We’ve been around in the industry for a while now, the things we’ve seen and the places we’ve visited have left us feeling humbled. Among the many promotional gifts we’ve provided and seen there are several that still stand out to us to this day.
The companies that use them have similarly left their impressions on us; one machine manufacturer handed out branded car valves that are still on a Honda somewhere in SA. Through these experiences we also learned that a lot of people are unsure about which promotional gifts to send to clients.
With this knowledge we have found ourselves talking, sometimes arguing, about which items are perfect for which clients. We usually find ourselves overwhelming our clients; giving them so many options that they usually look at us with confused frightened eyes. This then leads us to reduce our list of items to a more manageable count.
To prevent further arguments and allow us to easily recommend a good list of items to our future clients we sat down and hammered out how to choose the best items. Basically, this means we sat down and argued until we all agreed and out methods of insanity became a little bit saner.
The goal of promotional gifts
The industry is older than most others, dating back several hundred years to presidential elections. This means that the goal has stayed the same, which is to say they have to promote a company. Specifically they refer to items with logos, phrases and other slogans that represent a company placed on them.
There are thousands of items that fulfill this task, ranging from small pins for books to large, lavish gift sets. As alluded to earlier, the industry is several hundred years old, which means throughout the years there have been millions of items used. One of the first recorded items used for promotional purposes were the buttons used to commemorate George Washington’s election.
We know that this knowledge will just add to the pressure and confusion of choosing the perfect promotional gift. But we need you to know what the end goals of these items are if you are to choose the perfect items.
So here it is the full definition that we created, not the Oxford definition, to describe what a promotional item is and what it should achieve. Promotional items should strengthen your brand by providing products, devices and items that your target audience will use in their day to day lives, which will ultimately expose your brand to more people.
However, some of us also believe that promotional items are perfect ways to say thanks in the corporate environment. Either through gifts sent at the right time or with the right message.
The promotional gifts and campaign industry
As stated previously, this industry is older than most others, dating back several hundred years. And, it has been filled with more interesting historical approaches than Napoleon trying to reach a top shelf cookie jar. One of the most popular and effective company’s when it comes to promotional campaigns is Coke Cola.
This started all the way back in the 19th century, with the 5c campaign, which literally meant that no can of can of coke would be sold for more than 5 American cents. The company promoted this day in and day out for years, the exact amount of time was 70 years. This campaign started in 1886 and ended in 1959, creating one of the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising.
However, this is not the only way Coca Cola has advertised itself, as you would know if you’ve ever watched TV, seen an ad or browsed the internet. Throughout the more than hundred years that the company has been advertising the marketing campaigns have changed and adapted to be more effective.
From the collectible glass bottles of coke, the connection with Santa Claus or just shirts that have the coca cola label proudly displayed on them. The brand has been one of the leaders at promotional campaigns, even winning the cola wars with Pepsi in the late 20th century. Luckily, Coca-Cola is not the only leader in the marketing world.
Kellogg’s has also had a long history of successful branding and awareness campaigns that shows why it is effective to do branding properly. This cereal company, which is one of the largest cereal manufacturers in the world, has been working on ways to bring its cereal into homes for ages.
“…winning small battles against their competitors, something larger was taking place.”
They have been giving away promotional gifts for so long, finding new ways to promote their brand and help it grow that their techniques have become familiar and every day. Take for instance the most popular thing they do. Giving away prizes in their cereal boxes, yes, those things you and your brother fought over each time a new box of Coco Pops was opened.
In 1945, Kellogg’s added the first ever prizes to their cereal boxes that consisted of nothing more than pin buttons that had several different images on them. Ranging from famous sports stars to military personnel; each of these pins became collectables as other cereal brands followed suit and created their own cereal box prizes.
However, it was already over, there were no real cereal wars as Kellogg’s quickly expanded and grew to be a dominator in the breakfast market. The company has stayed a leader in the market ever since, having built a strong brand image within the first few years of the 20th century.
While these two companies have been busy building their brands, advertising and winning small battles against their competitors, something larger was taking place.
The petrol wars and the things that happened
During the mid-20th century what can only be described as advertisement wars took place across the world, but mostly focused in the United States of America. This is owing to the USA being a car focused country, with enough cars or busses for everyone to reach any spot. No, really, the population of the USA in 2018 was 327.2-million whereas there were 286.6-million vehicles.
If every car has two or more seats that means that the entire US population would fit in all their cars with several million to spare. What it comes down to is simple; the USA uses a lot of petrol (gasoline) each day to keep this fleet moving. This means that it was the perfect market to be in during the 1950’s to mid-1970s if you wanted to sell some petrol.
This led to the advertising wars, where gas stations were making bold claims, throwing merchandise at people and eventually telling lies. This was made more aggressive by the discovery that lead based fuels were causing serious damage to the world and the people that live in.
So let’s start at some of the claims that were made, things that we now know are either impossible or just slightly true. We’ve seen some weird ones, like the ad that promised that lead based petrol can be beneficial to your health. These ads were aggressive and caused misconceptions across the petrol industry.
Eventually gas stations started offering incentives for visiting them, like free check-ups or coffee. This did lead to the inevitable promotional gifts, like mugs, caps and other popular items. However, almost 70 years later we can now take a look at the techniques used by these companies to safely say what the goal of promotional gifts and larger branding campaigns are.
How do you then decide which gifts to buy
There are several steps to choosing the perfect promotional gifts, each one important and requiring several explanations to understand perfectly how they are important. Through our arguing we did have been able to pinpoint the exact ones that can start anyone on the right track to choosing the perfect promotional gifts.
We also rounded down significantly to find the most important two for your journey to start easily. These two can help anyone immediately decide what kind of promotional gifts they will be adding and sending to their clients.
But, before we discuss them, we would like to point out that promotional gifts are meant for more than just clients. They are meant for any occasion where a tasteful, branded product can be given away. You will be giving these to your own staff, random people at expo’s and friends of the company that you just want to thank for their hard work.
With that said, let’s take a look at our two deciding factors for the perfect gifts.
Your budget will decide your gifts
The budget that you have will always have a major effect on which gifts you are looking at. Smaller budgets limit you to smaller target markets, which means that you can have a smaller influence on the overall impact your brand has. Larger budgets can mean larger target audiences or just higher quality promotional gifts.
We have seen small companies have dreams of tackling large corporations and failing completely, this can be linked with the bad strategies they had with their promotional gifts. One of the things we always recommend is that you should almost never go with quantity of quality. A healthy balance must be kept at all times.
If you question this, you should remember that when you are a small company you will have core clientele that will be more than happy to use your branded gifts. If you then send a large amount of low quality gifts you will alienate these clients, this will cause your brand loyalty to diminish.
“It’s important that you keep this in mind as we move onto the second factor that will decide which gifts you pick.”
Similarly, we’ve seen small companies win over new clients and survive in corporate worlds where they definitely shouldn’t because they chose their corporate gifts with absolutely precision. High quality, thoughtful gifts will mean laser focused loyalty that drives more business to you. This leads to the next recommendation that we will make with your budget.
Take a look at what other businesses are doing; are they splurging, are they adding several high quality items, are they only handing out gifts at events? This will tell you exactly what the trends in the industry are and reveal possible opportunities.
We always point this out when consulting someone; we also add in that most large companies don’t splurge of high quality items constantly. The prevailing trend among large, worldwide corporations is to send high quality promotional gifts to their favourite, loyal clients. They then hand out smaller, novelty gifts at events or trade shows where their presence is more important than the gifts themselves.
Through multiple ups and downs we finally argued that smaller budgets require high quality out of the box thinking while higher budgets can allow for broad sweeping distribution of promotional gifts. It’s important that you keep this in mind as we move onto the second factor that will decide which gifts you pick.
The industry decides your items
We’ve seen some weird things sent to the entirely wrong industries, like the time a company sent several hundred notebooks to an underwater salvage company. Even after our advice that something else would be better. We don’t know a lot about salvaging wrecks, but one of our wild guesses would be that normal paper notebooks have very little to do with their day-to-day.
One of the first things we will always ask is what industry you are in. And this is something that you should also ask yourself. If you are in a business environments then stationary will always be a hit but we know there are companies where almost few desks are involved. These can be anything from engineering companies, small shops, manufacturers or miners.
When you know your clients aren’t working at desks then gifts like pens or stationary won’t be the most popular items in your industry. Similarly, if you work with executive level clients cheaper pens and notebooks won’t be the most popular either.
Through a closer look at your industry and the, for lack of a better phrase, target audience you can see which promotional gifts your competitors are using and which items would be the most popular. This process helps you to further narrow down your budget requirements and it lets you see exactly which items will be effective.
We recommend adding a few extra steps in this process, like getting to know your clients and what exactly they expect and allow in their work space. Some new age offices will allow their staff to wear t-shirts and flops while others will have strict dress codes. Sending a promotional t-shirt to one company will be much more effective than the other.
Through the process of just learning your industry more you will also gain more industry recognition and learn more about your clients. And this means that your clients will feel your relationship is stronger than it is with other companies.
So, these are the popular gifts
Owing to this industry being several hundred years old, maybe even thousands, there are tried and tested items are always effective. You’ve definitely received some of these yourself, heck if you’ve ever bought something at most supermarkets in the last few years you’ve received some of these.
Pick ‘n Pay had stickeez while checkers had miniature groceries, both of them promotional gifts and both of them fantastically effective. However, neither of these would go down well as promotional gifts in the corporate environment. For these environments we have more tried and tested gifts that will be loved by anyone that received them.
While we also recognise that these gifts are seen as everyday gifts, they are used throughout the world for a reason. This is why we will take a look at the downsides of using these and the positives of sending these around to you clients.
Bagging the promotional gifts game
The first of the traditional four we will be looking at is the bag, in all the shapes and sizes that it comes in. For starters, we’re going to look at what you can consider a promotional gift bag. Because, believe it or not, this includes much more than just travel or backpacks.
The promotional gifts bag can be anything from a luxury, hard shell cabin back that will last a lifetime or just a good looking plastic shopping bag handed out at an expo. Depending on the industry standards that you should know by now you will have to choose which ones are perfect for your clients, which is why we are taking you on a trip through each level of bag available.
The first set of bags we recommend looking at is the simple plastic shopping bags, these can be plain with kidney shaped handles or right at the border almost into woven bags with rope handles. These bags are perfect for more relaxed events, where you may have a stand selling several stuff at expos or summit. The bag will ultimately be a small gift that accompanies whichever items you are selling.
Before full bags and after plastic bags we get the giant category that is the woven and material bag world. We’ve all seen these bags branded with everything from logos to just good looking pictures. Our consultants have seen these be used for gift bags, which included luxury chocolates, to carry bags being given away at the entrances of shows.
Material bags also come in varieties that few people know about, including togs and just woven shopper bags. You can even add zippers to these bags, which make them perfect for keeping items safe or clean. If your budget allows it and your industry needs it having a few of these bags handy will help significantly.
Now that we have the normal bags out of the way, let us delve deeper into what you can send to your clients. Backpacks are perfect for your brand image to live on, they travel all over the place and we know that people always find a way to use them. In the world of promotional gifts the range of backpack possibilities is vast.
“…just imagine sending a low quality bag to a CEO. “
This means if your budget is small and you want to have a wide reach then you can buy simple backpacks with one zipper. However, if you don’t want to have a wide reach you can go up a few levels and buy bags like the Solo Pro Backpack. These are executive level bags that will definitely leave a lasting impression on anyone that may receive them. We also know that the trick to handing these out is to have your logo applied only in a subtle way.
After the executive level backpacks we move on to laptop bags and travel bags. You will know these; you will have received several of these in different ways throughout your professional career. Laptop manufacturers actually use included laptop bags to build more brand loyalty.
There is a large overlap in the modern world between laptop bags and travel bags as well; this is owing to people that travel usually needing a safe space to put their laptop. It’s a lot more likely that your clients will use high quality laptop bags than most other bags. Especially, if there is space for other items that they will use during travel.
We recommend using laser focused gifts when it comes to these bags. Sending low quality bags to corporate clients will give a bad impression; just imagine sending a low quality bag to a CEO. The nightmare of that is not worth thinking about; we always push our clients to buying a few high quality bags like the exclusive washed laptop bag on our site.
A well placed, branded, good looking bag sent to management or upper levels of a company is just as effective as sending out thousands of average quality bags at expos or events. These are the reasons bags are still one of the most popular promotional gifts to send out.
Covering the basics with a good shirt
This is where things start to get tricky, unlike bags these are industry specific. Sending t-shirts to a suited CEO is just as bad as sending a full suit to a coal miner. It’s not that they’re won’t wear them, it’s that they won’t wear them around their places of work.
Choosing good looking shirts as promotional gift is all about representing your brand in its entirety, from the lines that the shirt has been cut in to the colours that is uses. We will star at the normal and popular options that you can see around the world and then move on to more discrete options that will allow you brand to be seen by more people that within your industry.
The first thing that comes to mind when we say promotional gift and shirt in the same sentence is the ever popular T-shirt. Made from cotton or synthetic fibres, companies love to use these as promotional gifts during events, company tours or when they just want to send something to a client.
You can send these to some of your clients if your industry allows it, with your brand placed proudly at the front. Or you can take a more subtle route that we have also seen be effective, one that will allow a brand to be spread without breaking the bank. Adding a small logo and a funny image, relevant phrase or animated industry tool can mean more people are wearing your t-shirts.
However, t-shirts are not the top choice when it comes to promotional gifts. We know this mostly because there are people that have told us they want something with a bit more substance. For this we have button shirts, golf shirts and, while they technically aren’t shirts, jackets. The overall quality is significantly different than some of our t-shirts, because they are used in more industries than t-shirts.
“Sending out branded winter jackets in the middle of summer won’t be as effective as delivering them just before the first chilly nights of winter start.”
We know that they also go down well as promotional gifts, which is why you should be looking at some of these if you want to send high quality clothing as gifts. Button shirts that are sleekly branded make for great gifts to your clients when you want to send them something for being great. Further, we’ve seen some of them being worn by clients to help the internal look of a company become more consistent.
The other part of this, the part that’s not technically shirts, is the jackets that can carry your brand through colder winters. Or so we’ve heard, jackets, no matter how thick or thin they are will be worn by anyone. The only catch with these is that you have to send them out at the right time of the year.
Sending out branded winter jackets in the middle of summer won’t be as effective as delivering them just before the first chilly nights of winter start. That’s about it for shirts and similar items, when you start stressing about the materials and colours we can make some suggestions but the ultimate choice will be made with your budget and industry.
As an example of this, high visibility jackets might be worn more in construction industries while high quality button shirts will be worn by businessman. This is why researching and knowing your industry and what your clients are more likely to wear is a vital part of choosing the perfect promotional items.
Writing your name with the best promotional pens
One of the things that require some explanation before we go on is the difference between a promotional pen and a pen that works as a promotional gift. Promotional pens are those pens you leave on your desk and rarely if ever use; these are the pens that might only be used for a few days at a time before being forgotten or left somewhere.
Pens that are used as promotional items are vastly different. These are pens that have high quality engravings, high quality German ink, and metal somewhere in its construction which will work for the lifetime of the owner. These are the pens you can see CEO’s, manager or company owners walking around with and never lending to anyone.
When you are looking for promotional gifts, these pens should be on your list of things to look at. Our own range of pens have all of these qualities, which makes us the perfect people to tell you that how to choose the best ones.
We always recommend finding out which of your clients love to write or just having good looking pens. Doing this will ensure you don’t send pens like the Waterman Edson Fountain Pen to a client that hasn’t written anything on paper in years. It will also keep you from sending pens to clients that might collect pens as a hobby.
One of the things that always like to point out that executive pens can also have a wider audience when you use pens like the Executive Navy-Blue Metal Ball Pen that will work with most budgets. These pens will work as simple promotional gifts that your clients will love without having your budget spread so thin you can see through it.
Luckily choosing the right pen is more of a personal choice that has to be made by your company and you. Sometimes sending the first best looking pen as a promotional gift is the best thing to do. This is why we can’t say too much about choosing the right pen, but we can refer you to our previous article that explores the history of pens and how we came to use the ballpoint pen in every life.
Keeping the top of your head safe
This is the thing you see collected by people around the world, the more branded they are the better. There are only a few people that will have plain caps in their cupboards. These are the people that prefer the simpler things in life.
So, where do you start with caps as promotional gifts, the answer is simple in a way. You start with the basic, branded cap that doesn’t eat the budget and allows you to spread to clients with ease. Mostly, caps are just fun things to share and people love receiving them wherever they may go.
However, there are times when you want to send out high quality, collectible caps. These are the caps you see that have unique things in them, weird gimmicks or just plain good looking caps that make them rare. The perfect example of how these caps can be effective as promotional gifts is looking at the caps given away Formula One events.
If you build the right relations with sport stars, celebrities or just with large companies you can send caps as promotional gifts that will cater to unique clients. Having collectable, branded caps that you send out to clients can also become a tradition that your clients will look forward to each year.
The potential to build a brand by having close relationships through collectible caps is a simple yet effective strategy. You only have to remember to keep doing it, if you infrequently send out gifts or fail to send good caps or hats then your clients may end up not being loyal or enjoying the promotional gifts that you send.
Your brand image will be strengthened in this way
When you first start looking at promotional gifts your overall goal will be to build your brand image, this is why we usually add logos to each item. The gifts that you send out should always help your own brand spread through client networks, creating easy recognition and ensuring that the services that you provide are used.
This is what we in the industry call brand strength, and sending promotional gifts to the right clients is one of the easiest ways of building this strength. Through our years of experience we also know which the most popular promotional gifts in each industry are. These would be the bags, shirts, stationary and caps we just mentioned.
The next way these promotional gifts help your brand is by allowing your reach increase. If the only place your brand can be seen is inside your own office or website then that means that you overall reach will never increase. When you send branded gifts to already existing clients, they can help you brand reach new clients.
A good example of how this helps your brand reach further is taking a look at the car industry. These companies have the technique down to a science. Buying a new car usually means you get a cap, shirt or bag with it, which means you will be taking their brand with you even when you’re not driving. Just think back on how many times you’ve walked through an event or family gathering and seen a Ferrari or Honda cap being worn by someone.
Increasing your reach through promotional gifts is a vital benefit of sending them out to your clients, or handing them out at events. This also directly influences the third way gifts help your brand image, longevity.
When your clients start becoming more successful and entering their respective markets, they will inevitably meet others who can do what you do. If you provide a service then it may mean that your brand loyalty will be the only thing that keeps your client coming back to you. Or, if you provide items then your brand strength and quality will be what keeps clients coming back.
“Promotional gifts are easy, effective and not always cheap ways of building brand strength…”
For these reasons sending gifts to clients throughout the year will help you stay with them for longer. Just having your brand somewhere in their office, maybe on their desk, will mean you are in their minds for longer. This means that you can build longer, lasting relationships with each of your clients, which both strengthens your brand image and allows for longevity.
Promotional gifts are easy, effective and not always cheap ways of building brand strength and loyalty with your clients. This leads to your company being active for longer in your industry, going with your clients to more and more places.
However, while these are the popular gifts they can face challenges; your competitors will send the same gifts. Further, your clients might already have some of their own branded bags, caps, pens and shirts that they prefer to wear. This means that you need to think outside the box every now and then to leave a lasting impact.
These are the new kids on the promotional block
Thanks to technology always improving and new ways of printing being introduced to the markets new promotional gifts are becoming available. This means that you do not necessarily have to go the traditional route, the one that says you must send a bag or shirt.
These are the gifts that you’ve seen being thrown into crowds and then talked about for hours, the ones that make CEO’s perk up their eyebrows when they first open them and the gifts that are used until they break. We have added several of these to our line-up, these are the gifts that play with on our desks for hours.
However, we know that you want them to be effective, which is why we have also gone through our list and fund three that are effective.
Giving your client power full gifts
One of the newest and most popular promotional gifts on the block is the power bank, mostly because everyone has a use for them. This is exactly why we recommend sending them as promotional gifts as well.
Depending on the size these can power phones, tablets and cars. We’re serious; there are power banks out there that can jumpstart a car. Branding a power bank will mean that your clients will receive a gift that they can use in their day-to-day lives or when they travel.
Further, these are more useful than some other promotional gifts purely because there is an exact use for them in anyone’s life. It also fits into the category of wanting it but not necessarily buying it. This is something that most people, including your clients, will want but won’t necessarily go out and buy for themselves. A power bank will be a true gift specifically for this reason.
So adding your brand image to them will mean that you can power your clients throughout their day. Just be sure to send a larger power bank, we’ve seen that executives prefer to have larger power banks that can charger their tech several times instead of smaller ones that can only complete one charge.
Give your clients the gift of sound
This is the gift that is loved by anyone that receives it, meaning that even if they may not use it in their office, they will give it to someone they know or like to use. The promotional gift is speakers, and they really do come in all shapes, sizes and quality that you can think of.
We added these to our line-up as soon as we could find some good ones, meaning the ones we added are weird, normal and just downright out of the ordinary. Speakers are some of the most unique thing that you can send as promotional gifts because they are available in a range of sizes and colours.
There have been rugby ball shaped speakers that could connect with TV’s that left impressions on anyone that got them there have been smaller pocket sized speakers that made more noise than a car. We always recommend sending these as promotional gifts because they are really well received with clients.
Your brand image can easily travel longer on good quality speakers; Bluetooth speakers that have their own batteries are welcomed in any industry. Honestly though, we don’t need to say much to about speakers, this is because they speak for themselves.
Look at the time, it’s time to upgrade your promotional gifts
When we talk about tech and the new kids on the block there is nothing as strange or weird as the smart watch. Sometimes they have full colour LED screens that display the weather, other times they just show your pulse.
When we first started adding these, few people knew what to do with them. However, once we started showing that they can be branded and that they make perfect promotional gifts they gained some popularity. They also rank with the more niche promotional gifts that we’ve seen in the industry.
However, because they are unique they will be used more than others. Smart watches are meant to replace the normal watch that someone might wear, which means that they will be worn every day. Travelling with your clients and creating brand strength throughout the week without any real downsides.
Branded smart watches are also gaining popularity as the industry looks for more non-traditional gifts to hand out. This means that when you send these out before anyone else has a chance to, you will make an immediate impression.
Further, just imagine how nice these will be to send or hand out to your clients throughout the year. Or you can leave these for the holiday gifts; these can be neatly packed in boxes and wrapped, handed to your favourite clients as full promotional Christmas gifts or you can show how much you really care and send them on client birthdays.
Three gifts and why they are becoming popular
If you feeling a bit confused about how these are becoming popular now or why they were added to the market only a few years ago, we will explain all of that here. The first thing that these three gifts are doing is being used.
Unlike shirts, caps, bags or pens these three items are used by people throughout their lives. Speakers are used at parties, power banks are used to charge up and smart watches are used for increased information gathering. This means that when you send these to your clients they are almost guaranteed to be used.
By being used, in any situation, they increase the reach of your brand, which in turn increases your brand strength. The second reason we have found these to be popular are that each of these items fills a gap in their markets.
Just think of the time before power banks were readily available, when the charge of your phone depended entirely on how close you were to a wall socket. Power banks filled the market and now, most on the move businessmen have one in their bags at all times. Bluetooth speakers and smart watches do the same.
All three of these items make for perfect promotional items because they are the only ones in the market that provides their specific service. As far as we know there are no alternatives to making music than a speaker, no phone exists that can be wrapped around your wrist and wireless charging still has a long way to go before you can just walk around with a fully powered phone at all times.
“…more brand loyalty from your clients which, again, means more reach and more brand strength.”
Because these items are all used every day and they filled gaps in the market they reached the third point for why they make perfect promotional gifts. These are promotional gifts are loved by the people that receive them. Bluetooth speakers that have someone’s favourite brand on them are always protected; just imagine allowing a springbok themed rugby ball speaker to fall.
This means that your brand will be protected along with these gifts, which allows for more brand loyalty from your clients which, again, means more reach and more brand strength. There are a few other items that are just as or more effective than these, but their costs can also mean that smaller companies can’t always send them out.
The executive level, luxury, promotional gifts
You know these gifts just as well as you know the others, you’ve sent a few of these yourself. Just, you’ve never sent these branded with your logo and never to your clients. There are three that we will be looking at that will affect the brand strength you have.
Each of them gives you the opportunity to impress clients and to show that you know them, that your company cares about who it is working with. Further, because these items are a lot more unique we will be looking at them all at once, to ensure that you understand how important knowing you clients is.
Hampers, sets and the ever South African Braai equipment
First we need to set things straight, a hamper will include more stuff than any set ever will. Then, we will focus on when you send these kinds of gifts and why sending mass amounts is rarely a good idea.
A hamper can include a set, which is why hampers will have more items than sets in the best of times. Hampers will be anything from pamper yourself items all the way to dress to impress in the office. Our range of hampers includes all of these, which is why we know they can do wonders for your brand image.
Further, hampers can mean getting things for your own staff just as much as it means sending thoughtful gifts to your clients. We’ve helped clients brand and customise hampers for office Christmas parties to sending them out when their favourite clients move away or go on vacation.
Hampers are also more personal than most other promotional gifts that you can send. Sets are the more impersonal box of gifts that you subtlety brand to impress or say thanks with. They can cost less than most hampers all the way up to being on the same level as them.
For whichever reason you decide to get one, you should know that their variety is insane. We have sets meant for office wear with ties and cufflinks or just small summit ‘thanks for coming’ gifts that include keyrings, small power banks and a pouch. Keeping several of these handy make for great impromptu gifts, to staff, to clients or just for the heck of it.
While sets and hampers are great ways of giving gifts they may not always hit the mark when sending corporate gifts to clients. Or maybe you have that one board member that has seen it all from other companies. This is where the braai sets come into play, mostly because no South African will be unhappy about getting some of these.
Before you think this is for him only, we advise that these are perfect for anyone, even the single mom that’s somehow building a company in her spare time. Braai sets are also varied in size more than the others, we mean this, our own range includes just small clamps that are perfect for a steak to full braaiers that can replace the 20 year old Weber you saw the last time you visited.
Braai gifts do require some additional work from you to learn whether or not your client would actually use it. Sending a full braai set, with spices and a packet of meat to the vegetarian will not be received well at all.
Learn your clients, don’t shout and please be prepared
We know that you have a busy schedule, learning what each of your 10/20/50/1000+ clients wants and needs for promotional gifts are isn’t high on your list. But, you should still find a way to learn it, if your company is large enough to have one; your marketing department should know who your top/favourite clients are.
If you are a smaller company then it is vital that you make some time to decide which clients you want to send gifts to and what would be the most effective. When you do start sending promotional gifts you should also take note which ones are actually using the gifts you send. This means that clients that seem to not care about the products that you send should be placed lower on your list.
This leads to the next point, if you send a bag your logo will be proudly placed at the front which fits perfectly with that, however, some items like smart watches will require more subtle placements. While some of your clients will be happy to wear your brand image, others might prefer to only show a little bit of your brand at their own company.
Sometimes, especially with gifts like hampers and sets the goal isn’t to have your logo spread further. The goal you will be working on is to build relationships with the clients that you already have. This means that the only spot your logo should appear has to be the included card.
The last piece of advice we will be giving you today is to always be prepared. While we always try to work as fast as possible, there are situations where even we will struggle. These are always the times when one of our clients call at 09:00 in the morning requesting a 1000 printed shirts delivered by 09:30 the same day.
There are times when we’ve helped clients deliver hampers on the same day, but it was always chaos and caused more stress than was necessary at the time. We always suggest being prepared, having 10 extra sets of ties or shirts in a store room will mean that you are ready should you be surprised by a large sale, new contract or staff birthday.
Emergencies should never happen when you can build your brand strength through promotional gifts.