Santa's Bringing Employees Gift Cards for Christmas

New corporate gift-giving survey says clients are getting food and drink in their stockings

TREVOSE, PA – November 23, 2010 – A new survey from Successful Promotions magazine says gift cards trump cash for year-end employee gifts and bonuses, and that food and drink win out for clients and customers.

Successful Promotions is published by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). Highlights of the 2010 Corporate Gift Spending survey include:

  • Stable spending. Nearly six out of 10 respondents plan to spend about the same on corporate gifts for both employees and prospects or clients. Nearly one-third (31%) plan to spend less, and only 12% plan to spend more, suggesting an overall net decrease.
  • Chow down. Food or beverages are the most commonly cited client or prospect gift (33%), followed by calendars (25%), gift cards (25%), writing instruments (25%) and desk accessories (24%).
  • Cards and cash. Gift cards are the most commonly cited gift for employees (40%), followed by cash bonuses (32%), apparel (24%), food or beverages (24%) and calendars (18%).
  • Love the logo. Over one-half (54%) plan on decorating the gifts with their logo.

For complete survey results, click here.

“Every holiday season, companies make critical decisions over what to give and how much to spend on gifts for employees and clients,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Our survey shows that as the economy rebounds, gift giving remains an integral part of company feel-good campaigns, as business owners discover ever more creative ways to pass along their name and logo.”

According to a recent feature on ASI’s popular “The Joe Show” video, this year’s hottest corporate thank-you gifts include food and wine baskets, Kindle and iPod covers, clocks, walking sticks, a Philadelphia Rapid Transit cap, and “love rocks” that can be engraved with words or a company’s logo.

To see a product demonstration, click here.

“Food is a perennial hit, since it can be enjoyed and shared by the whole office or department,” said Andrews. “But this year, there’s no denying the popularity of accessories for high-tech items and techno gifts like charging docks with a four-port hub or a wireless USB laser pointer. Companies that want to be seen as socially responsible will send eco-friendly products made of bamboo or from recycled material.”

Tips for corporate gift giving include:

  • If you put your logo on a corporate gift, make it subtle, or put your logo on an accompanying note card. Recipients will still remember who they received it from.
  • Nobody throws away a personalized item (one with their name on it; get the spelling right).
  • Order logoed/personalized products early (like now) so there’s time to craft, ship and distribute.
  • Consider gifts that give back: for each gift sent, for example, a percentage is given to a local charity.
  • Work with an established, reliable, knowledgeable distributor, such as an ASI member. They have access to thousands of products with unique twists that the average buyer might not think or know about.
  • Know your audience and ask questions: Focus on your firm’s unique brand or style.
  • Make sure the gift  is useable and/or high-quality. If you wouldn’t want it, neither will they. Consider noise-canceling headphones or a desk fountain that instantly provides a soothing environment.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest education, media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 22,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers.  ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools.  Visit ASI online at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, the CEO’s blog and the ASI Social Network.

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