5 Best Holiday Gifts for Clients and Employees

It’s that time of year again. The holiday gift-giving season is upon us. While you turn your attention to holiday shopping for family and friends, don’t forget the value of employee and customer appreciation gifts.

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s year-end survey, nearly 50% of companies expect to give gifts to their employees for the holidays. Another 40% plan to show similar appreciation to clients and prospects. That’s a lot of potential gifts!

But with an endless array of options, how do you choose a gift that everyone will remember and appreciate? It’s tough to find products that appeal to a large number of individuals, yet at the same time feel personal. So how do you become an awesome corporate gift-giver? Knowing the top trends and most popular items is a good place to start.

Here are 5 of the most popular items this holiday season according to ASI.

#1 Everyone Loves Food

They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach right? And during the holidays, everyone is willing to cheat their diets (at least a little). ASI data shows that food is the most popular promotional gift item, outside of gift cards. And why not? It’s appealing to almost everyone, shareable, and sometimes even nostalgic.

Plus there are options to fit any budget or theme. Boxes and tins of holiday cookies are a favorite of Shawmut’s, but there are many more flavors and packaging options you can choose. From nuts and candies to hot sauces and dried fruit collections, holiday food gifts are always an excellent choice for employees and clients.

Need some inspiration, shop our food gift collection on PromoMall.

#2 Cozy + One-Size-Fits-All = Great Gifts

Staying warm this holiday season doesn’t mean you have to give outerwear. Forget the struggle that comes with trying to find the right style and size choices to please everyone. Instead, think beyond traditional sweatshirts, fleece, and jackets. ASI suggests ponchos, beanies, blankets, scarves, and mittens which are all in style, and helpfully one-size-fits-all.

Plus tiering these items for top performers or clients is easy. For example, you can select different materials for blankets such as low-end fleece or embroidered chenille and other high-end fabrics. And if you’re gift giving goes beyond the employee or customer, you can purchase blankets in additional sizes for children and pets!

puppy with holiday blanket

# 3 Color Holiday Stress Away

adult coloring book calendarThe stress relieving effects of adult coloring books became well-known over the last few years, and the trend is not slowing down according to the promotional products industry. Fields Manufacturing, a promotional products supplier, which already published over 100 coloring book titles for children, recently added its Color Comfort product line for adults.

In a recent blog post from ASI Andy Bertram, VP of Marketing at Fields Manufacturing noted: “We are already developing additional titles because of the excitement generated from the first major shows of the year.”

Coloring books are a fun and budget-friendly gift that can engage and thank customers and employees. This stress-relieving activity appeals to people of all ages, job types or industry. These products can be custom designed, and every page can be unique to your customer, industry or individual customer—now that's a personal gift! Plus, you can take it one step further and turn your coloring book into a calendar to keep your brand top-of-mind all year long.

#4 Leather: A Go-To for Luxury Gifts

If you are looking for a luxury gift in 2016, leather bags should be one of your go-to items. These high-end gifts, usually reserved for executives and top-tier performers and customers, may be well-worth the investment. In fact, many executives say that a leather duffel bag or briefcase are some of the best gifts they’ve received.

But leather doesn’t always have to be applied to bags. Gloves, luggage tags, portfolios, and tablet covers are all great gifts that may not break the bank.

leather briefcase     leather luggage tag gift     leather portfolio tablet cover

#5 Tech Can Be Universal

bluetooth trackerTech promo items are still as trendy as ever, especially with younger demographics and for companies that have employees who are constantly on the go. However, since you can’t predict everyone's device or operating system preferences, remember to keep tech gifts as universal as possible. Think wireless speakers, headphones, power banks and other items that help people stay mobile.

One universal product Shawmut loves is Tile or other Bluetooth devices that help you keep track of your stuff. We all know how frustrating it can be when you can’t find your keys, wallet, glasses, or (dare we even say it) your smartphone! Employees and clients will be grateful when the tracker you provided helps them find their stuff!

Hopefully, this gave you a few ideas to start your holiday gift-giving season. Need more inspiration? Browse our digital catalog or shop PromoMall today. 

Tags: Promotional Products

Picture of Michelle Cardin

Michelle Cardin

Michelle Cardin leads Shawmut’s creative team in developing print, direct mail, and digital marketing campaigns. Some of our work includes projects for Dell EMC, Boston College, athenahealth, Insulet, and OBP Medical. She is an experienced marketer and copywriter who enjoys helping clients solve communication challenges and create successful marketing campaigns.

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