Attollo Scholars Experience Some Magic

NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson keynotes 'Magic: An Attollo Experience' in Lancaster, Penn. ©Attollo
NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson keynotes ‘Magic: An Attollo Experience’ in Lancaster, Penn. ©Attollo

More than 1,300 attendees at the annual Attollo fundraising event in Lancaster, Penn., celebrated a group of 60 high school program scholars for being accepted into colleges across the country. Also highlighting the event, Magic: An Attollo Experience, was a keynote by NBA Hall of Famer, Magic Johnson.

This year’s celebratory fundraiser raised $1.5 million benefitting the Attollo program. Founded by the Children Deserve a Chance Foundation, Attollo is a college access/leadership program in Central Pennsylvania that supports youth from underrepresented communities in their pursuit of academic achievement, empowerment and social engagement.

As a token of appreciation to the event sponsors and donors, Attollo partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS to create custom-branded Apple AirPods as gifts. The device included the program’s name and logo printed on the case and on the stems of the headsets. The AirPods box is outfitted with a fitted custom device sleeve that has a photo of Magic Johnson.

One event donor shared anonymously, “You [Attollo] always inspire students to push beyond their comfort zones and do more than they thought possible. I am not quick to try new technology, but when I received these AirPods, I decided to push myself beyond my comfort zone and try them. My grandchildren were so impressed when I came walking in with my AirPods! I can listen to my audiobooks and my old favorite songs.”

Custom branded Apple AirPods are given to event sponsors and donors of Attollo's annual fundraiser.
Custom branded Apple AirPods are given to event sponsors and donors of Attollo’s annual fundraiser.
Attendees celebrate 60 of Attollo's high school program scholars for being accepted into colleges across the country. ©Attollo
Attendees celebrate 60 of Attollo’s high school program scholars for being accepted into colleges across the country. ©Attollo

A Raffle Prize Worth Putting For

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.

 

Custom-Branding Beyond Phones and Tablets

Think beyond traditional mobile devices for branding. Pictured here: Fujifilm Instax Cameras

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.

Amazon Echo Show
Amazon Echo Show
JBL Flip 4 and Clip 3 Bluetooth speakers
JBL Flip 4 and Clip 3 Bluetooth speakers
Google Home
Google Home
YETI Hopper personal cooler and Rambler wine tumblers
Amazon Echo Dot and urBeats3 by Dr. Dre earphones
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon Fire TV Cube

And That’s a Wrap!

From Apple Watch and Apple gift cards to Amazon Show, Bose Quiet headphones and Yeti coolers, we saw an array of corporate gift requests come through over the holiday season. On top of brand customization, businesses opted to add extra touches such as personalized gift tags, custom set-up boxes and custom gift wrap to create a memorable unboxing experience for the recipients.

  • A custom sleeve is the most popular custom option for corporate gifts as they are precisely cut to fit snugly over the original manufacturer packaging. Sleeves are customized using our color printing process and come in various finishes, including matte, satin, UV glass or spot gloss.
  • Custom gift wrap is individualized with the company logo or artwork. Each piece of gift wrap is precisely cut to the perfect size for the gift, which is hand wrapped and finished with a matching bow.
  • And finally, custom set-up boxes have become the standard for the ultimate, executive-level gifting experience. Creating a luxurious unboxing experience for a single device or for neatly housing multiple products, each set-up box is custom designed according to the device(s) size and company brand.

Check out a few highlights from our 2018 Corporate Gifting Program:

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.

In the News: MoneyInc.

Our CEO, Russ Taylor, is the newest business contributor on MoneyInc., an online business and finance outlet that covers personal finance, technology and travel. The outlet reaches 1.1M visitors on average, per month. As a regular contributor, Russ will be sharing his perspective on mobile technology, and how businesses can maximize the use of mobile devices in their organizations. Check out his first article, Top 5 Corporate Gift Ideas This Holiday Season.

 

In the News: Russ Taylor on “Into the Corner Office” Podcast

Our CEO, Russ Taylor, was interviewed for a recent episode of the “Into the Corner Office”, a podcast hosted by Brandt Handley of Resource Options International, Inc. This is the 23rd episode of the podcast, which focuses on various CEOs and their stories. Russ talks to Brandt about his approach to business, leadership and talent management, and the driving forces behind our success at Fusion of Ideas. The episode is available at the link below or via Apple Podcasts.

https://go4roi.com/podcasts/russ-taylor-into-the-corner-office-episode-23/

SaveSave

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 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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Great Projects Start with Mockups

By Jennifer Fujimori

If you’ve ever hired a company to customize a product for yourself or to give as a gift, you might understand the anxiety that stems from not being able to see your finished product until it’s done. Or worse, the disappointment you feel when you’ve paid and waited patiently, only to come face to face with a result that’s not what you’d hoped for.

A vast and growing number of retail industries are placing an emphasis on custom products, from bespoke wedding dresses and men’s suits to vitamins and skincare. In theory, this is a great thing for consumers. But many companies require a deposit or even payment in full before providing their customers with a visual of the planned design, and that can be a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

Our mockup service at Fusion of Ideas aims to alleviate that risk. When we start a conversation with a client about customization and branding services, we take the time to gather as much information possible about the client’s business needs. Armed with that information, along with any artwork, logos, or images that the client provides, our creative design team gets to work. We then present a mockup of several realistic, high-quality images that showcase some of the device customization options for the client’s unique brand. “Mockups give us a chance to show a prospective client what we can do,” says Bryan Underwood, Creative Manager at Fusion of Ideas. “We pull ideas from the client’s website, logo, branding, and existing artwork and come up with several design concepts that compliment the devices we’re showcasing. In many cases, the client ends up going with one of our designs instead of their original request.”

In our experience, this paints the clearest possible picture of what a finished custom device might look like. The mockup sent to the client is formatted as a polished, elegant image that sets the tone for the Fusion experience. And because Fusion is committed to providing a truly elite service experience, the first mockup is always free of charge. Our Senior Business Development Manager, Jacob Sarabia, can attest to the effectiveness of mockups. “The initial mockup is our first visual impression on a client. It’s a great way to settle any fears or apprehension about our customization services, and to present a sneak preview of the quality of service you can expect to get from Fusion.”

Take a look at some of the examples in this post. Each mockup displays six customized service offerings. Our creative team incorporates the look and feel of your brand into each different device, which gives you multiple options to choose from. When you are investing in a high-value item such as a mobile device, you need assurance that anyone altering that device will treat it with meticulous care and attention to detail. Fusion of Ideas establishes that level of service from the start by putting diligent thought and effort into every individual mockup.

The Chicago Bulls pre-production mock up.
The Chicago Bulls actual completed project before shipping.
Pepsi Co. Mountain Dew pre-production mock up.
Pepsi Co. Mountain Dew’s actual completed project before shipping.

 

KUIU’s Mockup pre-production.
KUIU’s actual completed project before shipping.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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.”

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave