Here We Go Again

Date: March 27, 2017 Author: Tammy Kim Categories: Blog
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As I take a look at our website to see where we can improve, update, add etc…I came across our CIBC Wood Gundy case study in our portfolio section and I can’t help but chuckle.  I am working on their 2016 awards right now and I am amazed at what a long standing relationship we have developed.  I have had the pressure; I mean pleasure of working on their sales awards for 15+ years now.  As illustrated in the case study, we have come up with many very unique awards and gifts for this organization.  Some of those projects include elegantly framed original numbered watercolours, cast paper and engraved glass pieces highlighting their Vision and Guiding Principles, precious metal custom post cards, Branch Manager awards, and engraved gifts in wood, crystal and stone.

Our relationship with CIBC Wood Gundy has evolved over the past 2 decades and allowed us to exercise our imagination in order to come up with new and exciting ideas year-after-year.  This is not an easy task and always involved a great deal of creativity, ingenuity and a touch of crazy. Over the years we have pushed the envelope so far that it fell off the table.  Our creativity was never the problem as the synergy in our design group was endless. The challenge was usually finding ways to fabricate our fantastically crazy ideas!  We are known within our industry for pushing the envelope.  We are also known for our unforgiving eye for quality as we constantly strive for perfection.  Industry standard is considered a dirty word in this office. 

As I sit here and reflect on our 15+ year relationship with CIBC Wood Gundy and sift through the artwork files from previous years I am actually amazed at some of our ideas.  We really do think outside of the box.  We truly do specialize in custom gifts and awards.  Of course we offer catalogue items as well but it’s our creativity that sets us apart from other companies in this industry.  We work with a vast array of materials and artists and have a unique way of bringing the best people and materials together to create something spectacular.

I can remember years where we struggled to come up with fantastic new ideas for this client but we kept on pushing and we always ended up with an exceptional awards presentation complete with artistic renderings, physical samples and in-depth descriptions on proposed materials.  Year-after-year we raised the bar higher and higher.  Our presentations became an intense experience for our team, one that we both looked forward to and dreaded all at the same time.  But once the ideas were collected, proto-types created, materials gathered and the design presentation was completed the anticipation in the office was electric. We would wait with bated breath to hear back from the client which of our fabulous ideas they had chosen, secretly hoping it was one that was easier to produce!  After the phone call there would be a collective cheering session followed by a celebratory lunch.  

Looking back on those experiences sponsored by CIBC Wood Gundy I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment having been part of that process for so many years.  We all learned more about ourselves and each other in our brainstorming sessions and grew closer as a team.  It was always a great exercise in Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The most valuable principle always being “seek first to understand and then be understood” which in a highly charged creative group is not easy!  We have had to implement the “talking stick” on more than one occasion. 

Now that I am in the thick of things with the 2016 sales awards I once again have the opportunity to sharpen my saw and exercise my strengths in logistics and ensure that all awards are produced to our high standards and are delivered to the correct person in the correct branch all across Canada.  This should be a piece of cake!  Hmmmm, cake, I wonder if we can incorporate cake into their awards next year…food for thought! 

Check out our portfolio to see but a few of the unique pieces we have created for not only CIBC Wood Gundy but our other corporate clients such as KPMG.