As the yuletide period approaches, it’s important that your company begin to think of the best corporate gifts you can use to appreciate your customers for patronizing your products and services all through the year.
With the growing interest in corporate social responsibility and doing business in a more ethical manner, the door has been opened for a new kind of corporate gifting, and it’s an excellent opportunity for your company to develop your brand too using it.
The way you choose which gifts your clients receive can help change their perception of you – and if you take the time to choose gifts that are long-lasting, durable and better yet, give something back to the community or environment, then you’re creating a kinder and more progressive image of your company in your clients’ minds.
In all honesty, I must be frank with you that nothing beats that.
Here are a few tips on choosing gifts that make the right impression and keep on giving same impression even long after the festive season is over!
Can the recipient make use of the gift for years to come?
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While food and wine still make a big dent in the yearly corporate gift budget of many companies, there’s a growing movement towards giving gifts that serve a purpose and are long-lasting.
This doesn’t mean that those corporate gifts have to be more expensive – reusable shopping bags, coffee travel mugs and reusable water bottles with your company logo proudly displayed are relatively inexpensive gifts, yet they serve a purpose and show your company’s commitment to more environmentally sound practices too.
Every gift that is produced starts life somewhere, and then has to be transported to a distributor, then to you, and finally to your customer. You can partner with someone that’s into e-commerce business to make it seamless for you.
If that gift is going to make a useful addition to the recipient’s life, great! But if it’s all just one big carbon footprint for a gift that gets thrown away after a week or two, you have to think hard about justifying the cost to the environment.
Consider charitable donations in place of gifts
Another potentially tricky area when deciding on corporate gifts can be the client’s policies on what they’re allowed to accept, and what could potentially be considered as a bribe – even if your intentions are entirely pure.
A great way to navigate around this issue is to make a charitable donation in their name on their behalf, and simply send them a card or certificate reflecting the contribution.
You can combine this with a small physical token, like the classic pen or business diary with your company name on it, so the recipient remembers the good you did on their behalf every time they use the item too.
Charitable donations to a good cause can have a far longer lasting effect in the mind of your clients, because it makes them feel good about themselves too – and that feeling gets associated with you!
If it’s possible to tailor the donation to a cause that your client is already aligned with and is close to their hearts, then it’s even better!
Gifts with a conscience
Wherever possible, choose gifts that have been made from recycled materials, support the local economy, or contribute towards a cause – and clearly state so!
Let’s be honest here, we’re not pretending that giving corporate gifts is an entirely selfless act. You want the item to remind the client of your company, improve your brand image with them, and hopefully bring in more business in the future – so if you’ve taken extra care in choosing a thoughtful gift, then let it work for you!
Tech savvy customers may also enjoy gadgets that help them live more sustainably, such as solar phone chargers, water saving showerheads, home energy consumption monitors, solar lights and watches.
There are an increasing number of companies who focus on sustainable and eco-friendly gifts, and giving these kinds of gifts is a great way to show your customers, suppliers or executives that your brand has a conscience.
Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes
There’s very little point in spending any money at all on a gift that the client is simply going to throw away or never use – so it pays off to put more energy into the decision. Keep in mind what your goal is – what do you want the gift to achieve with the person who receives it?
When deciding on corporate gifts, we have a natural tendency to think first of items that we’d like, rather than what the recipient would actually be able to use and enjoy. While it takes a little more time and effort; and possibly a bit more money too, putting the effort into choosing a gift that suits each recipient will actually reap better rewards, and make the process more sustainable too!
This is a guest post from Hayden Myers. He’s the owner of Glamorous Glitter.