Tis the season already. Yes, the holiday gift season seems to start earlier and earlier. It’s not even Halloween and holiday decorations are up in some stores and malls. And just the other night the news did a story that holiday shopping had already begun for some! It is hard to believe that we may already be behind schedule.
As a business owner, it’s never too early to start thinking about your year-end strategies. And now is probably a good time to start making that list and checking it twice.
Is there an ROI for gift giving?
Each year I hear from clients wondering what to do about their holiday gift giving. They ask “do I do anything?” “What if I throw a party?” “How much do I spend?” “Hate to ask, but can I expect an ROI for my gift-giving?”
All great questions too. And yes, if your budget allows, we do recommend you recognize and thank your clients at this time of the year.
But when is the “holiday season”? Truthfully, it is open to discussion. For some it starts right after Halloween, others feel it’s best to wait until after Thanksgiving before they start their gift giving season. It’s really up to you when you want to say, “thank you” and “I appreciate your business”. Some prefer to be the early birds and kick off the season before Thanksgiving while others may wait and kick off the New Year with their thanks.
Keep in Touch with a Thoughtful Holiday Gift
No matter your timing it is a great way to reach out and “touch them” to say thank you for your business as well as position yourself as being ready to help them in the New Year.
Many of our clients are within an hour’s drive of our office, so we try and “pop” in around the holidays
with a gift of appreciation. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just needs to be thoughtful. Last year we did a fun tube with three different types of popcorn in them. The year before we did a larger tube that had a smores kit in them (think chocolate, marshmellows and graham crackers).
I can’t begin to tell you how many of our clients raved about the “creativity, tastiness and fun” they had with their gift. And that’s the point. Make them think about you!
Stay Top of Mind Year Round with Holiday Gift
Staying top of mind with clients these days is hard. The work day has become a blur of activity for most and to be perfectly honest, out of sight, out of mind. I admit, by being in business so long that most of our clients won’t forget about us, but at the same time, if we aren’t staying in touch it does leave the door open for others to stick a toe in.
Another reason for the personal touch is to make sure they know you are close or at least a quick call away. Because as we all know, what they may want could be just a click away. The internet offers everything and it may seem like it’s the same as what you may offer, but most of the time we aren’t talking apples to apples and you want them to remember you instead of the internet option!
Top Reasons for Giving Holiday Gifts:
- Appreciating clients goes a long way to building loyalty (don’t let someone else swoop in and steal you clients by being more attentive and appreciative than you)
- Staying top of mind during planning times (many are just now planning big projects for 2018 so reminding them you are here to help is key)
- Helps build business (when I spend my days stopping by clients to say thank you, I typically get a new project about 30% of the time – “oh, now that you are here, it reminds me, do you do X?”)
- Makes you get out from behind the desk and spend some face to face time (we all get used to communicating via email – but face to face is still valued by many)
- Stop the mad dash for a minute or two, giving a gift helps your clients stop and relax and hopefully appreciate the holidays a little bit more. It’s a gesture worth thinking about.
So with all the reasons you should give, what should you give?
A Holiday Gift for Any Budget
First of all it starts with your budget. If you don’t have a big budget consider reducing your quantity or think about something useful that is inexpensive like a wall calendar. People felt that calendars would go away with the proliferation of smart phones, but quite the contrary, people still love wall calendars. I actually gave them away last year to a larger group of clients than the popcorn and they are being used! And the best part, you name/logo are on their wall for the year!
At the least, you may want to consider sending a holiday card. I know many people like sending an e-card, but those are many times caught up in firewalls or never opened. No matter how “cute or interactive” you may make it, it’s still a short-lived remembrance. A traditional holiday card if sent timely is usually displayed through the holidays. We used to do three-dimensional cards and some were kept for years!
Food is Great Holiday Gift for Departments
And of course, if you are giving for a group, food is the most popular. You can get just about any type of
food from candy to nuts to cheeses and meats. Most come packaged in a logo’d container so the whole team knows you appreciate their business.
Obviously with our world revolving around smartphones another great gift is anything that enhances their use and are some of the most popular this holiday gifts this season.
Our Top 10 Smartphone Accessory Holiday Gifts for 2018:
- Power Banks
- Bluetooth speakers
- Wireless earbuds
- Phone Cases
- Charging stations
- Magnetic Auto Vent Phone Holder
- Fisheye Lens Set
- Waterproof Case
It’s not too late to get the perfect, thoughtful gift for you clients and start 2018 off right!
Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More