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Corporate Gift Ideas - The Minefield
What a minefield! Your business has had a good year and you have decided to remind your loyal customers about how important they are to your business. Hopefully they will continue to buy from you in the future too. The trouble is, looking on the Internet; there are thousands of different corporate gift ideas to choose from that you could give away as freebees. So, what questions do you need to ask yourself and what are some of the options?
How often do they buy from me?
Is it once a week, once a month or once a year? It makes a difference when thinking about what type of gift will best remind them. If it is once a week or once a month, may be you could think about a calendar or memo pad, with your business name on it. Once a year needs a different approach, and the choice corporate gift idea should be something relative to the value of the order. For example, if the value of the order is only small, then the calendar or memo pad idea will be okay here. However, if the value of the order each year has a big impact on your turnover, then perhaps something that will last much longer than the year would work better, i.e. leather or silver desk equipment or more personal gifts, don't forget your company logo though, but make it discreet!
How important are they to the continuing success of my business?
The answer to this question will help you decide how much you want to spend. If you decide they are not important, don't waste too much money - remember you are spending hard-earned profits! The other issue here is whether you want to encourage them to buy more from you, in which case you might want to spend a bit more. This approach doesn't always work, but surely it is worth a try.
How many competitors do you have?
If you have plenty of competitors all trying to get a larger share of the market, it might be a good idea to try and find something a bit more unusual or to try a slightly different approach. Food is always appreciated and the gift can reflect the value. A bar of chocolate with the company logo on, a box of chocolates or a hamper - the choice is endless. I know from experience the number of pens and calendars that are sent at Christmas but what about a keyring or mug or clock?
Who am I trying to remind?
I was trying to explain this to someone the other day. If you are trying to influence the person who places the orders fine, but what about the person who holds the purse strings? You might want to remind them of how your company can help increase their business too. This is the area where it is difficult to decide whether the corporate gift idea is for a quality item or perhaps, if your business is large enough to be able to do this, offer an event.
Over the past few years corporate events have become an industry of their own, and there are a number of websites available for corporate events planning. Events can include days where participants drive, sail, fly or shoot (clay pigeons) or boxes at major sporting events such as Wimbledon, Ascot and Henley. Tickets to film premieres and the theatre are also popular. It all depends on your budget and what you are trying to achieve. The value in terms of additional business has never been proved though, but you could have fun trying!
Lastly, when you speak to your contact or his boss, do you have to go through the secretary first? If so, he or she is a vital link in the chain! Don't forget that the secretary will decide who his or her boss will speak to so a corporate gift idea for them could reap benefits later. Chocolates, flowers, potted plants… all reminders that they are appreciated too.
Promotional corporate gift ideas
This is an extremely large area of business for those organisations offering everything from promotional 'T' shirts to pens, erasers, memo pads, balloons, carrier bags etc. Mainly for the exhibition and conference market, these promotional corporate gift ideas, need to either stand out visually from others or be of a better quality, if the exhibition attendee is to remember the stand and the goods being offered. To my mind, the company that provides the really strong carrier bag to take all the 'freebies' home, is the one that will be remembered longest!