Monthly Archives: March 2013

    • Budgeting for a Recognition Program?

      We are members of a great organization called Recognition Professionals International. I recently read these FAQs on their site regarding budgeting for a recognition program.  I think you’ll find them helpful.

       Q. What is an average budget for a Recognition Program?

      What is the goal of your Recognition Program? What is the goal of your Recognition Program?

      This varies by company.  I would recommend benchmarking what other companies in your industry or other companies of your size are doing. Any award program vendor should be able to provide benchmarking data like this. Greg Boswell, O.C. Tanner, Inc.

      This varies on what each company is establishing as its ultimate goal of the recognition program, the size of the company and its demographics, that is the beauty of recognition it can start small and grow with time and measurements of success! Sandie Hodel, United Airlines, Inc

      Very hard to answer. Ours is approx. $100 per person per year, but this includes funds for an annual recognition conference that only 500 attend each year. Steve Richardson, Royal Bank of Canada

      According to the benchmarking research I've seen, this figure can vary wildly. Some companies invest up to 2% of their payroll, others feel that .05 of 1% is sufficient. Some invest very little. One of the goals of RPI is to help establish some guidelines or standards but that data will have to be gathered over a period of time. A confidential format for sharing this information may make it easier to obtain. Dee Hansford, Dee Hansford Consulting

      Q. What factor is the basis for most Recognition Program budgets?

      It really depends on your program objectives. Once again, consider what you'd like the program to accomplish and then work towards that goal. Greg Boswell, O.C. Tanner, Inc.

      Per capita. Steve Richardson, Royal Bank of Canada

      Smart companies are investing in recognition that drives performance and behaviors that further the mission and goals of the organization. Consequently, they are seeing bottom line results. I can tell you that while at Disney during the 25th Anniversary celebration, we saw a 15% increase in the Cast's satisfaction with day-to-day recognition by their immediate supervisors; an overall improvement of 32.6%. We saw correlating Guest satisfaction scores that were very high and showed a strong intent to return, which directly impacted the bottom line. After working with CalPERS for two years, we have seen their recognition scores improve 19%; productivity is increasing, as are customer satisfaction scores. Dee Hansford, Dee Hansford Consulting

    • Spring Award Trends 2013

      Why should new spring trends be just for fashion? Trophies and Awards have exciting new trends as well, and we’re seeing many similarities between 2013 Fashion Trends and what’s hot in awards. Our awards experts have rounded up the top must-have award trends for spring 2013!

      Trend #1: Pop of Color

      We’ve seen a huge trend in color this year. Colorful Art Glass, color in resin trophies, and even colored clocks are huge this year. I love the combination of leather and color on this Howard Miller clock! Electric Blue meets snakeskin – fashion, function and recognition collide!

      Trend #2: Black and Silver

      One of the hot fashion color trends this spring is Black & White; in awards it’s Black and Silver. Plaques, crystal pieces, and clocks with this classic combination of colors have a modern, edgy look.

      Trend #3: Modern Florals and Plaques

      Floral prints have been around forever, but this spring they’re updated in fresh, new colors and prints. Wall plaques are the floral wallpaper of the trophy industry.  A little dated, and been around forever.  What's exciting this year is that plaques are being revived with new colors and options.  Stand-Up Plaques  are a huge trend, as many offices have little wall space. Many new plaques come with easel backs that can be hung or can stand up. Another plaque trend is new materials being used, such as crystal and acrylic. I love the beautiful new Art Acrylic Plaques because they are unusual, colorful, and look like a piece of art instead of being just another walnut plaque!

      One new plaque innovation is the use of magnetic plates in perpetual plaques, which don’t require screws to attach. The customer can simply pull the plate off the plaque to move it around or to get it engraved. Why didn’t we think of this sooner!

      Trend #4: Peek-a-Boo Pieces

      Arbonne's Logocut Award Logocut is the hottest trend! Create a custom, colorful, 3-D award in the shape of your logo!

      In fashion, it’s hot to have pieces with a little tummy showing here, back showing there. For awards, we have an amazing process, called Logocut, that creates custom, 3-D awards cut from acrylic. What we do is create a unique shape out of a company’s logo, and then layer other graphics in front or behind, for a peek-a boo effect. The finished award looks completely unique and modern, fully customized to the company’s look. Fantastic and eye catching!

      Mix things up with your awards this year by picking a trendy piece! Just like with your wardrobe, adding just one fun new item can really jazz up your awards program!

      Cheers, Jessica

    • 8 Things Customers Love About Trophies2Go

      Our customers are always telling us great things.  They like our products, they like our engraving, they like our delivery, and they especially like our customer service.  We love it when they give us feedback.  Who wouldn’t?  It makes us feel good, that we are really helping people.

      You see, we believe in the Power of Recognition, especially Meaningful Recognition. We wrap our vision and values and everyday work ethics around these beliefs.  We don’t normally toot our own horn, but today, I really want to.

      Here are 8 things our customers tell us they love about us!

      Something for ALL your award needs.

      #8  Product Availability:  We have an amazing number of awards.  We truly have something for every need.  From plaques to acrylics, crystal to art glass, we try to provide you with any level of recognition product you may need. Every year we attend our industry trade show to look for more products. We want to keep up on the trends so you have the latest and greatest.

      #7  Turnaround:   We work with our suppliers to make sure we can get the awards you want, when you want.  On our website, when you see our production time is 3 days, that’s real.  We can get your product, engrave it and have it ready to go out the door in 3 days or less.  Of course some items take longer to get from our suppliers and we note that in the award’s description.  Our customers love our turnaround!

      #6  Reliability: We pride ourselves in our reliability.  We’ve been doing this a long time and our experience has taught us what we can and cannot do.  This experience is why we can have Guaranteed Delivery Dates based on the Service Level you need.  We’re here for you and you can rely on that.

      #5  Flexibility: Yes, we have established Service Levels and Guaranteed Delivery Dates, but we all get busy.  If you have an urgent award need that doesn’t fit our normal schedule, call us.  Our customers tell us that they love our flexibility and our rush capability when it’s needed.

      Mika makes getting your awards easy!

      #4  Quality and Price:  We love that our customers notice this.  They tell us they love the quality of the products we offer AND they love our prices.  Great quality and great prices do not have to be mutually exclusive.  Thanks for noticing. And speaking of great prices, our engraving, including logos, is included in the price of your awards.  We don’t count characters.  That’s not a great use of your time or ours. And if your order is over $50 we offer free email proofs so you can see exactly what your engraving will look like before it’s done.  Our customers love this!

      #3  Reputation:  When a company has #4 through #8 going for them, #3 isn’t far behind.  Because of everything I’ve already mentioned, our customers also tell us that they come back to us because they have a great history working with us and that we are so convenient to work it.  We’ll hang onto all your order information in case you want to do it again next quarter, or next year.

      #2  Customer Service:  Everyone says they have excellent customer service, don’t they?  This is the cornerstone of everything we do at Trophies2Go and our customers tell us all the time how much they love our service.  From the person who engraves your award, to the one who packages it, to the one who answers your phone call or email, we all focus on how we can make this an amazing experience for you.

      #1  Bottom line, our customers tell us all the time that we Make It Easy.  We’re happy to make it easy for them, and would love to have an opportunity to do the same for you.

      Blessings, Anne

    • Buying Awards Online

      Things to Consider

      Being able to buy awards on the Internet has been around for 15+ years. We have been serving our online customers since 2000. In that time, I have learned a thing or two about Internet awards businesses. I've found that there are 3 key things to look for when ordering online from an awards company. They are timing, quality/price, and relationship, and I will discuss each below.

      Timing & Order Turn Around

      It's universal: The most important thing to our customers is WHEN will they receive their order. After all, what is the use of getting a good deal on high quality awards if they arrive after the awards presentation? Make sure to choose a company who can get you your awards in time for your event. At Trophies2Go, we guarantee a delivery date based on the shipping method chosen during checkout. The customer knows exactly when their awards will arrive. Below are more tips for timing your awards order.

      Order Early! The sooner the order is placed, the better, and the less expensive the shipping will be.  For example, we even have a promotion that allows for free shipping if your order is over $100 and you give us an extra week for production. Many of our repeat customers are aware of this promotion and order well in advance – it is a win-win for all involved when ample time is given.

      Choose a product that we can get quickly. We don’t carry every product in our warehouse, and many times have to order specific awards from our suppliers.  However, a couple of our suppliers are local, such as JDS industries and Plastic Dress Up, and we can get awards from them within 24 hours.  This makes the production time much faster than for products from our suppliers at the other end of the county.

      If you need your awards within 2 or 3 days, be prepared for expensive shipping. Most shops are happy to accommodate rush orders, but overnight or 2nd day air shipping can be expensive.  At Trophies2Go, we can adjust our production schedule in order to meet tight deadlines, but our shipper is going to be the beneficiary of the extra shipping cost.

      If you need your awards right away (24 hours) and cost is a factor, try a local trophy company first.  This may seem contrary to an Internet company making money, but we are in the business of pleasing our customers. Sometimes it’s not worth it to pay $15 for an award and $50 for overnight shipping. Instead look to a local business to accommodate your needs quickly. Even if they charge a small rush fee, you are still ahead of the game.

      Quality & Price

      For many people, price is the main reason to buy online.  However, it’s important to consider quality as well.  If you buy a cheap trophy and it breaks right away, it’s not worth the money.

      At Trophies2Go, we believe offering quality products at an affordable price is important,  But, there’s another component to a finished award that is equally, or perhaps even more important – engraving. I think engraving is the most important part of the finished award, but it often gets overlooked by the customer.

      Choose high quality engraving.  Some Internet retailers use plastic labels for the engraving of medals and trophies. They may also use other methods for engraving acrylic and may surface laser etch their crystal awards. All of these styles provide a faster and cheaper method for marking the awards, but detract from the quality.

      At Trophies2Go, we use premium quality brass and aluminum for our trophy plates and engrave them using a process called “diamond drag”. We laser engrave our acrylic awards. We also laser engrave and sandblast our crystal awards for clean lines and flawless etching. This attention to detail and quality engraving materials makes all the difference in the finish of our award.

      Use a company that has a good engraver.  There is an artistic component to the layout of the engraving. Not all companies have ultra-experienced engravers and this can be reflected in the quality of the finished product. If you are concerned about how the messaging looks on your award, ask for a proof before the engraving is started. This can save an unpleasant surprise when you open your shipment.

      Relationship

      Trophies2Go as the 2012 ARA Large Retailer of the Year. Jeff with the ARA trophy.

      Sometimes the Internet feels very impersonal.  It’s hard to have a relationship with a business where you don’t talk with or see the person helping you.  You have to make a leap of faith that if you order a product, it will actually come to you!  Here are some things to consider when choosing to do business with an Internet awards company.

      How long have they been in business?  If the company has been around for awhile, it’s probably safe to order from them.  Check around their site for customer testimonials or product ratings for even more proof that they’re legit.

      Use Customer Service.  Give the business a call and see how you’re treated.  They should have excellent customer service and a friendly voice on the end of the line.  That’s what we strive for at Trophies2Go.

      Are they flexible?  If you’re looking for something special and can’t find it on the website, call or email.  The company should be able to offer suggestions of products to fit your needs or give you another resource if not.

      Ask around to see who friends and family recommend. Family and friends are usually willing to share their experiences with you, good and bad.  Use Facebook or Twitter to do this as well.  It’s a safe bet you’ll have a good experience if someone you trust did too.

      To summarize, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing an awards company to order from.  If you are looking for a new awards company, give us a try.  We will do our best to provide great products at an excellent value in time for your event. That’s why we are the National Leader of Meaningful Recognition!

      Jeff Anderson, President

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    Trophies Awards