We specialize in helping our business clients give high impact gifts that don't cost hundreds of dollars. How? By creating a personal connection and being truly memorable. Along the way we've picked up some noteworthy new tips and tricks that create great business gifts. We've divided our advice into two sections: trends and research in business gifting and quick tips for business gifting.
The trends and research section will teach you what we've learned about what consumers love and hate in a business gift, and how that has been changing. The quick tips section contains our top favorite fast and easy tactics that you can apply to any business gifting situation.
Trends and Research in Business Gifting:
Forget about the old school way of giving holiday gifts and stand out by keeping these 5 trending strategies in mind.
+1 New Consumer Values
+2 Minimize Branded Swag
+3 Tell a Story, Facilitate a Personal Connection
+4 Quality Over Quantity
+5 The Perfect Gifting Formula
1. New Consumer Values
Research shows that trends in what is valued in a business gift are subtly shifting. Emerging value attributes are trending towards the following:
- + gifts that are Made in the USA (this one has the widest appeal)
- + sustainable and eco-friendly options
- + products created by small businesses. Women- and minority-owned businesses are also great options
- + products that support a cause (although this can be polarizing, so choose carefully)
- + and gifts that give back in some way
2. Minimize Branded Swag
While some subtle branding can elevate the overall look of a gift, it can also easily go wrong. First, consider that logoed gifts are the least desired of business gifts, making recipients feel less than appreciated and resulting in lower levels of satisfaction. Additionally, recipients perceive these items as marketing collateral rather than gifts. Companies may feel compelled to put their logo on gifts so that the recipients ‘will remember them,’ but ironically the data shows just the opposite.
3. Tell a Story, Facilitate a Personal Connection
Memorability and personal connection help create stronger business relationships, which is one of the primary goals of business gifting. Think about how you could tell a story, share a part or yourself, and create a personal connection through your gift. Some interesting ways we've seen it done (and thought were really cool) include:
- Share your favorite hot sauce (or local chocolate, or cocktail bitters) with your clients and let them know you chose it because you personally love it and so wanted to share it with them. Such a simple elegant way to create a personal connection.
- Connect your company values by mentioning it in the gift note: "Please enjoy the enclosed goodies from local businesses who, like XYZ Company, embrace the spirit of independence."
- Shared roots and pride of place are impactful, too. Make a local connection in your gift note "From our home state to your home, enjoy a taste of Colorado!"
- One client worked with a local candle maker to create a custom blended fragrance that was meaningful and unique to their team. We then inserted these candles into a larger gift assortment that included shareable consumables to expand the experience and make it truly memorable.
4. Quality over Quantity
A tower of treats might sound appealing, but current gifting trends indicate a preference for quality over quantity.
Additionally, people associate gifts with a level of luxury they might not ordinarily splurge on for themselves. A lower quality gift can even create negative feelings when the recipient inevitably purges it.
One aspect of the desire for quantity, however, is valid. It's great to give the recipient an opportunity to create a memorable experience by sharing a gift with colleagues or family and friends. But which would you rather have clients say about your gift:
"I can't stop eating this popcorn, it's not even that great but it's just sitting here, so I guess I'll have a little more. ugh... Hey Bob, come help me get rid of this popcorn!"
"Wow, look, these hand-painted truffles are amazing! Each one is so beautiful, it looks like a gem. I almost don't want to eat them they're so special. Bob, come look at these truffles I just got, would you like to try one with me?"
5. The Perfect Gifting Formula
We started this business to allow our customers to share the best products being made in Colorado with clients and loved ones, so we're partial to gift baskets the perfect opportunity to give unique corporate gifts.
But the typical old school gift basket just won't get the job done. That's why we recommend gifters consider following this format when creating a custom gift set:
- Start with one nice keepsake or useful item. Ideally this is something your client will keep around and use day to day. Some ideas: a notebook, tea towel, coffee mug that shows off local pride, travel accessories, etc.
- Add a Personal Connection Product. This can be a small thing; the most important part is that you’ve tried it and genuinely like it. Then you’ll be able to use it to create a little warm connection – this is something I love, and wanted to share it with you! A locally made chocolate bar you've tried and loved is a great example.
- Complete with Shareable Consumables, we're partial to gourmet food. These give the recipient an opportunity to share with colleagues or family members and create a warm memorable experience. These also serve to complete the gift so it feels bountiful.
Quick Tips: Business Gifts for Clients
These are our fast and easy ideas that you can apply to any client gift. When it comes to giving a business gift, it's not necessary or even desirable to give a personalized gift (for example, a random product with their name engraved on it). Rather, the biggest impact comes from adding that special touch and creating a connection that shows you care.
- Personalize the messages. You can personalize with first names, or take it a step further and add a unique sentence that's customized for each recipient.
- Consider dividing clients into tiers and creating a unique personalized message for only the top tier, then personalize the rest with first names.
- Request for the gift cards to be handwritten rather than typed.
- Add your branding to the gift box, rather than inserting cheap logoed products (useless branded beer koozie, we're looking at you). This subtle touch isn't overbearing and can look visually impressive when done well. Do this via a custom logo belly band, add your logo to your gift note, or insert a business card or branded sticker into each gift box.
- Think outside the holiday season. December gifts are expected and can be easily overlooked in the onslaught of all the holidays bring. Consider a surprise gift in the fall or spring - the perfect opportunity to be unique, add your own personal twist, and stand out from the crowd.
- Make a donation to a charitable cause, then include the donation certificate in your gift box (so the recipient can enjoy some shareable gourmet foods in addition to feeling good about the good works you're doing in their name)