Thursday, October 7, 2010

Corporate Holiday Giveaways - Gifts That Keep Giving

Deciding on a cheap promotional product is easy when you are planning for a trade show or meeting, but what to do for the holidays is a whole different matter. Choosing the right personalized holiday gift can often make a big difference in relationships with both customers and employees in the coming year.

Bonus or no bonus, your employees expect some kind of gift at the end of the year. It can come with a paycheck or be given out at the company Christmas party, but they are waiting. Customers, especially loyal ones, want to know that they are appreciated for contributing to your success. The same goes for patients, teachers, healthcare workers and just about everyone else. Often, the start of the new year correlates directly to how to end the year.

Now don't get me wrong, good customer service, proper care and quality are still the ingredients to a good business relationship, but people are human. A little recognition goes a long way and everyone wants to know they are appreciated. A jar filled with candy or a sturdy coffee mug with a sentiment of thanks from your organization will remind customers and employees that you do recognize how much they mean to you.

Agreeing to a budget for year-end gifts is only half of the battle. What to actually distribute is harder then you may think. You have to consider your audience and realize that everyone is different. The obvious differences start with gender. Do you buy the same gift for men and women? That means no tool kits or pink tote bags. What about people in the plant and in the office? The desk organizer may not work for everyone.

If planning time is a key issue, then you probably will lean towards one gift for everyone. This also makes sense because you can buy in quantity and save. With that said, the best christmas corporate gifts are probably items that are best used and appreciated outside of your facility. Gifts for the commute, travel or the home make the most sense. And it is holiday time, so you don't want to give items that remind everyone of the work day.

That brings up one more issue; the imprint. How do you personalize your christmas gift so it does not come off as a blatant advertising promotion or team motivational gimmick. Outside of calendars and pocket planners - which are ok to list as much information about your organization as you can - it is best to just add a simple sentiment like: "Thanks for contributing to our suceess" and adding your company name or logo.

Here are five great gift ideas that recipients will not only appreciate, but enjoy as well:

1. Candy

While chocolates, cookies and mints are consumed quickly, they still leave a lasting impression and often are gifts that people look forward to receiving on a yearly basis. They actually grow to expect a favorite sweet just from you.

2. Electronic Items

Everyone seems to spend time at home either on their computers or personal entertainment devices like iPods or MP3 players. Such gifts and accessories are highly regarded.

3. Drinkware

Mugs, tumblers and auto cups often never leave recipient's sides. This is one item that will be used both on and off the job.

4. Apparel

Custom sweatshirts, jackets and pullovers with a small logo will give your employees a chance to show off company pride and let them dress in style. Promotional apparel has advance far beyond t-shirts and polos.

5. Bags

Totes, briefcases and knapsack with your embroidered logo will be used every day for the commute and for travel.

Remember this time next spring when you see employees proudly using the gifts you gave them in December and when customers are calling to thank you for showing your appreciation during the holiday season.


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