FILED IN: Client & Corporate Gifts, Education, Holiday & Seasonal
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman Wynne
In general, it's always good to plan ahead in life. But for corporate holiday gifts, it's absolutely essential to get started early. And by "early" I do mean summertime. When I first started Marigold & Grey back in 2014, I recall being hesitant to bring up holiday gifting early in the year because it somehow felt pushy or just flat out wrong. Let's face it - I didn't want to cause people to have the same icky feeling they have when they walk into Target and holiday decorations are out alongside the deck furniture, beach balls, and coolers. But as the business has grown over the years and I've witnessed just how intense holiday season can be in the gifting business, I've learned that we're doing our clients a huge disservice by NOT talking about corporate holiday gifting as early as possible. Here's why it's so important...
Avoid Product Shortages
Our product vendors begin discussing holiday orders with us in the spring and then they follow-up in the summer to try and get projections from us on the volumes we're expecting. Options become much more limited if you wait until later in the year because many vendors, especially the artisan small batch makers which we all LOVE, are already committed by the beginning of fall. In order to wow your clients and colleagues, you want to make sure you have as many available options for product as possible and that you're not having to scale back your design preferences simply based on availability of product.
The Covid Effect
While the world has begun opening up, the impact that Covid has had on supply chain will be felt for a long time to come. There are still products that are having extreme delays and outages due to our vendors' inability to source the raw materials needed to create their wares. By coming up with your gift design early, orders can be placed early to allow plenty of wiggle room to account for any Covid-related delays.
We Book to Capacity (as do other gifting companies)
As of this blog post, it's early July. We already have countless clients on our books for corporate holiday gifts which means that at some point prior to the holiday season we will book to capacity and begin turning clients away. This is not just happening to us - it's happening to gifting services all over. So if you're looking to outsource your gifting for the holidays, please retain your gifting company early to make sure you're not scrambling to find a reputable company last-minute! And even worse, you don't want to risk having to tackle corporate holiday gifting as a last-minute DIY. Eek!
Get it Off of Your Plate
The holidays are stressful enough let alone you having to take on the added responsibility of the corporate holiday gift boxes on top of everything else already on your list. While it may seem fairly straight forward, gifting en masse requires a lot of time, space, and helping hands to perfectly execute design, sourcing, the counting and quality checking of inventory, gift assembly, finishing touches such as ribbon tying, recipient list management, shipping, and package tracking. If all of these details are ironed out early, it's done and off of your plate so you can head into Q4 without this added burden on your shoulders. Not to mention, creativity typically flows the best when you're not stressed and overwhelmed and your gifts are much more likely to be on-brand and unique versus the typical red and green that everyone is used to receiving.
Avoid Shipping Delays
The sheer amount of packages being shipped via Fedex, UPS, and USPS during December is staggering. It only makes sense that there would be delays and perhaps even some lost packages during this peak time. By planning your gifts early, you can opt to send your gifts out on the earlier side and avoid the risks associated with shipping during December. In fact, we're huge fans of sending Thanksgiving-inspired gifts and New Years-inspired gifts instead of traditional holiday gift shipments in December. Your gifts will stand out more this way and, in turn, you and your brand will as well! Our advice on the best time to send corporate holiday gift boxes is here.
Even if you decide not to outsource your gifting or you're outsourcing to a business other than us, we hope you've found this list helpful and that it's motivated you to put "holiday gifts" on your summer to-do list. By taking the first steps early, you'll be ahead of so many who will end up in a bind later in the year. For more information on our Custom Gift Design Service for corporate holiday gifts, inquire here. For examples of past custom design projects we've done for past clients, visit here.