Ready, Set, Gift: 4 Corporate Holiday Gift Trends for 2018

September 11, 2018 |
Holiday Gifting Trends

Brace yourself: the holiday season will be here before you know it!

And that’s why early to mid-fall is the ideal time to plan your corporate holiday gifts. You’ll feel less rushed and you’ll be able to explore your options to deliver a thoughtful gift that delights the recipient and supports your larger brand goals.

To help get the ideas flowing, we’ve compiled four corporate holiday gift trends based on our recent client collaborations and market research. Let’s dive in!

Quality, not quantity

We all love a tower of chocolate as much as the next person, but current corporate gifting trends indicate a preference for quality over quantity.

It makes sense, right? Most people would likely prefer receiving a well-made and/or valuable gift that will bring lasting enjoyment, rather than a handful of tchotchkes that will be tossed in a drawer and forgotten.

Plus, opting for a high-quality gift is an effective way to extend your brand experience. The message: “Our company cares about you and values our relationship.”

Yet you don’t have to bust your budget to deliver quality over quantity. Think first about the experience or emotion that you want the gift to evoke. Then, brainstorm some options. Perhaps you can source a locally made gift—a set of two or four glasses, for example, and a local beer or wine.

Or, instead of the classic “coffee mug and coffee” combo, what about swapping that for an insulated travel mug and a bag of locally roasted coffee? Bonus points if you can work with the roaster to create a blend just for your company!

Regardless of the gift you choose, you want your recipients to feel valued. Opting for a higher quality item that shows the thought you put into the gift can help you do just that.

Wellness is always welcome

Kara Quinn, senior brand experience coordinator at Wellington, recently attended the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and said she noticed “a huge trend in wellness.”

Corporate holiday gifts can be an ideal time to incorporate items related to improving health and wellness, especially with the new year just around the corner (hello, resolutions!).

Kara noticed several innovative wellness gifts at the Atlanta Gift Show, including gem-infused water that offers a variety of health benefits; blue light-blocking glasses; and essential oil blends.

Again, think back to the experience and emotion that you want to evoke, then brainstorm options for a gift that will be the most effective in helping to create that experience.

For example, the holidays might be a high-stress time for your recipients. To help counter that stress, you could give some relaxation-themed gifts that might include a calming candle or tea, yoga accessories, or, depending on how many recipients you’re buying for, a gift certificate for a spa service or massage. Talk about surprise and delight!

Tech (still) rules

Think high-tech gifts already had their time in the spotlight? Not so fast! Kara noticed at the Atlanta Gift Show that tech-themed gifts continue to be popular. One of the current favorites: wireless charging pads.

One of the benefits of giving high-tech gifts is that you can hit multiple trends at once. Nothing says quality like a coveted, brand name device. Consider a smart speaker, noise-cancelling headphones, a foldable keyboard or a portable charger.

You could also combine tech and wellness with a fitness tracker or, if your gifting budget allows, a smart watch.

Because tech gifts are so popular, this is one trend category that definitely warrants some strategic planning. We’ve said it before in this post, but focus on the experience you want to convey and what will be most appreciated by your audience. Not all companies view them this way, but corporate holiday gifts really are part of your larger series of touch points with a valued group of recipients. By delivering an experience, you also help evoke lasting emotion, which benefits your company in a variety of ways.

Creative curation

Put your own spin on corporate holiday gifts with a curated gift box. Start with a theme and then stock a small basket or keepsake box with thoughtfully chosen items that support your brand experience.

A popular option is a “shop local” box that includes locally made or artisan gifts. Think of it as a way to treat your recipients while also showcasing some of your city’s talent. A “travel essentials” box is another ideal option, especially if your recipients are frequent travelers.

This is another chance for you to tap into multiple trends. A health and wellness-themed collection will likely be a hit. Or, you could compile a few thoughtfully selected tech accessories like a portable charger, ear buds and a screen cleaning kit, for example, to help your recipients get more use out of their devices.

If you opt for a curated gift box, don’t overlook the packaging. Gift presentation can be an equally effective way to support the intended experience. Instead of a cardboard box, could you opt for a wooden container? Acrylic boxes can also make an engaging first impression. Your packaging choices depend, of course, on your budget, and also how many gifts you’ll be shipping.

No matter which gift you ultimately choose, remember this: it’s all about the experience. You want to convey emotion and also make your recipient feel like a valued part of your brand. Adhere to that line of thinking, and we have no doubt your corporate holiday gifts will be a huge success!