Feature Article - July/August 2018

Gifts Galore

Our Annual Guide to Business Gifts

By Deborah L. Vence

Out-Of-The-Box Ideas

"What we have done as a company and put effort in, in the last three years [is] instead of gift-giving [is] turn it into an experience, Kooken said. "We also do [an] onsite gifting experience [on the] more incentive travel side of the business."

He added that top customers at a resort destination can have a gift-giving experience. "You can set up a whole area [in which] the recipients can pick out their gift," he said.

With out-of-the-box ideas, you have to consider attributes, too. You can give everybody a winter coat or jacket, for example, but everybody is a different size. You can have samples available to try on the jacket.

"Gift-giving for employees, it's a whole different mentality. It is that duffle bag, that jacket and golf bag. And, you do come into those attributes between sizes and colors," he said.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you really want the gift to be used, or you might consider gifts that will build upon each other, such as sunglasses, headphones, or the Sonos name brand as gifts.

"With a Sonos speaker, you can always have multiples. I can put one in my kid's room," he said.

In addition, Weaver said the knife (build-a-set) deal has been well received, but many clients shy away due to the amount of time it takes to build up the set for the recipient.

"For those that have the right re-occurring customer base, it works well," he said.

In addition, "Trek bikes can work well, and with our fitting and pre-build process, a client can give a really personalized gift that's very gratifying for the recipient and easy to do," Weaver said. "The beauty is it's one piece, sized to the recipient, and can include company branding without any minimums or hefty lead times. They can also get different bike types to appease any type of rider."

Cassius added that "cubes and smart luggage is where it's at, as well as built-in tracking devices. People want different things," he said.

Other ideas include "events that allow the recipient to select the reward that fits them best," Catrone noted.

"This creates a fun atmosphere, highlights the brand and provides a name brand reward. The employee remembers this year to year and tends to request this at every annual business conference," he added. "This drives the employee to reach the goal needed to get a gift/reward yearly."

Click here to see our 2018 Business Gift Guide.