Corporate Holiday Gift Checklist 2016

Roughly 60% of companies give gifts to employees or clients during the Holiday Season.  Gift giving during this most wonderful time of year is a way to extend a warm sentiment of gratitude and appreciation.  The ongoing success of any business is built on these very relationships and a gift can go a long way in maintaining and cultivating the best partnerships. 

If you’re responsible for making sure these gifts get sent each year, there are a few important items to consider when doing your own corporate or business gifting. 

Timing  

The first thing to plan out is the timing of when you will get started and when you want the gifts to arrive.  Get started as early as possible.  When it comes to shopping for the best deals on personal gifts, many people believe the closer it gets to Christmas, the better the deal.  When you’re talking corporate gifts, the early bird gets the worm.  When you are ordering multiple gifts, get started early to ensure the best selection, the most flexibility in personalization details, and for the best opportunity to receive a discount.  Most retailers offer discounts for orders placed early. 

Remember that it takes time to pull together all of the details.  You’ll need to choose gifts, allow time to ask questions about discounts and personalization, pull together names and current addresses, and decide on the note you want sent with each gift.  If you’re working with a small business or having something customized for your order, you may need to allow extra time for items to be made or personalized.

Regardless of when you purchase, if you are sending gifts to a business address, you will also want to make sure to schedule gifts to arrive before businesses typically start closing for the Holidays.  Every industry is different, but most companies allow extra time off during the Holidays and you can be sure that most people will have vacated the office by at least Christmas Eve.  Often times, there are very few employees working the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so be sure gifts arrive no later than a couple days before Christmas or postpone them until after the New Year for the most impact.  Be sure to allow plenty of time for shipping carriers to deliver packages during their busiest time of the year.

If you find that you may be running short on time for gifts to arrive mid-December, consider sending something in January for a New Year’s gift instead.  It’s a great way to stand out from other gifts they’ll receive and start the year on a high note.

Budget

Be sure to have a budget in mind for what you will spend on gifts.  The amount you spend really is not the most important aspect of a gift, so only spend what you are comfortable budgeting.  Then focus on the quality and thoughtfulness of what you can afford within your budget.  It is better to send a fantastic $10 gift than a less-than-impressive $100 gift.

If you have clearly definable tiers of different clients or employees, consider choosing a couple of different gifts at different budgets so that your VIP recipients get a larger gift.

If you are sending several gifts, be sure to ask for discounts even if there is not one published.  And lastly, remember that you will need to budget for any shipping expenses and applicable sales taxes.

Contents

Choosing the right gift is a skill in itself.  There are a few things to consider when choosing what to send.  First, be creative.  If you have the ability to choose a different gift for every person based on what you know he or she will personally enjoy – do it! There is nothing that makes a bigger impact than an avid tennis player receiving a beautiful tennis bag or a Bourbon lover receiving a box of bourbon-infused artisan foods.  If this isn’t realistic for your business, you can still make a great impression.

When choosing one gift to send to multiple people, be sure to choose something that is gender neutral and a crowd pleaser.  One certain bet is food.  Food is the love language of the South and we’re pretty sure it’s enjoyed Nationwide.  Gift baskets are a popular choice because they allow each person or office to receive a variety of different items so there is something for everyone.  If you need to limit your budget, consider a unique candy or limited edition item that will be something fun and different to enjoy.  

Many companies send comfort foods during the Holidays, but you might also contemplate sending something a bit on the healthier side such as local honey or specialty coffee since more and more people are becoming more health conscious these days. 

Not all great gift ideas involve food.  Something that can be used around the office or as a keepsake at home is one way to ensure they’ll remember you year-round for months or years to come.  A unique set of coasters, a beautiful coffee table book, or a framed print are all items that they are sure to keep around as a reminder of your company.

Anything that is made locally or has a “give-back” aspect is sure to be a hit this Season.  Items that support a meaningful cause or local community often have more significance and add a sense of kind-heartedness to your gift for both you and the recipient. 

Finally, if you are sending something from you personally and not the company as a whole, consider choosing something you personally love and send it with a note that tells them that you chose a gift that is one of your absolute favorites or supports a cause close to your heart.  It establishes a connection and allows your gift recipient to share in something you care about or enjoy.

Personalization

No matter what you choose to send, you will want to make sure they know it is from you.  The easiest way to do this is with a heartfelt note sent with every gift.  Many companies will send a typed or handwritten note on your behalf. If that isn’t offered, ask if they will allow you to send your own notes to be included. 

Another way to personalize the gift from your company is to partner with a company that allows the item or packaging to be branded with your company logo or colors.  That might be in the form of a printed ribbon, a stamped gift box, or a personalized item that goes inside each gift.

If you have extra time to collaborate on an item made just for you, think outside the box about what you might have sent from your company like a handcrafted leather journal with your logo embossed or a tin of your favorite cookies with a custom designed sticker on each tin with a special message from your company.  

Feedback

Once your gifts arrive, it is important to listen for feedback and take it into consideration for next year so you know what was a hit and what needs to be reconsidered.  A gift that is loved by many or a company that ensured your packages arrived on time and in good condition is worth looking at again next year. 

Forming a partnership with a company to help with your gifts each year is beneficial.  You will save time and money by working with a company that already has your logo, preferences, and budget in mind when helping you plan the perfect gift for your clients each year.

If you are aware of these five pivotal aspects, then you’re already an expert at corporate gift giving and practice makes perfect.  Hopefully you have some creative ideas flowing and you are well on your way to making clients or employees leap with joy over the gifts they receive this year.  Cheers to making spirits bright.  Happy Holidays!