I grew up under the mantra ‘if you’re going to do something, do it properly.’ When considering corporate Christmas gifts for clients, I urge you to do the same. Too much money is wasted on corporate gifts that end up at the bottom of desk draws.
Corporate gifts don’t have to be dull. Your clients probably have everything they need for their desks and aren’t really going to appreciate another paperweight, letter opener or desk calendar, even if it does have your logo on it. In fact, especially if it has your logo on it.
If your client is important enough to buy a corporate Christmas gift for, then that gift should be thoughtful and memorable. Here are a few things to consider when choosing corporate Christmas gifts for clients:
Who do you buy for and how much do you spend?
Corporate Christmas gifts for clients may be given to long-term loyal clients as well as new or even prospective clients. In general, my rule is quality over quantity. I also believe in building on trust and gratitude for loyalty over winning new clients with gestures, at least when it is an either-or. Although I’m going to criticize forgettable gifts a fair amount in the advice that follows, it would be a mistake to assume that a client who received a Christmas gift in their first year being a client, will not notice if they stop receiving them now they’ve become a steady client. Of course, whether or not a client receives a gift should not have an impact on their decision to work with you or not. However, the power of the unconscious cannot be underestimated. So, it is important to be consistent.
This is one of the many reasons why corporate gifting should not be an afterthought. Rather you should have a proper plan in place and keep a record of what you give to whom each year, so as to avoid offending anyone.
In terms of spend, there is absolutely no point in buying tat that isn’t going to be used. Better by far to make thoughtful, well-considered decisions about what gifts are appropriate. Ultimately, big gestures should be avoided for compliance reasons as well as for budgetary reasons. I recommend simple products with a hint of luxury. Meaning, if you are gifting a notebook, then better a high-quality, sustainable notebook with excellent craftsmanship than a supermarket brand diary that is somewhat unremarkable.
It doesn’t have to be work related
Just because you know someone in a professional capacity doesn’t mean they only exist in the workplace. Corporate gifts don’t have to be workplace-related, especially at Christmas. Why not get something your client can enjoy over the Christmas break, like festive hot chocolate mixes, candles or a hamper?
You don’t have to know someone very well to make gifts more personal. Feel-good gifts that boost mood are a really good way to thank clients for their support.
Do they reflect your values?
If you’re a company grounded in your values then your gifts should be inline with that.
For example, if you work in sustainability then your gift must be environmentally friendly. This goes the other way too. If your client works in sustainability they’re not going to want to receive gifts that don't reflect those values.
If you’re a value-driven business working with another value-driven business, perhaps it may be wiser to make a donation in their name rather than give a physical gift? Or choose from our range of eco-friendly ethical corporate gift boxes
They should have some connection to your business (when possible)
Ok, so this isn’t effective for every business. There’s no point in giving away something a client already buys from you. Yet, corporate gifts should be memorable and so it really helps if there is some connection between the gift and your business. For example, if you are a travel company, then a coffee table book of the ‘Top Wonders Of The World’ would be unique but also links back to your expertise.
Gifts that reflect your business also demonstrate a real passion for what you do - a trait most corporations treasure in a supplier. So consider your brand when you are selecting gifts because a luxury goods business should not be gifting foam mouse mats and ethical companies should not be giving plastic water bottles.
Corporate gifting can be an afterthought at a very busy period of the year. Yet, it’s important to ask yourself, am I proud of the gift I am giving? Else, what’s the point?
Is it compliant?
There are compliance laws in place that prevent corporate gifting that may be construed as a bribe in any way.
Gifts that are too expensive or very regular gifting can fall into this category. There are also some professions that are unable to accept gifts, such as government officials. So if you have any doubts check the compliance guidelines .
Are you the best person to choose the gifts?
Corporate gifting is often left to assistants or marketing departments who may not necessarily know the clients personally. If you’re in this position don’t be afraid to brainstorm with client-facing colleagues who might have a better idea of their clients' likes or values. This way you don’t end up giving personalised golf ball sets to clients who don’t play golf.
How do you want your client to feel?
Corporate gifts generally have a reputation for being unimaginative. I love stationery but for some reason corporate gifted stationery is usually the dullest least inspiring kind. If you are going to go to the effort and expense of corporate gifting, then why not get something special?
Unthoughtful gifts, especially those that are typically branded with your logo such as mugs and desk calendars are forgettable and bland. When considering corporate Christmas gifts for clients, think about which gifts make you feel good. Comforting gifts such as baked goods, pampering gifts or care packages like our Take A Break gift box are always well received.
Uplifting and thoughtful gifts are memorable and create an association of your business with that feel-good factor.
Gifts that keep on giving
A good box of chocolates may not last long but it will be treasured. Chocolates though, are the exception. The rule with choosing corporate gifts for clients is generally to try to select something that lasts, so that they will be reminded of your brand whenever they use it. Candles can be a scented reminder (check out our lavender and geranium scented candles) and gifts such as Thought Of The Day cards or our Mood Cards may be used daily.
Out Of The Box have some wonderful gifts and gift packages. Apart form being fully sustainable, all of our gifts are about positivity and gratitude. Perfect, you might say, for corporate Christmas gifts for clients this year. Why not, take a peak .