Emily Beers, Manager of Social Mayhem
Lover of free speech, cookies and cynicism
Avoid a Corporate Gift Giving Fail this Christmas
Corporate gift-giving is to your clients and staff what sex is to a relationship: It’s not going to make the relationship, but it certainly can break it. True story: One year for Christmas, a friend of mine—and all the other female employees at her office—received a nicely wrapped box of sanitary napkins. Within two weeks, most of them quit. Or what about the company who gave all their employees a hairbrush branded with the company’s logo? Even the bald folks. That company became the laughing stock of the Christmas season. #Fail
Here are 5 gift-giving pitfalls to avoid breaking relationships, or becoming the laughing stock of your one-time loyal clients and staff this Christmas:
Being skimpy on price or quality is the easiest way to tell your clients and staff that you bought them a gift out of necessity, not because you actually value their contribution to your company. You might save your business money, but your reputation will be damaged as you’ll become a joke between your staff members. Think cheap plastic pens, company mugs, stress balls or an oversized polo shirt with your company’s brand that fits nobody.
4. A choice of one of multiple lame gifts
Giving employees a choice between lame and lamer is even worse than just giving them a lame gift. “This year, you can choose a cheap wallet, a calendar, or a hat with the company’s logo on it. Merry Christmas, suckers!”
3. Pre-assembled baskets
A Christmas basket or hamper seems like a good idea because they look pretty, all nicely wrapped in cellophane and ribbons, but usually these generic, pre-assembled Christmas hampers have a whole lot of nothing in them: stale shortbread cookies, tough beef jerky, a microscopic jar of of jam that sits in your fridge with all the other less appealing condiments for two years, topped off with a bad bottle of wine you feel embarrassed to serve your dinner guests. If you’re going to make a Christmas basket or hamper, assemble it yourself with high-quality, less cliche products than tiny jars of jam.
4. Gift Cards that barely buy you a coffee
If you’re going to give a gift card, be generous. $10 isn’t generous. “Thanks for all you do. Here’s one-and-a-half peppermint lattes to show my appreciation!”
5. Stock Options
Especially in a struggling company. Basically, it’s the same as giving them nothing at all…
So what’s the key to success, then? What’s going to stop clients and staff from tossing your gift away three days after Christmas, or turning you into a joke?
Though giving a great corporate gift won’t guarantee clients and staff’s lifelong loyalty to your company, it does give you a once-a-year opportunity to solidify their current commitment to you. How?
By giving them a gift that shows you understand people, and appreciate what they do for your business.
Four simple rules:
2. High Quality
Nobody is expecting their best, most memorable gift to be a corporate gift from their employer, but surprising them with something that is of high quality, not cliche, and stems from authentic thoughtfulness are the keys to giving them a memorable and appreciated gift this year.
Of course, we have the perfect gift for you:
Delicious, fresh, high-quality Chompalomp ginger or chocolate chip cookies, branded beautifully with your company’s logo, in an elegant sleeve and clear lid. Thoughtful. Not cliche. Surprising. High quality. And on top of that, delicious. Better yet, stick our cookies in a personalized basket you assemble yourself with other quality products—and void of tiny jars of marmalade—topped off with a stack of Chompalomp cookies!