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The ‘Ettiquette’ Category

06
Oct

I am super lazy, and these 25 tricks will be put to good use.  My favourite is no. 13, being a crazy word puzzle fan.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alessiasantoro/it-just-gets-ripped-open-in-the-end-anyways#.mp4QQv4Akj

The yearend is coming and corporate gift giving provides excellent opportunities to build relationships and thanking clients for their support throughout the year. However, this is no easy task with the dizzy array of choices. Before you set out to find the perfect corporate gift for your clients, know the essentials of corporate gift buying:

1) Check Corporate Policies

Many companies have policies limiting the value or type of gift. Be sure to check, otherwise, the recipient will have to return the gift.  For example, civil servants are not able to receive gifts above a certain value.

2) Giving Some Thought

If you are giving to an individual, it will be best to give him something that he can use or like. For example, think about “what is his hobby?”, “What is his favourite colour?”, “what does he have (or not have) on his desk in the office?”

Even better, personalize it to ensure that he remembers you everything he sees or uses your gift.

3) Consider Cultural Differences

Each country and culture will have their own rules for corporate gift buying. For instance, in China, a gift should never be wrapped in white since it symbolizes death.

We will explore this in a little more detail in future writeups.

4) Spend on Quality Not Quantity

Nowadays, there are too many cheap gifts that we throw into the bin. If your budget is limited, consider giving only to your top 20% clients. Anyway, aren’t they the ones that contributed 80% of your revenue this year?

5) Deliver Personally

Remember this is an opportune time to build a stronger relationship with your client, so always deliver the gift personally.

Corporate gift giving is an opportunity to connect with your clients, strengthen ties, and share your holiday cheer. So if you have any questions, do drop us a note, we can help you to make this year’s corporate gift giving less stressful, and memorable for your clients.

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Wording: a lacquered desk collection consisting of business card holder, penholder, in-tray, letter-holder is practical and reminds your client of your company each time he uses them).

25
Nov

The calibre of a gift tells the receipient’s importance to the giver’s life.  However, only a gift with a personal touch speaks of how thoughtful the giver is.  Like it or not, impressions do count and here are some tips on how to make a gift look more special.

The Box – if the gift does not come with a pretty box, I suggest you purchase one from shops which sell gift boxes.

Wrapping Paper – spend a little more if need be on this. 

Wrapping Accessories – You can use ribbons, flowers, confetti, tissue, stickers, and even small toys to further enhance the gift wrapping.

Card – make sure you convey the message you wish to tell the receipient. 

Sounds pretty complicated, isn’t it, especially since most of us are not blessed with skillful hands. 

At Qua, all our gifts come in beautiful handcrafted boxes in silk material. This way, our customers can be saved from the headache of gift-wrapping.  In fact, for our corporate customers, we have a further service where they can choose from a variety of fabric swatches that matches to their corporate colours or the gift.  Also, these presentation boxes are so beautiful that many of our customers are using them to store their little treasures. Talk about a gift within a gift!

The corporate gift we did for Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) spells “pretty, pretty, pretty”!  The chopsticks are set in a red silk box (DBS colour), and embellished with a gold ribbon with the corporate logo.  When you open the box, you see a message to the recipient.  This is what I call “First Impression Counts”!

DBS Chopstick Set

Pondering over the perfect gift to give your foreign business partner? I would suggest the most suitable corporate gift for them has to be something that is related to Singapore so as to leave a deep impression.

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What else other than our national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim!

Have you ever wondered how did the Orchid become our national flower? It all started with a lady named, Agnes Joaquim.

“Born in Singapore on 7 April 1854, Agnes was the eldest daughter of Parsick and Urelia Joaquim. Agnes and other family members took a keen interest in horticulture, winning many prizes in the annual flower shows. In April 1899, Agnes showed her hybrid orchid which naturally gained a First Prize. Sadly within three months she was dead having succumbed to illness. Her orchid however, spread like wildfire throughout the tropics and became very popular in Hawaii. In 1981, the orchid was chosen as the national flower of Singapore.” Extracted from Wikipedia

With this, the orchid – Vanda Miss Joaquim, has a very significant value and meaning to Singapore as it represents our country, thus, I believe it would be significant as a gift to your corporate business partners, especially if they are from other countries. They will not only bring back just simply a gift, but also a piece of Singapore back with them.

Here are some of Qua’s desk collection that I would recommend as a gift to your foreign business partners!

Orchid - Red Collection (LBP-023)
Click here to view rest of Orchid collection

Attending a wedding dinner of a Peranakan couple with a Peranakan-theme marriage? Stressing out on what kind of wedding gifts would be most appropriate? Well, this happened to me as I was stressing over what kind of gifts to get for my girlfriend who happens to be a Peranakan.

Well, fret not as Qua is here to your rescue! We offer a variety of beautiful Peranakan products that are suitable and elegant for a wedding gift.

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Above: Tiffin Box

Click here to view the rest of the Peranakan collection

Before attending your friend’s wedding, I suggest you have some understanding about the culture of Peranakan wedding!

The wedding ceremony of the Peranakan is largely based on Chinese tradition and you can say that it is one of the most colorful wedding ceremonies in Malaysia and Singapore. At the weddings, the song “Dondang Sayang” is well known by all and it will normally be played during the ceremony. It is a Malay song with a beautiful rhythm and they are danced by guests at the wedding party. Someone would first begin the dance with a romantic theme which would be carried on by others, each taking the floor in turn, dancing in slow motions as they sang. It requires quick wit and often creates laughter and applause when a particularly clever or witty phrase is sung by the guests.

So be spontaneous and do not be afraid to dance along if Dondang Sayang were to be played during the wedding ceremony!

11
Apr

Corporate Gifts

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Are you sick of people forgetting your company? Are you tired of not making a good first impression? Are you sick and tired of not knowing what to get for a corporate gift?

Look no further, here’s QUA to your rescue. What makes a better first impression than a personalised gift – a classy lacquered personalised gift?

We at Brex International believe in making that first impression count for you. We have a variety of lacquer products that allows you to leave your mark on them. Or if you are thinking of something more unique and have some ideas, share them with us and we will gladly customised them for you.

Just remember that though personalised gifts are great. Personalising everything isn’t. It’s how you would like the first impression to be made and not let’s do it because it is cheap.

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Corporate gift giving is an opportunity to connect with your clients, strengthen ties. However, make a mistake in not understanding the culture of your client, can make or break the business relationship. Here are some common dos and don’ts:

1) The Gift Itself

Never give clocks to a Chinese as they symbolize “death”. Sharp objects such as knives, letter openers, or scissors should also be avoided, as it implies severance of a relationship. Blankets are believed to cause a decline in prosperity.

Although wine is a common and safe gift for most cultures, be sure to avoid alcohol (or products containing alcohol) and pork, which are offensive to Muslims.

Flowers normally make great gifts for women – however, avoid flowers which symbolize death or mourning. For example, lilies, lotus blossoms, and camellias are associated with funerals in the Japanese culture and frangipanis should be avoided for the Chinese culture.

2) Colours

In most cultures, colours such as white, blue or black are associated with funerals. Do not wrap gifts in these colors. Red, yellow and pink are seen as joyful colors, and are perfectly acceptable for gift wrap.

3) Group or Individual?

With clients you are not familiar with, it may be best to present a “gift to the company”, to avoid your gift being perceived as a bribe.

4) The Numbers Game

Avoid giving gifts in sets of four. The word “four” in the Japanese and Chinese Cultures is “shi,” which is also associated with the word for death.

5) Some “Safe” Suggestions

Products that are difficult to obtain or are extremely expensive in the country you are visiting make great gifts. Alternatively, gifts unique to your country, gifts that represent your company will also work.

In summary, international gift giving protocol varies with cultures. One that works in one culture, may be taboo in another.

For example, a lacquered lamp with a bamboo design is unique and symbolises business growth – this will be ideal to present to your Chinese business associates!

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Click here for more designs of lacquered lamps.

For the Chinese culture, Chinese New Year is traditionally the main season for gift exchange between business associates. This is the time when you thank your clients for their support throughout the year. Some tips during this season of gift giving are:

1) Colours
Gifts embedded with red, orange and gold are best as it symbolizes prosperity.

2) Number
“6” and “8” represents good fortune, and “4” represents death in the Chinese culture. Avoid “4”, and have things in “6” or “8”

3) Symbolism
Giving gifts with good symbolism such as Chinese new year greetings, and representation of a new beginning, will bring smiles to your receipients.

We have several gift ideas for you, including hampers, octagonal boxes with all the cny goodies.

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Click here for other Chinese New Year corporate gift ideas

17
Dec

Company logos are just about the first things that people notice. It is even more challenging when your logo is a very unique one. So how do you score that first impression without shoving your logo all over the place?

Ngee_ann namecard box

Simple. Personalise a gift – a lacquered gift from Qua. As shown in the photograph, logos should always be subtle and discreet. Always remember it’s not your company logo that should take centre stage but rather the thought, the message and the impression that you would like to convey.

Next, try getting gifts that are unique to your country or company. As seen in the photograph, the company decides to make an impression by focusing on their company’s flower. By doing this, they ensure the impression is subtle without any vulgar logo displays.

Remember the point is personalised gifts are great, but personalising everything is not. It’s really how you would like your first impression to be made and not “let’s do it because its cheap.”

09
Dec

Gift Wrapping

0 Comments

This morning, I was just arranging the presents under the Christmas tree in my brother’s home. It is quite funny how my niece & nephew seem to be eyeing the ones that seem to provide the highest “satisfaction” level for presentation. It just shows that however we say not to judge the book by its cover, we all can be fooled by the external presentation.

Presentation can make the gift. I have identified 4 levels of satisfaction for presentation:

  • Ugly – You quickly rip the paper away so that no one sees what it looked like wrapped
  • Ho-hum – they made an effort, barely
  • Nice – the package looks good by itself, but soon blends in to the pile
  • Jaw Dropping – so good you don’t even want to open it, you stick it on the top of the pile so that every one can admire all the pretty ribbons

However, not all of us are blessed with skilful hands. At Qua, all our gifts come in beautiful handcrafted boxes in silk material. This way, our customers can be saved from the headache of gift-wrapping.

In fact, for our corporate customers, we have a further service where they can choose from a variety of fabric swatches that matches to their corporate colours or the gift.

Also, these presentation boxes are so beautiful that many of our customers are using them to store their little treasures. Talk about a gift within a gift!

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