The majority of companies whether they are big or small generally give their customers a gift at Christmas time. Because everyone is giving at the same time it means that it becomes very competitive to get your customer’s attention. There are a few key things that you can do to add value to your corporate Christmas gift and ensure that your gift is acknowledged, appreciated and most importantly kept by your customer; there is nothing worse then spending a large amount of money on gifts only to find that they have been thrown away.
Whether an item is cheap or expensive, if it is personalised with our own name we become much more reluctant to throw the item away. Personalisation shows that you have put more thought into your gift and that it is not just a mass mail-out to a whole database. Some great ideas for personalisation are putting your clients name on a pen, shirt or cap. The different in cost may only be a dollar or two but it will result in a big different in the longevity of your product in your customer’s life.
Picking an appropriate product
While you may think you are being proactive by giving your customer a gift, if you give a CEO a twenty cent pen you may actually doing more harm than good. It is really important to pick an item that is appropriate to the person’s position so that you do not offend them. A great idea is to segment your customers into Category A, B and C customers. In Category A you put a small amount of top customers who you spend a reasonable amount of money on for their gifts in order to acknowledge and thank them for their business. Category B should be the rest of your steady customers where you spent less on the individual item but give more people. Finally, Category C should be your potential customers who you want to give a gift to in the hope that they will do business with you. This may just be a pen and notepad or something else that is reasonably inexpensive.
The number one reason people throw away a gift is because they have no use for the item. For example, there is no point giving someone who spends all there time on the road like a truck driver an executive desk pad. It would be more appropriate to give a travel mug or something that they will be more inclined to use on the road.
There is also the temptation to give your customer something that relates to their industry. You figure that your customer is a builder and so you give him a tape measure; the only problem is that your customer is a professional and is not likely to turn up on the worksite with a two dollar tape measure to draw up a job. If you want to give the customer something that relates to their industry you need to make it a novelty item. A great example of this is the Friday Afternoon Hammer; it can be used not only as a hammer but also as a bottle opener. Therefore your client will realise the link between the item and their industry but will also have a use for it.
Attention to Detail
What makes a present special? It is not just the present itself; it is also the way in which it is given. Think about designer retail stores; when they put your purchase in the bag they do not just drop it in; they carefully fold and wrap it in tissue paper with a sticker and gently place it in the bag. This shows that they value the item they have sold to you. It is all a part of the overall experience of shopping at that outlet.
It is the same thing with a present; compare the feelings associated with a beautifully gift-wrapped present and receiving the good in the bag from the store in which it was purchased. Your customer feels the same way and so by spending a little extra to have your present gift-wrapped it may make the gift more special for the receiver.
The way in which the gift will be delivered will also make an impact, are you going to hand-deliver it, send it via courier or through standard mail. Will you use a plain envelope or a special one you have bought for the occasion? Again make it appropriate for the customer; if it is a Category A customer you should definitely try and hand deliver it, unless they are interstate the expense would not be worth it. For Category B I would recommend sending via a courier and for Category C standard mail should be fine.
Overall, choosing your Christmas corporate gifts can be a complicated business. Try and not leave it to the last minute, brainstorm and plan your idea and think about all the little details. Think of ways that you can add value to your gift and ensure that it is not thrown away. This may seem over-whelming at first but it can also be very rewarding. Think about the items on your desk…how long have you used the same mug, mouse-mat or pen for? Those items were probably carefully selected by someone to suit your needs and is the reason why you still use them to this very day.