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Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:28

Gift Giving Guidelines

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One of the most interesting ways of ascertaining the value of a promotional gift is by thinking about all of those promotional gifts that you yourself have received. Can you remember the name of the company that presented you with the promotional items? Did you tell your friends and relative about the promotional gift that you received? These are some of the questions that will really help you in deciding on the value of a promotional item.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated; what better way to achieve this than by giving a gift where no reciprocation is required or expected; with that goodwill intent, trust and loyalty are more likely to be established.

Rewarding Your Best Clients: The objective of a promotional gift is two-fold; it truly is a thank you gift. Clients are surprised and pleased to receive such an attractive and thoughtful gift and business owners are rewarded by additional word of mouth. It also shows uniqueness, setting yourself apart from your competitors. By gifting promotional items, you not only advertise and promote, but also make a statement of gratitude or appreciation for the business you have already received or might receive from a target set of customers. A simple, thoughtful gesture in the form of a useful gift shows appreciation and caring is still the best way to tell your customer that you’re aiming to earn and keep their business for years to come. 
Determine an Objective: When a company decides to incur any expenditure, it does so in order to achieve an objective. Though gifting promotional items is quite affordable as compared to other advertising strategies, it does involve a cost. One needs to ensure that the cost of distribution of corporate and client gifts meets the benefits arising out of it.
The objectives can be many. It can be to thank a loyal customer, encourage a performing employee, create brand awareness, or strengthen client relationships. Whatever the objective is, one must ensure that the gift selection is such that it meets the objective well.

You may want to create occasions. In addition to the usual holidays (when promotional gifts are expected), make client gifts a regular habit. Identify key dates in a client’s life, such as anniversaries and birthdays.
Adding that extra personal touch by personalizing and customizing those holiday business gifts for your select clientele can help you meet and exceed your business gift-giving goals.
Know Your Goal: Keep in mind that achieving more than one goal with the same action is an acceptable option. Planning ahead can help you minimize costs to your business.
Create a Competitive Advantage: It’s an established fact that promotional items can go a long way in imbibing a sense of brand loyalty among prospective customers. A well thought out promotional item can make your company’s name resonate within a community. These days there is a vast plethora of promotional products and gifts; a far cry from a number of years ago when ball point pens were the standard freebie gift. Ask your promotional distributor to offer ideas and research sales and special promotions for you.
Determine the Recipient: Choosing the right promotional gift depends a lot on the recipient. An employee should not be given the same kind of gift as given to customers. Similarly, an important client cannot be gifted what an employee gets. So, one must determine the recipient of the gift for a right selection.
Promoting a New Product: If you are launching a new product, it is easy to capture your audience’s attention and publicize it by using promotional items. At the very least, you should send a promotional item to your top customers when a new product comes out. If you have top affiliates that can help promote your new product, you may want to consider them as well.


Gifts to Consider for New Products: Seed packets, satin eye mask, tea packets, chocolate bars, stuffed animals, light up products, totes, pens, lip balm, flip flops, eco-tote bags, eco-jotters, and eco-water bottles are all great gift ideas for your clients.
Gifts to Consider for Client
Gifts: Embroidered robes and plush throws, spa baskets, umbrellas, aromatherapy eye masks, cosmetic bags and mirrors, tea mugs, sun totes, tote bags, travel kits, flip flops, planners, private label music CD, yoga mats, coffee mugs, soy candles, aromatherapy stress balls, wine glasses, and wine openers can be a hit. You can also put your spa’s logo on any of these items, along with a thank you note.
“Thank-you” Chocolates and Cookies: Chocolates are an all time favorite gifts! Chocolates imprinted with “Thank You” on them will be more than welcomed by your clients and employees. You can even get the wrappers imprinted with the word “Thank You” in a multitude of languages. This corporate gift will cost you a little but will express heartfelt gratitude towards your partners of success.
Create your own gift basket and add a few logo promotional items along with a couple of your client’s favorite products they purchase from you on a regular basis. Your client receives her favorite items and a wonderful logo gift to keep them remembering that you appreciate their loyalty.
Gifts to Consider for Employees: Embroidered outerwear, picnic totes, duffle bags, chocolate gift baskets, USB drives, cameras, watches, electronic gifts, aluminum water bottles, or car safety kits are all great ideas. Fun items can include: light up martini glasses, embroidered caps, folding chairs, stadium seats, or popcorn cans.
Green Hotels: If your place of business is eco-conscious, then this is a great year for relating that message with an eco-friendly promotional gift. The promotional industry has a wide selection of products and apparel to choose from: totes, t-shirts, pens, jotters, portfolios, paper cubes, mugs, water bottles, calendars, flashlights, USB drives, drawstring back packs, organic bags, bamboo shirts, or towels and robes.
Holiday Gift Giving: Holiday gift giving is a great time to stop and look back on the year and understand what made it a success. Yes, even in these tough economic times, your loyal clients, the community you live in, and tourism all bring in new and repeat customers. You may have special vendors that help make your job easier; this is the time to be generous and remind them how important they are as well.
Choosing the best holiday gift means recognizing the importance of giving during the holiday season. Give to those important clients that have been with you all year around. Showing gratitude goes a long way in making you memorable to those clients; when you are memorable, they tell family and friends about you and your services or products.
There is no client too great or too small that would not benefit from a simple gift. These items are easy to find, and you can even personalize them to fit your budget. Each offers a touch of gratitude, and if you deal your cards right, you will find a copious amount of indirect marketing that will go a long way in furthering your customer base and profits.
You can customize everything from a popcorn container to a t-shirt these days. Customization is popular because it gets your logo or brand out there. If you customize a t-shirt or coffee mug, you will find that others will see that logo or brand. Even if they do not remember exactly where they saw it, if they see it again via a website or yellow pages, they will remember that and this is what indirect marketing is all about.
Don’t wait to the last minute: In business, showing genuine appreciation is not just a gesture of goodwill; it’s much more distinctly an opportunity to strengthen ties between partners and prosperity. Waiting for the mad rush of the season to send your message of appreciation could quite possibly ambush that message before it ever arrives.
The earlier you start your promotional gift-giving planning, the more options you keep open. By starting earlier and planning better, you are more likely to qualify for quantity discounts and/or reduced shipping costs. You also have more time to properly arrange for customization and personalization of your selections. You may want to consider ordering sample items to view before making your final decisions.
The promotional products industry often surveys and lists the most popular gifts that are bought and given each year. Going with the norm is safe, but take the time to customize it, its presentation, or its packaging and presentation to make it more unique to your situation.
At special gift-giving occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc., vendors are extremely busy and backed up with orders; so make sure you plan in advance and order early to avoid disappointment at those special times. Avoid the December crush. “Off season” business gifts can make you stand out from the crowd.
Vendors run out of stock and the worst situation is finding out the perfect gift is out of stock! You should be thinking of holiday gift ideas now and have selected a few products by the end of September.
We are all human. If the inevitable happens and your corporate gift order is late/delayed or you just forgot to place your order for promotional gifts, be assured there’s a whole market sector formed around last-minute logo gifts. As a distributor of promotional items, I have a handful of vendors that I know will pull through, offering a 24 hour service on many products
and amenities.
Order in quantity: When you’re purchasing holiday gifts, think about whether you can use the special gift on other occasions throughout the year; you save money simply by purchasing a larger quantity. This will get you oodles of savings and will stretch those advertising and marketing dollars. In addition, you may just find you get other benefits from ordering in quantity.
You may want to consider not just clients and customers, but also associates, co-workers, superiors, and any and all service providers that contribute to your business’ successes.
There are always specials in our business; vendors offer items on sale at great savings. If you can purchase the item you like and catch it on sale, it’s a wonderful way to stretch your marketing dollars and still keep giving a gift.
Remember, promotional items remind your clients that the relationship you share with them is important to you. Keep gift giving going!

Rebecca Hettig is the leading expert in personal branding for the spa resort industry. Her website (www.spaimpressions.com) is continuously updated with quality promotional products, gifts, and amenities that help support marketing campaigns, grand openings, special events, and retail areas for spas and resorts. Hettig’s product knowledge and personal service help save her client’s time and money.


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