• June 2011

You Gotta Make Them Smile: Five Tips for Effective Corporate Gift-Giving

By Kim Villa
Inkandescent Networking

As the leader of Inkandescent Networking, and the owner of Tall Girl Promotions, I can tell you from experience that gift-giving is a surefire way to impress a potential or current client.

Why? Because a special gift not only shows that you care, it demonstrates that you are a thoughtful professional who values the relationships you have built.

At Inkandescent Public Relations, for example, we give a wrapped set of hand-rolled beeswax candles with our business card tucked inside to everyone we meet. Not only are the candles a metaphor for being Inkandescent, this warm-hearted gift shows the world that we want to spread the light.

For our Inkandescent Networking friends, we give a spritzer of hand sanitizer with our logo adorning the side. We also freely pass out our bright yellow highlighters to everyone we want to tell about Be Inkandescent Magazine.

In addition to branding the company, and spreading the good word, giving tokens of our appreciation is one of our core values — to build a win-win-win situation for everyone that you meet.

While finding the right gift can be a challenge, with a little thought, you can find the right promotional product to showcase your company and honor your clients.

Following are five practical tips for building your brand, and saying thanks to those who have helped you build your business.

1. To logo or not to logo? When working with my clients at Tall Girl Promotions, I explain that it depends on the gift — and the reason for giving it. If you are giving a gift to thank someone for a referral or for their time, then go ahead and give them something that has your logo on it — such as a nice mug or baseball cap. After all, you want them to remember you and your service. However, if you are giving an upscale gift for a special event or the holidays, such as a Mont Blanc pen, Coach handbag, or Bulova watch, the brand will do the talking for you. In fact, whenever clients glance at this memorable gift, the memory that you gave it to them will forever be attached to it.

2. Give gifts of high quality. It’s fine to pass out pens, highlighters, and hand sanitizer — just be sure that the pens work, the highlighters do the job, and the hand sanitizer doesn’t spill easily or make a mess. If you are giving just a few gifts to very special clients, invest in higher-priced products.

3. Don’t wait until the last minute and make a “desperate” purchase. Obviously, it will cost you more to buy something the week before you need it. Everyone charges a rush fee — including me. Plus, when you rush through a decision, you don’t have the time to find out about all of your options, and to think them through. So be smart and plan ahead.

4. Add a personal touch, such as a hand-written note. Even if you buy your client a Rolex watch, if you don’t make it personal, you won’t make the impression you desire. Show that some thought was put into the gift, and that you truly care. Isn’t that what you would want from someone giving you a present?

5. Be culturally sensitive. This is mission-critical, because what you would like to receive often may not be what your client wants or needs. Colors, in some cultures, have a big impact. So do other gift options. So be conscious, be cautious, and be thoughtful.

About Kimberly Villa

Kim Villa’s Tall Girl Promotions is an environmentally responsible promotional marketing company that provides promotional products, banners and signs, awards, corporate gifts, convention printing, and logo’d apparel to our clients.

“We have a very strong commitment to the environment,” explains Kim. “So in working with our clients, we suggest products that are made with recycled, organic, or eco-friendly materials. We also recommend products that are of value to your customers so they stay out of landfills and in use, where you want them to be.”

Kim also specializes in working with trade associations to provide marketing and promotional products for their conventions. “I work closely with event managers to maximize their sponsorship dollars — and am available to travel with them to their site and manage their on-site printing needs using our vast networking of quality printers around the country.”

To buy your eco-friendly promotional products, visit Tall Girl Promotions.