IN THE CONGESTED premium gifts market, companies must keep looking for ways to attract customers' attention. One way to do this is by designing unique products that appeal to both the mass and the niche premium gift markets. 'There are superb opportunities for innovative designers,' said Vivian Lo, a Winko International Products director. Over the past two years, Winko has been differentiating its products and services by steadily strengthening its in-house design team. Ms Lo believes that designers should think internationally and keep an eye open for inspiration. Language skills and a flexible work ethic help to boost the team's strength. Winko's in-house designers work on about 100 new products each year. These include photo frames, serving trays, stationery sets and other premium giftware items. 'We rely on our design expertise and productivity to create individual items such as hand-finished silver photo frames,' Ms Lo said. The company also relies on a strong quality control and sales and marketing team to maintain top-quality production and the highest of customer service standards. Hi Sense Electronics is another business that understands the value of producing niche items for the premium gifts industry. The company recently created a football computer mouse for the Federation Internationale de Football Association. Aaron Huang, the company's marketing manager, said success in the business depended on original thought combined with outstanding organisational skills and team work. He said job opportunities in Hong Kong were mainly confined to sales, marketing and design. Chung Fat Jewellery also recognises the power of design to tap into new markets and retain customers. The firm recently added premium gift items to its traditional range of rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and body jewellery. 'Our research showed that very few mainstream jewellery manufacturing companies were producing premium giftware items, so we thought it would be a profitable area in which to expand,' said Nico Lee, Chung Fat Jewellery founder and director. Mr Lee said the firm's silver-plated bookmarks and silver mobile phone chains had proved popular premium gift items. 'The ability to work with clients and understand their aims is essential,' Mr Lee said.