Relationships drive business. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “people do business with people.” This cliche is the exact reason why corporate holiday gifts are an essential business strategy for building trust, maintaining relationships, and remaining connected in a distant, digital world.
With the holidays fast approaching, there’s a lot to plan for Q4. Amongst end-of-year quotas, final budgets, and planning for a new year, you might not have thought much about a corporate holiday gift program. Yet, corporate gift-giving is a revenue driver that you shouldn’t overlook. When a buyer forms an emotional connection with a brand, they see, on average, a 306% higher lifetime value. Unique and thoughtful corporate gifts spark an emotional reaction that leads to relationships rooted in trust.
Never underestimate the power of corporate gift giving. Even during the busy holiday season, it’s an important part of growing a successful business. Branded corporate gifts don’t have to be complicated either. To make things easy, we’ve highlighted the top corporate holiday gift ideas in our 2021 lookbook and outlined below everything you need to know to make them a success.
Explore our 2021 Holiday Corporate Gifts Lookbook for more holiday swag ideas to delight employees, clients, or prospects.
Let’s start by understanding the purpose of a corporate gift.
When a company sends a gift to a customer, employee, or prospect, there’s a goal involved. Whether it’s to show gratitude, appreciation, or just show the human side of your business, a corporate holiday gift has a meaning beyond the product itself. That’s why it’s so important that the products inside those gift packages have meaning, purpose, functionality, and value.
The products you choose as corporate gifts will depend on the type of gift it is. Are you looking to give client gifts or employee gifts? Or maybe you’re considering sending a corporate holiday gift box to clients and/or employees. Consider the differences between each type of gift before brainstorming your own branded product ideas.
Client gifts aren’t just a gesture; they’re also a smart business move. Sending holiday gifts for your clients help keep your company top of mind while showing valuable customers that you care enough about their business to spend money on them. When selecting holiday gifts for clients, it’s important they don’t feel mass-produced. Always include personal touches, whether that be a handwritten note or a personalized logo on the gift itself. Take things a step further and give gifts that speak to their interests and tastes.
Here are some of our favorite corporate holiday gift categories for clients that can easily be customized based on your personas:
Unique food gifts are an incredibly effective way to leave a lasting impression on your clients. Taste, smell, and texture have been proven to trigger deeper emotions and memories that can lead to a powerful impression on your customer. Consider combining the staying power of branded items with the tasty benefits offered by food. Gifts like the Taco Night Gift Set or Igloo Weekend Escape Gourmet cooler will have high staying power and delight the senses.
Custom blankets are a versatile and thoughtful gift that clients can enjoy at home and on the go. They also can be easily branded with your company’s logo or chosen design. Consider blankets with bold designs, and made from premium materials such as the Slowtide Fleece Blanket or this Field & Co. Sherpa Blanket which comes with a handwritten card.
As people jump back and forth between the home and work office, hybrid office gifts are versatile options that clients will find useful. Consider items that make the transition between the corporate office and home office easier. High-quality options like this wireless charging mouse pad or writing pad are corporate holiday gift ideas for clients that are both unique and functional.
Employee appreciation is an equally important part of corporate gifting, especially during the holidays. It’s been proven that team members who feel genuinely appreciated can be up to 50 percent more productive (and happier to be around). As employee retention becomes a hot topic in today’s corporate climate, it’s never been more important to get holiday gifts for employees right.
Think about gifts that are unique, versatile, personal, and premium. The best gifts will have meaning and have a use outside of the workplace. But don’t be afraid to give items that can also be used in the office. Sometimes, the best holiday gifts for employees can bring team members together and serve as a constant reminder of positive company culture.
Here are some of our favorite corporate holiday gift ideas for employees:
Company jackets are a fun way to bring team members together while activating your brand. With unique customization options, branded jackets can help form a connection with your employees that builds deeper appreciation. Consider customizing jackets with an employee’s favorite quote, their name, or nickname for a personalized gift.
Branded tech items make a thoughtful corporate gift for both remote and in-person employees. With virtual meetings becoming a popular way to collaborate in the workplace, employees will appreciate holiday gifts that make their day-to-day work schedules easier. Think about useful items like logoed earbuds or headphones, or branded power banks. These items keep employees connected, and powered on.
Branded bags or backpacks are not only a useful and versatile holiday gift idea for employees, but they can easily be paired with some of the other gift ideas listed above to create a premium holiday gift package. Think of versatile bags that are durable enough for remote activities like camping and hiking, but with space to pack a laptop or other work/travel necessities.
Corporate holiday gift boxes combine high-quality products, personal messaging, and premium packaging to deliver an exceptional gift experience to recipients. Gift boxes can also be sent straight to the home, providing an alternative way to reach remote team members or clients that are distant.
There are a few more things you have to keep in mind if investing in a corporate holiday gift box. Obviously, the products that you choose need to fit inside the packing box. If you’re shipping the box, you’ll have shipping and size restraints to think about. You’ll also need to budget a bit more time, especially if you’re considering sending a custom box. From mapping out the design to the printing process, you’d need to budget about six to seven weeks.
Here are some of the best product ideas to consider for your corporate holiday gift boxes:
Branded drinkware is a corporate holiday gift item that will please everyone. Given it’s size, it’s easy to fit into a premium gift box. Plus, with so many customization options and different features for hot and cold beverages, it’s easy to come up with the perfect gift for your persona. Items trending right now are insulated tumblers that keep drinks hot and cold, and eco-friendly options, such as the H2go Rincon. Also, consider retail-inspired drinkware such as the Corkcicle Canteen.
High-quality food containers such as insulated coolers or branded bento boxes are a popular trend we’ve seen in the workplace. While people focus more on eating healthy, food containers make it easy for workers to prioritize nutrition. Plus, these items will easily fit inside a gift box and are easy to pair with other gift ideas.
An easy way to fill a corporate holiday gift box is to invest in a gift bundle. There are quite a few premium products that are already uniquely paired with other items, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. Consider pairing items with a high staying power, with more festive gifts like savory snack packs or gourmet chocolates. You can even get more creative and pair unique cocktail mixes with premium drinkware. Bundling gifts is an excellent way to increase the perceived value of your corporate holiday gift.
Corporate holiday gifts should evoke emotion, bring joy and inspire loyalty. By being intentional about the products, messaging, and packaging you choose, you’ll accomplish the goal of corporate gift giving. The following tips will help you choose the best corporate holiday gifts.
Continued Reading: 3 Ways to Prioritize Corporate Holiday Gifts Amid Supply Chain Issues
Now that we know the basics of giving a corporate holiday gift, it’s time to start planning your own gift-giving strategy. The following five steps will help you be proactive this holiday season and plan out your corporate holiday gifts with an ample amount of time.
Budgeting is a critical first step in sending or giving a corporate holiday gift. Typically companies wait until Q4 to assess their gift-giving budget. This year, Q4 will be too late. It’s time to hash out those budgets now, so you’ll be prepared to place orders earlier than usual. Remember, the goal is to have products selected and orders in by October to ensure you have access to the highest quality choices.
Once you’ve hashed out your total budget, you’ll want to allocate how much you want to spend on each client, and/or employee gift. For instance, maybe you break up your budget into three sections:
VIP clients - High-level accounts that do the most business with you deserve top-level gifts. Consider separating these recipients and choosing a higher-end, premium gift package.
Regular or frequent customers - Repeat customers that are valuable, but might not spend quite as much as your VIPs, might not get quite as much as your budget. But it’s still important to allocate enough to send a high-quality gift that shows appreciation.
Employees - Finally, save money in the budget for your employee gifts. Internal team members are just as important as the very best clients, so make sure you plan accordingly to send a thoughtful gift.
Follow these two steps to help put together your entire corporate holiday gift budget:
Once you’ve determined your price range, you’ll need to start brainstorming gift ideas. In order to do that effectively, you need to have a solid understanding of who your audience is. This will help your gift be more personal, genuine, and overall, just more meaningful. The following questions will help as you define who your audience is:
The more you understand about your audience, the better gifts you’ll give. Don’t be afraid to do some of your own research too, especially for those very important clients. Social media can reveal a lot about your target recipient and help you choose a better, targeted gift that will truly delight.
Now that you have a budget, and clearly understand who your recipients are, it’s time to select your gifts. Typically, when it comes to corporate holiday gifts, you’ll want to select from two different tiers: high-quality premium gifts to medium-priced gifts with a high perceived value. Stay away from lower-tiered trinkets that you might order in mass quantities ahead of a trade show. While there is a time and place for this type of promotional swag, it doesn’t belong in a corporate holiday gift package. So what types of items do fall in these categories? Let’s take a look.
These are the gifts you budgeted for those VIP clients. Typically, you’ll purchase these in low quantities and reserve them for high-level clients. The following categories might make good premium gifts.
High-end gifts won’t be for every client or employee. Middle-tier items are just one step down from premium gifts. They are moderately priced but still have a high perceived value. The following categories make good middle-tier gifts:
Logoed Apparel - When gifting apparel, think about items that recipients will want to wear outside of work, and inside the office. Versatile branded apparel styles might include logoed fleeces, sweatshirts, lightweight jackets or even branded scarves, beanies, socks or shoes.
Branded Drinkware - It’s hard to go wrong with branded drinkware. From logo etched cocktail glasses to more durable, vacuum insulated, stainless steel tumblers, there’s really something for everyone. Plus, it’s a gift that recipients will find use for all year long.
Hybrid Office Accessories - There are so many unique desk accessories out there that will delight recipients just because of their functionality. With more and more employees jumping between home office and work office, branded desk accessories will get a lot of use and appreciation.
Tech Items - Branded Bluetooth speakers, earbuds, wireless chargers, or powerbanks are all extremely useful items that have a high perceived value, and will get a lot of use amongst hybrid or remote workers.
Food Gifts - When the holidays come around, everyone enjoys a decadent box of chocolates or sweets, or logoed jams, cheese, and snacks. With so many different food combinations, you’re sure to find a taste treat that will please every different persona. Plus, you can always combine food gifts with a logoed cooler, piece of drinkware, backpack, or some sort of branded accessory to increase its staying power.
Once you’ve decided on the items that will make the best corporate gifts for your personas, your next step is to determine how you’d like to present these gifts. We know that 50 percent of people agree that premium packaging makes them more excited about opening a package. But what exactly does premium packaging mean? Here are a few things to consider when it comes to packaging your corporate holiday gifts:
Brand Aligned Packaging - Your brand is what you and your clients or employees have in common. So use it to establish a middle ground. The packaging you choose should align with your company’s brand in some way. This could mean including bold colors and patterns or be as simple as including a logo. The key here is to make sure your recipient knows who the gift is from, and recognizes your branding.
Messaging - What are you trying to communicate with this corporate gift? Don’t be afraid to use your packaging to get your message across. Maybe this includes branding the gift box with a quote or message of appreciation. Think hard about how you want your box to be perceived, and structure your packaging design accordingly.
Packaging Logistics - Though not quite as bright and shiny as the messaging, and branding, you can’t forget about the logistics of your packaging. You’ll need to consider the size of your gifts and whether or not you’re shipping these gifts. These factors will determine the size of your packaging and whether or not you might have to include room for a shipping label.
Continued Reading: How to Design a Custom Swag Box (+Free Templates)
You’ve purchased your gifts and selected your packaging. All that’s left now is to give your gifts. This is the fun part and where the benefits of corporate holiday gifts shine through. When you delight your recipients with the right gift, the product you’ve invested in becomes so much more than just an item. It becomes a physical reminder of the relationship that exists between your brand or company and your target recipient. The right corporate holiday gift has the power to strengthen the bonds between you and your personas, increase employee loyalty, and drive more meaningful relationships that will ultimately drive business success.
We can’t stress enough the importance of planning ahead this holiday season. We talked a lot about finding the right gift. The power of corporate gifting decreases significantly when the gift that’s given doesn’t match the wants, needs, or personality of the recipient. Beat the supply chain issues, and ensure you have access to the most premium options by budgeting early and placing holiday gift orders now.
Q4 is a busy time of year. Our team can help translate the latest corporate gift trends to fit your target recipient and their persona. With expertise rooted in ideation and product selection, we’ll use our knowledge to help you find the right corporate holiday gifts that deliver a thank you that’s loved.
Grab a copy of our new Holiday Lookbook for 70+ ideas, trends, and inspiration for your corporate gifts! Plus, learn some tips along the way to help you deliver more exceptional experiences to customers, prospects, and employees this holiday.