Nearing the end of May, we have already received 3 (three!) requests for holiday gift proposals. To be honest, my first reaction was, “whoa! Too soon! We just sent out our last Mother’s Day gift. School isn’t even out for the summer. How on Earth am I going to find holiday products already?” But my tune quickly changed.
I started reaching out to various vendors and suppliers to source and price various components of our proposals, and I was rather taken aback when more than once I was told that if I wanted to guarantee availability or price, I need to place the order for our selections soon. Like real soon. One of our box suppliers informed me that there was a 14-week turnaround on boxes. Our hot chocolate supplier told us they were already taking preorders to gauge interest in this year’s upcoming product line. Our crinkle supplier let us know that they were having difficulty finding the crinkle we use. Another supplier told us that they were expecting a nearly double increase in the price of paper by the end of the year. One of our favorite companies for holiday candles told us they were having trouble finding glass jars and they didn’t expect to recover until early to mid-fall. What’s going on?!
What does this mean for you as you think about holiday gifts for clients and employees? As counterintuitive as it sounds, it means that you need to start the process now, before the height of summer, and probably before you ever hit a beach or light a firecracker.
These suggestions aren’t meant to be a scare tactic, but they are a genuine concern about your and your goals and needs for the upcoming holiday season. The sooner you start the process, the further ahead you’ll be and the better chance there will be to fend off any potential unforeseen issues before they negatively impact your gifts. With a little planning and plenty of time, you’re sure to have a phenomenal response to your holiday gifts, and isn’t that the point? To awe and amaze those that keep our businesses running?
When is it appropriate to include a plethora of logoed items in your employee or client gifts? How do employees feel about branded gifts? Can branding be done tastefully and succinctly?
There is a time and place for company branded items. Trade shows, conventions, and initial client encounters are all appropriate times to whip out the branded pens, mugs and letter openers. But when it comes time to show appreciation, recognition for a job well done or holiday greetings, downplay the company logo and focus on your recipient and their experience in receiving that gift. It will increase employee satisfaction and retention and improve recognition of your brand by your clients.
Welcome to On The Square, Linden Square's blog where we discuss all things gifting, running a small, creative
service/product based business, and a glimpse behind the scenes.