Take a moment and think back to a time you got a gift you loved so much that it can be recalled vividly in your mind, even today. What about that gift was memorable? The item itself? The thought behind it?
When gift giving in business, here are three important factors for creating memorable experiences:
- A gift should be something that the recipient wants to receive.
- It comes with no strings attached.
- It’s all about how it makes the recipient feel.
Now, keeping those in mind, let’s talk about a few common missteps, and quick ideas to solve them this year:
Gift Giving Common Missteps
One size fits all apparel
Unless your gift is a beanie or scarf, you will have to find out what size the recipient wears – which can be tricky. Some people are not willing to admit what size they wear or are very uncomfortable doing so.
If you want to gift sweet apparel, like a nice winter jacket, set up an ordering site and hand out links to your recipients so they can choose their size in privacy. Your courtesy will show them you care.
Warehouse Gift Baskets
A pre-made, cellophane wrapped basket of stuff doesn’t tend to scream “above and beyond” to anyone getting them. Further still, what if you and another business send your client the same basket? This would be the epitome of a generic and cold experience for your recipient.
Send a locally sourced food-gift with a hand-written note. This will give them a taste of your region, and something fun they will now associate with you and your business. Send a “my favorites” selection to add an additional level of personal touch.
Brands a’ blazin’
Gifting is not a good opportunity to make your logo front and center. Though you may love your logo, people won’t always appreciate you using their gift as a billboard for your brand.
Keep your branding understated. Include it on the packaging, inside the item, on the underside, or even on an attached tag.
Don’t Send Future Trash
The items you send reflect your brand and values. When the recipient receives your gift, it should last for its full expected life cycle. Don’t send something that will break in transit or expire on a delivery truck.
Well-designed products have staying power. (I have a cutting board that is over twenty years old and still going strong with the logo of the company that sent it to me).
Forgoing the presentation
Imagine if all the gifts under your family tree were out for everyone to see plainly what was there. Though the gifts themselves are wonderful and appreciated, people enjoy receiving gifts cloaked in mystery and whimsy.
A nice presentation doesn’t have to mean a ton of packaging. You can use useful items to “package” a gift – reusable boxes, bags, and filler that can be repurposed, composted, or recycled are perennial favorites. We only do this once a year, so do it up well.
Additional tips from our years of experience
- Consider the recipient – what is your purpose for this gift? What impression do you want to make? What product will be meaningful for your gift list? Is the recipient one person or a whole office of people?
- Create a budget – remember to include all aspects of the gift: product, packaging, card insert, kitting and shipping. A time budget is imperative too. Do you want to hand sign all the cards before they get inserted in each box? Order the cards early to have time to pass around for signatures.
- Contact your gift vendor as early as possible – With supply chain challenges continuing to cause headaches for every industry, the sooner you get your order in, the sooner you can sigh with relief that one more thing is crossed off your holiday list.
Gift Ideas for Inspiration
- Blankets. There is one in every price range, from your washable car trunk variety to the high-end worthy of your living room couch options. Almost everyone can use another one. No sizes to collect and they are appropriate for men and women.
- Sharable Food Gifts. Gourmet treats just make the office atmosphere that much more festive. If you want to really gain an approving nod, send yours early, like before Thanksgiving. Most gifts land around the middle of December but if you send yours earlier you have a better chance of the gratitude spotlight.
- Personal use items. A water bottle, coffee tumbler, writing instrument, wireless earbuds, and power banks are all desirable items that can be decorated with beautiful graphics.
Lastly, while this is all about holiday gift-giving, nothing says you can’t give gifts at other times of the year. If your business cycle doesn’t follow the calendar year, celebrate your customers and employees in a more appropriate time. A school may give gifts in May, a seasonal business might find that end of summer is more suitable. At then end of the day, everyone loves to feel appreciated, no matter the time of year.