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Valentine’s packaging from GWD Ltd 

Love is certainly in the air here at GWD!

Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for many to show friends and family that they are loved. For GWD, it is the perfect occasion to help individuals box this concept up in a unique and special way. It is also important for companies who specialise in gifts such as chocolates and flowers to make the most of this celebration.

Gifts don’t have to be big – a little special something can have a huge impact.  Visually, one of the easiest ways to add finesse and class to a gift is all in the packaging. Our team of packaging engineers encapsulate ‘love’ every year without fail and we take great pride in providing both ideas and products which hold such importance for many. As you will see in this blog, we are able to give those all-important corporate and personal gifts a heart-felt touch.

Chocolate Boxes

DID YOU KNOW: over 36 million heart shaped boxes are sold every year in the UK alone? And that is where we come in… we like to think of ourselves as experts in this field…

Heart-shaped boxes

Heart-shaped boxes

Chocolate has been a popular choice for those in love for hundreds of years and gifting chocolate is said to have originated in 1861. When we think of chocolate, we think of Cadbury’s and it was Richard Cadbury himself (the founder) who started the heart-shaped box trend and so a new tradition was born.

One of our clients, Rococo

One of our clients, Rococo

Here at GWD, we are currently working closely with Rococo Chocolates who are luxury chocolatiers based in London. They place heavy importance on Valentine’s Day and of course, want to get their chocolate boxes right. They came to the right place! Here are some of the boxes that we created for them:

Rococo Chocolates

Rococo Chocolates

Flower Boxes

Much like chocolate, there is a huge demand for flowers at Valentine’s. Flowers can be absolutely stunning on their own, but we specialise in boxing them up so they behold even more beauty.

Victoria Blooms are a florist who like to deliver a modern-luxury edge to their flowers. Our team have captured this vision again for 2018. From the colours and shape, to the design and finish; everything about this box had to be perfect.

Victoria Blooms flower box

Victoria Blooms flower box

As well as the Victoria Blooms design, we produce more traditional flower boxes if a client is looking for something which is simple yet stunning. These flower boxes work well all year round for any occasion! Inside could be anniversary flowers or congratulatory flowers perhaps… the possibilities are endless!

Traditional flower boxes

Traditional flower boxes

Our Blog has spoken previously about round, ‘hat’ boxes and how GWD is one of a very few companies in the UK with the ability to create them. Circular boxes are perfect for floral displays and show off the beauty of any arrangement to great effect, whether it is for 12 roses or a much larger bouquet.

Below is an example of a hatbox which was created for an independent florist in Scotland. They wanted a small order which meant that they could sell their beautiful roses in style. This demonstrates that you don’t have to be a multi-outlet company to have great packaging. The boxes were matt black with eye-catching gold foil lettering which gives a truly upmarket, luxurious feel to the arrangement inside.

 

Rock & Rose Fleurs hatbox

Rock & Rose Fleurs hatbox

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day! GWD Ltd. Team


GWD Ltd are designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.
You can reach then on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website:
www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

Christmas Retail Packaging

 

It will surprise no one that Christmas plays a major role in the presentation packaging industry. For us, however, Christmas starts very early in the year! Companies creating advent calendars like the one below created for Prestat  will often send us their designs in May or June.

where can I get an advent calendar made?

Similarly, major brands like Lush will have their Christmas packaging planned and manufactured well in advance, for example the ‘Karma’ box below. Christmas, of course, is a massively important time for the retail sector as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In retail the Christmas period is customarily defined as the six weeks up to December 24th – a period that traditionally sees c.18% of the annual retail spend. It isn’t surprising that companies make such an extra effort with their packaging for the Christmas season.

Semi-circular cardboard boxes UK

Here at GWD we’ve been creating Christmas packaging since the early 1990s, so there’s little we haven’t seen over the last twenty five years or so. Below, for example, is a selection of Christmas pudding boxes we made for Bettys (chocolatiers)The Dorchester Hotel and The RAC Club.

Circular boxes for presentation packaging

At GWD Ltd we remain one of the very few firms in the UK who can manufacture circular or semi-circular boxes, which really do help your product to stand out from the crowd.

Circular chocolate boxes manufacture uk

The hamper box above, again created for Bettys, gives a fantastic first impression to the potential consumer. Surely anyone who has gone to such great lengths over their choice of presentation packaging simply MUST have a great product that they’re offering? The same can be said for this gorgeous Christmas ‘Chest’, created for another chocolatier….

Bespoke cardboard boxes for products

….and also theses lovely chocolate boxes below in their different shapes and sizes. The workmanship that goes into these creations can be extremely complex and often time-consuming. That said our team of in-house designers and cardboard engineers have become extremely well versed in addressing complex packaging problems. If you have any questions regarding the feasibility of packaging designs for your product please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Cardboard engineering for boxes

Christmas is a hugely important time in retail. If you are looking to make your product stand out for next Christmas season give GWD a call!


Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk`

Christmas Retail Packaging

Architectural and Interior Design for residential or commercial properties from Anthony Jane Interiors

I have been travelling for most of 2013/14 and have visited 10 countries Including India and China and have seen literally 100’s of business owners and potential suppliers for my interiors company Anthony Jane. We have been very lucky to experience the wonders of meeting new people from different cultures and have grown as individuals as a result.

We have now returned home soon with so many new ideas and concepts that we cannot wait to explore and develop. My enthusiasm and passion for Interiors and Architecture has exploded and I am so lucky to be able to work in a profession I love.

For many years I have excelled at procurement and project management and now with even more ideas and an ever increasing black book of supplier’s from around the world, I can now give my client’s exactly what they want as well as a taste of the extraordinary and through my negotiation skills, all at the best price possible.

Through my twin companies of RST for Architecture and Anthony Jane for Interiors, I can now design the project from start to absolute completion including supplying everything you need to enjoy your property. Such fun and I am already underway with some exciting and different projects in the UK, i love a challenge and love to add the wow!

Architectural and Interior Design for residential or commercial properties from Anthony Jane Interiors has updated their news.

Make Corporate Responsibility Work for your Business

A partnership between a business and a charity is a strategic and mutually beneficial alliance between two organisations who have found a common purpose and value base. Partnerships bring much needed funding and commercial advice for the charity whilst the business will benefit from increased visibility, brand building, good PR, a chance to ‘make a difference’ for the local community and will contribute towards overall business objectives. Businesses globally are aligning positive social and environmental outcomes with their core purpose and vision. A Corporate Responsibility (CR) programme is now widely recommended for a sustainable business.  As board and family member of the Ford Motor Company William Clay Ford said, ‘Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.’ Corporate responsibility is being given increasing prominence on the business, localism and national Government agenda. ‘High on the list of the UK Government’s priorities is to achieve sustainable and balanced economic growth across the UK, as well as building a stronger, fairer society. We see responsible businesses as being central to this.’1

Business in the Community report on the seven key benefits of Corporate Responsibility from over 60 companies in The Business Case for being a Responsible Business2:

  • ·         Brand value and reputation – charity partnerships support companies to build public trust
  • ·         Operational effectiveness – improvements and innovation in business practice as a direct result of being responsible
  • ·         Risk reduction and management – benefits from corporate responsibility efforts that improve the business’ ability to identify exposure to risk
  • ·         Direct financial impact – improving access to capital, reducing costs and improving shareholder value
  • ·         Organisational growth – new markets, new product development, new customers, new partnerships from responsible business strategy
  • ·         Business opportunity  – new opportunities or innovation generation created for all stakeholders specifically because of business’ efforts in corporate responsibility
  • ·         Employees and future workforce – aligning values with a reputable charity improves recruitment and retention

St Clare Hospice is your local charity that provides specialist palliative care for the community in West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire. Our approach to care gives patients and their families the strategies they need to enjoy the best possible quality of life. The service is free and with costs that reach £3.75 million and with only 34% of our funding coming from the NHS, we need to build strategic partnerships with our local businesses. An annual partnership with St Clare Hospice helps to fund the free service that we offer to over 1,500 patients (and their families and loved ones) every year. There are also tangible rewards and benefits for our partners and so a partnership with us makes good business sense. The annual partnership scheme will take the form of a St Clare Hospice Business Club which will launch in April 2016. The club was formed in 2016 in response to a national movement of businesses away from philanthropy and non-strategic donations. It is designed to bring vital annual funding for St Clare while also helping businesses to succeed over a sustainable period of time through dedicated partnership management. Essentially, this partnership puts business at the forefront of a significant local community need, which forms part of a national movement.

There are a number of other ways to work with us. We run a number of events and challenges throughout the year which have earned their place amongst local community landmarks. Event sponsorship is a fantastic marketing opportunity and gives businesses a ready made platform to profile their services to a willing audience.

As a recent example, Local law firm, Barnes and Partners, are partnering with St Clare Hospice to help deliver the charity’s biggest event of 2016. The ever-popular Midnight Walk is the largest event in the St Clare calendar. Barnes & Partners have committed a groundbreaking £15,000 in partnership on the event and will receive a great return, including; local media coverage, brand alignment, employee engagement and the benefits of an intensive local marketing campaign all of which will help to meet their business objectives. They are making corporate responsibility really work for their businesses.

Nigel Barnes, Founder and Managing Partner said: “As a local firm who is dedicated to serving families in our community, we are delighted to be able to help our local hospice. Like St Clare, we help families at those big moments in their lives – buying a house, getting married and making a will – and are committed to serving our customers. We are proud to support the incredible work of St Clare and to help them to care for local families now and in the future.”

We hope it is just the start of a long term mutually beneficial relationship between our two organisations where the values fit so perfectly.

If you would like to know more about how to make CR work for your business or specific strategic partnerships with St Clare Hospice, please contact Amy Jacobs amy.jacobs@stclarehospice.org.uk

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Make Corporate Responsibility Work for your Business

iOS9 and data usage

Education Item:

Apple’s latest operating system contains a new function called ‘Wifi Assist’ which is switched on by default.

When the signal strength of 3G or 4G mobile data is greater than your wi-fi router signal the app automatically switches to receive mobile data instead.  You think that you are connected to free wi-fi but are actually eating up your mobile data bundle.  If you are on an unlimited data plan this might be acceptable as it will give you uninterrupted service when moving locations – if however you (or your staff) have a fixed data bundles then you might see mobile data use increase unexpectedly.

The app is accessed via Settings>Mobile Data>WiFi Assist.

One possible compromise is as follows – iOS9 includes the ability to control which apps have access to mobile data and which can only use wi-fi.  Users can restrict non-essential data-intensive applications (such as media streaming) to wi-fi, and allow more critical functions to use mobile data as required.  This option is accessed via the same Settings>Mobile Data menu.

iOS9 and data usage

Mobilegeddon – The Aftermath

When HAL asked “what are you doing Dave” in Stanley Kubrick’s film rendition of Arthur C Clarke’s classic “2001, a Space Odyssey”, it epitomised our distrust of autonomous processes that we allow to impact our lives. Pre-programmed devices and services fed from the data we leave in our wake steer our lives more than ever and none more than Google providing answers to your questions on which we all rely to make “informed” decisions.

 

LNM-July-webWe all understand that Google chooses answers according to a set of over 200 rules or The Algorithm, and this is continually updated to improve the search results in a fair manner. This will improve some companies’ search results and penalise others. Google, as this Information Age’s big player, is the one we must influence to improve our outcome, but we must play by the rules. Fortunately the rule writer in the Google inner sanctum manages this with responsibility, humanity and common sense.

 

Deciding on the facts from the hype in the search arena and then seeing how this will affect your presence on the web is the job of the search marketer.

 

If your presence doesn’t depend on Google search results then just consider your users’ needs when putting your website together, if they use smartphones to see your site it makes sense to provide them a site they can use with near equal benefit as someone on a wider screen device like a tablet or desktop.

 

If your commercial performance does however depend on the search engine result position then the latest Google algorithm update means you do need to have a website that is properly optimised and that now includes having a properly responsive site; that is one that automatically adapts to the device screen on which it’s displayed. There is considerably more paranoia in the SEO market than with previous Google updates suggesting that its impact will tear the very fabric of the Internet apart especially as it’s given the Hollywood blockbusteresque name of Mobilegeddon, implying that if your site doesn’t work on a mobile device you’re out of business on line. The reality however, some weeks since the release on 21st April, is somewhat mixed. Anyone having lived through and planned for digital Armageddon 15 years ago with the Millennium Bug will tend to be a touch more reflective when it comes to such cataclysmic pronouncements.

 

The real crux of this is how has this update actually affected websites’ search engine result positions (SERPS) since the Mobilegeddon day. The truth appears to be that the sites without responsive pages are suffering significantly poorer search engine traffic for generic search results, however brand specific searches are affected the least as Google will still naturally refer to the best search result to the brand site, be that a responsive webpage or not.

 

Some facts:

  • This update only affects search results from mobile devices. It does not affect results on searches from Tablets or PC’s.
  • It is a page level change and not site wide.
  • Quality non-responsive pages may still appear high in the mobile search results if there is superior content.
  • If your audience is predominantly desktop you still need to consider that your mobile audience is only going to grow.

 

Ultimately we should always come back to the simple fact that a good website that best meets the intended audience demands is going to be the winner. So write it well, keep up with and even lead in your market with regards layouts and facilities, keep it relevant, interesting and engaging, and take on board the right expert advice from time to time to stay ahead; then your site will remain in the limelight and return commercially.

 

 

Further reading:

 

Article by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP

Simon has been developing websites since 1995 and has a wealth of experience in commercial website development.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk

www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

 

Presentation Packaging for Sporting Events

Sport continues throughout the year but this Summer seems particularly full of major events. From the Tour de France, Wimbledon, British Moto GP, Open Golf, The Ashes and many more, there are so many sports to either participate in or view throughout the summer. If you are holding a themed event of your own, are an active sponsor or are using Corporate Entertainment to promote your product or services then appropriate presentation packaging can add impressive, creative and memorable flair to the proceedings.

At GWD Ltd we offer the highest quality promotionalconfectionary and gift packaging; all three of which can be tailored to suit a sporting theme.

Why should I use Presentation Packaging?

Well, apart from the obvious opportunities of advertising and increasing Brand awareness and visibility it says that you’re a professional organisation. There is a psychological element here. A consumer looking upon a stunningly designed and packaged product will be likely to think as follows: If a company cares so much and has given so much thought to the presentation of it’s product in strongly suggests that it has given a similar amount of thought to the product itself. The time and care invested in the packaging must be representative of the care and belief that the Company have in the product itself. It shows that you are willing to invest in the customer experience, and insinuates that you are similarly willing to invest such time in the consumer himself. It breathes quality.

Jockey Cap packaging deigned for Royal Ascot

Jockey Cap packaging deigned for Royal Ascot

Our services, be they via promotional, confectionery or presentation packaging, exist to help you sell your product and enhance the value of your brand. Corporate or promotional packaging is our speciality.

How do I Find Presentation Packaging for my Product?

Fortunately you’re in exactly the right place! GWD were established in 1986 as manufacturers of bespoke and off-the shelf presentation packaging. We are not wholesalers: you are at source when you come to GWD. Our team or in-house designers and cardboard engineers will work closely with you and your designers to create the packaging, from the appropriate shape, colours, style and theme, resulting in boxes that truly represents the impression that you want to give to your product or brand. If you wish that to be associated with a particular sporting event you may be sponsoring or using for corporate entertainment that is possible too.

Round packaging such as this can be simply styled with a sport motif

Round packaging such as this can be simply styled with a sport motif

Our selection of shapes and sizes allows us to cater from football to cricket, and everything in between. Recently, we supplied a confectionary box in the shape of a jockey cap for the Jockey Club to use at the Royal Ascot, for example. Our circular packaging is perfect for cricket or football, oval boxes for Rugby (it’s the World Cup in England this year) or American football. More intricatley-designed, specialist shapes are also possible. Feel free to call or e-mail with any enquiries.

Bespoke hampers can be designed with your logo/brand and incorporate specific events too, if desired

Bespoke hampers can be designed with your logo/brand
and incorporate specific events too, if desired

Whilst we have some regular designs to choose from, our packaging is created from scratch. This allows you to create a feel that best suits your requirements. Whatever theme – sports related or otherwise – you choose, our presentation packaging can help your product truly stand out.

So, whether you are looking to create something simple or complex, here at GWD we pride ourselves in rising to the challenge and coming up with presentation packaging that best suits your needs. With so many sporting events to enjoy this summer why not add that personal flair and embrace some clever sporty packaging?


 

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Presentation Packaging for Sporting Events

Liberty Wills and Trusts Ltd offer a fully qualified and indemnified Will Writing & Estate Planning Service.

One of Directors is taking part on the Harlow Water Tower abseil to raise funds for St Clare Hospice. Please support us if you can www.justgiving.com/Nina-Villa/

Liberty Wills and Trusts Ltd offer a fully qualified and indemnified Will Writing & Estate Planning Service. from Liberty Wills and Trusts has updated their news.

Running a Cost Management project

Is Cost Management important ?

According to the ONS, UK manufacturers currently make just 9% profit – i.e. they give away more than 90% of their potential profits in overheads.  91 versus 9 – it seems obvious that making even a small difference to the 91 will make a very big difference to the 9.  So yes – Cost Management is very important.

So why isn’t it talked about more ?

At the start of this year Auditel commissioned a survey about Cost Management in conjunction with Management Today magazine.  We discovered that in 82% of cases, Cost Management was felt to be such an important issue that it was discussed at board level.  Unfortunately, that is often as far as it went – it remained perpetually on the “to do” list.

a)      New pension rules mean that by October 2018 employers must find another 3% of their employees’ salary to put in a pension fund.

b)      After a recent tribunal victory by the Unite union, employers must include overtime when calculating holiday pay.

c)       Next year will see the introduction of another “green” tax on our electricity bills.

It is self-evident that companies who do not take action soon will struggle to maintain current profit margins.  The smarter SMEs will respond to this threat and promote Cost Management from the “to do” list onto the “get it done or else” list.

So what can businesses do ?

Since the recession bit in 2008 most companies have shed all the staff and made all the obvious economies in order to survive.  Once you have trimmed off all the fat, cutting any deeper is into healthy flesh so is counterproductive.

“Cost cutting” is generally a short-term panic measure that – whilst delivering immediate savings – is not sustainable and often damages the business.  A recent KPMG survey predicted that 95% of the cost reductions achieved during the recession will return.

Cost Management – as opposed to Cost Cutting – does not damage operations and produces results year after year.

Is this something that companies can do for themselves ?

Most initially try to.  Our MT survey discovered that 60% of companies have some sort of cost reduction programme, three quarters of which use in-house staff.  Companies should be aware of the hidden cost of this approach:

Senior employee will be steeped in the ethos of the company and is unlikely to be as creative as an external consultant who has a wider perspective, having run similar projects across a huge range of different industries.

In addition – senior employees are expensive – both in their salary costs but also the opportunity costs of diverting them from their core tasks onto a peripheral issue.  Unfortunately it is often only after the time commitment has been made that you know if it was worth it !  Companies can run Cost management projects for themselves, but they should weigh up the pros and cons before deciding.

Running a Cost Management project