The most common mistake to avoid related to Gift Cards

Orginal post on Gift Voucher Kiosk

We talked to thousands of merchants all over the world as we are promoting our gift card (free) solution.
Of course, we are analyzing and listening to those merchants and we discovered that far too many business owners see Gift cards as a simple alternative to paper gift certificates. Most of them invested in a cloed loop Gift Card system and end up very dissapointed and don’t push their Gift Card program.

We also found out that those merchants have nothing in store that would alert customers that they have a gift card program, they don’t promote their gift card system in connection with any other form of communicating like newsetters, direct mailings, newspaper ads, ect.. they don’t make gift cards part of the company culture.

It is no coincidence that all mayor big players incorporate gift cards into every aspect of their business. They make Gift cards part of every marketing campaign and make sure in-store it is visible. It is part of their company culture and this is why gift cards are one of their more successful and cost-effective customers acquisition and retention tools.

5 Ideas to promote your gift cards and acquire more clients

  • Direct Email Include always a link to to offer a gift voucher in your direct email with a client (also in replies)
  • Website Make sure a link to offer a gift voucher is well present (on top93% of consumers said they intend to purchase Gift Cards within the next year) of the website. We see to often a link at the bottom of the website but Gift Cards generate sales and new clients, why would you hide it?
  • Window You store isn’t open 24h a day and your customers don’t always have time to enter your store, so make sure you add publicity on the window so people know you offer gift vouchers online
  • Waiting room, Dressing room, Cash registry, Toilets Every place in your store, spa, restaurant,… where people have to wait, make sure they see that guide them to your Gift Cards
  • Social Media: Why not regularly promote your Gift cards via Twitter Facebook, instagram, Google+….. Make sure in the About on Facebook you add a link to offer Gift Certificates


  • Studies shows that people actually spend 30% more when using a Gift card, this is known as uplift (or up selling)
  • 93% of consumers said they intend to purchase Gift Cards within the next year
  • Birthdays and Winter Holidays are the top occasions for Gift Card giving
  • What is your excuse not to push Gift Cards more?
    Have a look at for more details on how we can help you. We offer a solution where we only take a very small commission when you sold gift vouchers. (Yes very small, we don’t talk about 25% r 50% or more, but much less, we are not Groupon)

    Thomas Mylonas – Crux Group, Dot Kite, Loggia Import

    thomasMylonasI am personally interested in the stories of people starting up a company, why they did take the change, what did make them make the jump etc.

    Today, I talked to Thomas Mylonas (20 Mar 1982, Netherlands, born in Greece), Owner and CEO of 3 companies Crux Group, Dot Kite and Loggia Import.

    Websites:  ,  ,

    Thomas Mylonas is one of the most influential designers and entrepreneurs of his generation. At 27, he has already influenced and inspired others through a wide range of disciplines & media; creating everything from chairs, household objects, advanced footwear concepts, consumer electronics, Hotels and Bar-Restaurants.

    In 2007, Business Week announced that Thomas Mylonas, founder of the successful design brand Dot Kite, has been selected as the winner of the Europe’s Young Entrepreneurs 2007 competition. This award is an annual recognition for the most promising young business minds. Earlier this year, Thomas Mylonas was nominated and published by the leading design magazine “Square-Mag” as the most influential designer of this year.

    Born in Athens, his collective inspiration gathered from his early years spent travelling across Europe, paid dividends when he relocated to Rome to study Industrial Design.

    When the globally renowned footwear company FILA offered a position in their newly developed Advanced Design Department, Mylonas relocated to Montebelluna. It was during this reflective period spent at the foot of the Italian Alps, that he conceived the Dot Kite Brand.

    Although his educational roots rest within design, Mylonas’ ability is fuelled by his passion for entrepreneurship; a willingness to contribute, creating more sensational and emotional living and working environments.

    In less than one year Dot Kite opened 3 offices iin major European capital cities, Amsterdam – Athens – Rome.

    Thomas Mylonas, with his arrival in Amsterdam – The Netherlands, has initiated a new company under the brand Loggia Import. Loggia imports premium quality wines from Italy and Argentina and Extra virgin olive oil from Greece. With Loggia, Mylonas expands his entrepreneurial activities in other fields and sectors with success.

    Dot Kite
    Dot Kite was conceived in 2005, in the shadows of the Italian Alps. It was schooled in the art of fine furniture and SoHo related products, as exquisitely dimensional as its homeland: the brand assumed boldness from its mountainous landscape, its fluidity from the Mediterranean coast.

    The brands of the Dot Kite Group, all with their own personal identity, are linked by the same philosophy, which distinguishes itself for a well-balanced mix of tradition and modernity, high quality, creativity and functionality.

    The high standard of quality met by the products is guaranteed by the strong craftsmanship involved in every and each phase of the production: every product is crafted with techniques of the highest skilled handcraftsmanship. After various production steps and control phases the product is destined to become an exclusive and distinguishable object.

    Loggia Import
    Loggia Import is specialising in Premium quality Prosecco and still wines and High quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    Crux Group
    Crux Group is the core of Mylonas’ activities. Crux Group is the main vehicle from where Mylonas invests in different projects, ventures and companies with the goal to bring quality to people’s daily lives. The aim of Crux Group is to encourage entrepreneurship, assist to the development and growth of ventures across the entire range of productive activity, and to combine the most cutting edge technologies with the refined wisdom of the old times.

    What was the reason you decided to startup your own company?
     I had my first entrepreneurial activity at the age of 14. At that time, I was  organizing parties and events in clubs and besides I was 14 years old I was very  successful. Since that time, it was clear to me that I would  be operating as an  entrepreneur because I simply loved the freedom of doing what I wanted, when I  wanted and how I wanted. Moreover, I love creating and develop new  ideas/ concepts and in combination with my entrepreneurial mindset I can realize  my dreams to reality.

    What were the main obstacles you encountered launching your idea/company?
    The main obstacle was probably the age. It was (and still not) simple to enter a boardroom in a meeting and being the youngest of the group. Of course, that was not a problem because since the beginning I tried to make everybody understand that they should not look to my age but to what I had to say and the energy and passion I had/have to create businesses

    What innovation your company is offering to the customers, what is the added value of your company?
    Dot Kite has a Total Consumer Experience approach in the world of design. Dot Kite offers professional design services in many different areas, from Strategic Branding & Communication to product & Furniture design to consumer electronics, from packaging solutions to graphics till the complete interior and retail experience. By offering such variety of creative services of high standard and high quality, we make sure to provide them one-stop-shop for their business needs. Moreover, Dot Kite is always willing to work as a real partner with its clients in order to show full commitment and of course to make sure the final outcome will be the best possible for all parties involved.

    What are, in your opinion, the success keys of your startup?
    The success keys that brought me to success are the following: Passion for developing new businesses, Commitment to any new project and loads of Energy to make things happen also when things appear to be difficult.

    What was the impact of being awarded from Business Week as “Europe’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2007” ?
    Business Week award was a great experience. It was a form of recognition for all the effort, passion, energy and commitment I placed to my entrepreneurial activities. The impact of “Europe’s Best Young Entrepreneur” was more of a psychological than actual/practical. People now are searching for me instead of the other way around.

    What are the possibilities for your company with this crisis?
    All my three businesses, perform very well during this year. Actually, I do not feel there is any Financial Crisis. I believe that in such times, businesses should be more flexible and being able to  adapt to the new business environment as fast as possible. This is also what I always tried to do with my entrepreneurial activities. To work on a smaller scale and being able to maneuver faster and more efficient

    What would you like to see the government will do to push innovation and young entrepreneurs?
    Governments should try to work closer with the entrepreneurs and try to understand which new policies, rules and legislations might help to boost all business operations. Moreover, I believe that governments should start working from the educational system rather than providing funds to new companies and/or young entrepreneurs. What we lack today is a proper educational system that stimulates the entrepreneurial mindset of every single person. Unfortunately, at schools they teach us on how to be great workers and how to obey to orders. Entrepreneurship is totally the opposite! Entrepreneurs love to be challenged and to think out of the box. Entrepreneurs love to live at the edge and of course this is what makes them successful as well.
    Therefore, I believe that governments should put more of their efforts to create a more stimulating educational environment that will “build” more independent thinkers and people that love to take risks rather than just people that are trained to do one job.

    How do you see/handle expansion to other countries or do you stay local?
    Currently my businesses expand in three different countries in Europe. Dot Kite has offices in Amsterdam, Athens and Rome and for those offices we provide our high quality design services to our clients.
    In addition, Loggia Import is operating in The Netherlands but we are planning to expand our operations to the BeNeLux market very soon.

    Finally, Crux Group is my investment vehicle that I am looking for interesting a new projects all over the world. Staying local in this global market is not an option and therefore every new business activity I undertake I always think if and how it could scale up for the global market.

    Contact Information
    Websites:  ,  ,
    Networks: A Small World, LinkedIn

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    Jacqui Rosshandler – Jacquean Products (eatwhatever)

    Jacqui Rosshandler - eatwhateverI am personally interested in the stories of people starting up a company, why they did take the change, what did make them make the jump etc.

    Today, I talked to Jacqui Rosshandler, (March 20, 1982), an Australian living in the USA.  Jacqui Rosshandler is the CEO and Co-Founder of Jacquean Products. She has bachelor degrees in Law and Performing Arts and decided to become her own boss on the first day of 2007.

    Her product is eatwhatever, it is an incredible new breath freshener. Mints and gum merely mask stinky breath whereas eatwhatever eliminates it.


    What was the reason you decided to startup your own company?
    I was working as in-house counsel for an event and interior design company. I was loving it but working so hard and knew I’d never be able to really reap the rewards of all my hard work whilst working for someone else so I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny and start my own company.

    What were the main obstacles you encountered launching your idea/company?
    It was the first product I had ever sought to have made and I didn’t know the “language” to describe what I wanted. So, I would approach people and sound a little crazy and inexperienced. But, after a while, you start to learn the correct terms for things and you get to know others in the business and everything becomes easier.
    It’s also a little scary to try and start making a new product when all your competitors are huge multi-nationals. Many people told me I was mad, so I had to block that out and believe in myself which is a very difficult thing to do when you start out.

    My company makes a breath freshener that is extremely effective as well as being cute and fun to use. It’s all about freedom – the freedom to eat the things you love without hesitation and then go out and be confident that you smell amazing.

    It’s a 2 step process to achieving kissable breath – first you swallow a vegan gel cap filled with organic oils then you suck on a sugar-free mint. The gel caps’ organic peppermint and parsley oils dissolve in the stomach providing you with fresh breath from within whilst the mint provides instant freshness in the mouth.
    Eatwhatever is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and filled with organic oils.

    Image of the eatcwhatever product

    Image of the eatcwhatever product

    What innovation your company is offering to the customers, what is the added value of your company?

    What are, in your opinion, the success keys of your startup?
    The product really works.
    You don’t have to believe in it, it’s not spiritual, it’s not like a vitamin – you literally take it and within minutes you smell and feel fresh. If you drink champagne, you may do a little peppermint burp.
    It’s truly amazing stuff.

    What are the possibilities for your company with this crisis?, what are your motivators?
    At the end of the day, everyone still needs fresh breath. They still need to go to interviews; they still need romance in their lives so sales in breath fresheners have been pretty steady this year. Also, when larger companies are cutting down on PR and marketing, it provides small businesses like mine the opportunity to market and advertise at a better price.
    What would you like to see the government will do to push innovation and young entrepreneurs?
    I keep reading about all of these SBA loans that the government has created but then when I approach the banks (who are supposed to provide these loans) they hardly ever participate in the programs. It’s very disappointing. I’d like to see the government insist that the banks (who they bailed out!), actually provide these loans to small businesses that need them.

    How do you see/handle expansion to other countries or do you stay local?
    I have barely expanded outside of New York City so I have a lot of area to cover in the United States, particularly in California where I think they will love eatwhatever.
    Having said that, I have been approached by people from India and Southern Africa to Canada and the UK to sell and distribute eatwhatever so hopefully the product will be available all over the world sometime soon.
    Contact Information

    Do you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jacqui Rosshandler, she will be happy to answer!

    Michel Verschuere – Eco Quest


    I am personally interested in the stories of people starting up a company, why they did take the change, what did make them make the jump etc.

    Therefore I will post regularly some stories about young entrepreneurs, about their business and more. 

    Today I talked to Michel Verschuere (Belgium, 23/12/1975), Managing Director of Eco-Quest bvba.  Eco Quest BVBA is an import, export and marketing company with fields of activity in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The main product lines are photovoltaic (PV-) equipment, heat pumps, small-scale wind turbines and LED lighting fixtures for general lighting applications.

    What was the reason you decided to startup your own company? 
    Global warming is a fact of life for present generations and greenhouse gas emissions at its cause are deeply embedded into our everyday life.  Even the simplest of human actions imply increased emissions which, combined with ever increasing global population numbers, imposes an aggregate environmental impact than can no longer be ignored nor left unmanaged. 

    The vision behind the creation of Eco Quest was the creators’ conviction that equal standards of living can nowadays be reached using new technologies, often referred to as ‘green tech’, that impose a lesser carbon footprint onto the environment.  The quest for ever more efficient green technologies is at the core of Eco Quest’s business strategy and it’s marketing towards an ever widening customer base its goal.

    What were the main obstacles you encountered launching your idea/company?
    As with every startup, Eco Quest faced the problem of assembling a sound product base and devising the right marketing strategy after the target customer groups had been identified.  Specifically on the PV side of our activities, selecting the right quality of material and eventually the proper partnership choice was paramount to our later success.  The process of selecting the right product range, whatever the technology, is a long and costly one, especially from the point of view of a startup.

    What innovation your company is offering to the customers, what is the added value of your company?
    Our customers benefit from the guaranteed high quality standards for all our products, throughout our activity range.  The fact that we have direct in-house experience with the applications of our PV equipment and LED lighting technology is a strong plus when offering customer advisory.  We are convinced that the quality standard of our after-sales service is the main reason why competitors are unable to unlock our most trusted customers and we believe that the trusted relation with our dealers is an asset, stronger than any clause in a standard resellers’ agreement.

    What are, in your opinion, the success keys of your startup?
    The driving force behind the success of Eco Quest is the simple clarity of one central idea: Energy efficiency for the masses.  In all we do, we try and combine operational cost efficiency with product quality for our green tech products, so that the ‘Eco’ mark can both trigger reference to ‘Ecological’ as well as ‘Economical’ customer value.

    What would you like to see the government will do to push innovation and young entrepreneurs?
    Young entrepreneurs always face the financing question for their project or idea.  The government’s role consists in defining the level playing field towards young entrepreneurs.  It is to the government to stimulate development of for instance green technology sectors, either through grants, project competitions or tax rebates because there is strong popular support for it.  The government should however not directly intervene in the everyday management of startups but rather leave the decision to invest or support a viable and innovative idea to a panel of independent advisors or experts stemming from a broad range of businesses or academic institutions.

    Contact Information:
    Website: +