How to Get the Best ROI From Your Holiday Food 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 brand will be remembered positively long after the treats have been enjoyed. So, remember: Plan ahead and give your gift-giving some forethought; consider what your brand is, both externally and internally, and choose the right gift to convey that message; and seek a professional’s assistance. There are many extremely qualified promotional products and business gift distributors throughout the country. Assess last year’s gift-giving program and choose the right gift based on many factors including its size, whether it should be branded, and if your customers might have any special needs. And don’t forget, the key to a successful corporate gift-giving program is not to be forgotten.
A LITTLE FORETHOUGHT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Businesses make significant investments in their holiday gift programs, from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Too often, though, gift purchases are left until the last minute and end up with someone rushing to the nearest big‐box store or the internet for gifts. However, with a little forethought and planning, you can turn your holiday gift program into one that results in a greater ROI, a more powerful impression, and a more memorable experience. With a little proper planning—and it doesn’t take much—you can be assured of getting the best ROI from your program.
This gift guide will help simplify the process and make certain you’re positioned for an effective holiday gift-giving program.
IT ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER
The gifts you send to customers, fellow business associates and employees are a reflection of you and your company. It’s critical that you ask this question, “Are the gifts I’m about to send to my customers and prospects the gifts that I would want to receive?” If they’re not, hold the order, reassess your position and look for holiday gifts that do a better job of representing your company.
Make certain you choose a company that provides the types of gifts that showcase the culture, advantages and even the core beliefs of your company. Keep in mind that sending prepackaged gifts from the big‐box stores may send the wrong message. After all, the worst notion a gift recipient can have is that you put almost little or no thought into a gift, which actually means you put little thought into them. This most likely would be followed by the sentiment, “Is this all I’m worth to them?” When this is the case, not only did you waste bottom-line dollars, you might have planted a seed of doubt in your customer relationship. It’s not worth cutting corners on your holiday gift-giving, not when just a few minutes of time can make the difference between success and failure.
When you’re sending a food gift, using an FDA‐inspected company that follows FDA guidelines is an absolute must to ensure the quality of the gifts you are sending. Maple Ridge Farms is registered with and subject to inspection by the FDA.
WORK WITH A DISTRIBUTOR WHO KNOWS THE LAY-OF-THE-LAND
Let’s face it, sometimes we need a little bit of help to become even more successful than we already are. And sometimes, as the saying goes, how much we know can be a little dangerous. It’s okay to seek help when formulating your holiday gift-giving plan, particularly if you’re eyeing a food gift, which has a few nuances and hidden treasures that you might not be aware of. Utilizing the services of an experienced distributor is your ticket to success. Promotional products and business gift distributors understand the ins and outs of corporate gift-giving. They can make solid recommendations based on the composition of your clients and the nature of your business. In the end, they will simplify the process and take care of the details. Distributors are business gift experts who can help you choose the right gifts, create memorable artwork, select the right method of distribution, and handle the particulars like greeting cards, mailing list management, and shipment tracking and follow-up.
“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 and distribute their own corporate gift program. I always reassure them that we’re here to assist in any way. We like to begin the process with a discussion on strategy, audience personas, 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
PAST PERFORMANCE IS A GOOD PREDICTOR OF FUTURE OUTCOMES
Take a few moments to think about and analyze your gift program from the last year or two. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like? What went right and what went wrong? The answers to these questions will help you get off to a strong start with this year’s program. Discuss the answers with your distributor. They’ll be able to help you overcome any challenges you experienced in the past.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT GIFT
Gifts for individuals vs. gifts to be shared
When purchasing corporate holiday gifts for individuals, you may want to consider hams, smoked turkeys or other gifts that require preparation in the kitchen. However, when selecting gifts for an office environment, options like gourmet towers that can be opened and shared at once are a better choice. Think of your gift-giving strategy as any marketer would think about their advertising strategy. What are my audience’s preferences? Are there different personas within my audience that I should be aware of? What sort of message do I want to convey?
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 won’t go very far, so it’s 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’s 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. Also consider if you want the gift to last past one day. Do you want your customer and their staff to enjoy a gift for several days or even a week, or is it your strategy to make a significant impression on day one, and that’s all that is required?
Sending a gift that features your company’s logo on the packaging adds a classy touch and shows that you put extra thought into the gift selection. It also helps build your brand. If you’re sending gifts to individuals, you may want to consider gifts that include 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. By incorporating your logo on the gift, whether it’s a keepsake that stays in the office or travels to a customer’s home, having that logo visible will generate impressions day after day, and will enhance your brand at a far lower cost than an investment in, say, traditional media.
In this new COVID-19 environment one should consider sending smaller gifts to the recipients’ home rather than larger gifts to be shared in the office. If you do choose to send gifts to be shared in the office, you may want to consider our gifts that feature individually wrapped and single-serve items, all with the same gourmet quality as or traditional gifts.
Do some of your customers or employees keep Kosher? If so, you may want to select gifts that are certified Kosher. The Maple Ridge Farms website allows you to search for gifts that are Kosher and offers over 50 of them.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION
Personal delivery of gifts, when possible, is the best way to distribute them. However, because of time and logistical constraints, this option is not always possible. Fortunately, there are a number of other ways to get gifts into your recipients' hands. But, as is always the case, the further ahead you plan and take action, the easier and less worrisome—and in some cases, less expensive—your distribution costs will be.
Shipping gifts from your facility
Shipping gifts from your office or shipping department has certain advantages, but this is assuming you have all of the resources and the staff available to undertake this task; some companies, particularly those in the professional services sector, might not have these necessary resources available.
Shipping directly from the vendor
There are a variety of situations in which it’s best to have the vendor ship the gifts for you:
If you are ordering perishable products like hams, smoked turkeys, or natural cheese packages that require refrigeration, it is generally best to have your vendor ship those gifts directly to each recipient. It can be difficult to receive a shipment of perishable gifts at your facility, and then turn around and get them delivered to the recipients quickly.
If you are on a tight schedule and there simply is not enough time to receive the order and reship the gifts to your customers, shipping directly from the vendor can save you valuable time and ensure that your gifts are delivered when you want them. Your distributor can work with you to make certain all the shipping arrangements are in proper order.
If your order is large, it may be unmanageable to handle the shipping yourself. It is easy to ship an order of 24 gifts. But if you’re ordering 240 gifts, it may simplify the process to have the vendor handle the shipping. If it’s an order for 2,400 gifts, you will almost certainly want to have the vendor do the shipping to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Maple Ridge Farms is an industry leader in corporate food gift-giving. Since 1979, millions of people throughout the United States have been the fortunate recipients of the highest quality gifts corporations send to their valued customers and employees. Maple Ridge sells their products through certified promotional product and business gift distributors who are experts in the industry and trained to recommend, execute and follow-up on any corporate gift-giving initiative of any size. Learn more at www.mapleridge.com.