Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What To Do & What Not To Do To Make Your Holiday Gift Stand Out

Well, it's that time of year again......time to start thinking about gifts for your customers. And please take time to give it some thought. If you don't, you run the risk of giving a gift that's unappreciated or forgotten.

This is the time to go over your customer list & your budget. When thinking of a gift this year, think of something that will wow your client. Something that will make an impact & will be remembered next year, long after the holidays are over.

There are hundreds of promotional custom products that make great gifts, but where do you start. I'm not going to list ideas for gifts in this article. Let's just say that it all depends on your business & your customers.

But I will give you some tips on what to do & what not to do when giving holiday gifts. These points could determine if your gift will be appreciated & most important, how your customer will regard you in the future.

  • Do NOT give a gift that isn't useful or appropriate for your targeted audience. The same rule applies here that applies when you give out promotional imprinted products to the public. Be aware of the age groups, the special interests, the area they are from, etc.
  • Do NOT give the fifty cent pen you've been handing out all year. Rummaging through your supply closet to find left-over promotional items you gave out over the years spells disaster, not thank you. The products must have value. This doesn't mean you have to spend a lot on the gift, but make sure your customers know it's special & bought for them--not something you distribute among the public for company recognition.
  • Do NOT turn this holiday gift into an advertising campaign. Although the gift should be personalized clearly with your company logo to remind your clients who gave the gift to them, your website & phone numbers shouldn't be included in the imprint. That would make it a blatant advertisement & it's value diminishes. 
  • Do NOT wait until the last minute to order your gift item. You may be hit with rush charges & added shipping charges. UPS & FedEx could add days to their delivery schedules & if you didn't allow for that, you could end up paying for air rather than ground transportation. There's also a possibility that the item you want may no longer be in stock.
  • Do NOT be the last one to give your gift. If you wait until December 22nd or 23rd, it will most likely be pushed aside & forgotten as people concentrate on their own shopping & holiday plans. Beat your competitor to the finish line & get it delivered early........when it will be remembered & appreciated. I actually think you make a bigger impact if you do it long before anyone else--like around Thanksgiving.
  • Do NOT give out something ordinary or common. Make your gift stand out & be different from the others. That tin of stale popcorn or 5lb box of Whitman's chocolates will most likely be regifted. Choose a personalized gift, with your company name & logo, that is both relevant to your industry & is useful to your client. They more they like it, the more they will use it, giving your business repeated exposure throughout the next year.
  • Do NOT give a gift card enclosed in a presigned holiday greeting card. This seems to be the trend lately & nothing could be more impersonal. If you want to give a gift card, then include it with a customized promotional gift......a gift card to a gourmet coffee shop inserted in an insulated travel mug, a gift card to a popular electronic store attached to a mouse pad with a memory foam wrist guard, a generic gift card joined with a shopping tote or book bag.
  • Do NOT give the same thing year after year. It's boring for the client & doesn't reflect well on you, as a business. Impress them with a new & exciting gift each year. Keep them guessing & waiting for your present. Variety, as well as quality, will also make a huge impact. 
It's so important you give your customers a gift to let them know you appreciate their business. If this is where you decide to budget, I'd rethink that--you may run the risk their loyalty will fizzle out.

Have fun with it & be creative. Most of all make sure you stand out!

Remember, above all, give something you would enjoy getting.
Ronni Sherman

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