to just 3% of those in their 60s. More than half of survey respondents (54%) said they don’t go to the gym as much as they thought they would when they joined. The majority of those cited a lack of time as the reason, but 13% said they don’t like working out in front of other people and 12% said the general atmosphere of their gym was a turn-off. A further 14% said they feel intimidated by other gym-users, particularly those aged 18-24 (22%). “We received several complaints about loud, repetitive music, noisy groups and general sleaziness,” said Mrs Doyle. “Some people clearly feel uncomfortable working out in front of others, especially when surrounded by men flexing their muscles in front of mirrors! “Opening hours are also a major bugbear, as is the cleanliness of the gym and changing rooms. And of course, many people simply bemoan the amount they pay for their membership, and the lack of flexibility that comes with it.” Spending an average of $72 per month, the majority of Aussies (61%) are drawn to the gym between three and five times per week. Just 5% go every day, while 12% work out once a week or less. While the amount of time we spend at the gym varies little between the states, the amount we pay for our membership does, with survey respondents in Western Australia reporting the highest average cost at $84, and Queenslanders the least ($60). Men ($74) were found to be paying slightly more than women ($71). Do our gym expectations become a reality? Almost half (49%) of survey respondents said they joined a gym to improve their fitness, while 29% were looking to lose weight and 11% wanted to increase their strength. But whatever their motivation for joining, a significant 76% agreed their gym membership had helped them achieve their goals. Which gym chain do members rate highest? Survey respondents were asked to rate their gym across a range of categories, including access, equipment, social atmosphere and value for money. And for the second year in a row, female-only Fernwood Fitness was the only gym chain to achieve a five-star rating for overall customer satisfaction. “Fernwood members couldn’t be happier with the modern facilities, supportive staff and friendly, enjoyable atmosphere reported at their gyms,” said Mrs Doyle. “And the fact that it’s a female-only gym earned a big thumbs up from many ladies. “With happier members than any other commercial gym chain, it’s clear that Fernwood has struck a perfect balance – offering Australian women first-class facilities, but also a friendly and supportive environment in which to achieve their personal goals. “Choosing a single-sex gym has clearly worked out for Fernwood members.” Fernwood founder, Dr Diana Williams, said: “We’re thrilled to be recognised with this award for the second year running. We have always placed a high priority on member satisfaction, ensuring we provide all the things the female gym-goer needs to get the results they sign up for, so it’s great to have the public feedback that supports what we’re doing.” “Being a female-only full service gym has always been our point of difference. But we’ve grown and evolved as the needs of women have since we started 25 years ago. Many of our gyms are now open 24 hours due to the demand for better accessibility and every new member gets the advantage of having an online program as part of the first 28 days of their membership so that we can best set them up for success. “We also develop a number of in-club and online programs that run throughout the year to help our members continue to achieve their goals. This helps them feel part of a team even outside of being physically ‘at the gym’.”