Promotional products can often feel like a tired, ‘me too’ exercise with limited stand-out choices available. And yet, an inventive or personalised corporate gift can cut through the noise to keep your brand top of mind. As part of the quest to provide interesting products, Christchurch-based promotional merchandising company Bright Sparks is a member of the World Advertising Gifts Exchange (WAGE). The WAGE network of merchandisers and suppliers gives Bright Sparks exclusive access to innovative, ethically-sound supply partners offshore.
As the only New Zealand-based company to hold membership in WAGE, Bright Sparks develop creative solutions for business owners who are looking for a change from standard merchandising catalogues. Bright Sparks director, Ella Webster says “WAGE enables us to break down barriers and gain exclusive knowledge on successful branded merchandise in other countries. We have 20 Business owners from 20 countries putting their heads together to deliver branded merchandise that is both unique and effective.”
Each year, WAGE members meet in Hong Kong for an intensive 3-day forum to share ideas on supply, discuss global trends, brainstorm marketing initiatives and drive new product development. Swedish WAGE member Jonas Fahlen of Rodemreklam says "In a small country up in the north, it is difficult to keep up with everything that happens in the world. We need to have the best network for finding the most reliable factory to turn to and that is what WAGE is doing for us."
Since selection for membership in the group, the WAGE 3-day forum has been a key date in the Bright Sparks calendar year. The team collect product requests from clients and exchange ideas with WAGE members at the forum before returning to New Zealand with fresh ideas. Robert Orrell, managing Director at Sydney-based Brand Promotions, a member for over 20 years, finds WAGE helps his team punch above their weight. ”It’s perfect for us. We are a small company but we get to enjoy the USD300 Million + buying power of the 20+ members and now we share the supplier data base of 2,400 handpicked and accredited factories in China.The ideas sharing aspect also helps us enormously. WAGE members get together at least twice a year and share their best 20 creative ideas. This gives us great creativity and ideation when working with our demanding FMCG clients.”
Membership in WAGE has seen Bright Sparks grow into one of New Zealand’s leading branded merchandise companies. It puts them in touch with reliable, ethical international supply partners for everything from corporate gifts to bespoke items for managed merchandising programmes. Ella Webster believes this separates Bright Sparks from their competition and enables them to consistently meet client needs. “We have all heard the horror stories; orders not turning up, logos being done incorrectly or contact just dropping off. WAGE gives us a group of trusted factories that members have been using for 20 years. The comfort and assurance this provides our clients is primary in the service we deliver.”