TREVOSE, PA – December 6, 2012 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today released results from its annual corporate gift-giving survey showing companies expect to spend an average of $26 on each client gift this year and about $42 per employee.
Spending is down slightly from last year, when companies spent an average of $30 per client and $43 per employee, according to the survey.
Food and beverages – like perennial food baskets and tins of popcorn branded with a company's logo – remain the most popular gifts for clients or prospects, followed closely by gift cards, calendars and writing instruments, according to the survey. Gift cards and cash remain the most popular gifts for employees for the third year in a row, followed by apparel and food and beverages.
The 2012 Corporate Gift Spending Survey was conducted by ASI, the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the $18.5 billion promotional products industry.
"Even during times of economic uncertainty, thanking clients for their business remains one of the smartest things a company can do during the holiday season,” said Timothy M. Andrews, ASI president and CEO. "Corporate gift-giving never goes out of style and is often rewarded with repeat orders."
Branding is bigger than ever, so companies should be sure to incorporate their logos in gifts, Andrews said. "Nearly 80% of those surveyed this year plan to include their company logo on their holiday gift or its packaging," Andrews said. "That's an even bigger percentage than last year, when 70.6% said they'd brand gifts with a logo."
In the food and beverage category, this year companies are giving away everything from a set of hot sauces and a five-tier chocolate tower to a box of four filet mignons, said Andrews. Clients always appreciate useful gifts, whether it's a cool pen with numerous functions or a four-piece wine accessories gift set. And they're increasingly on the lookout for high-tech items like accessories for their smartphones, e-readers or other portable devices.
"As our survey indicates, building good relationships with clients and just saying 'thank you for your business' are still considered sound business investments for most companies, with 62.4% of those surveyed saying they could attribute better relationships directly to past holiday gift-giving programs," Andrews said.
Top 10 tips for corporate gift-giving:
- Spend money on your customers. It takes money to make money, and people are well aware of a cheap date when they're on one.
- Nobody throws away a personalized item (one with their name on it; get the spelling right).
- Consider gifts that give back: for each gift sent, for example, a percentage is given to a local charity.
- Don't send a generic "Happy Holidays” card. Clients should feel appreciated and special. Brainstorm all year and consider an out-of-the-box gift.
- Say it in person. Get off the phone and out of your chair and personally deliver your gift to the client. It helps build trust and relationships.
- Remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Stand out from the crowd and send your thank you gift in July, or tie it into Thanksgiving or New Year's, which nearly everyone celebrates.v
- Make the branding tasteful or include it on packaging instead of the gift itself.
- Personalized, well-made, brand-name items are always a smart idea, as are practical office tools like branded calculators, memo pads and portfolios.
- Know your audience and ask questions: Focus on the recipient's unique brand or style.
- Make sure it's useable and/or high-quality. If you wouldn't want it, neither will they. Consider headphones that zero out sounds or a desk fountain that instantly provides a soothing environment.
Nationwide survey respondents from a cross section of industries were screened to have a personal role in decisions about procuring corporate gifts for either employees or clients/prospects.
For more information or to schedule an interview or product demo, please contact Dawn Marie, ASI's public relations manager, at (215) 953-3119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 26,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.