Getting Down to Business Gifts
Tymula pointed to scaled-down versions of more traditional business gifts. "Gifts and incentives like small candy bowls, jars or crystal/glass coasters often work when budgets are being monitored closely," he said.
3. Focus on function
Want all the class and perceived value of an award, but with a little more promotional shelf life beyond just, well, the shelf? Try something functional. "Overall we see useful items being selected: bowls, vases, paperweights and even barware or stemware," said Tymula. "These products are so popular because of their functionality, and additionally they can be used for home or office."
4. Take a risk
Just about anything can be used as a business gift, as long as it is presented the right way. For example, your client may never consider giving away personalized leaf blowers, but he might if you pitch it as an incentive for "blowing away the competition." "Always be thinking of a unique item that you can show customers, even if you think they won't like it," noted Justin Seamon, sales representative for Louisville, Kentucky-based Louisville Slugger. "You would be surprised at how often someone would be interested."
5. Look for low minimums
A company using promotional products for marketing purposes will often need large quantities of pens, magnets, lanyards or whatever else it is buying. But if it's a small company that needs gifts for its 10 employees, don't go in expecting a 500-piece order. "I think the secret about business gifts for a newer distributor is to focus on the low minimums," Padian advised. "Big companies and small companies alike buy gifts. The smaller companies may buy fewer, but they still buy."
6. Go easy with logos
Products used as gifts or incentives won't always require the same degree of logo exposure needed in standard promotional items. Padian noted that big logos can be overpowering and could devalue a gift item, so unless your client asks for big company branding, scale back the logos for a classier look.