5 Minutes to a More Effective Business Gift Program
Businesses make significant investments in their holiday gift programs, from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Too often though, gift purchases are left to the last minute and end up with someone running to the nearest big‐box store or searching the internet for gifts. The result: ROI is much less than it could have been. However, with a little proper planning you can be assured of getting the best ROI from your program.
Your program can be easy and effective if you follow these simple steps.
Know the Facts and Trends
In a recent report from Packaged Facts, a leading market research firm, there are many trends and insights that you should know about when developing your gift-giving strategy. First, you’re not alone; the corporate consumable gift-giving industry surpassed $7.2 billion in 2020. Second, according to the report, 43% of food-gift buyers said, “attractive gifts wrapped in aesthetically pleasing gift packaging” was a priority, and 56% said that quality is the most important attribute of all.
Choosing the right food gift provider
The gifts you send to customers, fellow business associates and employees are a reflection of you and your company. You will want to choose a company that provides high‐quality gifts that showcase the excellence of your company. Keep in mind that sending prepackaged gifts from one of the big‐box stores may not deliver the message you want; there is nothing worse than sending mediocre gifts—it leaves a poor impression and is a complete waste of money.
Using an FDA‐inspected company like Maple Ridge Farms that follows FDA guidelines for food handling, labeling and packaging should be a must to ensure your recipients enjoy the finest gifts.
The advantage of working with a distributor
Maple Ridge Farms gifts are sold exclusively through promotional products distributors and gift basket distributors. Utilizing the services of one of these will simplify the process and make your life easier. They are business gift experts who can help you choose the right gifts, select the right method of distribution and handle all the details including greeting cards and mailing lists.
Evaluate last year’s program
Think about last year’s program: What did you like about it? What didn’t you like? What went wrong? The answers to these questions will help you get off to a great start this year. Your distributor will be able to help you overcome any challenges you experienced.
Choosing the proper gifts
Gifts for individuals versus gifts to be shared
With the COVID-19 crisis, more people are working from home. When purchasing gifts for individuals, especially those working remotely, you may want to consider charcuterie packages, smoked hams and turkeys, or other gifts that can be enjoyed by the whole family. However, when selecting gifts for an office environment, options like gourmet towers that can be opened and shared at once are a better choice. We offer a variety of towers with individually-wrapped single serve portions for those customers who feel that might be more appropriate.
The correct gift size
Choosing the right‐sized gift is an important step. Sending a 12-piece box of chocolate to an individual is fine, but if it is to be shared in an office with 30 people it doesn’t go very far. So, it is important to select gifts tailored to fit the recipient. When sending gifts to be shared you will want to send a gift that includes enough for all. It is better to err on the side of sending too much than too little. The Maple Ridge Farms website allows you to narrow down gifts by the number of people they will serve.
Sending a gift that features your company’s logo on the packaging adds a classy touch and shows that you put extra thought into gift selection. It also helps build your brand. If you are sending gifts to individuals, you may want to consider gifts that contain a branded item that will be retained long after the food has been enjoyed, such as a cutting board, desk accessory or collectible wooden truck.
Do some of your customers or employees keep Kosher? If so, you will want to select gifts that are certified Kosher. The Maple Ridge Farms website allows you to search for gifts that are Kosher and offers a good selection of them.
Buyer beware! Get an actual sample.
Before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars it’s imperative that you see and taste a sample.
Many companies have beautiful, mouthwatering images of gifts on their website or in their catalog, but the actual gifts turn out to be quite different.
Opening a beautiful gift box or tower and finding goods that look like they came from a discount store is a real disappointment – and it happens all the time. Buyers see the beautiful images, but they never see the actual gifts because they are delivered directly to the recipients. When the recipients open the gift, they discover ho-hum food–not exactly what the sender had in mind.
Don't let this happen to you. Make sure to see and taste an actual sample before placing your order.
Choosing the best method of distribution
Personal delivery of gifts, if possible, is the best way to distribute them. However, this option is not always possible. Fortunately, there are other ways to get gifts into the hands of your recipients:
Shipping gifts from your facility
Shipping gifts from your office or shipping department is a simple solution if your order is not too big.
Shipping directly from the vendor
There are a variety of situations in which it is best to have the vendor ship the gifts for you:
- Perishable Gifts: If you are ordering perishable products like smoked hams and turkeys or natural cheese packages that require refrigeration it is generally best to have your vendor ship those gifts directly to each recipient.
- Tight Timeline: If you are on a tight timeline and there simply is not enough time to allow you to receive the order and reship the gifts, shipping directly from the vendor can save you valuable time and ensure your gifts are delivered when you want them.
- Large Orders: If your order is large, it may be unmanageable to handle the shipping yourself. If you are ordering hundreds or thousands of gifts you will probably want the vendor to ship them.
Getting the best ROI from your holiday gift program
When you give a gift, you're giving an experience. Giving your recipients the best possible experience will boost your ROI and ensure that your gift and your brand will be remembered positively long after the delicious treats have been enjoyed.
“I’ve been a promotional products distributor for over 30 years, and I can’t begin to tell you how many of our clients came to us for assistance after trying to develop their own corporate gift-giving program. I always reassure them that we’re here to assist in any way. We like to begin the process with a discussion of strategy, audience and desired results. From there we analyze possible gift choices, costs, timelines, branding opportunities and the like. I think that’s the best way for a corporation to handle their holiday gift efforts."
- Mark Patrick, Notable Impressions
“Each year, our company sends a Maple Ridge Farms food gift to our customers. It’s something we’ve been doing for at least 10 years and we’ll continue to do it for another 10 years. I know some companies send more traditional items like book bags, calculators and pen sets, but frankly, I’m told all the time that our high-quality food brings an office together, it manages to change the subject during pressure-packed days, and it’s something they look forward to every year. That’s why we keep doing it.”
- Tom Marks, A-1 Supply Corporation