Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tips For Turning Promotional Custom Products Into Successful Holiday Gifts

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about gifts for your loyal customers. But how do you make your gift stand out from the crowd?

My September 24th article (Customized Promotional Items As Holiday Gifts) on gift giving gave you several ideas for some business gifts along with the criteria needed for a gift to be effective.

Now let me go beyond that & give you some tips on giving a gift to your client:

1. Keep your logo & company name discreet. While all the gifts you give should have your name imprinted somewhere on them, it shouldn't be the main focus as it is on customized promotional items. A business gift is quite different from the marketing products you give out all year or the promotions you hand out at trade shows. It's purpose is to show appreciation & build positive client relations. Anything that looks like blatant advertising will miss the mark.

2. Go beyond the usual & step outside the box. Try a new slant on traditional favorites such as food & gift cards & give your customers a gift that will go beyond the festive holiday period. How about giving the common box of candy or cookies in a cooler that can be used for lunches or drinks all year around. Remember this is a gift, not just a promotional imprinted product, so have your logo imprinted in the bottom corner rather than boldly in the middle. Another idea is an insulated tumbler or ceramic coffee filled with packets of tea or coffee & small packages of snacks or a gift card to one of the local coffee houses.

3. Avoid sending presents with a religious theme. No matter how well you know your client, it is still a good idea to stay away from anything religious. Make sure your gift is generic in nature, but still useful to the recipient. Along these lines, it's better to avoid alcoholic beverages unless you know for sure it will be appreciated by your customer. Many years ago, I learned this the hard way by giving a bottle of wine to a recovering alcoholic.

4. Send your gift on a different day. To set your gift apart, why not send it around Thanksgiving & be the first among your competition to welcome in the holidays. Or, for maximum impact, how about sending it right after the festive season & think of New Years or the first day back in the office.  There's sometimes a bleak feeling when returning to work after the holidays, especially when faced with the task of taking down all the decorations......what could be more welcome than an unexpected gift.

5. Stay away from falling into a rut by giving repeat presents. This may sound obvious, but most companies give the same gift year after year.  It's boring for your client & doesn't reflect well on you, as a business. Wow them with a new & exciting gift each year. Keep them guessing & waiting for your present year after year.

6. Keep within your budget. Pick a limit & stick to it. Gifts that appear too showy don't always have the desired effect & can even reflect negatively on your company. Talk to a professional distributor of promotional wholesale products & let them help you. They'll have unique & fun suggestions in all price ranges--afterall, that is their specialty.

7. Don't try to cut corners. Rummaging through your supply closet to find old customized promotional items you gave out during the year or past years spells disaster, not thank you.

8. Don't fall at the last hurdle. If you're sending a gift by mail or UPS, make sure you give yourself enough time to avoid unexpected delays. Also don't skimp on the packing......a damaged gift will go from the carton straight to the waste paper basket. For that extra impact, enclose a personal, hand-written note & deliver it in person, if at all possible.

Whatever gift you decide on, send something that is both appropriate for your targeted audience & representative of your company. This is only the end of October so there is still time to decide what is the best option for you without rushing into hasty, unwise choices.

Above all, make sure they're thoughtful, unique & fun to get. I hope this helps you find the ideal item.
Ronni Sherman 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ronni,

    All of your ideas and tips and this article should help anyone looking to get a few promotional products for their business!