Corporate Holiday & End-of-the-Year Gift-Giving Guide

Corporate gifting is a vast and growing opportunity for brands. In fact, the corporate gifts market is set to total $312 billion by 2025. It’s evident that meaningful gifts have proven their ability to build brand awareness, customer loyalty, and employee retention and camaraderie. 

The holidays (as we might suspect) are the perfect time to do this — all in one step, you can celebrate the close of one year and prepare for the success of the next one. It’s a time of year where celebration and gratitude are in the air and you can leave a strong impression on your clients, potential customers, and employees by taking advantage of the season. 

Here’s how to build a memorable holiday and end-of-the-year gift-giving strategy for your business. 

Build anticipation for the upcoming year

The end of the year is when the workforce experiences the most time off. In the midst of multiple federal holidays, people in all industries travel or take vacation days.

Think about what might inspire your employees during their downtime. The right item can encourage them to reflect on the current year and carry a motivated mindset into the upcoming new one. 

Consider inspirational gifts like:

  • A book that you think they’ll resonate with
  • Calendars and planners to energize them for a fresh start in the New Year
  • Decorative journals that they can use to jot down their thoughts or brainstorm plans
  • Holiday pens for writing letters, journaling, or making lists

Many companies even give out end-of-the-year awards. These are particularly useful if you’re planning a corporate holiday party. It’s an opportune time to reward employees for their service, recognize achievements, and celebrate company milestones. 

Going the extra mile to share an award with your employees encourages them about where they stand with the company – it also activates the brain’s reward circuitry. Recognition in front of peers builds self-confidence,  sense of belonging, and can inspire positive changes for the individual and the workplace alike. 

Give useful holiday party accessories

If you’re stuck, think “practicality” and “seasonality.” Consider items that will get your recipient ready for the holiday party season. For many people, December is filled with multiple get-togethers or holiday engagements — both in their professional and personal life. 

Branded, festive glassware or a wine set will get plenty of use during the holidays. These gifts are practical, but they also provide plenty of opportunities for brand exposure. The holiday season is known for being sentimental, so your branded gift may be more heavily associated with a warm, pleasant memory.

An alternative to custom drinkware is food — the ultimate crowd-pleaser. During the holiday season, who doesn’t love a thoughtful, sweet treat? Goodies like chocolates or candy and pre-made gift baskets/boxes will go far with both your employees and clients or prospects.

Tell a story with your gifts

The “why” of your gifting is every bit as important as the choice of items. Every end-of-the-year present is an opportunity to tell a story. 

Human beings are wired to process and internalize the emotions communicated within stories, which leads us to laugh or cry during our favorite movie or book. Pick a theme for your gifts, have a true understanding of why you’re sending them, and creatively express it to your recipient.

Say it with words by sharing some personal thoughts to go with the gift. Always include a handwritten greeting card or note so that it’s personalized to your recipient. Handwritten notes are much more likely to be opened, as they express sincerity and leave an impression on clients who are inundated with digital noise each day. 

In order to tell a story that resonates, you must know who your target audience is. Know who you’re shopping for and buy products that they’ll appreciate on a personal level. Not only will they appreciate the authenticity and feel valued, but the materials themselves will get far more use.

Make the unboxing an experience

The unboxing experience is almost as important as the gifts. It’s why people buy expensive bows and ribbons or invest in having professional wrappings. Presentation is key in building excitement and anticipation with your recipient. 

When creating your unboxing experience:

  • Choose a theme that complements your brand story. Ask yourself how the theme you’ve chosen will foster your goal of building a lasting connection.
  • Impressive aesthetics are everything! Put together a gifting package that people want to share a photo of on social media. 
  • Include company-related hashtags, business cards, or QR codes that encourage recipients to interact with the brand further.
  • Use high-quality packaging materials. Gift baskets and custom gift boxes are great alternatives to a regular bag.
  • Include useful, tech-related freebies, such as earbuds, a wireless charging desk clock or picture frame, and USB chargers 

When this level of thought is given to your packaging, the recipients will be as excited to open it as the rest of the holiday gifts under the tree!

Personalize whenever possible

People love to read and hear their own names! Personalization ensures that your gift won’t be forgotten or lumped in with other corporate packages. Handwritten messages are essential, but consider taking it a step further by engraving or imprinting the person’s name on the item.

Consider your font options, and choose typography that matches the theme and style. This is particularly important when choosing the font to use for the recipient’s name, as you want to be sure to select something eye-catching but tasteful.

Think about the color scheme your recipient will resonate with, and what kind of response you’d like to evoke. Trust us – it makes a difference! For example, using the color yellow in business is effective for communication and connoting trust, warmth, and reliability. By contrast, individuals often associate the color purple with wisdom, respect, and imagination. What brand sentiment are you hoping to evoke that the recipient will appreciate?

Facilitate in-person meetings

Always set aside time and opportunities to exchange gifts in the workplace before holiday vacations or time off kick in. In-house exchanges build a strong company culture and give your employees something to look forward to at the end of the year. 

Whether it’s a white elephant exchange, office secret Santa, or a company potluck, get creative with the event to ensure a cheery atmosphere.

For clients and prospects, reach out to them directly and schedule a time to drop by and deliver their gifts in-person. They will appreciate the extra effort and face-to-face interaction!

Spread end-of-the-year cheer with corporate holiday gifts

As you close out another year of business, don’t miss the valuable chance to cultivate relationships and spread gratitude. Corporate holiday gifting allows you to reinforce meaningful bonds with clients and customers, show prospective ones that you’re still thinking of them, and strengthen your team culture at work.

When done effectively, you can close the calendar book on one year with pride, knowing that you’re equipped to start the next one with the same energy and momentum.
We know that, with everything going on, end-of-year planning can feel overwhelming. If you want to leave an impression on employees or customers but aren’t sure where to start with corporate gifting, contact us and we can walk you through your options.

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