Top 5 Business Gifts Your Employees and Customers Want

The top 5 most wanted tech gifts this holiday season.

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:

  1. Apple iPad Pro – The latest iPad Pro, with an all-screen design and Face ID, is currently the most full-featured iPad on the market.
  2. 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.
  3. Beats by Dre – This popular headphone collection comes in several varieties and offers powerful audio performance.
  4. Amazon Echo Show – The new Amazon Echo Show features a vibrant 10.1” HD screen, built-in smart home hub, and improved speakers.
  5. 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.

For more customizable corporate gift ideas, visit www.fusionofideas.com/gifting.

‘Operation Rudolph’ Brings Great Cheer to Phobio Employees

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.”

Phobio CEO Stephen Wakeling and Chief Solutions Officer Denny Juge on stage with one of the Apple Watches customized by FUSION OF IDEAS. 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers
Phobio employees show off their gifts at their holiday party. 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

The WORLD’S FIRST Customized Apple Watch Series 4

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:

Branding Superheroes: Customizing the Apple HomePod

By Jennifer Fujimori

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.”

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AirPods Trend

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.

The Rock Gives Back

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.

Picture Start: Making Your Mark as a New Business in an Elite Industry

By Jennifer Fujimori

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

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HomePod Gets A Make Over

We’re predicting that the Apple HomePod might be at the top of many gift lists for the holiday season later this year.  The HomePod already gets major cool points as a gift, but when you add laser engraving, custom printing, custom packaging, and custom gift wrap, you take it to a whole new level.  Our Business Development Team made a very cool video to show how you can customize a HomePod. Check it out!

Xilinx AirPod Project

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.”

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Another Fantastic Year With Kidd’s Kidds

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

Creating An Unparalleled Welcoming Experience For New Homeowners

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.

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The Ultimate Corporate Gifts: The Gifts That Keep On Giving, The Whole Year

“Oh great, they’re handing out another company calendar,” said no employee ever.  

Getting thoughtful gifts can go a long way with coworkers or team members.  With the season rapidly approaching, this is the year for creating excitement and the “wow” factor for your company’s team or special clients.

One of our own employees tells the tale of the value they placed on two separate gifts they received.

“On two separate holiday seasons, I received gifts from my employers. One was an elaborate chocolate and fruit gift basket that was delivered to my home with a generic happy holidays message from the company.  While the sentiment was sweet (no pun intended), the gift was quickly forgotten, and I never really told anyone what I got.

The next year I received some Beats By Dre headphones. They were printed with a small company logo and the headband was printed with my name. They also were sent to my home, but came gift wrapped in retro wrapping paper with a company image repeated in a cool pattern. That made me very excited to open it. There was a personalized card with a note from my boss and the company thanking me for some of the accomplishments during the year. Whenever I wore those headphones, I had family, friends, and even strangers ask me about them. I explained that my company had given them as a gift for my hard work during the year, and I always showed off my name printed on them.  I received many “Are they hiring?” type of comments as people were impressed by the thoughtfulness that went into the gift.

While I’m sure both presents cost my employer about the same amount of money, the one that was cool, unique, and something I could talk about made the biggest impact. As Eddy from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation says, “That’s the gift that keeps giving the whole year, Clark!”   

One of the most important components of gift-giving is taking into consideration what your employees would truly appreciate. Putting a message, logo or thought on your gifts can add a layer that reminds them of you or the company whenever they use the gift.

Now, working at Fusion of Ideas, I’ve loved seeing the impact that customization and thoughtfulness can have. Some of my favorite Fusion services are gift wrapping and custom boxes and sleeves that take gifting up to a whole new level.  And on top of that, Fusion can organize and kit multiple items together (they don’t have to be devices!) so you can really add that extra pizzaz to any thoughtful gift. They can also print and write custom cards and gift tags,  and they ship anywhere around the world.  So if you want a super easy process, all you have to do is order, and Fusion will take care of the rest.”  

Fusion handles projects of all sizes and shapes and we’d love to help you with your gifting ideas. So if you want to give the gift that keeps on giving, contact us at info@fusionofideas.com or 949-453-0740 ext. 109.

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