Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tip #39: Color-code Your Inbox

The typical corporate email user sends and receives about 105 email messages per day. So, today we’re going to give a great tip to help organize your inbox: categorize by color-coding!

Categorizing your inbox may take a few different forms, depending on the email provider you use. We’ll focus on Microsoft Outlook since that is the most popular email provider for the corporate user but we’ve provided some links at the end of this post to help organize your inbox if you use Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo!.

Assigning a color category to your email messages will allow you to easily identify and organize emails. Additionally, the color categories you create are available for other items in Outlook such as notes, contacts and appointments. To define your categories, click on the ‘Categories’ button next to ‘Forward’ and then click on ‘All Categories’. From here you can name the category associated with the colors you wish to use. 

Once your color-coded categories are defined, you are ready to assign categories to your Outlook items. Just right-click on the email message, task or calendar item and then click on ‘Categorize’ and select a category. You’ll see small colored-box show up on the message or task and the item will completely change colors in the calendar.

One of the great features is that you can sort items by category. So, if you want to see the emails just related to wholesaling, it’s just a few clicks away. Additionally, items in your Outlook may be assigned to more than one category. For example, an email message may be assigned to the categories Supplies, Wholesale and Marketing.

Once you begin color-coding your emails, you’ll wonder how you lived without this great tip! If you have other tips and ideas for organizing emails, please share them in the comments below!

Looking to organize emails in Hotmail, Yahoo! or Gmail? Check out these links!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tip #38: Winter & Holiday Color Trends for Marketing / Merchandising

If you haven’t started already, it’s time to put together a marketing and merchandising plan for the Christmas and holiday season, the busiest season for the majority of candy makers. To help you plan the color theme, we’ve gathered some of the hottest color trends for 2012. Pick your favorite color combos and use them to transform your store and packaging for the holidays. Don’t forget to incorporate these colors into your advertising and images to create a complete look for your store.

Sea of Blues

Bright and Cheery

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tip #37: Pumpkin Seeds for Product Mix

A few weeks ago we shared tips for incorporating fall flavors into your mix. One of the most-loved fall flavors is pumpkin. This week our tip is to think outside of the box for incorporating this flavor. Actually, we want you to think inside the box, or pumpkin in this case, and use pumpkin seeds in your product mix.

We know there are lots of ways to incorporate pumpkin seeds but here are just a few to get your creative juices flowing:
·         Top your chocolate bark with pumpkin seeds. For the sweet and salty flavor we all love, first salt your seeds before putting them on the bark.
·         Create a trail mix using pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips.
·         Mix pumpkin seeds into your brittle for an added crunch. (This idea was shared at a recent Candy Clinic idea-sharing session. RCI members may watch Candy Clinic videos on the member side of the RCI website under ‘Past Education Sessions’.)
·         Candied pumpkin seeds add just enough sweetness to not overwhelm the great flavor of the seeds. You can find a variety of candied pumpkin recipes by doing a quick internet search.

If you have other great ideas for incorporating pumpkin seeds into your product mix, we’d love to hear it! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tip #36: Celebrate International Chocolate Day

One of our very favorite candy holidays is just around the corner. Do you know what it is? International Chocolate Day, of course! This sweet holiday is next Thursday, September 13 and this week’s tip is to help your customers celebrate!

Making a big deal about this holiday in a variety of ways will create excitement and hopefully get a few new customers in your store.  Here are just a few ideas we’ve gathered to get you started. Have fun with it! And an early Happy International Chocolate Day to you!

  • Use your social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to provide fun facts about chocolate throughout the day. For example, who marketed the first box of chocolate candies (Cadbury) or what year was the first known European encounter with cacao (1500 – Christopher Columbus). To help get customers in your store, consider a free piece of chocolate for anyone who comes into the store with the correct answer to your questions.
  • Pitch a story to your local media with a press release about International Chocolate Day and how your store is celebrating it. Use some of the trivia facts from the tip above to illustrate that you and your staff are knowledgeable about this subject. Don’t forget to include radio on your list of media!
  • If you don’t already give free samples in your store, consider providing free samples of chocolate – and don’t forget to let everyone know you’re doing it through your social media and email outlets.
  • Email campaigns are great for special holidays. Consider sending out an email on Wednesday to remind customers to come in on Thursday for the great special you’re going to have to celebrate International Chocolate Day.
  • A few days leading up to Thursday, post yard signs around your store or on the street leading up to it that say “Celebrate International Chocolate Day With ABC Store This Thursday!”. Of course, if you don’t own the building or area where you are located, this tip is dependent upon possible restrictions in your lease so check your agreement first.
If you have other ideas for how you celebrate this holiday, please share them in the comments below!

P.S. RCI will be exhibiting at the Philadelphia NationalCandy Gift & Gourmet Show this weekend. Stop by booth #332 to say hello and learn more about RCI membership and events.