A corporate gift does not have to be serious or stuffy in nature. Instead, it should be reflective of a company’s brand and philosophy, and meaningful to the recipient so that it resonates and deepens the relationship–whether the recipient is a customer, vendor, or employee. And, corporate gifting need not be complicated or expensive. Here are some key corporate gift guidelines that can help a business select the most appropriate items to give at holidays, as ‘thank you’ gifts, or in recognition of a job well done.

  • Be creative: There is nothing wrong with stepping outside of the traditional corporate gift box and opt for an item that will surprise and delight the recipient on a personal level, including sports-related items like golf accessories, a personalized wine bottle, a game, or even some type of fitness product.
  • Consider demographics: It is important to consider a person’s gender and age group to get the most bang for your promotional product buck. You do not want to give a younger client some type of house wares item when they would likely prefer a cell phone accessory or electronic device. Corporate gifts are meant to provide you with intangible ROI such as appreciation and allegiance as much as they benefit the recipient.
  • Represent the company’s values: Select items that reflect what the company believes in. For example, if the company is environmentally aware, be sure to select an item that has been manufactured from recycled materials and is produced in a way that’s safe for the environment.
  • Stick to a budget: Always be aware of how much the items cost, including any customization, to ensure that the budget is not overshot and increase the likelihood you can continue to offer the gift program each year or quarter. There are plenty of high quality, utility and perceived value items, including jewelry, barware, clothing and electronics, which will illustrate the level of appreciation you feel for the recipient.
  • Make it relevant: It is important to select those items that are relevant and of interest to the recipients rather than picking up a bunch of pens or diaries because they were specially priced. Take the time to select the types of items that illustrate you know what the recipient likes and is interested in. This small amount of effort will make a significant impact and go a long way toward building loyalty.
  • Go electronic: With so much of our collective professional and personal lives becoming digitized, electronic promotional products and gadget accessories are downright revered–from music and entertainment to travel and productivity, there is a myriad of digital options perfectly suited for corporate gifting.
  • Plan ahead: The best thing you can do with any corporate gift giving initiative is to plan ahead to ensure you can procure the right gift at the right price. This will save you from making rushed purchases that often reveal themselves as just that, which, in turn, may make the recipient not feel as special as intended. Take the time to get it right and you will be rewarded in turn.

In Review

Here is a quick wrap-up on the guidelines for corporate gifts:

  • Think beyond the traditional type of company gifts and go with something fun, practical, or memorable.
  • Make sure the gifts fit the individual based on their demographics, what you know about them, and what is relevant for today’s recipients.
  • Keep the gift in line with your brand, philosophy, and messaging.
  • Plan ahead and you will be able to pick the right item at the right price, staying on budget and delivering something special to the recipient.

References
Source: Premium Incentive Products, July/Aug 2012, p. 18

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When it is time each year to honor those hard-working and dedicated dads, it’s also a great time to identify those notable promotional products that guys gravitate toward. Here is a rundown of category-specific, Father’s Day-inspired promotional products that are particularly suited for men – those with children and without:

                                                                                           

  •          Sports Fans: No matter what type of sports fanatic he is – from golf and tennis to basketball, football, and baseball, there are sports-themed promotional products that can represent his team and love of the game. These include everything from the tools of the trade to play that sport to sports gear to sports apparel. From actually playing the game to simply rooting the home team on, sporty dudes will love to receive something that shows their spirit.
  •          Exercise Buffs: For those guys who like to stay in shape, there are many branded products to choose from, including running gear, branded water bottles, MP3 holders, tachometers, and more. He can even enjoy his very own personalized towels, gear bags, or gear organizers so he can always be ready to go for a run, bike ride, or hike.
  •          Tech Heads: So many men are into gadgets and electronics, and with today’s ever-changing world of technology, there always seems to be something new to play with. Logoed products include MP3 players, digital cameras, computer accessories, USB drives, remote-controlled vehicles and more.
  •          Car Lovers: Guys typically love promotional products that’ll keep their car, truck, or van looking its best. Some great promotional auto accessories include air fresheners, floor mats, license plates and frames, vehicle covers, maps and map holders and travel mugs. Whether it is for his restored classic or his everyday commuter car, he will appreciate that you thought to make his trip more comfortable and stylish.
  •          The Head Chef: For those men who like to tap into their inner culinary master, gift some new tools of the trade: kitchen cutlery or appliances, an apron, or new recipe books that will inspire him to keep on dishing out those epicurean delights.

 

In Review

The main points from this blog post are:

  •          Guys enjoy a wide array of promotional products based on some favorite pastimes.
  •          From sports fans to exercise buffs, there are ways to enjoy and celebrate these hobbies with gear, clothing, and accessories.
  •          Most men are a gadget geek and techie at heart so give him something that will keep him busy for hours, especially if there are lots of bells and whistles to explore.
  •          Car nuts love anything that make his ride look better or that offers comfort and enjoyment while out for a spin.
  •          Men who love to cook love to be treated to anything that adds further enjoyment to this often passionate hobby.

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In today’s fast-paced, double-duty world, it seems like everyone is trying to do more with less time in all facets of their lives. To help your staff, customers, clients and partners become as productive as possible, consider a promotional product that helps them be more efficient and effective while driving your brand visibility. The feelings of appreciation these items evoke also elevates a company’s image and fosters brand loyalty.

Here is a promotional product list bursting with items that’ll enhance outputs in various areas of life – from work to home and other productivity points of interest in-between.

 Calendars: Nothing will keep you on schedule better than a well-managed calendar, where you can write down where you have to be, by when, and what you have to do. This is fundamental to being productive. It’s a promotional product that comes in all types of shapes, sizes, and perspectives. There are peel-and-stick calendars, perpetual calendars, weekly view calendars, pocket-size calendars and those calendars that also double as appointment books or schedulers. All of them offer ample amounts of space for your logo or brand messages.

  • Organizers: Nothing works as well at keeping you organized as, well, an organizer! No matter what area of life is in disarray, there’s sure to be a logo-friendly organization tool to help quell the chaos. This includes items that’ll keep your office, home, car, leisure time and even health in tip-top shape. Top-line items can include three-ring binder organizers, filing systems and desk accessories, portable padfolios, disaster survival kits, tool keepers and pill boxes. Containers of every shape, size and sort abound. When organized, life becomes less stressful. Energy can then also be put into more important and enjoyable activities.
  • Incentive Programs: If you are looking to motivate your own staff to produce at a faster rate or at a higher caliber, nothing incents productivity better than a tangible incentive of value. Or, help other businesses motivate their staff pools in this same regard.  Such employee productivity programs are well-proven to drive productivity and even boost company culture and morale. Human resource rewards can involve commemorative plaques, trophies, certificates and even great signs like “employee of the month.” From there, brand-able glam gifts like leather attaches, watches, technology items and such will keep the staff’s collective eye on the prize.
  • Stress Relievers: It’s a fact: when a person is stressed, they are more distracted, disorganized, and have a difficult time being productive. Stress is known to block creativity and good decision-making not to mention it just drags a person down both physically and emotionally. Logo-friendly stress relievers can go a long way to help alleviate the tension. And, they are available in many forms.  Stress balls are intended to address the problem directly, while sports equipment can help get a person up, moving, and loose as an opportunity to clear their mind and “reboot.”

In Summary

Whether there is a need to stay organized and tidy or stay motivated and energized, productivity is a key to success.  There are many promotional product picks that inspire in both respects:

Calendars and organizers remind you of what needs to be done and by when, how it should be prioritized, and where the right tools can be found to get it done – all the components that foster productivity.

  • Nothing elicits the urge to pick up the pace like dangling a carrot that incentivizes productivity – from awards and plaques to personalized luxe gifts that conveys a company’s appreciation and recognition.
  • Nothing is more stifling than stress, so a good promotional stress ball or piece of exercise or sports equipment can thwart productivity pitfalls.

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With an abundance of individuals using their mobile devices such as a cell phone, PDA or tablet device, for both personal and professional tasks, offering promotional products geared toward these “go-gadgets” is a sure fire way to make the most of your marketing dollar. Today, mobile gear reigns supreme, so it’s no wonder that branded merchandise options in this category have grown exponentially.

Here are some popular mobile device promotional products that, while practical, can deliver a powerful marketing punch:

  • Covers: Everyone wants to protect their mobile device, so a cover is at the top of their list to help keep the equipment from getting scratched, dinged, or damaged by liquid or falls. Covers have also become a great way to exude individual style in terms of colors, pattern, images and messaging. Take advantage of this universal need and provide covers that a fun, functional and keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Stands: Because mobile devices are becoming veritable workstations, stands are another revered item that will be put to good use in high frequency—often in public spaces. These products are also good for creating a ‘billboard’ for your company as many of the stands are large and offer vivid promotional space.
  • Dashboard Anti-slip Devices: For commuters on-the-go who often need to mount their mobile device for safe, hands-free access, a dashboard anti-slip device can come in handy to keep the gadget in its place while providing plenty of space for brand messaging.
  • Chargers: To keep the litany of mobile devices working at all times requires power…and lots of it. Often individuals have a need for multiple chargers for the home, office and for the car, so this is another way to meet the needs of your customers with an ideal promotional product. Solar chargers take this concept to the next level, assuring the recipient can juice up even when there are no outlets at hand.
  • Ear Buds. High-quality, fantastic sounding retractable ear buds are always in demand – especially those compatible with any device with a common 3.5mm output jack. Compact, durable, lightweight and comfortable, ear buds are the perfect companion for mobile marketplace commuters who require audio while on the road.

Of course, when space permits, it’s prudent to imprint a QR code on the branded promotional products as this can help recipients procure more information on your company—and share this code with others who would like to do the same by scanning the QR code with their own mobile device!

In Review

Here are some points to remember about promotional products for mobile devices:

  • Mobile devices are growing at a rapid pace as the preferred way of communication so it makes sense that promotional products geared to this market are relevant and attractive to recipients.
  • Covers, stands, dashboard anti-slip devices and chargers provide convenience, safety, and practicality for the recipients.
  • A way to maximize the promotional value of a product for a mobile device would be to also imprint the item with a QR code along with company name and contact information.

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trade-show-giveaways

We’ve all been to trade shows where we’ve been given bagfuls of promotional products by exhibitors that are designed to create goodwill and positive brand imaging which hopefully leads to a business relationship. Some of these giveaways capture our attention because of their uniqueness, quality and usefulness. Others are ‘circular filed’ before they leave the building. Therefore the challenge for those of you who exhibit at shows is: How do you choose a promotional product that has a long shelf-life, will be a lightning rod for attendees at the show and will simultaneously give your brand and marketing message maximum exposure?

The answer? Show that you C.A.R.E.

  • Category? Pens, caps, bags, desk / computer items and drinkware represent over 40% of the promotional products industry. People use these products. The trick is to find an item within one of these categories that meets your standards for quality, creativity, usefulness and end user appropriateness. Avoid anything that’s perceived as ‘seen that done that’. Choose bright colors or unusual shapes and sizes to spark interest.  Remember the goal:  Select an item that your prospect will use and use often. Frequent use will lead to more impressions and greater brand awareness.
  • Appropriate? You also want to consider audience appropriateness when choosing a promotional item. You probably wouldn’t give a fridge magnet to a CEO, a mouse pad to fishermen or a $1 tape measure to a professional builder. Similarly you will help the prospect connect your brand with the service you provide when you tie the item to your industry. Financial services companies often give away calculators, pens, pads and clocks; technology companies mouse pads, usb’s, keyboard and monitor cleaners; travel companies luggage tags, bags and passport wallets.  If the item doesn’t have industry applications at least make sure it mirrors your image.  Are you promising above average service, value or quality? Choose an item that compliments and doesn’t detract from the image.
  • ROI? The key to developing an effective marketing and advertising strategy is to utilize best practices that maximize return on investment (ROI). To that end be aware that the average cost per impression of an ad specialty item is $.004 versus $.019 for newspapers, $.033 for a national magazine and $.019 for primetime TV1. In addition the recipient of a trade show give away has typically been prequalified by virtue of their show attendance making them a highly targeted prospect which will drive up the effectiveness of your campaign. If your giveaway accentuates your value proposition it will drive up your ROI further. If you claim to be a Mercedes or even a Toyota in your industry space don’t give out anything that reminds the recipient of a Pinto.
  • Entertainment? In order to increase brand awareness an effective trade show give away must be functional, attractive, have longevity and whenever possible contain a fun factor. The ultimate goal is to create buzz, visibility and for prospects to positively engage. It’s working if you see ‘em smile….and a smile is your best referral source. At the very least the item must be useful. Usefulness means your brand, contact information and marketing message are being seen over and over by your target audience which increases the likelihood of them calling you to place an order.

Show that you CARE and you will reap a harvest of goodwill with prospects and clients and propel your brand to higher and higher levels.

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Flag Day is very important to patriots who appreciate our country and what the U.S.A. stands for in terms of freedom and rights. To honor this American spirit, there are many types of logo gear items that’ll duly show each citizen’s true colors: red, white, and blue.

Here we salute logo gear that will help the recipient exhibit their American price and celebrate Flag Day, Independence Day, and every other day of the year they spend on American soil:

  • Polyester American Flags with Poles: Show your pride with logo gear that offers a flag pole to raise the American flag alongside your company’s branded flag, illustrating what your brand stands for.
  • American Car Window Flag: Pride can travel, too, by displaying an American Flag on a car window. This is a way recipients can share the message about what they believe in as well as what your company represents.
  • American Flag Post-It Notes: Others will take note of just how patriotic a company is when company info is imprinted on Post-It Notes that are in the shape and design of the American flag.
  • American Flag Luggage Tags: Get your company name and information imprinted on luggage tags so travelers can take your patriotic message with you on the road across the city, country and around the world.
  • Key Rings: A beautiful metal key ring that shows love of your country’s flag provides a subtle message to others about the pride you feel as a citizen. These can be engraved with a company logo and/or brand message.
  • Cooler Pack: Whether taken it to the game, beach, or picnic, this is a colorful way to show off American pride while keeping goodies cool and fresh.
  • Canvas Bag: This practical gear shows off the American flag in all its glory while providing plenty of room to store essentials. These are particularly great for shopping trips where the brand will be highly visible to many.

 

Flags aside, there are all sorts of logo gear showcasing the deep rich colors of the American flag – from clothing and hats to bags, cell phone covers, and umbrellas. From the fun and whimsical to the practical, the choices are endless. Each makes a dramatic and bold statement about your pride and appreciation for the American way.

In Summary

The main points in this blog post are:

  • The American flag is an excellent symbol for promotional products to enjoy on Flag Day or any day of the year
  • Patriotic promotional products represent pride in country – an emotion you can readily associate with your company and brand.
  • Gear can include actual flags to items you can take with you like car window flags, luggage tags, and coolers.
  • Post-It notes, key chains, and canvas bags are useful items that also provide a great, eye-catching way to show off your national pride.

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