26 June 2006
Lanyards & Straps(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 03,2006)
|World Door Ltd’s lines include 3D key chains, contemporary mobile phone straps and badge holders in black and white|
What would we do without the chains, straps and lanyards that secure the keys, mobile phones and ID tags we apparently can't live without?
Hong Kong companies that devote themselves to these indispensable items find that not only is there a ready market for these goods, they also make ideal premiums.
Many companies have carved out their own market niche in this particular field, including Top Source Industrial Ltd, which specialises in colourful polyester, nylon or cotton V-cut lanyards and decorative PVC mobile phone wrist straps.
Established in 1989, the company has an inventory of more than 100 lanyard models, priced from US$0.10 to more than $1.00 per piece FOB Hong Kong. "The difference in cost is for special printing, heavy duty material or extra attachments," explains general manager Patrick Chung.
Similar prices apply to Top Source's 100-plus styles of mobile phone wrist straps, some of which feature highly polished metal or are studded with rhinestones.
Designs are applied using silk-screen, heat transfer, embroidery and laser printing. "Some customers want basic solid colours and others want very intricate designs," Chung adds.
Minimum order requirement is 1,000-5,000 pieces, depending on the item, delivered 20-25 days after order confirmation to key markets such as the US, Europe and Asia.
Similarly well-versed in meeting customer expectations is Uni-Lockey Mfg Co Ltd, which has more than 25 years' experience in manufacturing multipurpose metal and plastic key chains, retractable ID badge holders and telephone cord cases.
"A key chain by itself seems boring - that's why we think it's important to offer extra functions," maintains marketing manager Johnny Li, who says a whistle, bottle opener, mirror and key light are among the extras currently offered.
"We're also thinking about a key chain with a memory stick for a camera or a computer," he adds, noting that key chain prices range from US$0.20-1.00 FOB Hong Kong.
One of the ISO 9001-certified company's most popular sellers is a detachable key ring. "The user can easily separate one or two keys from the key ring if he has to give his car keys to a parking attendant," Li says.
Uni-Lockey has a US$1,000 minimum order value and exports to the US, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark 35-45 days after order confirmation.
Making a different market assessment is Henryford Metal & Plastic Mfg Co Ltd, which thought there might be a premium market in combining tape measures and key chains. "There aren't that many factories that do what we do," maintains director Yanson Lee.
The company's mini-size tape measures for key chains are 8mm wide, feature a spring-loaded, retractable one-metre tape made of flexible steel or PVC and sell for US$0.30-0.50 FOB Hong Kong each. "We can put a company's name on either the tape or the plastic case," Lee says.
Henryford offers 20 designs in metal or plastic, including a heart, a rectangle and a circle as well as novelty items. "But we can do any shape or colour the customer wants," he adds.
Twenty-year-old Henryford requires a minimum order of 5,000 pieces and delivers 20 days after order confirmation to markets in North America, Europe and Asia.
Taking a softer approach is World Door Ltd, whose soft rubber cartoon character PVC or PU tags for key chains, badge holders, luggage tags and mobile phone straps have been a hit since they were introduced two years ago.
The company created nine original cartoon characters designed to appeal to both adults and children as part of a plan to develop its own YoYo Town brand, explains marketing executive Maizy Law. "We used to do only OEM production but we wanted to expand our own designs," she says.
YoYo Town products account for 30% of World Door's total production, with ODM 20% and OEM 50%. "Over the next year, we would like to increase our brand percentage to 50%," Law adds.
The nine-year-old company's top sellers are double-sided 3D key chain tags, priced from US$0.30-0.50 FOB Hong Kong per piece, while single-side, 2D and 3D tags are available for US$0.25-0.40 each.
Also in demand are flashing mobile phone straps that cost US$0.50-0.70 per piece. "An electronic chip on the strap senses an incoming call or message and starts flashing," Law explains.
Minimum order is 3,000 pieces per style, shipped 45 days after order confirmation to World Doors' main markets that include Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece and the US. "Sales to Japan and South Korea are also increasing," Law adds.
While premium hanging items like these play only supporting roles in daily life, they offer enormous potential to breathe new life into gift and premium portfolios.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Gainfast Investment Ltd
183 Electric Rd
Henryford Metal & Plastic Mfg Co Ltd
Unit 4, 15/F, Blk 4
Tai Ping Ind Centre
51A Ting Kok Rd
Tai Po, New Territories
Pacter Mfe Ltd
Units 13-14, 5/F
Po Hing Centre
18 Wang Chiu Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Top Source Industrial Ltd
Unit A, 1/F
Hing Yip Fty Bldg
31 Hing Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Uni-Lockey Mfg Co Ltd
Unit E, 18/F
World Tech Centre
95 How Ming St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
World Door Ltd
Unit 5, 6/F
Grand City Plaza
1 Sai Lau Kok Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories