Holiday Gift Giving Guidelines For Challenged Business Owners

Many of my clients have been with me since the beginning of my business and I must say that holiday gift giving ideas have always been a challenge for most businesses no matter how many holidays they’ve been through. As a business owner, you want to express your appreciation to those clients and employees who have helped you keep your head above water. But, sometimes your budget makes you feel like nothing worthwhile is possible.

An Age-Old Issue

This is an age-old issue for many people in many industries. As someone who has been in promotional marketing for a very long time, I love to see businesses be able to surprise their clients and employees with unusual, tasteful and appropriate gifts that fit within their budgets.

As I was trolling the Internet for some ideas, I came across an article by a young woman who had some gift giving guidelines that I agree with and have decided to share with my readers. The most important thing for any business to take into consideration when it comes to holiday gift giving is to be appropriate and respectful.

Some Good Ideas

Here are some ideas as posted by Deborah Sweeney on

“However personalized your gifts may be, there are still a few etiquette guidelines to keep in mind for present picking for clients, employees and partners:

  • Avoid gifts that are too personal or send the wrong message about your working relationship together, which includes things that can be sprayed or rubbed on the body, or alcohol. (Note from Danette: You must be very careful with alcohol unless you know the recipient really well. You never know if someone is a recovering alcoholic.)
  • Leave the gag items on the shelf where you found them. What might be funny to you may not to be others
  • Be careful when giving group food baskets and gift cards, especially to clients and partners. This might be an easy way to say thank you en masse, but it’s also a move that can be perceived as somewhat thoughtless, as well.”

In my opinion food gifts can be very appropriate for thanking large departments, especially if you aren’t sending run-of-the-mill food gifs. One of our vendors likes to send warm chocolate chip cookies and milk. Needless to say, this gift is always one his recipients look forward to!

Some people are skittish about sending clothing items too. However, we do lots of apparel for the holidays, especially for employees. They love Polo shirts and casual Friday type apparel. Last year one of our most popular items were some fabulous fleece jackets.

To Brand Or Not To Brand

I am in complete agreement with Ms. Sweeney’s opinion when it comes to branding. She writes, “In some ways, it’s a smart idea because it helps keep your business top of mind with clients and partners. In others, especially where employees are concerned, it can also be seen as an impersonal move to receive yet another ill-fitting company T-shirt. Where’s the middle ground for pleasing everyone again?”

She adds, and I totally agree, “Branding this year’s crop of holiday gifts actually isn’t a bad move, so long as you do it in a way that is personalized and thoughtful for the recipient. You can subtly add your company logo to a gift that is useful for everyone, such as stationery or a planner, and add a handwritten note inside.”

Branded, Personalized, Tight Budget, Big Budget

This is the time to start planning your holiday gift giving. You have time to work out budgets and come up with good ideas and have them implemented. If you would like help, we are here and have a long history of helping businesses of every size and budget surprise and delight their clients and employees. We’d love to help make your holidays brighter this year. Give us a call.

Gossett Marketing

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