The holidays are around the corner. It’s been a busy and exciting year; so it’s a great time to reflect on your relationships and express some gratitude with a holiday gift. Like most holiday shopping, corporate gift-giving can be confusing. The best gifts say “thank you” while also deepening your relationships with your clients.
Great gifts can demonstrate your company’s key values or help remind your clients to renew their services with you. The best holiday gifts do all three. The worst thing you could do — perhaps even worse than sending no holiday gift — is sending a hackneyed gift that will end up directly in the trash or recycling bin.
Here are five fresh spin off ideas of classic corporate holiday gifts that can help you continue cultivating great relationships with your clients.
Been there: Calendar with cliched landscape photography with your logo printed on the cover. Nobody wants it, and they already have two.
Try this: A crisp, beautifully designed calendar. No photos. Demonstrate your sense of humor, value for hard work and design with a calendar that has short, quirky motivational expressions like “Get after it,” “Killing it,” and “You rock.”
Most people don’t use paper calendars, so if they are going to hang up your calendar at their desk space, make sure it’s worth it.
The Office Plant
Been there: A holiday wreath, floral arrangement or ivy plant that will be dead when everyone returns from the holiday.
Do this instead: A potted succulent garden. Succulents are happy, little plants that come in various hues and textures. Best of all, they need very little water, making them perfect for an office. They are also incredibly hip right now — there are even stores dedicated to making your own succulent gardens. Show off that you know what’s hip by giving the gift that greens up the office and keeps you on your clients’ minds as they water it (every now and then).
Holiday Cookies (or Brownies)
Been there: A basket or tray of holiday cookies. These are a tried and true gift — as long as they are fresh and delicious. They are perfect for offices because they are easy to share and brighten everyone’s day.
Take it a step further: Demonstrate your commitment to your community and to paying it forward, by ordering your holiday goodies with local, nonprofit caterer or bakery. Homegirl Cafe in Los Angeles, FareStart in Seattle, Dishes by Doe in New York and First Slice in Chicago: these are just a few of the organizations in food services that are aimed at empowering people who are experiencing homelessness or joblessness. Chances are there is one by you as well.
A Water Bottle with your Logo on it
Been there: Let’s be honest, when is the last time someone gave you a branded water bottle and you kept it? Most people who use a water bottle already have a particular bottle that meets their unique specifications.
Try this: Like your office, your client’s office probably runs on coffee. Demonstrate your connection to the local scene with freshly roasted coffee from the hippest coffee roasters in town. Spread holiday cheer with some fine, artisan roasted coffee beans. Your clients will think of you fondly every time the rich aromas waft through the break room.
Portable Battery Charger
Been there: This is a new classic client gift. It’s cutting edge, high-tech, and best of all, it’s incredibly useful. Who hasn’t been on a conference call hoping that their five percent battery will endure until the end of the meeting?
Take it a step further: With a solar-powered portable battery charger, your clients will be grateful to you every time the charger keeps them powered up, and they will appreciate your value for eco-consciousness and for helping them be more eco-friendly as well. This makes a great gift for your employees, too!
No matter what gift you decide to go with for your clients, a handwritten card is a must. With emails, texts and meeting reminders dinging in our pockets all day long, it’s important to go the extra mile to send a personalized card in longhand. Taking the time to write a note shows your clients that you care about them personally and appreciate their business.