Corporate gifts (swag, promotional merchandise) are a great way to thank your customers as well as reinforce your brand on an ongoing basis. The best promotional strategies work toward one of two goals — reinforcing your branding or emphasizing a call to action. Here’s a list of some of the Do’s and Don’t to keep in mind when choosing a holiday gift.
Do plan ahead! It takes time to put together a complete corporate gift package. Give yourself the time to evaluate and weigh your various options to choose the item that makes the most sense and provides the best value. Getting your branding & logo imprinted correctly may require a few revisions.
Do put together a budget taking into account imprinting, shipping and storage costs. Shipping costs alone can add up fast. Keep in mind the gift’s weight when planning; the heavier the gift, the more costly the shipping. Ideally find a dropshipper that can take the headache of managing and shipping inventory off your plate.
Do understand your audience and recipient! Keep the who (recipient) and why (why are you giving them a gift?) in mind when brainstorming. Are you reinforcing your brand or creating a call to action?
Do brainstorm! You can create Pinterest boards and pin inspiration from retail, trend reports, and high-end gift guides.
Do think about the overall image the gift portrays! Packaging is essential. If you have a smaller budget, a metallic padded envelope, paper tube, or brown kraft paper and twine may make your gift stand out and seem “unusual”—it will be viewed as clever, creative, and memorable by the recipient.
Do thing about safety and compliance! The last thing you want this season is to be involved in a product recall or any injuries that your audience may suffer due to your product.
Do include food! Everyone loves a tasty treat; just make sure to package it well—a custom box, belly band, ribbon, or sticker can help make your gift memorable and leave a lasting impression.
Don’t insist on giving a gift that your budget won’t allow. For example, if your budget is $5 per gift, don’t give an umbrella just because you are determined to give an umbrella. One strong wind and a $5 umbrella is going to end up in the corner garbage can with your logo on it. Instead, give a nicely presented gift of four or five gourmet cookies with a hand-written note (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be your handwriting—just your sentiment). The recipient will remember you favorably instead of getting angry when his or her cheap umbrella breaks in the middle of a rainstorm.
Don’t use your logo obnoxiously; subtly brand your gift. For example, don’t give nice wine glasses with your logo plastered on the front of them. Think of your recipient; are they really going to serve their dinner guests wine in glasses with a corporate logo imprinted on them? Instead, etch your logo or message subtly onto the base; or better yet, don’t brand them at all. An elegant branded gift card or branded ribbon is memorable. Trust us; they will think of you every time they use those beautiful wine glasses.
People don’t like to throw away stuff – especially functional items. Customers keep ‘cool’ stuff for a very long time – constanty reinforcing your brand in subtle way. The goal is to have them think of you when they need your product and / or service!