Why Gift Giving Should be a Year Round Habit for Your Business

As December approaches, I dread driving anywhere near a mall, restaurant or grocery store.  The mad dash I see as individuals and businesses scrambling around to find the perfect thank you for colleagues,  major clients, employees, and spouses makes my head spin. Though it’s certainly not the only time of year when businesses give gifts, the months of November and December are the most popular times for giving business-related gifts.  Most feel this is a great way to cap off the year and reaffirm how much these relationships mean.

However, I sometimes feel that so many business owners do not take advantage of other less celebrated occasions that would be ideal for gift-giving, making your brand stand out even more in the eyes of your customers and business associates.

Want to stand out more? Business gifts don’t have to just come in December. They can come at any time during the year.

Here are just a few approaches to business gift-giving and showing personal appreciation for your employees and clients at less hectic times of the year.

Throw a Thank You Event

Customer or employee appreciation lunches, dinners or breakfasts can go a long way in establishing a client friendship, trust and one-one-one dialog with you while offering an informal networking atmosphere for your other clients. Providing an unexpected branded promotional gift at that time always evokes a genuine smile of appreciation and gratitude.

Customer-Appreciation-Party-Fina-Promos

Giving gifts to employees is good business too because this is an extra way of telling them that you value the hard work they have put in. Something practical like a golf umbrella or something useful like a canvas laptop case can be a continual reminder that your employees really matter to you. Little morale boosters (like chocolates) can make a difference in the overall workplace attitude, and the occasional gift lets your team know you couldn’t do it without them.

Hand Written Thank You Note or Letter

How long has it been since you last wrote a handwritten letter or card to someone- perhaps a customer or employee? Go on. be honest. Very few people take the time to put pen to paper and express their feelings or appreciation. It’s time-consuming, requires vulnerability and in truth, well, seems a little old-fashioned. Yet, who doesn’t long to receive a handwritten letter or card in the mail? And if you receive one do you open it? Yes, you do.

Thank-You-Note-

Someone took the time to put a  pen in hand and express their personality and thoughts with you and for you. On a personal level, it is delightful. On a professional level, it is both delightful and powerful. Your customers don’t want to feel like you’re always trying to sell them something.

Send thanks by interacting in ways that don’t have a bottom line for your business.

Say Happy Anniversary

Celebrate customers who have been with you for a month…or a year. Pull from a classic and send flowers and chocolate. Try to note any significant anniversaries that their business may be celebrating, like a new office space, 10 years in business, a recent expansion or partnership and give them a shout out on social media.

There are so many bizarre and unique “days” too that you can acknowledge and stand out from the crowd (like National  Spaghetti Day and National Tea Month) These unique days can be accompanied by an appropriate matching branded gift to market your company in a fun and useful way. Check out the 2018 list HERE

Tulip gift

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3 Ways To Market Your Brand to Teens and College Students

According to the American Psychological Association, teens influence over $600 billion (with a “B”‘)  worth of spending annually. That’s a ton of crayons, folks! What is your small business doing to market to this growing group of purchasing giants? Back-To-School marketing for colleges, high schools, and even elementary grades can add significantly to your bottom line while showing goodwill as a local business.

Whether you want to reach students, teachers, professors, parents, or the community try these three tips to get your brand image out there before the bell rings in September.

  1. Follow Their Eyeballs.

Have a legit account on the social media sites that they visit. No, it’s not a waste of time. Instagram is now the most popular photo-sharing site among teens age 12-17. One million of them visited the site last July alone.

Add to that the 93% of social media–using teens who have a Facebook account (according to Pew Internet research), and the 16% who use Twitter (a figure that has doubled in recent years), and you’ve got a lot of teenage eyeballs.

But to connect with a teen target market, you must do more than simply have a presence on the sites they use. You must also pay attention to what motivates and inspires them. Pay attention to what they post and WHY they post.  Most teens (and adults) love to be associated with the latest cool gadget, piece of technology or brand fashion item that everyone else seems to be enjoying. (Remember carrying ginormous boom boxes to school?) They want to be recognized and validated for their unique contribution to the world around them. How can you help them do so? Think outside the box. Could you offer a social media contest that appeals to these needs?

2. Know where the parents hang out. 

Always, always, always try to associate your brand and logo with having a good time, being helpful, or educating the community (value). One of my favorite clients, Clearview Credit Union decided to give away a “college student laundry bag” to every parent who opened a college savings account or college loan with them. On one side of the bag, we printed the bank logo along with laundry instructions. The opposite side had the logo of the participating college. Talk about helpful, fun, and educational!! They were a huge hit.

Click for 13 Back To School Promo Items

Click for 13 Back To School Promo Items

3. Give them sweet promo items as a gift. 

Who doesn’t love cool FREE gifts? I still get excited when I see a great logo or graphic on a promotional product and I’ve been in the business for 25 years. (think…your favorite t-shirt, logo’d sports bag, athletic shoes, purse or pen) I continue to love my Pittsburgh Pirates logo’d baseball I received as a gift for signing up outside PNC Park for another credit card I didn’t need. I still have that Pirates baseball and yes, I still use the Mastercard.

Word of caution: Be sure your promotion has a purpose. In other words, what is it that you want the promotion to do, exactly? Perhaps you can capture email addresses to build up your newsletter readership by gifting an item in exchange for an email address. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website or add more followers to your social media sites? Use the promotional products to ensure your marketing goals are reached.

Feel free to contact me any time if you need specific suggestions for your next project. Any more ideas? Comment below in the reply section.

All my best,

Audrey Gotto

13 Ways For Your Biz To Think Pink in October

Social Responsibility is a big priority for many companies.  How about yours? Does your team participate in a local “Walk For The Cure” or other fundraiser to show your support for a special cause? Branded products are an important component of any awareness initiative. Why? because pairing your brand’s logo with the cause shows goodwill to your staff and the community. Not to mention the warm and fuzzy feeling we all experience when putting ourselves out there to help others. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Fina Promos have put together 13 of our favorite product ideas for showing support. Just click on the PINK SNEAKERS PHOTO to get great ideas.

Branded products help show your company's support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Branded products help show your company’s support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Please leave a comment below and share how your business has shown social responsibility for the causes that matter to you.

All My Best,

Audrey Gotto-Owner and lover of pink sneakers.

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