HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE!!!
If you have not noticed....before the Halloween Candy was off the shelves, the Christmas Decorations were up all over the United States.
(I kind of feel sorry for one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, as it just gets overlooked in America. It used to get attention, but since we only "give thanks" that day, and not purchase tons of candy, costumes, greeting cards or gifts, the retailers have pushed it out of the way. I think "giving thanks" for all we have is a big deal...but I digress)
In business, many companies struggle with what to do about holiday cards and gifts for clients and employees (yes, do not forget your employees). I have read hundreds of articles this year in magazines, newsletters and business blogs about how to stand out from your competition in the card-sending / gift-giving game. Obviously companies struggle with this issue, or not much would be said about it.
I think a gift that they will enjoy (not a calendar or pen with your logo on it...unless it is of exceptionally good quality) is the best. Something that brings value to the person who receives the gift, not just something that markets your company. (How would you feel if all your relatives gave you framed photographs of themselves as your gift this year? You would feel cheated. Your gifts would not be about you, they would be about them. That is what companies do every year when they give gifts). Think of the person who will get the gift, not just your logo placement.
1. Books. Everyone can benefit from a good book (my I suggest "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships" - New Year Publishing 2005 - and yes, I did write this particular book!!!!) . Find a book that is not controversial and easy to read, and you will be remembered for it.
2. Good (I mean really good) candy or other gourmet food. And lots of it, because if it is really delicious, everyone in the office will want to eat it. Mediocre snacks will sit and go stale....just like your relationships with some clients.
3. Gift Certificates. These are especially good gifts for employees. It allows them to select something they would enjoy having. These days you can get gift certificates for any type of product or service. I suggest that you check out a service called Quick Gifts at www.quickgifts.com. They will allow your gift recipients to select the retailer where they want to spend the money.
You do not have to spend a lot of money on corporate holiday gifts, but you cannot make a lasting impression if you are too cheap. It is better just to send a card that a crummy gift. And hand sign the card...If I get one more card with a printed signature and a computer generated address I will scream out loud. The idea is a personal holiday greeting...NOT A DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISEMENT!!!!
Have A Great Day.