Posted by: brandextenders | September 16, 2010

Holiday Cards? Bah, humbug!

You know you hate it, but it’s a tradition, right? You’ve done it for what seems like 375 years and your customers have come to expect it. The thought of sitting at your desk signing each and every one of them is enough to extinguish the holiday spirit that had just begun to brighten your soul.

 Holiday cards can be a joy to some or an anchor to weigh down even the most stout-hearted of souls. When I was younger, much younger, I loved sitting by the fire, writing notes in each card, addressing the envelopes and sending them on their merry way through a postal system where postal works didn’t go, well…postal! According to Hallmark, 1.8 billion Christmas cards were sent last year which is close to one-third of the world’s population. I’ll be the first to admit I enjoy opening up the cards we receive at home with the exceptions of those where they include a letter that details every exploit of the family from January 1 all the way through the day before they sent out the card.

 My point is holiday cards are great for friends to send to friends, but I believe there is a better way to say “thank you” to your business colleagues and customers that can be remembered long after those cards are dumped into the round file on the floor.

 The first thing to do is compile a list of recipients and your budget per gift. Figure holiday cards cost a couple bucks each after all is said and done and those get thrown out or recycled with no memory value for the recipient. Here are five gift ideas for about $5 that will continue to remind your customers of your thoughtfulness throughout the New Year: 

  1. Calendars: Calendars come in all styles and varieties from pocket planners to wall calendars; desk pad calendars, stick-on and desk top calendars, month-at-a-glance and pop-up calendars. Work with your promotional products professional to narrow down the style and decide what message you would like your customers to see throughout the year.
  2. Holiday CD Greeting Cards: This idea combines a holiday greeting card that acts as the sleeve for a music CD. Provide your customers with a CD full of holiday classics or one with classic songs they can listen to all year long.
  3. JournalBook: When I am on sales calls I notice most people tend to carry around a pad of paper or some sort of pad to record notes from the various meetings. This holiday give them an upscale journalbook with blank lined pages to use instead of a pad of paper. You can include custom pages at the front that gives information on your company and products for easy reference throughout the year.
  4. Metal or Ceramic Drinking Vessel: What better way to have your name in front of your customer every day than with an upscale cup or mug that sits on their desk. As a little extra fill it with some nuts or candy and make sure it’s packaged nicely.
  5. Food Gifts: O.K, this one might cost you more than $5 if you choose a company that packages their food in a reusable wood box or with a Post-It Note Holder or picture frame. Quality food is always appreciated and if it comes with a useful product branded with your logo or message all the better.

 Given the economy you may decide to stick with holiday cards this year and if so consider sending a Thanksgiving card instead. Your customers will receive very few if any notes of appreciation around this holiday and your message will stand out from the rest of the holiday noise.

 With 24 years in promotional marketing, Steve Woodburn works with clients to develop creative and measurable solutions that solve their marketing needs using promotional products, uniform programs, online company eStores, point-of-sale initiatives and rewards and recognition. He builds long-term relationships and becomes a trusted advisor and consultant his clients can turn to for all their brand extension needs. You can reach him at: stephen.woodburn@staplespromoproducts.com

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