Spotting a gap in the market, the founders successfully merged the concept of a cake shop with the appearance of a sweet shop. With the clever addition of some irresistible coffee, the storybook cafe retreat was born.
Fast-forward to today and the company's signature range of colourful, sweet-topped cakes is in high demand. People of all ages just love them, for weddings, social gatherings and everything from eighth, eighteenth or even eightieth birthday parties.
Candy Cakes confections make the sweetest treats for family and friends to share. Complete with eye-popping coloured icing and elaborate edible toppers, these mouth-watering novelty cakes will make a special occasion even sweeter.
The creative team lovingly craft the delicious colourful treats, for all ages to enjoy. Whether you're throwing a party for a budding princess or a pirate in training, a custom-designed birthday cake will add something extra-special to a big day.
The concept is simple: fun, playful, bright products within cafes that reflect Candy Cakes' Pop Art style and sweet shop vision. This unique brand sells fresh coffee, delicious cakes and cool shakes.
The brand can reflect on an exciting journey to get where it is today. Tickets for the now legendary Splash fashion shows are prized items, as these spectaculars have become one of the "must-attend" events in the Middle East. Add to this three limited edition calendars, campaigns that use new technology such as 3D, an international portfolio of brands like Being Human, Lee Cooper and ELLE, plus numerous awards and industry recognition, well... you get the idea.
The company has plans for yearlong celebrations to mark their 20th birthday, and the partying began with the annual staff event, held at Rixos, Palm Jumeirah. This was closely followed by Retail Employees Day (R.E.D), an event that recognises and rewards the day-to-day contributions of the people who make the Splash stores run so smoothly. These events were just the beginning of a very busy calendar of festivities to come.
Splash launched the Emblem Design contest earlier this year, aimed at creating a dedicated logo to mark the 20-year anniversary. The response was overwhelming, and the winner can proudly see the chosen design featured on the brand's collateral for the coming year. Other competitions and contests are planned that engage customers and get them involved with the company's celebrations.
When the first Splash store opened its doors to the public in Sharjah over two decades ago, who could have dreamed the company would grow into the Superbrand it is today? Some may consider the story complete, but for CEO Raza Beig and the team, this is just the beginning.
The spa, located in Dubai's Oasis Centre, held the get-together along with ila, a British firm that makes all-natural skincare products, and Scene, a magazine with celebrity news and photos, and news about entertainment, shopping and style.
Balance Wellness Spa, which covers 22,000 sq. ft., and has 21 therapy rooms, offers 65 therapies that include techniques from all over the world. The spa also provides customised Pilates and yoga sessions.
Selected Scene readers were invited to join us at the facility for a pampering party featuring the spa's treatments and Ila's products to try, with the magazine providing promotion, photography and media coverage.
The ladies began the night with a refreshing cold towel and a soothing cup of herbal tea to immerse themselves in the spa's relaxing atmosphere. Our guests were also offered a foot massage, which used Ila Body Balm and generated plenty of positive feedback from our guests.
The lucky ladies, who enjoyed healthy snacks and beverages from Balance Cafe, also received a goodie bag with a copy of Scene, a sample from Ila, an AED 100 spa voucher and more.
Everyone who came out for the event clearly had a great time, and a number of people booked treatments at the spa.
Working with Ila and Scene and creating this event presented an opportunity to connect with the target audience in a way that was fun for the ladies and productive for the Balance Wellness Spa.
What unconventional techniques do you use to reach your target audience?
The site has some great features and gives customers the opportunity to view our catalogue while relaxing at home and, if they like a product, our store locator will spotlight the nearest outlet for them to visit. We also keep customers up-to-date with our new House Proud blog - a go-to place for affordable tips, trends and inspiration to keep your home beautiful, tidy and safe. It also features our latest offers and promotions.
The past year has been busy, encouraging and quite a learning experience for all of us at Home Centre. We've been working harder every day to cater to our Arabic customers - October 2012 saw the launch of our Home Centre website in Arabic.
If your brand does not engage on social platforms, customers can and will dig up your blog or website, or go on public forums to share what's on their minds. Whatever path customers choose and whatever they have to say, they expect responses, too.
So how do we tackle this new reality and use these powerful forms of communication to our advantage? Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social and even Zendesk make our lives easier by tracking conversations between companies and customers. Zendesk goes one step further: it also converts every tweet, Facebook post and message sent via companies' websites and online-chat functions into tickets, so companies can manage them with ease.
That power makes it simple to respond quickly to comments and spot trends that might develop, and it's hard to overstate how important that is. Businesses want to know what people like and they need to know what people don't.
In short, it may seem like there are countless messages from all sorts of sources, but it's simple to manage social-media communication - which is at its essence, the critical ability to understand and interact with customers. That's an essential step forward - and rest assured your competitors are working aggressively in this realm - and it can also reduce costs for PR, customer service and even advertising.
There are things to learn, fast-flowing streams of communication to manage and no doubt some surprises to come in terms of technology and what customers will say and do, but the need to communicate and the prospects to prosper from it are too important to ignore.
The redesign demonstrates the team's commitment to delivering great looking websites, developed with the customer in mind. We've replaced technical jargon with simple language, as part of our commitment to make the complex world of consumer electronics easier to understand. And the new look features carefully selected high-resolution images of the products currently available in the stores.
As well as being visually appealing and easy to use, the new site also contains some helpful features to enhance the shopping experience for Emax customers: buying guides to help visitors compare and select the most suitable products, a store locator to pinpoint nearby branches, and information on the latest offers and promotions. These are simple steps towards building sustainable long-term customer relationships.
The social media revolution, which continues to influence how people interact, has elevated the importance of good customer relations to an unprecedented high. In recognition of this, popular social media platforms - such as Facebook - have been integrated into the site to enable greater connectivity with fans and followers. Customers can now share specific Emaxme.com content with their own networks, extending the site's reach into the region's online communities.
But the company's online activities don't stop there. Customers in the UAE will soon be able to purchase Emax products online via Landmark Group's upcoming e-commerce website. This game-changing "e-tail" store, the Web Team's flagship project, is coming soon to a screen near you.
It's been an exciting few years for Emax: the company has achieved significant growth, received numerous awards for industry, opened several new stores in the region with plans to further expand operations into other countries. With the company increasingly focused on harnessing the digital aspects of its market presence, the future looks ever brighter.
The concept, which has 12 stores across the Middle East, is merging the season's high-end trends with creations by several painters, graphic designers, architects, photographers and sculptors. Each person was given an item from the Reiss Autumn/Winter 12 collection and two weeks to create a piece of art. Their work will form a show, The Art of Fashion, which debuts on 2nd October at the ProArt Gallery in Dubai, along with the collection, before it travels to Reiss stores throughout the UAE.
Commenting on the creative partnership, Miles Young, chief operating officer of Landmark International, pointed out that the Reiss line reflects an artistic approach to fashion, with collections "consisting of rich colour palates, touchable textures and beautifully tailored pieces signifying the incredibly high standard that both Reiss and ProArt Gallery strive for"
The line-up of artists includes Gwenael Salaun, a painter who uses exuberant colours; Andre C. Meyerhans, an architect who designed the Garhoud Bridge in Dubai; Saif Chilmiran, a street artist with a playful, pop-art style; and Gerard Paire, a photographer and painter who focuses on abstract works with bold shades and tones.
The show will be on display until 14th October at the Gallery, which is located in the Palm Strip Mall on Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Road.
What are the best ways to connect with customers in a social-media age? Let us know.
Q Home Décor, established five years ago, has nine stores throughout the Middle East. The brand prides itself on selling affordable luxury furnishings that are handpicked from around the globe.
Our focus was on recreating the fresh, appealing experience of shopping at Q Home Décor, which we captured in the Collections section. Which are based on the Classic, Eclectic and Modern room settings, and all are prominent in the stores' showrooms.
To reflect the look of those settings, we were particularly determined to have excellent photos; we collaborated with the Q Home Décor photographer Bless Parreno, and Paula Evans, a buyer who styled the Collections room settings. Their work brings the site to life.
To make the site as useful as it is attractive, we added a new interactive feature known as hotspots, which lets visitors click on products to get more information about them.
Visitors who have a clearer idea of what they want, or seek more information about what specific items are available, can visit the All Products section, which is searchable and provides a wealth of details.
We started work on creating the site and selecting its features after an immersion session to gain a greater understanding of Q Home Décor and its target audience. We met Luke Rolfe and Pallavi Bhargavai from the Operations and Marketing teams, who gave our design and development partners and us an in-depth tour of the store and told us more about the brand.
With their help and the assistance from people throughout the Web Team, we created a site that showcases Q Home Décor and what's made it successful.
So, please take a look at www.qhomedecor.com. I hope you too will find it engaging and inspiring enough to make your space your own.
When adopted as a way of life, yoga has a lot to offer those suffering from this silent killer. People who commit to a regular practice of yogic breathing exercises, asanas and meditation, will soon experience improved bodily strength and flexibility, mental and physical relaxation and greatly reduced stress reactions such as muscular tension, rapid heart rate, constricted breathing and anxiety.
There are a few probable mechanisms by which yoga works to keep hypertension at bay:
- Chronic stress causes sustained muscular contraction, which reduces the width of blood vessels inside the muscles. Just like compressing a water pipe increases the force with which water flows through it, a reduction in blood vessel width increases blood pressure within. The sustained stretching and relaxation of muscles through yogic exercises reverses this effect.
- Conditions of extreme excitement or tension activate the body's "fight or flight" response, which in turn increases blood pressure. This response is evolutionarily useful for genuine emergency situations, but unfortunately the urgency of modern-day living tends to over-trigger this response. Yoga helps to manage it by controlling adrenaline levels, thus reducing blood pressure.
- Regular yoga practice may also reduce the stress hormones aldosterone and vasopressin, both of which contract blood vessels and thus increase blood pressure.
Has yoga helped to reduce your high blood pressure and improve your overall health? Tell us your story here...
Relevancy is most likely to be achieved when your social media followers are supporters of your brand., These are the people who have experienced your product, or service, and can do justice to the overall engagement of the brand. However, many brands still fail to understand this aspect of social media.
Here's how companies can improve the relevancy of their social media output:
- Never run ad-hoc contests where there is no offline and online integration
- Never give away prizes and rewards for free
- Always use clear tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Click Analytics or rather use a campaign monitoring tool
- Always use third-party applications to run campaigns
- Always keep track of you audience on Facebook/Twitter and try to relate to your target audience
- Always keep a check on your demographics. Usually, followers from distant countries where your business doesn't operate won't be following you on Facebook/Twitter. However, there are some exceptions.
Another way of achieving relevancy is to integrate your social communication within your print communications, website, emails and offline touch-points. Social media can be integrated into your company's in-store communications, at reception, within restaurants and hotel rooms, and even on your organisation's email signatures.
How you communicate your social media presence is equally important. Whenever, you mention your brand's Facebook or Twitter presence, don't just say "follow us on Twiiter" or "join us on Facebook". These statements never communicate the end objective of the brand to the consumer. In fact, messages like "to know more about fashion tips & trends: participate on Facebook: (Link goes in) or share your queries with us on Twitter @brandname are much more effective.
Always make it as easy as possible for your customers to follow or engage with your brand. Make your social media channels easy to join and promote them in the right places. Properly promoting your social media output will help you achieve your end objective and generate a relative return on investment (ROI).