Q&A with

As venues up and down the UK gear up for Halloween and the festive season we catch up with Kris Baker, marketing guru at B-Loony – the UK’s leading balloon printer and manufacturer of low-cost promotional products.

Nice to hear from you Kris. Sorry to put you on the spot straight away! Why B-loony – what sets you apart from similar suppliers? With 40 years of trading under your belt - something is clearly working...

At B-Loony our focus is on quality, both within our products and related to our services. We consistently receive 5 star reviews on independent review platforms such as Feefo and we’re really proud of it.

A major part of ensuring our products meet quality standards is the certification processes we go through. The company is ISO 9001:2015 certified, we are also members of Sedex and have regular SMETA audits to ensure our business processes and suppliers conform to regulations around labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics.

Certification for our product materials is also very important, from toy safety testing to supply chain management, we want to ensure materials are ethically sourced and sustainable.

Our latest product, the food flag, is FSSC:22000 certified, which verifies it meets food safety standards, we’re the only company in Europe with this certification for food flags, that’s our point of difference. Trust is another big factor. We earn the trust of our customers and deliver on our promises by going above and beyond standard expectations, it’s this level of trust that ensures customers keep coming back to us.

With such a vast portfolio of products where do you start if you’re looking to purchase balloons and other promotional material for an event or sales promotion?...

The first questions we ask all of our customers are about their company and the promotion or event they are holding. From there we use


our years of experience to determine the most suitable products or services we can provide. For instance, if you’re opening a new store or venue, we’ll suggest a balloon arch as these present a striking visual clue to passers-by that something significant may be happening. We’ll recommend balloon or flag handouts to children as these are engaging and a great means of advertising your brand when people leave the venue, then we’ll look at other items like ceremonial ribbon to cut for the important photo opportunity.

We know what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past from the feedback we receive, we’ve also been there and experienced the pitfalls. If we can recommend a better solution, we will, even if it is less profitable for us, we would rather the customer has a successful event and comes back to us in future, than play the short game.

What is your favourite product you guys produce and why? You can’t beat a good balloon arch!...

Ha, yes, a balloon arch is great, and our customers love them. Most of all they like the stats behind them. One of our customers found that when they tracked visitor statistics, on the days that a balloon arch was positioned outside their premises, they saw a 300% increase in footfall, you can’t knock that!

My personal favourite though is our Doodleflag®. It’s such a unique product and one that everyone thinks is cool. It’s a hand waving flag which we brand on one side with the client’s logo or design, and on the other, we print fun and engaging activities for children to do such as colouring in or dot-to- dot, and here’s the kicker, we supply 4 crayons in the flagstick, so they have an all in one activity toy they can take away with them.

Parents particularly love them as they keep kids entertained whilst waiting for meals etc, but our customers love them as the child takes the product home with them,

which continues advertising the business away from the venue.

Christmas is looming. What products would you suggest if someone is looking to nail a Christmas event/party?...

Bunting. It’s so hot at the moment, and fast becoming one of the most popular alternatives to traditional Christmas decorations for some venues. The main reason is that traditional decorations are just that, decorative, but with our promotional bunting, we can print anything, and we even make custom shape pennants (the dangly part which people often call flags). We’ve printed some really gorgeous examples in the past, from baubles to reindeer, elves to snowflakes.

Whatever the design, our customers love that they can put their own stamp on it and use it as a promotional tool or for additional branding.

It must be hard to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Can you let us in on any new products in development?

We’re currently working on the introduction of new biodegradable products to our range, most relevant being the introduction of branded paper straws and re-usable cups. There are a few more exciting ones, but unfortunately you’ll have to wait and see!

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