Ho Ho Ho…  It’s that time of year again. The kids are getting the last of their Halloween customs in order and you continue to nibble from the bowl of candy at the front desk so… It must be time to talk about your company holiday gift!

DO Give Early or Give Early

Each year I ask (okay, I beg) clients to think about sending their gift out at ThanksgivingQuintain Knows Holiday Gifting instead of sending it in December. Why? First, you are “Thankful” for your relationships with your clients, partners and employees. Second, sending your gift early means you will have your audience’s full attention.

You understand it’s important to gift early. No matter what company you order your gifts and promotional products from its important to gather all the necessary order details. We find this simple one page universal Worry-Free Promotional Product Order Form does the trick. If you just can’t get your list together, select the gift and deliver it before the first week in December, you need to stop! Don’t send anything later than that first week in December. I’ll say it again – DO NOT SEND YOUR GIFT PAST THE 1ST WEEK IN DECEMBER.

Gifting after then is like going out for a Sunday Drive over a holiday weekend. There is too much activity and chaos to effectively deliver your message. Your gift is going to be one of a dozen that arrive that day and is likely to receive little or no attention. So if you can’t get everything together before the first week, consider giving a “New Year’s” gift in place of a holiday gift. The message you will send is, “It’s a new year and we are looking forward to all of the new opportunities the year will bring …”

DO Have a Theme and a Goal

Your goal for corporate holiday gifting is really no different than any other marketing campaign – deliver your message and differentiate your business from your completion. After you have your message and the timeline set, it’s time to select your gift(s). I am a big believer in having at least three gift levels. If you are giving a promotional product like a travel tumbler with your company’s logo on it, add a bag of specially blended coffee for your key clients or partners. You might create a name for your holiday blend and add a witty description.  Pay attention to the small opportunities you have to express your thanks. Taking time to address the little things will go a long way in the eyes of your recipient.

This is the RIGHT way to do holiday gifting. Below are the top seven things to AVOID when gifting this season.

7 Don’ts of Corporate Holiday Gifting

  • Don’t give gifts with factory poly bags (it’s a gift, not a Happy Meal)
  • Don’t  give gifts without adding personal decorations (Often all you will need is branded ribbon)
  • Don’t use a scanned signature. Instead, personally sign it or make it from “Your friends at…” (this is a gift, not a paycheck or form letter)
  • Don’t give gift cards (if you can select it in the checkout line at the grocery store, it will not help your brand)
  • Don’t give something with another company’s logo (Re-gifting is a BIG no no)
  • Don’t give the same thing as last year, even if you love it (you have to at least change the color or packaging)
  • Don’t decorate any Apple products (No one wants an iPad with your logo on it – honest)

The wrong holiday gift can make a terrible impression, but the right holiday gift can make the recipient feel appreciated and special, and set the tone for a strengthened partnership or renewed client relationship as you head into the new year.

Not sure what to gift this year? We’ve made the decision easy with our newly-released 2013 Guide to Corporate Holiday Gifting. Click here or below to download it now and then give us a call to place your order.