The Business of Gift Giving
IN THE CORPORATE world, this time of year can be taxing and downright stressful. With the holidays and end-of-year recognition ceremonies at hand, businesses know it’s time to dig deep—not just for the right words to say to staffers and customers, but for the right gifts to give them. There are no hard-and-fast rules to follow in selling corporate gifts and awards programs, but with the right techniques and products, it’s guaranteed CEOs will look forward to distributors’ calls year-round.
There are a number of trends taking place in the promotional business gifts and awards category. According to Jay Donlin, vice president of sales and marketing at Visions Awards & Awardcraft, Celina, Ohio, corporations are moving toward “using natural materials with an emphasis on functionality and classic styling.” In his company’s case, natural materials, such as cherry wood embedded with natural green marble, are being used to create attractive business gift items, including desktop boxes, desk clocks and picture frames. The company also uses a combination of other materials for the construction of business gifts, including wood and crystal, as well as stainless steel and marble.
It is important for distributors to understand tastes in business gifts and awards are changing. Donlin said end-buyers are looking for more meaningful and functional gifts. “As the workplace becomes more and more a ‘home away from home,’” he noted, “items that have intrinsic meaning or … the ability to become more personal have come to the forefront.” He noted timepiece picture frames as an example. “Picture frames represent relationships, and when combined with a clock, [they] indicate relationships over time,” Donlin explained.