Giving holiday gifts to clients is a common tradition for many businesses. It can help them increase their visibility as well as build relationships with clients. That is, if it's done properly. Certain gifts may fall flat if they don't take the client into consideration. Sometimes, a holiday gift may not be enough to make a lasting impression the whole year round.
The solution then, may involve spreading the holiday cheer a little more evenly across the seasons. While an annual gift may resonate with some clients, personalized business gifts during the other 11 months of the year can communicate to clients that a business has never forgotten them.
A chance to stand out
The Sacramento Business Journal recently noted that holiday gift giving is on the decline in the U.S. According to a small-business survey, American Express found that holiday gift giving among small businesses may drop from 51 percent last year to 41 percent this year, the journal reported. Any number of reasons have driven this slump, though the largest among them seems to be economic instability. Other businesses have merely lost the taste for gifts, choosing instead to spend their holiday gift money on charitable contributions.Yet, many businesses still stand by the practice.
"It's important to thank people for choosing you as a vendor," Alice Bren, an American Express small-business adviser, told the journal. "I think it's a huge mistake not to do that."
A token of appreciation isn't just a good turn, but also a way of setting one business apart from all the others. As gift giving declines, it has even more potential to distinguish a business.
Making it count
While gift giving can be a nice way to express thanks, once a company has decided to give a corporate thank you gift, it needs to figure out what that present should be. As U.S. News & World Report noted a few years ago, choosing a thoughtless gift – or one that everyone else does – can undermine the intention behind the present. Clients may even view a common or thoughtless gift as an act of laziness, which could damage the business's reputation. However, that same article pointed to some invaluable advice not just about picking original gifts, but also about delivering it at different times.
"Giving a gift at holiday time is great, but a gift at another time of year might make even more of a splash," Bredin, that same small business adviser from American Express, told U.S. News & World Report.
The idea of giving a gift at other times of the year can be expanded upon to include giving multiple gifts throughout the year. What client wouldn't enjoy that? Subscription gifts may just be the perfect solution.
As Forbes suggested, subscription gifting keeps businesses on the forefront of their clients' minds. In today's digital world, it has become easier than ever to make that idea a reality. Forbes recommended items that would get monthly usage, such as razors for men and skin care products for women. Socks, dog treats and even healthy foods made it on Forbes' list.
Businesses shouldn't feel constrained to one kind of subscription per client. Rather, they should feel liberated with the variety of potential gifts to give, from logo usb drives to custom wall calendars. The items don't have to be huge or expensive. Rather, they need only serve as personalized reminder that a client is an important asset to a business. As the months progress, businesses can even choose gifts that are fitting for the season.