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Making Money with the Corporate Holiday Marketplace

As a product decorator you might be thinking about all the personalized items you could create and sell, but this isn’t the only way to profit during the holidays. The holiday marketplace isn’t limited to home décor and personalized gifts, as many businesses also provide holiday gifts to employees and customers alike.

This category is more on the lines of promotional products rather than custom gifts, as a typical item will be something that is sublimated with the company’s logo. Rarely is a holiday theme used in the decoration. Instead, the holidays are used as an opportunity to provide a thank-you to employees and customers.

Thus, you have two approaches for selling into the corporate holiday market:

  • Gifts to staff and employees
  • Gifts to customers

Though the process for each is similar, there are some different aspects with each.

Corporate Gifts to Staff

Corporate gifts should have a strategic purpose. For employees, a nice gift from their employer during the holiday season can say several important things:

  • Thanks for a job well done
  • We are glad you are on our team
  • We recognize who you are and what you contribute

In addition, holiday gifts to staff can also serve a promotional purpose by getting the company brand into visible locations. With many companies the staff is proud to work for them, so a nice gift with the company logo is not seen as a thoughtless gesture.

Regardless of what is printed on the item, holiday gift-giving can be tricky. Here are some things to think about:

  • Be careful about themes that connect with religion/ethnicity
  • Consider neutral concepts like generic holidays or winter
  • Gifts that are perceived to be cheap will send a negative message
  • Ideally gifts should be useful, not just trinkets

A key thing to consider is if the gift can be tied into what the company does or makes. For example, a water bottle would be a natural fit with a gym. Here are some corporate holiday gifts ideas for staff:

  • Drinkware
  • Laptop sleeves
  • Messenger bags
  • Home décor items
  • Clocks

Typically, the product will have the corporate logo sublimated on it along with the name of the staff member, as personalization will raise the perceived value of the gift. The worst thing a company can do is give a gift that appears to be cheap, as this won’t send a very good message to the recipient.

If you have a GO Expression store it’s an excellent tool for taking corporate gift orders. The customer can upload their logo and add the names themselves. This simplifies the process of personalization.

Corporate Gifts for Customers

There are really only two logical reasons for a corporation to spend money on gifts for clients:

  • To say thank-you for your business
  • To continue to promote their brand to the client

Since customers generate revenue, this is the area that provides the most return (ROI) for the corporation and will give you the most opportunities for making a sale. Remember this when making a sales pitch.

Just like with employee gifts, great care has to be taken to avoid any possibility of offending someone as it can turn into bad PR and in a worst-case situation, a lost customer. Things to consider:

  • Avoid themes that connect with religion/ethnicity
  • If themed, go with generic holidays or winter
  • Gifts don’t have to be themed!

Though it might sound rude, high-dollar customers should take precedence over low-dollar ones. There is a limited amount of money available for gifts, so it should be spent wisely. And because this is a business investment, the idea is to generate some kind of financial benefit.

Keep these points in mind when working with YOUR customer:

  • Gifts that are perceived to be cheap will send a negative message
  • Ideally gifts should be useful, not just trinkets
  • Gifts should contain a subtle branding aspect – not in your face
  • Products should fit the lifestyle of the customer

Some products to consider include:

  • Drinkware
  • Coaster sets
  • Office décor items
  • Tote bags

Just like with staff gifts, personalization will go a long way towards raising the perceived value of the product. Since this is technically a promotional product, personalization will ensure it gets seen as it's more likely that the client will actually use the item.

GO Expression is perfect for this category of gifts as well. In fact, few decorators want to take large personalization orders since each item has a different name on it. It’s an administrative nightmare to collect the names and ensure the spellings are correct. It’s also a logistical challenge to decorate, because single piece items tend to take much longer than bulk orders.

GO Expression makes all of that much easier, so be sure to consider it when pursuing the corporate holiday gift market.

There is a sizable market for corporate gifts during this special time of the year. The keys for you are to start the sales and marketing process EARLY! This is rarely a last-minute affair. Be sure to make physical samples of all of your products to show prospective clients.

Happy Holidays!

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