This is a
question that comes up a lot. The answer: "Absolutely not!" Remember,
genuine appreciation can't be forced. We've all received gifts that are disappointing or puzzling and
that is not what you want to
convey to the people most important to your success! Consider these
alternatives: 1- Don't make last minute rushed choices. Instead, send
handwritten messages of gratitude. The message can be simple: "Thanks for
making this another great year. Wishing you, Bob and your family a holiday
season filled with fun." Writing
notes does take time, but the personal attention can mean more than an
expensive, rushed choice. 2- Book a time in late January when the
dust has settled (go ahead and
mark it down right now) to revisit your employee and customer recognition.
Well-chosen gifts that reflect your culture and brand creatively and
genuinely don't need to be expensive, just well thought out in
advance! 3-Consider other months besides December when your gifts won't be
competing with other corporate gifts and are guaranteed to stand
out! January is a good month as you can use a Fresh Start theme: gift ideas can be leather accessoriesincluding journals and passport holders with
your logo embossed on the front or custom-designed calenders. Spring is
another great time for
recognizing employees' contributions or clients' value to your business: golf
balls in attractive logoed wood boxes or hikers pack are just two ideas. Fall/Thanksgiving gift ideas
include: small desk-top pumpkins with a custom hang tag wishing all a
festive season, a gift set of thank you cards or stylish tartan scarves.
As I always say, "it's not what's inside the gift box that
matters, but what it represents - your genuine appreciation." Let me know
how you recognize your employees and customers creatively
and genuinely! Janet
My clients often ask me to design custom tissue paper and ribbon with their logo on them. I do like the look, but share with them that most manufacturers have minimums so you have to order large quantities, making the idea expensive. If you know you will use the ribbon and tissue in a timely matter it is worth it as is a stylish and effective way to extend your brand. If you know you won't use the ribbon and tissue that quickly-within 4-6 months (logos change, and storage can be an issue) I suggest a few other solutions.
1- Choose tissue, wrap, bags and ribbon in your corporate colours.
You can have fun mixing colours and it won't be expensive.
2- If sustainability is important to you, use natural, recycled ribbons, and tissues. (Your recycled paper insert cards should also let recipients know their gift has been wrapped with eco friendly items.)
3- If you know you will be storing or shipping your gifts avoid using ribbon at all as it always gets crushed. You want your gift to arrive the same way it left your hands, so instead create gift box sleeves that fit around the lid of the gift box. This was a solution we at Janet Helm created to ensure our clients' signature tartan scarf boxes arrive exactly the same way they left. (as we know before the recipients receive their gifts so many other people handle them- from a shipper, receiver, the odd border inspector, purchaser, managers, just to name a few!)
Gift sleeves created for Colliers tartan scarf gift boxes
Keep in mind, if you have more than one location- all locations should be using the same gift wrap, tissue and ribbon. This keeps your brand experience consistent with employees and customers as well as saves people time from running out to buy ribbon and tissue!
Have a gift wrap or giving challenge or question?
I would love to hear from you. Post a question or comment here.
I'm back at 'er this week after spending most of August on holiday, enjoying the beauty of British Columbia with family and friends. I'm grateful for the good food, good wine, good conversations and good belly laughs I shared around campfires, on decks and docks. What I find myself most grateful for though is my car breaking down in Cache Creek on the way back from Barkerville. I'll spare you the lengthy hot afternoon details and skip to us arriving by tow truck to Kamloops. The sun had set, and we were all a little cooler and calmer. We checked into a hotel for the night and I quickly realized I left my phone charger in my car which was now in the auto shop locked up for the night. At this point, I took it in stride, shrugged, and opened a beer.(I remembered to grab those out of the car!) I sat on the deck and asked a couple of hotel guests if they had a charger I could borrow. As my phone charged, we proceeded to introduce each other and share our, "what brings you to Kamloops" stories. Into our conversation I found out their four year old son has leukemia. With the hospital next door to the hotel, I found out many people stay there while visiting family and friends. I remember saying that night as I kissed my sons goodnight, "thank you for the blown turbo."I was reminded how grateful I am for my sons' health and that there is no good, no bad just how I react to a situation and every moment of the day is an opportunity for gratitude. I am grateful for my blown turbo!
In this issue of
Real Giving I invite you join us on our blog,
Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Become part of our community to receive
free: fresh gift ideas, trends in the industry, my inspirations and
creative solutions, instantly, as I see them!
It's an easy way to be inspired, learn and connect with other like-minded "realgivers."
We've also just added a few fresh recognition ideas to our Ready to Give gift line and I would love to hear what you think. And if you are looking for something specific, or want to see more of let me know!
Remember, the more you can give thanks to others, the more you will bring the appreciation back to you.
We've been working with Coca-Cola since 2003 when we first designed their very own tartan. The criss cross plaid pattern symbolizes family, community and unity- all words that reflect Coca-Cola.
So when the call came to design cuff-links for their Artic Home campaign, we were excited to roll up our sleeves with them. Photographs of actual polar bears were used for inspiration. Gift cards sharing the story of the commission and the symbolism and reason for the commission was included- all for a great cause!
Visit our Facebook page to see more recent projects.
Teck Resources- a company who truly values recognition with meaning is always a pleasure to collaborate with.
Their objectives for this project: Provide gifts for local and internationalgovernment officials and executives involved in the opening of a new copper mine in Chile. Gifts are to be made of copper and be suitable to display on a desk. Gifts are to be unique reflecting Teck's genuine appreciation.
Strategy: We designed hand blown glass paperweights with real copper leaf floating inside. We also designed copper coins with artwork of the local Chilean church where the mine exists, the Teck logo, and the event information in both Chilean Spanish and English. The coins were added into the glass during the manufacturing of the glass pieces.
The result: "Janet, that is why we call you. You are such a great resource and we can always count on you to design unique gifts. Thank you!"
This was a meaningful project to collaborate on and I was thrilled with the final results.
Once again I was thrilled to be the award sponsor for The Influential Women in Business Awards- Business in Vancouver's annual event celebrating women leadership.
The awards are human glass figures, hand blown with outstretched arms symbolizing leadership and celebration. Each piece stands 11" high and is one of a kind. During the creative process, glass ribbon swirls of reds, pinks and purples are included which is a subtle and stylish way to reflect the event's branding.
The awards reflect the genuine appreciation of Business in Vancouver, make an impact when presenting on stage and in photographs, and are a unique award that stand out from the rest- just like the recipients.
Providing gift packaging that is sturdy, safe for travel and fashionable is an important detail as I want the gift giver's experience to be effortless and the recipients' gift experience to be a happy one from start to finish. (having to think about how to get the award back to the office in
one piece would not continue the experience!)
Thanks Lucy Cameron for the photos!
Initially when we looked at base options, I felt using a mass produced glass base would take away from the sculpture look I was going for, so each base is also hand blown, then etched with the event, date, and recipients' names. Gift cards with Business in Vancouver's logo on the front and space for their personal message of gratitude inside is another detail that continues the experience for both the giver and recipients. The card also shares more information on the commission and the artist.
I am grateful for all the amazing women I have in my life.
My mom first comes to mind. I am thankful she continues to share with me her experiences, her thoughts, and her generosity. I am grateful for my sisters Denise and Ramona who introduced me to Elton John's music and bell bottoms. (I’m dating myself I know, but I’m dating them too- hee hee) They both continue to inspire me with their genuineness. I’m grateful for my good friends, many I've had since high school- ladies who ground me and I can always count on to tell ‘er like it is. I’m grateful to have such awesome clients- leaders, many pioneers in their industries- smart, tough women who lead with compassion.