Lee our Sales Director is the proudest man alive. His partner Emma and him had a bouncing baby boy yesterday morning. They are going to call him Kaiyron we are not sure of the weight of the little nipper. Lee called into the office just after the birth and was very emotional, we are sure to take the micky out of him for years to comes! Here is a picture of the proud father with his new son Kaiyron.
Here is our list of 10 great snazzy products which you dad will love.
1) Leapmotion.com: This is a hands free controller for your TV or Laptop. Just wave your hands in front of the TV and the sensor monitors your hand movements and turns this into controls.
2) Workbench: Every bloke needs one of these, even if they are more interested in flower aranging they will love one of these. They are so usefull and can be tucked away:
3) Webcam Iphone: New Fathers will love this gadget – its a baby monitor which hooks into your iphone – so you can be digging in the garden while the mrs is taking a well earned break and have a web cam feed of the new baby straight to your phone.
4) Indestructible Iphone: This is a case makes your phone tougher than Bruce Lee! Shock proof, waterproof – a nuke couldn’t get through this puppy. Great stuff!
5) Shirt Shuttle: These days so many people cycle into work and good on them for keeping fit and getting cars off the road. This fathers day treat your dad to this clever device which keeps your shirt ironed and fresh while you race into work.
6) Grippy Pad: This is a great little gizo for putting into your car which your phone will stick to. Its only £6.99 and will make a great fathers day present.
7) Fitbit: This is a little product which hooks up to you iphone or android enabled phone and it acts as a personal trainer, dietician, lifestyle coach and motivational guru for you 24/7. If your dad is a bit podgy it could be just what he needs to get him fit and trim.
8 ) Water Balloon Sling Shot: If you Dad likes causing trouble here is a great present which I am sure will be well used during this hot summer which we all hope is on the way. Its just going to cause trouble and be lots of fun and for £7.99 its a bargain!
9) Beard Ski: If your dad likes skiing and is a bit of a buffoon and likes messing about here is a great present for him. Its a big beard which keeps you warm and looks fun. £24.99
10) AirDrone: Last but not least my favorite. This is a remote controlled drone which you can control with your mobile phone and there is even a video camera on the drone and which you can see the live feed on your phone. £249
Make sure you send your dad a Fathers Day eCard this Fathers day as he will be sure to love it!!
So we have been trying to develop a new range of ecards which has a slightly different purpose. Many of our cards are really focused to being a bit funny, jokey or rude and we have not really had that many cards which are relevant for mums. I am sure mums like a good joke like the next person but that have manic lives where their children are pulling them this way and that. What many of them want out of an ecard is to have a bit of escapism, a moment to think, a chance to relax. Even if it is for a few seconds this can be enough to lift them out of their crazy lives of screaming babies, manic toddlers or troublesome teenagers.
Below is the start of our new range of escapism cards which as I mentioned are there to help the recipient kick back, relax and escape into their thoughts. As the new cards come online I will be sure to post them in.
Relax Its Your Birthday
Happy Birthday Roses
Warm Birthday Wishes
So Channel 4 did a piece covering the demise of Clinton Cards last week and in the piece featured a lady called Sharon Little (pictured below). In this piece she said that eCards were just a “bit of an insult” and that people hated receiving eCards and that they are just viruses. We thought as we had not been given a chance to put our side of the industry that we would detail what is wrong with this.
1) Sharron Little run an organisation, the GCA, which charges companies a percentage of their profits generated from printed greeting cards. This means that effectively they are a pressure group whose charge is to promote printed greeting cards and to put down every form of greeting format. Their opinion is thus biased and needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. We actually tried to join the GCA and they told us that eCards were not part of the greeting card industry and to generally naff off.
2) Levels of friendship: According to facebook people have 156 friends which are in their network but this can be classed as friends, family and acquaintances. Close friends and family and friends might amount to 20 people and people might want a printed greeting card for these people. So what about the 136 other people (acquaintances) who also have birthdays? eCards fills this gap perfectly, they are free to send and now that people can post eCards directly to facebook walls all your school mates (you are friends with) will see this greeting card can get involved in wishing friends well on their birthday. We believe eCards have a significant role to play in keeping your friends network engaged.
3) Postage charges: It now costs 60p for a 1st class stamp. This is getting to a point where people are just not going to use it because of the cost. Couple this with the state of the economy and we see printed cards being sent less and less and eCards sent for free becoming evermore attractive.
We are really proud of the service we offer our users and we hope you support our view that eCards do have a position in the market. The bottom line is that actually you can do both if you want and ecards should be the first thing people do because they are free and people love receiving them. Whether you send a printed Cards depends really on how close they are as friend.
Sharon Little (GCA)
Channel 4 News Piece
So it was quite a week – our major competitor Clinton Cards went into administration and you know what we always thought it was just a matter of time. We have put together 5 reasons why we think they failed.
1) Their shops are too big & positioned badly in the high street. Look at Scribbler a great successful boutique card company which is weathering the downturn. They pick small shops in great locations. Clintons thought bigger was better, durrrr! Carrying more stock and having bigger floor space suffers diminishing returns. Most people need a birthday card and will chose one, for the most part just being in the right location with a simple good offering will work. Having a well selected on trend stock will help but haveing another 3000 cards won’t push up sales.
2) The market has shifted and they did not react, they just had their head in the sand. Online offers fun new completely personalised cards for the same price as Clintons Cards (hence Moonpig selling for £110m to Photobox in 2011 and do over 30,000 cards per day!). Supermarkets offer not too dissimilar cards for 50p and they have people in their shops all the time. Card Factory own all of the designs of the cards they sell and also do the production as well. Thus they make a higher profit margin (nice bit of vertical integration). eCards have also contributed to their downturn yes they are not physical product but they still provide an experience and they are doing it to a huge amount of people. In the UK eCards.co.uk is the biggest and has over millions of ecards sent a year. In the US we are looking at staggering numbers, Jibjab.com the market leader send hundreds of thousands a day.
3) Too little too late. Clintons tried to get into the online space and launched a site in Sept 2011 but by this time the market is saturates with a new personalised cards offering per month. eCards.co.uk tried to partner with clintons cards 5 years ago and we were told in no uncertain terms “THERE IS NO MONEY IN ECARDS”. Well we are still here!
4) Debt pile & High rents: Crazy crazy crazy – they just had too many big shops in posh locations and thus their rent bill spiraled out of control. As the market shifted with new entrants,trends changing and the UK market going into decline they were left high and dry. Couple this with their massive debt pile which they took on to fund their expansive strategy.
5) Deluded Management – The old management must not have run a meritocracy, when they get the strategy so wrong for so long you can only conclude they are deluded. This is the same as what happened at RBS with the management shouting everyone down (Fred “The Shred” Goodwin) and if anyone strays from the managements position they are out the door. The problem with being deluded is that you don’t know that you are. They brought in a good guy who is ex starbucks Darcy Willson-Rymer and he was given man and ball with this new job. Again too little too late…!
So all in all – bad times. We are really sorry for all the staff who are going to find themselves out of work.
So Fathers day is nearly upon on us – This festivals history stems from the US and is joined at the hip to the Mothers day celebration. Dads get a day off too!!
The date varies depending on which country you are in. In Australia it is the first Sunday in September but mostly it is the third Sunday in June (many countries), this year it is 17th June 2012. The day Mothers day relates to remembering mothers of Confederate & Union soldiers. in 1908 a department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium. The next year 45 states observed the day and President Woodrow Wilson then made the second Sunday in May a holiday.
Fathers Day was inevitable some might say and it was not welcomed with as much enthusiasm as fathers are not that keen on flowers and soppy presents. On July 5 1908 a church in West Virginia sponsored the nations first event in honour of fathers. A recent tragedy where 362 men had died the previous December at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monogah. The next year a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd one of six children raised by a widower went to town on getting Fathers Day on the map. After a lot of work and relentlessly failing to give up the nations first statewide fathers day was held on July 19, 1910
Slowly slowly support for the Fathers Day holiday spread and it is still not quite as popular as Mothers Day. We think its great though and if your dad is at work and is not that sentimental he will love receiving a happy fathers day eCard. It will be a moment out of his day and he will be chuffed to bits. Here below is a nice selection of eCards:
Our long suffering tech team have been burning the midnight oil developing the new site and as such we took them sailing for the day. We borrowed a boat and sailed round from Plymouth Sound to Dartmouth. No wind and lots of sun it was like being in the Bahamas (without the dancing girls and dolphins!). On arrival we pained the town red, met a load of barmy locals and had a curry. The boat was a little fruity in the morning to say the least!!!
Eddie & Steve steering & drinking tea!!
Steve in the sun
Bob Eddie & Steve having a well earned beer at Dartmouth
So we had a staff day out gocarting at the Barnstaple raceway. A few black flags were dished out to the tech team after they were getting fiesty in the warm up race but in the final our sales manager Lee Bennett took the chequered flag closely followed by stuart, and won a tablet computer! Well done Lee!