Corporate gift giving at the holidays is an annual tradition. Promotional goods or courtesy gifts usually have their own line item in the marketing budget, often with dedicated staff to thoughtfully select, wrap and deliver each package. Slimmer budgets, supply chain issues and the rush of the holiday season, however, can turn seasonal cheer into a stressful chore.
Why you should plan for gift giving now
Plan for holiday gift giving now. Looking ahead to the holidays can mark the difference between delivering long-remembered joy and simply sidestepping the season altogether. Make a list and check it twice this month to avoid rush fees, staff overtime and an ever longer task list in December.
For your consideration: Four stand-out gift ideas
Our very own Whitney VanHeuvelen, creative director, is an expert at aesthetic presentation and gift giving. In charge of curating the gifts we give our clients here at Price Lang, she also lends her expertise to brand analysis when the brands we promote seek gift-giving services.
Whitney suggests giving these four items a second look this year – and ordering in advance. While any of these items could make for memorable holiday gifts, they could be used for almost any occasion.
Sugarwish Choose-a-Treat Boxes: Send a Sugarwish and let your recipient choose their three favorite candies, savory snacks or even dog treats. Signed, sealed and delivered for $35, Sugarwish simplifies gift giving by streamlining the process, with plenty of choices so your recipient gets just what they like.
Cheese to Chocolate charcuterie boards: Send a luxurious treat to box to an individual or an entire staff with options starting at $35 on CuredandCultivated.com. Fruits, cheeses, nuts and fruits are all packaged in pretty boxes that are sure to impress. Metro-area vendor Cheese to Chocolate, a woman-owned business, offers similar selections if your recipient is local.
Fresh flowers: A beautiful bouquet, averaging about $60, adds to any home or office. Send blooms in branded colors for an added touch. A quality vendor with sleek styling like FreshSends.com can be an ideal option for nationwide deliveries, but working with a local vendor may fund a gift that keeps giving in local communities. Oklahoma City’s Curbside Flowers, which provides education, training and employment resources for individuals transitioning out of homelessness, is our go-to option.
Monogrammed wallet with notepad: This combination wallet features a Moleskine notepad, pen and leather credit card holder. Rounding out at under $20, this essential is sure to become part of the recipient’s daily use items.
Consider giving an experience-based gift
Good things don’t always have to come in small packages. Make gifts more experiential than tangible to create an impression that outlasts even the best-preserved fruitcake. Callie Collins, account executive and former event planner, suggests these tried and true strategies.
Four ideas for holiday gifts you won’t have to wrap:
Shop local: Numerous studies show millennials value shopping at locally-owned businesses because they provide a more personalized experience connecting to a bigger cause. Regardless of demographic, if you’re trying to reach local business owners, show you support them. A $650 budget could yield 100-$5 gift cards to a locally owned coffee shop with funds to spare for cards and postage.
Connect to a cause: While donating to an organization in someone’s name can feel somewhat impersonal, there are ways to customize a gift in support of a cause. Choose a nonprofit organization like a children’s charity or literacy group to benefit from a specific donation. Select your top 15 clients, purchase books to donate and print a page of decorative self-adhesive labels with a simple message: “[Business name and logo] donates this book on behalf of [insert client name and logo]. Happy reading!” Affix the labels inside each book, snap a quick picture of its front cover and each inside label. Create a social campaign to announce your charitable initiative, tag each business and the charity, then post two each week from the third week of November to the third week of December. Make a single book delivery in time for Christmas Eve.
Send an invitation instead of just a card: If you don’t want to sink your budget into gifts, host a post-holiday event. No one needs one more cocktail hour to attend in December but you can host a festive come-and-go event. Send an invitation the last week of December to an event around the second week of January when the holiday rush has worn off. Reserve a local café at the end of the workday, set up a barista on site in your office during a weekday or hire a food truck. Give clients a reason to come see you once the holiday hustle has subsided. Visitors are also more likely to cross-promote the event by posting a selfie or a photo of your staff than they would of a wrapped gift.
Stand out by choosing a holiday other than Christmas: Thanksgiving, New Year’s or even a Valentine’s Day gift can set your brand apart because it’s coming at a slightly different time than one already laden with shiny-wrapped objects. A Christmas in July campaign may be the perfect time to touch base. Send a postcard from a summer destination and include an invitation to catch up over ice cream when you’re back in town.
If you need a hand with curated gifts, customized holiday cards or event planning, email us. Our employees specialize in branding, fundraising and logistics management; we’ll even handle the gift wrapping so you can skip the Scotch tape.
We’d be happy to help any time of year.