Before we start discussing gift options that your clients may appreciate, we should first review the purpose of corporate gifting, and understand the reasons why companies around the world spend millions every year to provide their clients with promotional gift items. The most important reason that companies furnish their prospects and clients with gifts every year is mainly brand promotion and brand recall.
Brand promotion, or Brand recall is placing your brand in front of prospects and existing customers. Prospects will hopefully become customers one day. By placing your brand in front of prospects you help them remember you so that when they require whatever product or service that you provide, yours will be first brand, product or service that they think about. The easiest way to promote your brand is to have consumers display it on products that they may use on an ongoing basis. The more a product is used, the more it will be displayed and subsequently the impact of your brand promotion activity will increase. This is the primary reason for the existence of corporate gifts.
The other common reason for corporate gifts is brand recall amongst existing customers. A large number of companies may interact with their existing customers infrequently. By providing their customers with corporate gifts periodically, they are able to put their Brand in front of the customer, and hope that when using those promotional items they will indirectly promote their brand to new potential customers.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the recommended process to sourcing and finding corporate gifts that your clients will appreciate and use. Corporate gifting has been around for many years, and the challenge nowadays is to find products that will be unique, practical and appreciated. As a manufacturer of corporate gifts here is our quick guide to find the best gifting options what will stand out from the crowd and be appreciated by your customers and prospects alike.
Know your Customer
At first glance this may seem like a no-brainer, but you will be surprised on how much money is wasted every year by sending promotional gifts to customers that simply end up in a pile in some shelf not to be seen ever again. Knowing your customer and their profile will help in selecting a product that will actually be used and serve its purpose as a brand promotion tool.
One recent innovative change that has come about is sending personalized corporate gifts to customers. People love to see their name on products. More importantly, you will never see a customer throw away, or ignore a product with their name on it. Let me further explain my point. Take 2 Mugs, and print your Logo on both. On one Mug print the name of your Customer as well. Which Mug do you think will remain on the Office Desk? The one with your customer’s name or the one without?
Personalized corporate gifts are a game-changer that is only recently possible as technologies have improved allowing manufacturers to make promotional items in bulk with each one being personalized with the name of a different customer.
Know your Budget
Unless you are a big corporate with a budget that has been defined and set in stone from senior management, chances are you are starting your project with an approximate budget in mind. More often than not, you will find that your budget is being surpassed due to product options not being available, or due to hidden and unexpected costs. Therefore it is very important to know and set a budget and stick to it as tightly as possible. Some of the common reasons for unexpected costs are:
Sales Tax – It is important to request your Supplier to confirm if prices quoted are with or without Sales Tax. As sales tax can vary significantly ignoring this detail can give you quite an ugly surprise during the Invoicing process.
Gift Wrapping & Packaging – During the Quotation process, you should confirm if pricing given to you includes gift wrapping or packaging based on your requirements. Commonly, pricing will not include these charges and it is important to get clarity early on in the process. Both of these items can add quite a bit to the final cost of your promotional item.
Shipping – This may seem like a no-brainer but please confirm any and all shipping costs so that you can estimate your total cost. You want to avoid having a surprise during the Invoice and payment process.
Know your Suppliers
Once you have narrowed down your options, you should start looking for partner suppliers sooner rather than later. A common mistake is to leave this to the last minute. Your final promotional item will only be as good as your Supplier and project management. Do your research to get supplier details based on your product category, and then you should start contacting them for initial quotes. You should ideally receive at least 3 -5 quotes for your specific requirements. Following the pricing discussion, you should then request samples from 1-2 suppliers before finalizing the order with them. It is not a bad idea to get some references from them before awarding them the project. All of the costs mentioned in the earlier point should be plainly stated on the Cost Estimate along with timelines and target dates.
Know your Market
Knowing your Market simply means that before you begin your corporate gifting project you should have a good general idea of:
a) What do you competitors usually give their customers
b) What products are common, versus which ones will be uniqueBefore making your final selection you should be very aware of how your promotional items will be received. A promotional item that is not useful, or one that has been given to your customers by countless others will serve you no purpose, and will result in a complete waste of your marketing budget.
We hope we were able to provide you with value with this guide. We look forward to your comments and suggestions below.