Apple Watch, Your Way

Personalization is the way of the future, at least according to Apple. At the Apple event earlier this week, the tech giant launched Apple Watch Studio, which lets you mix and match Apple Watch casings and straps to get the exact look that you want.

Taking it a step further, add your company logo or a custom design opens a branding opportunity for your business. It’s a gift-giving opportunity for your employees or a way to say “thank you” to a vendor or client.

Custom branding options on the Apple Watch:

  • Company or recipient name on the blank side of the case
  • Logo or design on the Watch button
  • Custom design or logo etched on the Sport Bands
  • Color logo or design on the charger

Being able to choose the material, style and color of your Apple Watch case and bands, there are over a 1,000 different watch customization options. Being able to add your own logo or design, the possibilities are endless. There is truly a watch for everyone.

These Schools Have an A+ in Branding & Technology

Technology is driving change not just in corporations and private businesses, but also in the education sector. Many schools are taking learning outside the classroom with online programs that allow access to educational materials on mobile devices.

Others are using mobile technology as an incentive or form of recognizing students when they complete a program or hit a milestone. When technology is coupled with a marketing strategy that adds the school brand on the devices themselves, it creates visibility for the school and adds a personal touch for the recipient of the device.

Here are a few schools that have strategically used custom-branded technology to offer a unique value proposition.

Harvard Business School

Harvard University’s business school customized two Apple Watch bands in two colors to give as rewards within its online program. The school’s “VERITAS” shield is etched on both sides of the watch band, and the phrase “HBX Live” is etched on one side of the band as well as the back of the watch itself.

Customized Apple Watch bands for Harvard Business School
Customized Apple Watch bands for Harvard Business School
Logo etched on Apple Watch for Harvard Business School
Logo etched on Apple Watch for Harvard Business School

The Decorating and Staging Academy

The Decorating and Staging Academy used customized Apple iPad Air tablets to enhance the learning experience for its students. iPads are preloaded with specific industry-related apps and protected with a custom Smart Cover printed with the Academy’s logo for brand recognition. A custom branded sleeve encloses the device to create a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience.

Customized iPad Smart Cover and device sleeve for The Decorating & Staging Academy
Customized iPad Smart Cover and device sleeve for The Decorating & Staging Academy

Avenues: The World School

Avenues New York, the first campus of Avenues: The World School in the heart of Manhattan, gives away customized Apple AirPods at special school events. A school that touts bringing together the best of tradition and innovation, it created a design for the branded AirPods that speaks to both the school’s brand and its diversity. The AirPods are used as part of its marketing strategy to garner more brand awareness for the school.

Apple AirPod designed and customized for Avenues New York
Apple AirPod designed and customized for Avenues New York

South Kent School

A private boarding school for boys in Connecticut, South Kent School customized Apple Watch bands with its logo and showcased the watches as part of a presentation at a regional event. The logo, etched on bands in the school’s two colors, helped bring more visibility to the school.

Apple Watch band etched with school logo for South Kent School
A red Apple Watch band etched with school logo for South Kent School
Customize Apple Watch band in black for South Kent School
Customize Apple Watch band in black for South Kent School

3 Tips for Employee Appreciation Week

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

We’ve taken to our blog in the past to showcase a growing trend of companies turning inward and giving unforgettable gifts to their employees. Here are a few more examples of businesses that have shown appreciation to staff through gifting.

Omni Technologies: Beats EP headphones with custom sleeve and gift wrap
Omni Technologies: Beats EP headphones with custom sleeve and gift wrap
FlexCare Medical Staffing: Apple Watch with custom sleeve and gift wrap 
FlexCare Medical Staffing: Apple Watch with custom sleeve and gift wrap
Nashville Healthcare Council: Amazon Echo with custom sleeve and gift wrap
Nashville Healthcare Council: Amazon Echo with custom sleeve and gift wrap

‘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. Photo credit: 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers
Phobio employees show off their gifts at their holiday party. Photo credit: 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

The Fusion Glossary

By Jennifer Fujimori

Take a moment to recall your first job in a professional environment. Did you enter the workforce knowing the definitions of terms like OOO, B2B, SWOT, and EOD? How many times have you heard someone say they’d circle back, touch base, drill down, or get the ball rolling? We’re willing to bet most working professionals have at some point caught themselves saying things like “leverage” or “alignment” during work conversations.

The redundancy of corporate jargon may be maddening at times, but before you write it off, consider the values of using a commonly accepted lingo. It can be efficient, allowing you to deliver information using shorter messages; and it builds camaraderie between you and your coworkers, functioning much like an inside joke. In addition to those benefits, reducing ambiguity and the potential for misunderstanding can have an invaluable impact on business operations.

In business settings, this tends to happen easily and naturally. Even the term “lingo” has several different synonyms or words that mean essentially the same thing – jargon, slang, vernacular, lexicon, buzzwords – the list goes on. But it isn’t just universal business terms that tend to seep into workplace dialogues. Google, for example, refers to new employees as “Nooglers” and to their annual employee survey as “Googlegeist”. Trader Joe’s store managers are called “Captains” and assistant managers “First Mates”. Disney employees are guided by a “compass” with four points, one of which is a customer service approach they refer to as “Guestology”. And in medical and military fields, where precision and speed are critical, the use of shared and abbreviated terminology is not just a convenience but a necessity.

Here are a few examples of some of the jargon, some universal and some company-specific, that you might hear around the Fusion of Ideas office.

Mockup – high-quality images of several devices and design options, provided at the beginning of each client conversation about our customization services.

Asset Tagging – the process of scanning the barcode and serial number of each device so our system can track them.

Kitting – Fusion service that involves adding in (“kitting”) additional items to a package to be shipped neatly together. Examples include insert cards, charging cables, cases, and other device accessories.

Proof – final design file that is sent to the client for approval after our design team has finished making any requested revisions.

Production File – a production-ready file that has been prepared according to the specs of the specific device we’re customizing. The file is created by our design team and sent to our customization team.

Hybrid Etch/Print – combination of visible laser etch and color print. One of our most popular customization options.

Stealth Armor – protective, industrial grade film that can be customized and heat bonded to a device or product for style and protection.

Break/Fix – a replacement/repair service for damaged or broken devices. Under this program, Fusion will ship out a replacement device, then repair the damaged device and place it into the client’s inventory.

Digital Content – custom content that can be pre-loaded onto devices. Examples include apps, home and lock screens, videos, music, photos, and PDFs.

Device Depot – a client-specific inventory of devices which are stored and managed at Fusion and can be pulled from upon the client’s request. For example, we might pull from the inventory to replace a client device that was broken, lost or stolen, or the devices might be kept on hand and ready to ship to a new employee upon request from a client.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) – service that allows businesses to manage specific content, programs, apps, and settings on their devices. Updates and changes can be pushed remotely to the devices.

DCS (Dynamic Content System) – simplified custom mobile app option for displaying and updating content. Can be continuously managed by the client using admin portal.

Ordering Portal – A client-specific, easy-to-use web or app portal that allows clients order, ship, and manage their devices. The front end provides information about the program and device options. The back end allows for the client and Fusion to manage all orders and reports.

HQ – the “headquarters” of all our projects and related data, HQ is Fusion’s custom Client Relationship Management (CRM) software and project management database program. HQ houses all projects, proposals, client contact information, and notes.

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