In Vegas, playing casino games has its perks. Besides the potential of winning cold, hard cash, members of players clubs get free hotel stays, discounted meals, concert tickets, golf rounds, among other rewards. And when it comes to tournaments and casino events, there are even more benefits just for playing.
A number of Vegas casinos have included customized tech gadgets as part of the benefits for participating in a special event. These giveaways serve as reminders of the event after the players have left the casino floor.
Here are a few that FUSION OF IDEAS got to work with:
Amazon Echo smart speakers customized for Park MGM’s special event
The GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour, with 50 regional tournaments, was founded to give amateur golfers a chance to compete in a nationwide series of stroke-play golf tournaments. Open to men and women, young and old, the tournament – now in its 25th year – uses some of the best championship golf courses and concludes with a National Tour Championship, which awards the final winner among the top players in each flight.
In addition to a day on the greens, the winner of each flight is awarded a crystal trophy and each participant is entered into a tournament raffle. At the El Paso, Texas/Las Cruces, N.M. tournament, customized Apple AirPods served as one of the top prizes for the event raffle. As one of the hottest tech accessories, it was a highly sought-after prize for the 60+ participants of the event.
Additionally, Apple iPad Pro tablets with customized Smart Keyboard Folios were used to check the golfers in at each tournament and serve as a live score board. As we have seen in this event, and others, cohesive branding can significantly add value and experience for all attendees and participants involved.
Businesses are increasingly finding value in custom-branding mobile technology. Branded technology can be used as:
a marketing tactic to elevate brand equity;
employee rewards or as gifts to clients and vendors;
a theft deterrent for company devices by having the company logo printed on them.
As one of our core services, customization is our business. We have partnered with more than 2,000 brands to create customized solutions, with phones and tablets being the most popular tech devices for custom branding. In the past few years, mobile accessories – such as device cases, speakers and headphones – have gained traction, particularly during the gifting season.
Our capabilities do not stop there. With laser etching, color printing and StealthArmor (our proprietary protective film) solutions, there is no limit to what we can customize. New products present different specifications, dimensions and materials, making for an exciting challenge for our design and production teams.
As people and businesses continue to move toward mobilization and personalization, we challenge you to think beyond traditional mobile devices and see how customization can take your business to the next level.
Employees cannot take their jobs for granted. At the same time, employers cannot take their staff for granted. As an employer, your employees dedicate a significant portion of their time to help you succeed. With Employee Appreciation Week approaching (February 25 through March 1), how will you thank your team for their hard work and dedication?
Whether you are planning to bring a simple “thank you” lunch for your crew, or an all-employee celebration, here are three tips to keep in mind:
Get involved. Leaders in the company should be involved in the planning of the celebration, no matter how big or small. Don’t leave the task to non-management employees. Employers need to celebrate their employees and show them how important they are to the whole company.
Everyone is important. Avoid the temptation to spotlight certain employees. There is a right time and place to recognize top achievers. Employee Appreciation Week is an opportunity to show gratitude to the entire staff.
Know what they want. If you are giving a gift, remember that your employees are worth more than a tchotchke that will end up in a drawer or be given to their children. Skip the low-quality items and give something that is valuable and memorable to them. A memorable gift doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many cool giftable gadgets that are priced fairly, such as Apple AirPods, YETI tumblers or Amazon Echo Dot.
“My daughter is nonverbal and she finally has a device where we can download the app that helps her communicate with us at home. It’s the biggest blessing and an amazing gift! People take their spoken language for granted and do not realize just how hard it is for a nonverbal child. This iPad can break those verbal barriers for our family!”
These were the words from a family member of one of 57 kids who went on the Kidd’s Kids 2018 trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Founded by late radio host and television personality, Kidd Kraddick, Kidd’s Kids provides hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering and life-threatening conditions.
Every November, the organization sponsors a group of children and their families on an all-expense paid trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” where they can forget about doctor appointments and their illnesses, and enjoy a magical day with their families. At the start of this once-in-a-lifetime trip, the kids were gifted with a personalized Apple iPad that is preloaded with all relevant and contact information for their trip.
Here are the words from another family:
“We were so grateful to have the iPad for my son’s 11-day hospital stay. He loves being able to keep in touch with family and friends using the FB Kids Messenger app. He also likes it for drawing, watching shows and playing games.”
This is the eighth year that FUSION OF IDEAS has gratefully donated our app development and customization services to this amazing cause. Together with Best Buy, we were onsite to help hand out the iPads to the kids, and see the delight on their faces when they were presented with the customized devices. “The donation of the iPads from Best Buy and completely personalized by FUSION OF IDEAS provides entertainment, educational tools and memory-making apps the Kidd’s Kids otherwise would not have,” said Kelly Kemp, executive director of Kidd’s Kids. “We know how grateful all the kids are especially when they are back in the hospitals for days or weeks at a time. It’s a blessing and a partnership we are so very grateful to have for our Kidd’s Kids.” For more photos from this year’s Kidd’s Kids trip, check out their album on Facebook.
Remember the cellophane wrapped gift baskets filled with mementos and sweets you used to get every holiday? While they are still around – and still appreciated by many – technology has taken over as the preferred business gift of choice.
Technology spending for the 2018 holiday season is projected to reach a record-setting $96.1B in revenue in the U.S., a year-over-year increase of 3.4 percent, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Businesses who choose to give a tech gift are taking it up a notch with customization. Customized tech boosts brand recognition and repeat exposure, among many other benefits. Compared to traditional advertising, corporate gifts showcasing your company brand can be a cost-effective advertising method for your business. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the recipient receiving the same gift twice!
Here at FUSION OF IDEAS, orders for holiday gifting are in full swing. Here are the five most popular tech gifts we are seeing:
Apple iPadPro – The latest iPad Pro, with an all-screen design and Face ID, is currently the most full-featured iPad on the market.
Apple Pencil 2 – To go alongside the new iPad Pro, Apple revamped the Apple Pencil, an effective and accurate tool for handwriting, sketching and illustration.
Beats by Dre – This popular headphone collection comes in several varieties and offers powerful audio performance.
Amazon Echo Show – The new Amazon Echo Show features a vibrant 10.1” HD screen, built-in smart home hub, and improved speakers.
Apple AirPods – Apple AirPods continue to be the most popular tech gift not just for the holidays but all year-round thanks to their instant setup and truly wireless features.
The 2018-19 NBA season is in full swing. We are reminded of a project we did last season with professional basketball player, Trevor Ariza, that blended our proprietary color printing process with a hot Apple accessory. The outcome was a sincere gesture of team camaraderie.
Ariza, who was playing for the Houston Rockets, recognizes that true team chemistry is built both on and off the court. As a gesture of appreciation, respect and genuine friendship, Ariza wanted to give a memorable gift to his then-Rockets teammates. The team frequently used Apple AirPods during practice for motivation and focus, and they are noise-canceling and sleek in design. It was clear that the popular wireless earbuds would make the perfect gift.
To make it even more personal, Ariza worked with FUSION OF IDEAS to customize 15 sets of AirPods, one for each of his teammates. Each AirPods charging case was customized with the Rockets’ logo, the player’s last name and number, all in the Rockets’ vibrant red colorway. The result? A unique, personal gift that is symbolic of the team chemistry and skill, leading the Rockets to a victorious season that year.
Phobio is a software company that helps brands create better technology experiences for their customers. The Atlanta-based business is driven by a team of individuals who are leaders and experts in their fields. In 2017, as a way to reward employees for a successful year, Phobio partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS to help create a one-of-a-kind gift for its employees to appreciate and enjoy all year long.
In comes “Operation Rudolph.” Working in stealth mode, FUSION OF IDEAS customized 75 Apple Watches to surprise Phobio’s employees at its holiday party. The watch features a detailed design of the company logo on the dial. The exterior of the watch band is embellished with a design that represents the Phobio brand, and the inside of the band is etched with the company mantra: “Be better.”
Each watch included a personalized gift tag for the recipient and was packaged in its original box covered with a custom box sleeve. Phobio chose to pull everything together with custom gift wrap, which was designed by FUSION OF IDEAS and incorporated the company logo.
As a company that fosters a collaborative working environment, Phobio was excited to present these personalized gifts to its employees, and the response was overwhelming.
“Our ‘Phobiosapiens’ worked very hard all year and I wanted to show them my appreciation for their great work,” said Phobio CEO Stephen Wakeling. “Operation Rudolph was a huge success and everyone was blown away after opening the gift at our annual holiday party. It’s been a great point of pride among team members. They show their friends and can tell them ‘look what my company did for us!’ It’s going to be very difficult to top that this year.”
As soon as we got our hands on the new Apple Watch Series 4, our design team went to work to find the best points of customization and created the WORLD’S FIRST customized Apple Watch Series 4.
Here’s what we did:
The specs. We started the process by getting the exact specs of the device, down to the millimeter. Precise measurements are crucial as we only get one chance to print directly on a device or accessory.
The mockup. Once measurements are logged, our design team went to work creating a mockup of the design, painting a picture of what a finished custom device will look like. A final proof is sent to the client for approval before production begins.
The production process. Depending on the device, we may build a custom housing to hold the device while it is in the printer. Our patent-pending color and laser customization process allows us to permanently brand devices with high-quality, full-color graphics without voiding the device’s warranty.
The packaging. We extend the brand experience with custom packaging solutions including sleeves, boxes, gift wrap, shrink wrap and one-of-a-kind packaging experiences.
We are thrilled about the new Apple Watch and the results of the customization. The most significant added feature on Apple Watch Series 4 is that it is also a health-tracking powerhouse. Game-changing features such as fall detection and emergency SOS open the device to new audiences: fitness and outdoor enthusiasts, senior care providers and healthcare workers.
For us at FUSION OF IDEAS, deciding whether or not this new wearable gadget is worth purchasing is a no-brainer. And with the holiday season around the corner, this is the perfect gift for your valued employees or customers. The only question remaining: how will you customize the Apple Watch to fit your company brand and culture?
Check out how we transformed Apple Watch Series 4, from ordinary to extraordinary:
Employers are always looking for new and different ways to reward employees and celebrate successes. A trend that has been rising in popularity with our clients is using customized devices as part of its employee rewards program.
There are many ways for an employer to use corporate gifting to build up, fuel and recognize employees. Some ideas include:
Creating a points-based system to reward employee performance through peers or managers
Building a rewards system to recognize significant service milestones
Setting productivity or sales goals with a highly valued prize that employees can earn when they reach the goal
Or simply planning a surprise holiday gift as a reward for all of your employees.
Any employee gift can be taken up a notch with customization – custom printed Apple Airpods for employees to listen to music quietly at work, a customized Apple Watch with laser-etched company name, or even a branded drone that is guaranteed to wow the recipient.
FUSION OF IDEAS has pushed the boundaries of creativity by customizing a wide range of devices, from headphones and portable speakers to game consoles and cameras. The possibilities are truly endless. What can custom-branded devices do for your business?
Apple CEO Tim Cook took center stage yesterday at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino to announce the release of several Apple device updates. If you were on the watch like us, you know there will be three new iPhone models building off of the company’s 10th anniversary iPhone X: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Additionally, Apple Watch Series 4 will feature a larger display with a slightly thinner body, along with some cool features like heart monitoring and haptic feedback on the crown.
Announcements of new Apple products, or any new mobile tech device, mean one important thing to us at Fusion of Ideas: we’ll be researching and presenting our customization offerings for the shiny new devices as soon as they hit the market.
The art of mobility is clear with every touch point of the customizing experience. And members of the Fusion of Ideas customization team are seasoned pros at figuring out the specs for new devices. Even when the new device is similar to an existing one, measurements accurate to hundredths of an inch must be taken to create a spec file that will be used for production. We also run tests and research on the materials the device is made out of – even a slight change to the type of metal or glass can change the way we approach customization. Most importantly, our color and laser customization process allows us to brand devices with high-quality graphics while not voiding Apple’s device warranty.
We’re excited to dive in and present custom options specific to these new devices. Stay tuned for more information as we await the release dates.
This may seem obvious, but we tend to nerd out every time a new Apple product is released. Apple’s livestream product announcement events, typically happening once or twice a year and bearing charming names such as “Let’s meet at our place” and “Hey Siri, give us a hint”, are monitored closely in the Fusion of Ideas office. Part of this is because many of us are personally Apple fans, but the other part is excitement about the branding possibilities that come with a new device. The R&D process begins at Fusion well before the device has officially hit the market. Our customization team gathers information about the materials the device is made of, the dimensions, the packaging and any accompanying accessories. We get our hands on a sample device or two as soon as we can and get to work testing out customization capabilities. When the HomePod smart speaker hit the market in 2018, it was the first completely new device released by Apple since 2014, when the Apple Watch was announced. It also posed a unique challenge: the round, cylindrical speaker did not present many obvious options for customization. “The HomePod offered a challenge in that there is not a lot of surface area to customize,” said Chris Mancuso, Customization Manager. “It pushed us to think outside the box to come up with customization options that would fit with the sleek and modern design of the device.” Working with the Fusion design team for artwork and production files (and inspired by our office-wide affection for the Marvel Cinematic Universe), the customization team did a bold color print of the red Marvel logo on the white mesh of the HomePod. The top of the speaker is outfitted with a clear color printed Stealth Armor version of Iron Man’s arc reactor. Rounding out the sample package is a custom sleeve and gift wrap, printed with vibrant images of Iron Man and the Marvel logo in its signature red and black colorway. “We really pushed the boundaries with this device and came up with some really innovative ways to brand the HomePod,” said Mancuso. “The Marvel-branded sample provides our business team with a great way to show clients what we can do with this device.”
Since their release in late 2016, Apple’s AirPods have been flying off the shelves – and landing here at Fusion of Ideas, where we’ve been customizing unprecedented numbers of the wireless earbuds for our clients. We expect AirPods to be the most customized device during the upcoming holiday gifting season for the second year in a row – it’s an excellent portable piece of technology at an affordable price point for many of our clients. Customization options include the earbuds themselves, the charging case, and custom sleeves and gift wrap to tie everything together. Here’s an example of a recent custom AirPods project we did for a client that nicely showcases all of our available services.
We got so excited that we posted on social media, but forgot to include the news right here on the blog. Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, gifted custom Skyscraper edition Xbox’s to a group of amputees. He’s seriously a huge role model. We wanted to share a clip of the video of him giving them away, as well as some of the really cool product shots we got of the project before it left our doors. We love working on projects that are used to do good in the world.
We love seeing people react when they’re opening a gift customized by Fusion. Today, the recipient happened to be @lilyachty. Check out this video of rapper Yachty showing off his brand new custom Xbox and controller.
Repost 7/11/18 video credit: @lilyachty on Instagram.
A few more photos we took at our Fusion headquarters before the project went out. Photos by Fusion of Ideas
Throughout our many years of customization experience, Fusion of Ideas has worked with clients in almost every industry – healthcare, education, food service, construction, entertainment, fashion – the list goes on. We relish the chance to impress our clients by customizing devices or mobile apps for their employees or customers. But for many of our movie-obsessed team members, it’s hard to deny that it’s especially thrilling when we get the chance to work with clients who are in the entertainment business.
PICTURESTART is a production company who set out to find a customized tech gift for 200 top clients and company executives. Our design and business teams went to work, collaborating with the PICTURESTART decision makers to create a sleek logo print for Apple AirPods. The PICTURESTART logo is printed on the charging cases for the AirPods, the stems of the AirPods are printed with a clean blue stripe, and to round out the project, we did a custom sleeve to fit over the AirPod box. PICTURESTART is focused on youth-oriented movies and shows, so the colorfully printed AirPods were the perfect way for the new company to announce itself as a fresh and innovative presence in the film industry.
The gifts you give your clients and the technology used by your employees offer unique opportunities for you to make a statement about your brand and the way you do business. By partnering with Fusion of Ideas, PICTURESTART created an impactful brand experience that recipients will recall every time they pull out their AirPods. “We’re finding that the AirPods have become a highly preferred gift in the year and a half since they were released,” said Russ Taylor, CEO at Fusion of Ideas. “They’re compact, useful, and can be customized in several areas. Plus, they have the appeal of being a relatively new Apple product, at a price point lower than an iPad or Apple Watch.”
Whatever your tech and design preferences may be, we can help you come up with an unforgettable gift. And if you’re on the fence, check out some of the finished projects on our website and Instagram account. We’d love to create your custom gift next!SaveSave
It was almost exactly a year ago that the Xilinx project went down in Fusion of Ideas history. The new Apple AirPods had just been announced, and everyone was anxiously waiting for them to hit the market. A few months had gone by since Apple’s announcement, and the public wanted to know when the AirPods would be arriving in stores. Small batches of AirPods were released to stores, but were immediately sold out. Fusion was told that it would be awhile before businesses would have the opportunity to purchase them in large quantities, because production was just not fast enough to keep up with the demand. Then Xilinx reached out to Fusion after being referred by Apple. They had 800 AirPods (a big deal, since stores hadn’t even received this many yet) and they wanted to find out more about our customization services.
Xilinx was planning to give AirPods to each of their employees as a special gift from their executive team. They wanted to customize the AirPods’ white custom casing with the Xilinx logo. They also wanted to send the AirPods to employees in unique customized packaging to show their thanks and appreciation. Fusion was their one-stop-shop for getting both of those things done in record time. The custom packaging included signatures of all of the executive team as part of the design, meant to show their appreciation.
“Xilinx was looking for something cool to give their employees,” said Theresa Brown, Senior Business Manager at Fusion of Ideas. “Gifting the Airpods alone would have been nice, but the real wow factor came from outfitting the AirPods with logos and customized packaging including their executive team signatures. It took the gift to a whole new level.”
During the holiday season, we have thousands of devices that come through our doors to be customized and gift wrapped. Which of these five items do you think were given as gifts the most? Click here for the answer.
This November marked FUSION’s seventh year of sponsoring and working with Kidd’s Kids. Since 2011, FUSION has donated app development and customization services to the charity, who works with families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions.
Kidd Kraddick founded Kidd’s Kids in 1991 with the goal of making a difference in the lives of children and families who are dealing with life altering conditions. Initially, the program began with a bus ride to Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks to the volunteer efforts from partners, donors, and medical professionals, along with the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show listeners’ willingness to embrace their mission, Kidd’s Kids has grown at an exponential rate. Now in its 26th year, the foundation has sent over 1000 kids and their families on a trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Here’s a video showcasing a little more about this foundation and our involvement with them. For more information, please visit http://www.kiddskids.com
For over 30 years, Consultatio Real Estate has successfully developed innovative high category real estate projects in prime locations.
Passionate about transforming ordinary into extraordinary, Consultatio Real Estate wanted the most high-end, absolute best for their tenants. They wanted to create an unparalleled welcoming experience for new homeowners of both the Oceana Key Biscayne and Bal Harbour properties that reflected the union of art, real estate and technology.
In 2014, Consultatio needed a solution for their welcoming process with their Oceana Key Biscayne project. They wanted a very unique gift experience for the tenants of Consultatio Real Estate that would capture the attention of future homeowners and provide a suitable resource for displaying the many amenities the property had to offer. As an unprecedented solution to enhance Consultatio’s welcoming process, FUSION created fully equipped and branded iPads, including a custom sleeve, branded Smart Cover, and preloaded with custom iOS content, providing each tenant with a little piece of art for their new home. The tenants loved the gift so much that Consultatio knew it needed to be part of their next project.
This year, when the Bal Harbour property neared completion, Consultatio Real Estate connected with FUSION again to discuss the next rollout of customized iPads. It was quickly discovered that among the many exquisite works of art on the Bal Harbour property, one in particular stood out above the rest. Created by iconic Americana artist Jeff Koons, the mirror-polished, stainless steel sculpture “Pluto and Proserpina” stands over 10 feet tall and serves as a centerpiece of the property. Using this masterpiece as an inspiration, FUSION presented a new complete iPad package with a design that surpassed expectations. Consultatio loved the new packaging and exquisite custom gift boxes built specifically for their custom project with high-end materials fit to be displayed on a coffee table. The iPads were customized with pre-loaded content about the property and its amenities. A custom printed Smart Cover paired nicely with the full-color printed iPad. A custom sleeve was also fitted around the iPad box before it was inserted into the gift box. The result was a stunning, one-of-a-kind gift for each tenant to feel welcomed and cherished.