On September 16, 2020, we partnered with Engage Print to host our 13th Neuger CO.LAB session, which focused on connecting with your network by creating crowd-pleasing gifts that promote your brand. We were pleased to see about 30 participants eager to share creative gift ideas that show appreciation for their audiences in a fun and engaging way.
Session 13 Hosts
- Betsey Garvey, Design Team Lead
- Elin Odegaard, Design Specialist
Key Discussion Points
- This week’s poll showed that three-quarters of our participants prefer receiving gifts useful for work purposes (pens, binders, calendars, etc.) instead of edible or decorative gifts.
- The number one reason for sending client gifts is to connect with customers in a different and creative way. There’s a certain excitement that comes with receiving packages in the mail, which leads to a higher chance of response rates.
- Consider gifts that have longer shelf life, since they consistently market your brand to the customer throughout the year.
- Gifts are not limited to the holiday season; you can also send gifts to promote an event or promotional campaign.
- Consider using timely themes for your gifts that relate to an upcoming season, holiday, event theme, marketing plan, rebrand, etc.
- Sending participants an event goodie bag with snacks and host company information is an excellent way to ensure maximum engagement in a virtual event. Including a gift after the event gives the audience a tangible takeaway from the experience.
- Employ surveys to collect information on what types of gifts your audience prefers. Depending on your budget, giving your customers a choice from multiple gift options usually results in high response rates.
- Low-cost, durable and edible gift ideas can include a box of chocolate, local products unique to the area, cookie and caramels, fruit or coffee and hot chocolate.
- It’s smart to be cognizant of allergies and dietary restrictions. Fruit is usually the safest option considering those factors.
- Remember that packaging and shipping can be costly for larger products, so consider the smaller and flatter products first, such as bookmarks, stickers, activity books and magnets.
- If you have room in the budget after selecting the product, think about customizing/personalizing the packaging to add depth and originality to the gift.
- Always make sure that your gift accurately reflects your company values and personality. If your gift is cheap and of low quality, then consumers may think the same about you.
Key Discussion Questions
Q: How soon in advance do you need to plan for gifts?
There are many steps you need to consider before sending gifts, so it is wise to always plan at least two months in advance. Most companies will order samples of the gifts to test the product’s quality and durability before sending, which takes time. Vendor communication and packaging is usually a multi-week process. If you’re thinking about sending holiday gifts this year, you should start planning right now.
Q: How has the industry pivoted now that people aren’t in the office? Where do you ship the gifts if everyone is working from home?
Try your best to reach out to clients and collect information about preferred shipping addresses during COVID-19. It is relatively safe to assume that, if you don’t have home addresses, office spaces are fine locations for shipping because most have a system that would forward mail or notify clients about any incoming office mail. Still, you run the risk of your gift spoiling or losing its shelf life. Calculate the risks and consider your gift and recipient list. If you have a larger list, it might not make sense to gather address information, limiting your gift to something that cannot expire. Smaller lists allow for edible or timely-themed gifts. There are gift fulfillment services that require audiences to provide an address to receive a gift, but these services limit branding and gift options.
As workers continue to distance themselves from the traditional office setting, keeping your audience familiar with your brand is crucial. Now more than ever, people need pick-me-ups. Some form of acknowledgment – like a simple box of chocolates or branded mug – can remind your audience that they’re still the ones who matter most to your company. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is a great time to go the extra mile and show your audience that you care about them.