3 Oct 2006
Premium Electronics(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 04,2006)
|Perfect premiums from Chows Industrial (China) Ltd include an USB mini-tower fan (left), a gel mouse (centre) and an automatic letter opener (right)|
Added functionality has become a major trend in premium electronics over the years, with traditionally popular corporate giveaways such as the humble radio inevitably giving way to such innovations as the clock radio.
Nowadays, of course, computers and computer-related products rule the roost and the premium electronics sector is not immune to the ever-increasing demand to add more value to firm favourites.
Take, for example, the innovative USB mini-tower fan manufactured by Chows Industrial (China) Ltd, which scooped the top prize in the Hong Kong Gifts and Household Product Design Competition 2005.
Air from the fan passes over a re-usable ice pack that provides a chilled, refreshing, ionised breeze that keeps the user cool and alert, while an AC adaptor allows the mini-tower fan to be used as a standalone item in any environment.
Complementing the fan is a silicone-gel optical mouse that is designed to avoid wrist injury from prolonged use, and also provides a useful and innovative way to place a company's message constantly in front of a customer.
These items are priced at around US$7 and US$4 FOB Hong Kong respectively for minimum orders of 500 mini towers and 3,000 gel mice, explains assistant marketing manager Susanna Chen.
"All our premium products are carefully designed to ensure that environmental impact is minimised," she says, adding that the three-year-old company's products are RoHS-compliant for the European market.
Chows Industrial's five-floor, 350-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland delivers 21 days after order confirmation to major markets such as Western Europe, the US, Japan and the UK.
Equally electronic but also producing PP premiums is Tonzex Industrial (HK) Ltd, which has developed a range of ever-popular calculators and clocks that are tailor-made to carry a company logo.
"Extensive research and development translates customers' ideas into reality," says marketing executive Tim Chan.
Typical of Tonzex's portfolio is the TC-3120 manually-powered calculator that requires a simple shake to generate enough power for up to 30 minutes use, and the TC-1093 translucent LCD clock.
They are available for approximately US$1 per item FOB Hong Kong for the calculator and around US$1.60 for the clock, with a suggested minimum order of 5,000 units for both products. "We are flexible on minimum order quantities, but no order is too large as our factory can handle around 200,000 pieces per month," Chan adds.
Tonzex's ISO 9001-certified factory in Dongguan employs 2,500 workers, who deliver to Germany, the US, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Japan and Korea approximately 40 days after order confirmation.
Buyers looking for something a little different should check out the Sudoku Pocket that is a "hot" item for Sino Time Trading Ltd, according to sales manager Cathy Chan
"Silver and black are the most popular colours," she adds.
The product boasts a smart, thin design, long-life lithium battery and a neck-strap hood and is offered in multi-colour combinations. "Best of all it has a big logo space," Chan notes, adding that it costs US$2.70 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
The nine-year-old company also produces a Duo range of banking and loan and saving calculators that automatically carry out task-specific functions such as cost-of-ownership and loan finance calculations, guiding the user through the calculation step-by-step. "They cost approximately US$2.30 per unit, FOB Hong Kong," Chan says, adding that buyers can test the Duo Invest model on the www.duo-calculator.com website.
Sino Time requires minimum orders of 2,000 units and delivers 35-50 days after order confirmation to such key markets as France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Australia and the US.
More traditionally, C & L Elegance Mfy Ltd produces clocks, watches, timers, stationery and gift and premium items on an OEM basis and also has its own Galason brand.
The 22-year-old company's latest creations include the CL/1898R, a fun clock that features an FM radio, LED light and an LCD alarm and costs just US$2.50 per unit FOB Hong Kong.
Time also features prominently in C & L's Medi-Easy, a portable, pill-dispensing set that consists of four stackable containers and an easy-to-set clock function to remind users when it's time to take medication.
The Medi-Easy has a clear cover to protect the buttons and a container that safeguards the pills when the timer is detached, and it can be dismantled for maximum portability and convenience.
"It neatly separates different types of pills and capsules and has plenty of space for a logo," export manager Barbara Chui observes, adding that worldwide patents are pending for the Medi-Easy, which costs US$2.60 each FOB Hong Kong.
C & L's 40,000-square-foot, 250-300-worker factory on the mainland processes 5,000-unit minimum orders for delivery 30 days after confirmation to the US, Europe, Russia, Central and South America and Asia.
Like their counterparts in other markets worldwide, buyers in these areas know that no one beats Hong Kong when it comes to designing and producing premium electronics that meet the ever-increasing demand for products that perform as well as they promote.
WRITTEN BY DAVID MOORE