Spring is just around the corner and Christmas is something between a faint memory of good times gone by and the promise of a summer holiday in the distant future. Even so, now is the ideal time to make a plan for corporate gift giving this Christmas. By planning ahead, you’ll ensure your gifts arrive when planned and keep your time free for wrapping up your own work towards the end of December.
This time last year, we gave you tips to avoid the 3 pitfalls of corporate gift giving which highlighted the importance of putting thought into the gift itself. A gift that hasn’t been thought through runs the risk of missing the mark entirely, giving rise to the horror stories of people discovering, too late, they’ve given a bottle of wine to a recovering alcoholic.
Here are our tips for planning your corporate gift giving and making it count. Avoid falling into rank with countless gift baskets full of well-meaning chutney and water crackers. How many chutneys can one person use in a 12-month period?
Who’s on your list?
A comprehensive list of recipients is the first step in nailing your corporate gift giving this summer. When it comes to the size of your list, less is more. If you’re planning a gift for only 10 key clients, a higher value or more personalised gift is more achievable than if you’re sending to everyone in your contacts book.A short list lets you leverage your time and budget to deliver something thoughtful, memorable and useful. In contrast, a larger list risks spreading your budget too thinly and failing to elicit a positive response.
Don’t be afraid to offset your timing
Timing is another factor you can you use to your advantage in order to avoid getting lost in the crowd of unwanted presents, mail outs and cards that everyone receives around mid-December. Plan to send your gifts two to three weeks either side of Christmas and alter your message accordingly. In the first week back at work after a break, who wouldn’t be pleased to receive a little pick me up?
Make it personal
A personalised gift doesn’t have to be a friendship bracelet, custom made and engraved with the recipient’s initials. It doesn’t even have to be the gift itself that’s personal. A personalised touch can be as simple as a hand-written card. Take inspiration from the endearing quality of the hand drawn cards children make for a thank you, apology, special occasion, or just because. Even if the message is echoed across each card, an impersonal, printed greeting card with ‘Seasons Greetings’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ will never be as genuine as a personalised message written with a nice black pen.
If your list of recipients is relatively small, opting for hand delivery is well worth it. Why? Because it gives you an opportunity to touch base with your clients, suppliers or employees, ask them how things are and whether there’s anything else you can do for them.
Advantages of gifting over donations
A donation to your choice of charity runs the risk of making it about your company and your values. For instance, a donation to a cat rescue fund may not be appropriate for someone who considers themselves more of a dog person. A tangible item has less chance of a negative reaction because it’s not tied down to the values and agenda of the charity in question.
Take a back seat
Your corporate gifts don’t even have to be branded. Or if they are, think about how you can do this in a subtle way. If you’re given a mug with ‘brand x’ written all over it, you’ll probably use it less frequently than a mug that you actually like. Representing your company can be more indirect, which is again is where the handwritten cards or personal delivery come in into play.
Ultimately, think about word of mouth. Will your gift go beyond the employee lounge? A gift that becomes a talking point can be a blessing and a curse - becoming a ghost of Christmas gifts past, haunting you forever or becoming a carol singing your praise for years to come.
Finally, what does the gift say about your relationship with that person? Giving a gift is about expressing gratitude, it’s your opportunity to extend a token of your appreciation and a heart-felt thank you to the customers, coworkers, and suppliers that keep you in a job.
Bright Sparks 2017 Christmas Catalogue is available to download below - keep an eye out for exclusive products and our take on this years festive gift giving!
Xmas catalogue 2017 (4415 KB)